Young Parent Stigma

April 20, 2015

Recently I was asked if I wanted to guest posts and then continue to write for a fantastic website and magazine, Visit From The Stork CIC. It’s written by young parents, for young parents and I am so happy to be on board with this publication as it continues to grow. Here is my very first post written for them: Top 5 Tips For Dealing With A Fussy Eater.

Visit from the Stork

Visit from the Stork is the UK’s only publication for young parents and parents-to-be under 25, supported by advice and knowledge from experts who understand the needs of every young parent. – VFTS

 

When I was asked if I was interested in writing a guest post and then offered the opportunity to be a regular contributor to the magazine and website, I snapped up the opportunity. Being a young parent seems to automatically come with a stigma attached that I would love to break. When I was pregnant, at age 20, someone I worked with actually said (power phrasing and censoring):

Kids shouldn’t have kids.

Firstly:

who is he, a guy that honestly only knows one side of me, to judge me?

Secondly:

why should he care?

Thirdly:

what puts him in the position to shame me for being pregnant?

 

Like I said, I was 20 years old when I found out I was pregnant with Luke. Is that too young to be pregnant? Is that too young for me to be a decent human being, to have morals and responsibilities? Is that too young for me to be a competent parent?

Let’s think about what responsibility and opportunities are available in the UK for twenty year olds:

Aged 20 you can:

  • Drink
  • Have sex
  • Get married
  • Join the army
  • Buy porn
  • Smoke
  • Drive

The average twenty year old would most likely either be in full time employment or at university (possibly living hours be hours away from home).

None of those things particularly scream “you’re still a kid” to me. So why is being a mother any different?

Visit From The Stork is written by people like me. People who are young parents or parents-to-be. There are experts, there are bloggers, there are journalists: but we all have one thing in common – we are proud to be fantastic young parents.

We believe that being a mum is something to celebrate, and it doesn’t matter who you are or what your age is. -VFTS

If you fancy learning a bit more about Visit From The Stork, visit their About page.

If you’re a young mum, or dad, celebrate who you are! Celebrate the life you made, celebrate the obstacles you’ve over come and celebrate the unconditional love you have in your heart.

19 Comments

  • Emilyandindiana

    April 20, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    this is such a brilliant post (well done you btw!). There’s far too much judgement against us ‘younger’ parents, yet I feel most of us do better jobs than older parents! I had Indiana at 20 and will be 21 (22 if he’s late) when this one is born. I love it! Xx

    1. Lukeosaurus And Me

      April 20, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      Thank you so much, lovely! There really is and I just feel parents should all empower each other rather than mocking the younger parents. Sometimes that’s true – I think we can be there on a more emotional level sometimes, not to mention that all the cool things I take Luke to are really exciting for me too. I love a good trip to the zoo or the farm and I’ll never get tired of it! I was 21 when Luke was born and I was pregnant all through that horribly hot summer! Thank you so much for reading xx

  • Linda Hobbis

    April 20, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    I’m at the other end of the spectrum! I had my kids at 43 and 45 and believe me, people can be just as judgemental then! There’s no right or wrong time to have a baby as long as you’re fit, healthy and a good parent I think! #mummymonday

    1. Lukeosaurus And Me

      April 20, 2015 at 6:13 pm

      That doesn’t surprise me in the slightest! You’ve hit the nail on the head there, age shouldn’t determine when you should have children. I’d hate to get to 30 and for everyone to suddenly turn on me and ask why I haven’t had children yet. Your situation doesn’t make me bat an eyelid – if you’re healthy and you can provide a great life – what’s the issue?! Thanks for reading, honey. xx

  • Maddy@TheSpeedBump

    April 20, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Good post. I wrote a piece yesterday in response to some judgmental comments I received. I had my daughter at 19 and she is now 1 and I’m still about to graduate uni on time. People say its the end of your young life, you can’t enjoy things, but I get a world of enjoyment and fulfilment out of being a young mum!

    1. Lukeosaurus And Me

      April 20, 2015 at 6:11 pm

      Someone actually said to me “it’s the end of your life” when I told them I was pregnant. What the heck?! I told them it was the beginning of a new life and it wasn’t really any of their concern anyway. I’m glad you liked it and sorry to hear you’ve had judgemental comments. You must be so proud of yourself and I bet your friends and family are proud of you too for finishing uni on time. It just goes to show, in a way, younger parents sometimes seem to be the stronger ones! Thanks so much for reading. xx

  • Catriona

    April 20, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Great post! I was 19 when I became a Mum, I hate the stigma about young parents. I’ve had one incident that really annoyed me, I was judged quite harshly on my skills as a parent on the basis of my age. Age does not define parenting! Well done for your post and becoming a regular contributor πŸ™‚

