No, I’m not the baby sitter or older sister, I’m his mom!
Young motherhood is met with loads of negativity from every direction – from your family, neighbours, but mostly from strangers. Strangers always have the harshest criticisms when it comes to young mother’s lives (as if it affects theirs in any way). I’ve encountered some of those criticisms, but I didn’t let it affect the type of mother I wanted to be regardless of my age. I had my son at age 21. It didn’t help that I look much younger than I am. I remember someone at the mall looking at my belly and then asking me “shouldn’t you be in school?” Really?!
After I delivered my son a nurse came into my room and said “My daughter also had a baby at 16. He wasn’t planned, but he’s a blessing to all of us.” I wasn’t 16, but I could understand her sentiment- young motherhood isn’t the end of your life, it’s just the beginning.
Motherhood in general is as challenging as it is rewarding.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far as a young mother:
My son may have been unplanned, but he isn’t unwanted. I think the first thing I said to him when I found out I was pregnant was “I love you and I want you.” I felt like it was something important to say to him.
I’m always going to be one of the youngest (if not the youngest) mom at the school yard. I’m already the youngest at my step-daughter’s school so I’m used to it.
I put my child first. My selfish days are over and I have to live a life that puts my child and his needs above my own. I read a quote that I can’t find no matter how hard I try, but it basically said: Motherhood is when your children are the artwork and you are the frame.
I may not be able to get him the best of everything, but I will always give him my best – I may not be able to afford designer baby clothes or a designer nursery, but I will make sure to give him the best according to what I can afford.
I have to learn how to juggle multiple roles. I have to balance motherhood with work and house duties. Some young mothers have to juggle their first jobs or studies with parenting.
I have lots of time to give the little one a sibling. That might mean that he’ll have to wait a really long time to have the title of Big Brother.
I’ve learned to celebrate every small achievement. Seeing a child progress from lying to sitting to crawling to walking, to running to jumping off the couch no matter how many times I tell him he is going to hurt himself shows that life is full of moments of celebration. When you have a child every first is celebrated and this has taught me to celebrate my firsts just as much as I would his.
I’ve learned to respect other mothers. Raising a child is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. I respect all the hard work other mothers and my mother has done to raise their children.
I’ve learned to enjoy the small things. A trip to the park, a walk to the shop, an ice cream at the beach all becomes magical adventurous moments.
Most of all I’ve learned unconditional love. He loves me exactly as I am. He is mine and I am his. I had no idea that I could love anyone as deeply as I love him – it’s as if his love reaches the depths of my soul.
Can you relate to any of these things I’ve learned so far? Let me know by commenting below!
Love and Blessings,
*Images found on Pinterest