As you may have read and probably have guessed, I am a young mum. So I thought, why not tell my story of how I find out and how my life is being a mum…
May 2011, I started to feel a bit funny. I hadn’t had my period for a while, that was pretty normal for me as the pill had been messing my body up a little. But I decided to take a pregnancy test to clear my mind. Well, instead of clearing my mind, it gave me the shock of my life. That pregnancy test came back and said I was 3+ weeks.
At that age, I was like oh s**t. What am I going to do. I didn’t really want to be that girl who had an abortion but then I didn’t want to be that 17 year old pregnant girl! I was confused. I went to the doctors a few days later and found out I was actually 17 weeks pregnant.
This changed the game entirely!! I was so far gone. My options had totally changed. I actually had a tiny little human inside me.
After many, many conversations and I must admit arguments with the family, we decided we were going to keep the baby and that meant I was going to be a young mum. Yes, I was 17 and pregnant! That’s where the rumours and stigma started to show itself. I wasn’t surprised and I kept my head held high. I had many negative comments from people, but just tried to carry on.
In December 2011, we welcomed my little 7lb 9 baby girl, Acacia into the world. To start with I was nervous and didn’t really know what I was doing. Acacia’s dad was really that supportive and didn’t help out as much as he could have. So I kind of just figured it out as I went along!
But, then started to get ‘baby blues’ when Acacia was around 3 months, I fell depressed. Extremely depressed. I gained ALOT of weight! I mean ALOT!! I carried on doing everything I could for Acacia and tried to be the best mum I could be, whilst inside I was a total mess inside. Being a mum and being so young was a challenge. I didn’t have any friends who were mum’s and I guess I didn’t have anyone to ask advice or to lean on. Of course I had my family but no friends to chat too. I didn’t have support from her dad, even though he was there physically (kind of). He wasn’t really there to help.
My depression got worse and worse. Throughout the day my focus was on Acacia. Going out like nothing was wrong and carrying on normality but each night after I put Acacia to bed I just cried. But then it got to the point I didn’t leave the house. This severe depression lasted around 2 years. Yep, I must admit it was a tough 2 years!
Not long after Acacia’s 2nd birthday. Her dad left, and if I’m honest. That was the best thing to have happened. I was happier, my full attention could now be on Acacia and not on the constant negativity. My depression was getting better but still wasn’t 100%. I started loosing the weight and getting back to myself and becoming a more active mum.But, it then hit me. Oh dear, I’m now a young single mum! What are people going to think? Are they going to judge me? Am I going to be put into a catergory? My mind was all over the place. Until, August 2014, when I met Niall, I had known about him a little while as his mum was friends with my mum, but never met each other. When I met him I’m not going to lie, I had my guard up. I had been hurt in the past and now, well, I was meeting someone and I was a mum! I was worried that he wouldn’t accept me as a young mum, that he might not like that I couldn’t just meet up or go out spontaneously. I had my little girl who was my first priority. Like seriously, was a 22 year old guy going to really want to settle down with a mum?!
In September, we made our relationship official, but he didn’t meet Acacia for about 4 months. I wanted to test him and see if he was here to stay and well, he proved he was here for the long run.
I found myself getting more confident, less depressed. I found I could do more with Acacia and could be an even better mum. Niall was our new hope! I decided to let Niall meet Acacia, and he was instantly amazing. She was a little shy but he just did everything at her pace. Two and a half years down the line to today, everything is amazing and they are just great together! I have that support from a partner, he helps me raise Acacia, he has helped me through those sleepless nights, through the days where Acacia is a devil child and I just want to give up! Our little family days out and holiday’s.
So… how do I sum up being a young mum. Well, it’s tricky and challenging at times. I learn something new everyday, I find different ways to parent. But, is that really different to be a mum at any age? I might be a bit younger than most but does that mean I am less capable? Hell no! I’m proud to be a young mum. I’m happy I have, what I would say, a more personal connection, well hey, it wasn’t long ago I was her age now was it?
She isn’t just my daughter, she is my friend, she is my little warrior. We have our little girlie days, where we play hair and makeup and paint each others nails. We argue like cat and dog. We support each other and make each other laugh.
Having this perfect little human, stand by your side and look up to you is incredible. She keeps me going, she always has done and always will. I am proud to say I have bought her up to be the lovely, polite, perfect girl she is today!