    1. Lukeosaurus And Me

      April 20, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      Thank you so much, lovely. I understand 100%, I have one or two incidents that stand out and I’ll most likely never forget them. Why people feel the need to judge, I will never know! Thanks for reading – you’re so right: age does not define parenting! Love that! xx

  • Tarryn

    April 20, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    That’s great you will be writing regularly for a website/magazine! People of set ideas of when, where and how people should,ld do things! I got pregnant at 25 (not that young!!) and some people commented that we were too young to have a baby – my stepdad included. Its so silly theres no perfect time just whenever it happens or when you are ready x

    1. Lukeosaurus And Me

      April 20, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      Thank you! I love being in my twenties with a little one, I get to do all the exciting days out, I can keep up with Luke when he’s running off and I’m full of energy (sometimes, I’m not a supermum!). 25 isn’t that young at all, I think when I was around 18 I decided I wanted to have at least one child by the time I was 25! Thanks for reading. xx

  • Something Crunchy Mummy

    April 20, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Great post. I was 23 when I fell pregnant with my first son. I have always looked young and I used to get those looks because I was pregnant. Then once I had Finley at baby groups the older women would ask advice from others but never from me. No matter what your age we are all the best parents to our children. xx #MummyMonday

    1. Lukeosaurus And Me

      April 20, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      Thanks lovely. Ugh, I hate those groups. It’s bad enough sometimes when you walk in and you interrupt the little clique, but worse when you get shunned because of your age. I look really young too! I got ID’d for a 15 film the other day and I’m nearly 23! Thanks for stopping by, lovely. xx

  • Her Fashion Blog

    April 20, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    I was 19 when I fell pregnant with my eldest and by the end I was completely fed up with the concerned looks, sly remarks and opinions of people who knew nothing about me. Luckily, when Amelia came along I did everything I could to be a fantastic mam to her and as a result proved all of the above wrong. Young mums don’t equate to bad mums. Great post!

    Dominique x

    1. Lukeosaurus And Me

      April 20, 2015 at 8:18 pm

      You’re so right, it’s a horrible stigma and we need to get rid of it! Sly remarks and people literally whispering and POINTING, it’s ridiculous. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, lovely. Thanks for reading xx

  • Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks

    April 21, 2015 at 5:19 am

    Congratulations! Age really is just a number and has nothing to do with being a good mum (or dad for that matter!) excellent and mature post #mummymonday

    1. Lukeosaurus And Me

      April 21, 2015 at 1:50 pm

      Thank you πŸ™‚ Exactly, I was trying to make it not just about mums, young parents in general should empower each other! Thanks for reading. xx

  • Toni @ Gym Bunny Mummy

    April 23, 2015 at 7:53 am

    I was pregnant at 18 & had my son at 19. I’m now 33 and have a second son who’s 2. I always get a look of shock when I tell people my eldest is 14 next month. Lot’s of young people aren’t ready to be parents, the same as lot’s of older people aren’t ready to be parents.

    Having my son at a young age was the absolute making of me. He gave me the inspiration to go to Uni & get a degree & an fantastic career, I now run my own business. Not bad for a kid having a kid eh? #MummyMonday

    1. Lukeosaurus And Me

      April 23, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      I can imagine that you have had a lot of judgement thrown your way over the years πŸ™ Honestly, no one is ever fully ready to be a parent; you can mentally convince yourself the sleeplessness will be okay, the weaning will be fine, you’ve got it all covered – but in reality, something WILL terrify you and you’ll be completely unprepared for it. No one will ever be 100% ready, so you’re quite right! It’s good to hear that your son made you – I feel the same way about Luke. It’s great how a different mindset and different priorities can really propel us in life. Go, girl! Thanks for stopping by, xx

  • Gemma Louise (@sunshineblogxo)

    April 26, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    ahhh I absolutely hate young parent stigma. It is a battle that will be forever annoying despite how actually very common it is. I was 16 when I fell pregnant and 17 when I had my Corey.. I’m now 21 with a 4 year old and I’ll admit that is a bit odd to say. But who cares?! Being young hasn’t stopped my ability to be the best parent I can be to my son who is always my best friend because of the close bond we have.. There is such a stereotype to young mums though and I can see why. I also point out how I am nothing like that but I don’t know why I have to justify myself. I know 20 year old’s with 3 kids, all different dads but their kids are happy and healthy – that’s all that matters surely?! A topic that really angers me so I won’t say much more haha. Great post sweetie πŸ™‚

    thankyou for joining in with #mummymonday – love Gemma – host xo
    http://www.sunshineonacloudyday.co.uk

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