Why Being a Young Mum Didn’t Ruin My Life
By Sophie-Beth Munroe
“Being a mother is not about what you gave up to have a child, but what you gained from having one.”
I've had my fair share of comments these last few years. "You have a child?" "OMG, is he yours? but...you are so young?" Even friends would say things like, "I want to do things in the right order you know like...graduate, then get married and then maybe start to think about children.”
I would be lying if I started rambling on about how easy parenting is; how well-behaved my little boy is at all times and how perfect our life is. Yes, I do change a large amount of nappies. Yes, I do spend some time pretending to be the Hulk for my son’s entertainment. Yes, I have once had to say, “Yes son, you are right, that is mummies’ boobies,” in a lift full of people. But you know what, I wouldn't change a single high or low moment of parenthood for the world. I have made many mistakes already these last few years but all honest parents, whatever their age, will admit they have made many mistakes, more than they care to admit.
Once my father said to me, “We always did for you what we thought was best at the time, whether or not that was the best thing, who knows. But you children can learn from our mistakes, and again you will make your own mistakes that your children will then learn from and so on...that's life." And he couldn't be more right, whether I was a 15 or 35 year old mother. I will still make mistakes and that's just life.
There is a big misconception that all young parents have made a careless mistake and have thrown their lives away. Let me just get one thing straight. Being a young mother is not a “careless mistake.” I would't be where I am today without my son, cliché I know, but very true. My outlook on life is very different to what it used to be. With everything our little family has faced, we have come out stronger than ever. I've learnt many things about my self, some things that I love and somethings I dislike. Falling pregnant at 19 did not mean my life was over. My life had only just began, I just didn't realize it yet.
Being a young mother is a huge responsibility and an on-going challenge but so is being a parent in general. But it's given me a purpose and a belonging. A purpose to be a mother. A belonging to someone who loves me dearly. And most importantly, it is a challenge that I will never regret entering.
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