36 or 16 Motherhood is not EASY
Being pregnant in your teens is usually deemed controversial and there is a huge stigma surrounding it.
If you’re old enough to be having sex you should know the consequences, right? Yep, that is true. You should know all the consequences, however a 15-year-olds brain does not process decisions and consequences like a 25-year-olds or 35-year-olds (literally). This means younger people sometimes make decisions that they don’t fully understand the consequences of. It’s how brains are wired at a young age, it’s proven science! It doesn't make "excuses" for engaging in risky behaviour (including unprotected sex), but it does explain why some young people fall pregnant unexpectedly.
Having a baby at any age seems to be controversial in modern society and it's hard to please everyone. I know people who have waited until their 40's to have a baby and they have been judged! Even when their life is so stable, they have a great career, a house and a husband, but because they are older they get judged. So, it seems like whatever age you are someone will always have a problem with it.
Teenage mothers/parents aren't exactly what people make them out to be: 'dole bulging - lazy ass - promiscuous - uneducated kids' or one of my personal favourites 'children having children'. Believe it or not, teenage parents can be good parents, actually they can be amazing parents! Just because they are young does not mean that their children go without. Most babies to teenage parents are raised with love and turn out to be successful healthy adults. Yes, there are some children who may struggle or suffer because the teenage parent might be having a hard time, but that just means they might need more help and in reality some children still suffer with mothers who are 36-years-old.
Most teenage parents want to achieve their dreams and goals that they set for themselves before falling pregnant but there are so many obstacles as to why they might not achieve these goals and the stigma surrounding teenage pregnancy is just one of them.
Can you imagine being in a 15-year-old girls shoes with hardly any support, maybe she was kicked out of home, maybe the father of the baby isn't supportive and maybe she gets horrible looks from the older lady next door. What would this young girl need? love and support. Not to be judged because she's made a decision to keep her baby.
Some mothers who aren't teenagers struggle and that is okay too because motherhood is hard no matter what age you are. It might be extra hard when you're still trying to finish your own education and mature into a young adult, but with the right support a young mother can flourish and achieve their goals and be great mums.
Sure, I would not recommend anyone becoming a teenage parent because it is not easy, but it isn't the worst decision that a teenager can make in their lives. In fact, for some it can and has turned them away from other bad decisions such as crime and drugs (as I personally have met people who testify this). Being a mother is never smooth sailing, it is the hardest job in the world but it is the most rewarding 'job' no matter if you are 16 or 36. So here is to all mothers, no matter what age you are! You are all amazing and deserve recognition for raising the next generation of beautiful people!
If you are a teenager and you are experiencing pregnancy and need support here are a few of my favourite organisations: