“You Don’t Look Old Enough to Have an Eleven Year Old!”
I have heard this countless times at every age my oldest has reached, one, two, three, etc. And guess what? I was having a baby when I was just a baby myself. I found myself turning into a statistic, I was 18 and just about to “start life” when that pregnancy test stopped me in my tracks. Well, I thought it was stopping me. But now that eleven years have passed these are some of the things that I can say that I learned.
For one thing, my life didn’t end because I chose to have my baby. She brought purpose to me and put me on fire for reaching goals. I didn’t just have myself to worry about anymore. I knew things would change and it would be harder to reach goals, like college, but it wasn’t going to be impossible. Don’t get me wrong I know how blessed I was to have a great supportive community around me, like my (now) husband, his parents, pastors, and friends. But, I know that it was really up to me how I would let these cards that had been dealt effect my life.
Growing up with a growing baby is hard. You’re having to learn how to care for a human while at the same time raising yourself. You still aren’t as mature minded and you probably haven’t learned how to make mature decisions. Although, if you asked me then I would say that I knew it all. But looking back I now see, I didn’t have a clue. Like buying a Wii when we could hardly afford diapers. Thank God my husband and I have grown since then.
Everyone, whether a young parent or a parent who planned for years for their family, will have questions. The struggle is real! Believe me, everyone is wondering if they are doing this parenting gig correctly. None of us want to screw up our kid. Age doesn’t matter.
People will judge you. Count on it, its going to happen. Like I stated above, I didn’t hear about how young I looked as a compliment to my skin, it was about me being a young mom. What I’ve learned is to let it all go. Every negative comment doesn’t have to be accepted by you. Yes a choice was made that you weren’t ready for, but it was made. Now all you can do it flourish in it. Along with the judgmental comments, along will come those with helpful comments and “I’ve been there” success stories.
Surround yourself with those that want to see you win!
Fill up your child’s life with those that see them as a gift rather than a burden. You don’t need others to be successful, but it definitely helps. I thank God for the great examples of family that we had around us. We can go to them with questions and worries, or just follow their examples if they fit our desires.
Being a young parent doesn’t mean you’ll be an unsuccessful parent. We can make the choice to step up to the plate, create a life we can be proud of filled with love and success. You’re not just another statistic. You’re amazing.