To think teenage mums are just as capable as any other mum.

(74 Posts)
HopAndSkip Fri 25-Jan-13 21:11:52

It's really getting on my nerves how some people seem to assume a teenage mum needs extra advice, guidance, interference so on, purely because of age. It's understandable if the mum is struggling, or ask's for help, but some women seem to think their opinions and knowledge is "superior" purely because they are older.

I am 19 with a DD, and i have had comments such as "does your mum help a lot", "Do you miss going out" and "Are you finding it really hard having a baby", and maybe I'm just being a bit sensitive, but I doubt they would be the first choice of question as much if I was older. (The answer to all 3 is no, other than the occasional tiredness which I'm assuming all mums also get..)

I've also seen comments on here such as "she'll need guidance as she's a teenage mum" (sorry to pick on that one comment - it's just the one that's been most recent) and I just find it a bit naive that people are assuming being a teenager or younger parent automatically hinders to someones ability to love and care for their child.

Or is this a general view that I need to ignore and get over...?

gordyslovesheep Fri 25-Jan-13 21:13:11

well 13 year old mums probably need support - you are being over sensitive

FutTheShuckUp Fri 25-Jan-13 21:15:44

Statistically teenage parents are more likely to struggle. Get over it, its not a personal dig. Its the same for asylum seekers and those who've suffered mental health problems.

Lueji Fri 25-Jan-13 21:16:29

You are an adult, obviously, but maybe you look a lot younger?

I was 30 when I was told I was (looked) too young to be married.

But I disagree with you.
Teenage mums are just as incapable as other mums, particularly first mums. ;)

I had my first child at 21 and my second at 25 (two months ago) and I definately feel more mature now but Im not doing any better of a job.

I think people who suggest more support are actually referring to mums aged 14,15,16. And I agree with them. At that age we are still children whether we want to accept it or not.

So YANBU in your personal situation. But YABU to think that no teen mum needs extra support.

OTTMummA Fri 25-Jan-13 21:17:05

You do need to get over it as i don't think this view point will change anytime soon for some people.

YADNBU, i know plenty of women who started their families at a young age, 16,17 etc and have been very capable and loving,, i have also known lots of 'older' mothers who can't be bothered, and some that shouldn't of had children at all.

blackeyedsusan Fri 25-Jan-13 21:17:49

you are probably better at coping with the physical side than some of us oldies... (falls in an exhausted heap)

there are good mums and crap mums across the age range. I get comments that are a bit patronising because i am a single mum... it is very annoying that assumptions are made due to marital status or age. yanbu!

AmandaLF Fri 25-Jan-13 21:18:30

I've been asked all that questions. I'm 33 with a 7 month old.

Same as my mum will 'remind' me to do something. Trust me, it doesn't matter how old you are.

milkymocha Fri 25-Jan-13 21:19:32

I agree with you op. i do not think you are being oversensitive.
I have 2dc at 20 and am completely devoted to my children. I dont need extra support because iam younger. Why would i? I have less help than all the other women i know with children and its by choice.

It does irritate me. YANBU

HollyBerryBush Fri 25-Jan-13 21:19:34

As with everything, it depends on the whole family background.

A person with a dysfunctional backgeround, be they 13, 17, 13, 33, 43 are highly statistically unlikely to make effective parents. Sadly they are also the ones who tend to statistically give birth at a young age.

However if the mother comes from a stable background, she is likely to be a 'good' mother herself because she has support in the maternal role.

TheSecondComing Fri 25-Jan-13 21:20:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Flickstix Fri 25-Jan-13 21:20:23

I think it depends entirely on the individual, there are plenty or teen Mums who are very 'capable' and plenty of older Mum's who need a lot of extra support. I watched a documentary about it, it was a real eye opener, I can't remember the name of it though.

I think you just have to ignore it.

