I remember when I first heard someone whisper the words “She’s pregnant”. And I, like the rest of my peers thought ‘Holy shit. Her life is over’. But now, at the ripe old age of 22, I beg to differ with my ignorant teenage self and think that actually, it’s possible that her life had just begun.
People nowadays get too caught up in the career hunt and I feel as though the importance of basic family values has been misplaced. Believe it or not, even well into the twenty first century, some people are still born to be full time parents rather than doctors or barristers, and I think we forget in this fast moving world that parenthood is a commitment and an achievement which arguably exceeds earning a hefty wage.
This is something that I think most people appreciate. But when it comes to teen mums, the first thing that we Brits seem to imagine is a velour tracksuit; lit fag in hand, with practically a chicken nugget being pushed around in a pram. But in my experience, there are lots of young mums out there who can look after their children and are able to cope with the stresses of motherhood. I’m not saying that I would recommend taking the path of a young parent; the road is not smooth sailing, opportunities are limited and many people can’t tie their own shoe laces, let alone look after a little one. But beautiful little accidents do happen and I wholeheartedly admire young parents for what they’re doing, because I certainly couldn’t.
Splashed across facebook I see photos of young mums who have one, maybe more children and I commend them for their hard work and their ability to enjoy their lives whilst everyone around them is carefree and partying with worries reaching as far as getting hold of the latest pair of Topshop heels. These young women raise their children, with integrity I might add, and they each look more than happy and content with their lot in life. This is more than I can say for a lot of people.
Not only am I addressing young mums here, but young fathers too who are very often forgotten about or assumed to be a waste of space. This isn’t fair. Just the other day, I met a young guy who was a father bringing up his daughter alone, and although I could tell that he was knackered and utterly out of his depth in regards to which Barbie to buy her for Christmas; he was doing the best he could. And I admired him for that.
So, whether you’re a fifty or fifteen year old parent, if you can make a baby smile like the one in this picture, then in my opinion, you’ve got to be doing something right.