Seriously folks, calm down. It is not the end of the world if a girl becomes a mother before she turns 20 (or 30!). I fell pregnant 4 and a bit months after my 18th birthday, once I was legally an adult. I was 19 before I gave birth. But still I am faced with the huge stigma that comes with being a teenage mother. We are often labelled as ‘immature’ or ‘just a baby yourself’. Hold on a minute. At 18 we can legally drink, smoke and vote. But we are still too ‘immature’ to raise a child. At 16 years of age we can legally drive and have sex. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t driving a vehicle or having a baby have a much more immediate effect on the person and society?
At what age is it ‘acceptable’ to have a child? 20, 25, 30? I have a pregnant friend who is 21 and even she is judged as being ‘too young’. Let’s go back a few generations. My mother had her first child at 20. My grandmother (paternal) had her first child at 21 or 22. My great grandmother had her first child at age 19. If anything, having a child at my age is normal! Sure, I could have waited a year or two, but what difference would it make? I’d still be too young in the eyes of others. One comment that is often thrown at ‘young’ mums is that they are ‘throwing their lives away’. Hold on complete stranger that I’ve never met and probably will never meet again; it is my life to ‘throw away’ not yours. I do not feel as though I am missing out, I do not envy those who spend their weekends in an intoxicated stupor in an attempt to be “cool “. Since becoming a mother my life has become richer and more rewarding. Sure, I could be at a party or the nightclub every weekend, but why would I want to when I could be watching my beautiful baby grow into the cheeky little boy he is becoming.
In this day and age are we really still expected to be married and have a mortgage before we have children? Sure it would be nice to have that security, but nothing in life is a certainty anymore. Please, before you go judging a mother on their age, education, or financial situation, ask yourself, is it really going to have a monumental impact on your life?