I was 19 when I had dd1 and did come across this, but mainly from midwives and doctors tbh. I had my second and third at 21 and 24 and it wasn't quite so bad then, even though some people still assumed I wsas younger than I was.

At the end of the day it depends on the person. I was a capable mum at 19, but I know other 19yr olds now who can't look after themselves letalone anyone else.

redexpat Fri 25-Jan-13 21:22:37

Yes and no. There are reasons why teen mums are targetted for support. That you feel you are able to cope without is great.

Lueji Fri 25-Jan-13 21:22:55

Also, older people ARE often more experienced, and may well know a lot more than you. Having often had more children than you.

says she at 41 grin
But still able to accept advice from younger mums with older children.

loverofwine Fri 25-Jan-13 21:22:58

Frankly I think one can take upset from anything. If you feel insecure in your role then others will pick up on it.

Be strong and proud for who you are. If you are a great 19yr old mum then waheeey. There are a lot who are not but then again there are a lot of 38yr old yr old mums who are wanting.

It is easy to seek the negative. Celebrate your positive.

Fakebook Fri 25-Jan-13 21:23:07

When I think back to how I was at 19, I would have most definitely needed more support if I had a baby and I was single.

Sallyingforth Fri 25-Jan-13 21:26:49

You can't define how good a mother is by her age. Some of the worst cases of child cruelty or neglect involve mothers in late 20's or 30's.
But many girls/women in their teens have unplanned children when they are not really mature enough to cope, and those are the ones that you are unfortunately being associated with.
You've just have to show with the way that you bring up your own child that you are not one of them, and it sounds like you will.

popperdoodles Fri 25-Jan-13 21:27:58

I had ds1 at age 20 and I felt I was treated in a particular way due to my age by some of the midwives and health visitor etc. It annoyed me, I didn't feel like teenage mum and thought I knew it all. Looking back, I really didn't know it all but then who does when it's your first baby! When I had my other 2 children in my mid and then late 20s I was treated so differently. I was spoken to differently and not fussed over.

Of course a young teenager is going to need extra support but I understand where you are coming from with 19/20 yr olds.

A teenager who has spent 10 years helping to bring up four younger siblings will more than likely manage better with her first baby than a 38 year old only child who has never even held a newborn before in her life.
It's not their ages, it's their life experience. Things like "government help" and NHS/SureStart schemes are targeted via percentages and aimed at "greatest good for greatest numbers" so they take a broad view of "people in general".
You're lucky that you can cope and are doing well, but for every one in 100 like you there will be X in a 100 that need help iyswim.

I was a teenage mum, had second at 20. At the time I was adamant I was a great mum (which I was/am), however......

With hindsight, Im now 26 and realise how much extra knowledge these few years have given me. Im about to TTC number 3, and can guarentee I will be safer/better this time round.

I took a lot more risks/wasnt anywhere near knowledgable in my teens.

cluelesscleaner Fri 25-Jan-13 21:40:22

Actually at 19 I had a lot more confidence and self-belief as only you do at 19 and believed myself to be more than capable in caring for my dc. I think midwives, doctors etc. picked up on that and nobody was ever patronising or negative.

It's only when I got to 30 and had 3rd dc that I became a neurotic mess! starting all over again was very hard and I certainly didn't have the same energy.

InNeedOfBrandy Fri 25-Jan-13 21:43:56

Welcome to the club OP smile it doesn't go away all through school and life people will do the maths and judge you.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 25-Jan-13 22:02:53

YANBU but ime the extra support they get can make them a better parent than some others who think they know it all and don't need support/ advice.

sausagesandwich34 Fri 25-Jan-13 22:07:40

I had DD1 at 24 but looked a lot younger people used to think I was 16

the amount of patronising comments I used to get

'ooo you do ever so well for a young mum'

'ooo you do well to be working'

'I bet it's hard watching your friends go out' etc etc

I think new mums should be offered support, but it shouldn't be dependant on age but it gives the busy body health visitors something to do

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now