The Reality of Being a Teen Mumby Paige Russell-Tate
Being a teen mum isn’t easy or even as expected. Sometimes I feel as though it’s all one big dream and it will be over with soon. But it’s not, its reality: Wake up, feed the baby, play, feed the baby, the baby sleeps, I do jobs, baby wakes up, feed the baby, have dinner, feed the baby and its bedtime. That’s pretty much the daily routine.
It’s hard most of the time because I am at home most of the day on my own, so I don’t have much help. My mum leaves in the morning around 8.30am and doesn't come home until around 5.30pm. She is great with the baby, she knows what she is doing, she knows how to settle him when he is crying and best of all, she knows when something is wrong.
My partner and I don’t live together either, which is difficult to cope with sometimes, as I just need him there for the extra support and to feel like a little family. When we do see each other, it's hard to say goodbye, because I know that that’s the moment it goes back to just me and my baby and suddenly it all becomes very lonely. He’s great with our little boy too. He loves him to pieces, we all do.
I was sixteen when I fell pregnant with my little boy, seventeen when I gave birth to him. It wasn’t easy. My partner and I found ourselves in a very tricky situation that we didn’t know how to get out of. I’ve lost a lot of friends since having my little boy. That’s not easy either.
However, I wouldn’t change my little boy for the world. No matter how many friends I lost or how people see me, he is perfect. Being a mum is perfect, no matter what age, it’s a miracle. Watching the little human you created, grow, watching their personality blossom, watching their every move: the first crawl, first steps, first tooth, first words, first days at school. They are all moments you will never forget. For me, being a teen mum just means I get to spend even longer being the best mum I can be.
As a teen mum people look down on you, they think that we aren’t good enough as parents, were incapable to look after ourselves so how can we look after a child too, they think that we have a lack of experience compared to an older parent, that we are irresponsible and they think that we are unable to achieve the perfect career and lifestyle we had hoped for after having a child before we've even started our careers, or left school even. However, all of these thoughts don’t apply to every teen parent. Every parent is different no matter their age.
My advice to other young mums: Don’t let anyone put you down because of your age, you could be more capable as a parent than a 40-year-old parent, or a 25-year-old. Just because you're older, doesn't automatically make you a better parent. You will feel like you have to prove yourself, but just be the best parent you can be, there's nothing more you could do. These negative thoughts from other people just give me the motivation to prove to them that I can be a responsible, capable, experienced parent and achieve the best career and lifestyle I hoped for, just like anyone else. Believe in yourself. Prove that you can do it too.