I'm not a young mum myself as I had our first, Archie, when I was 31. My mum was a young mum - she had me at 19 - and also my nan had my mum at 18. As a mum you make so many sacrifices and put things on hold until your little ones grow up. My mum was training to be a nurse when she fell pregnant with me but gave it up in a heartbeat to have me and be a stay at home mum.
I'm writing this post as I'm seeing a lot of young mums being stereotyped within the media with people mostly hating on them and using generalisations. I think they definitely deserve some love and respect.
Being a mum is hard and the challenges we face can leave us feeling anxious and overwhelmed. I get that feeling a lot if I'm having a bad day or week. I second guess myself and question everything I'm doing. Imagine having this feeling but also having other people also second guessing, questioning your mummy skills and judging you.
I know a lot of young mums doing an amazing job at bringing their little ones up and some at age 18/19 with two tots like me. They are coping, bringing up amazing little beings and giving them the best start in life. Not out drinking every night, hanging around on street corners and neglecting their babies. This is what the media would have you sometimes believe or how some judgemental people imagine all young mums are.
Being a young mum does not automatically mean you are less capable than an older mum. At the end of a day you are a mum with the same motherly instincts and know the needs of your baby. A lot of young mums I speak to have mentioned how they feel criticized for their decisions by family members and also complete strangers. This really does need to stop - you baby your way no matter how old you are.
I think about what I would have had to give up at 18 to have a baby. University, nights out, festivals and my dream of being a teacher. I just don't think I could have done that, on top of all the new things you have to learn and do as a parent.
I would have been totally overwhelmed and completely crapping it. I could barely remember what time my lectures were and when my essays had to be handed in. I can't imagine having to remember when my baby's next feed was due, making decisions about where to send my toddler to nursery or managing my money for myself and a child.
I think back to my mum being pregnant at 18 with me in the 60s and fear of telling her parents, facing all the gossip over the fact she wasn't married to my dad, giving up her career and also not having a home of her own.
My mum, with the support of my dad, faced all of these obstacles and created a family home for me and then my sister. She has done an amazing job as we have both turned out fab. We are proof that being a young mum isn't always as the media would have you believe. I will always be eternally grateful for this.
To all the young mums reading this I salute you and totally think you are rocking motherhood.