To not consider myself a 'young mum'?

(62 Posts)
AnneNonimous Fri 30-Nov-12 21:24:27

I am 21, my DS is 8 months old.

A friend of mine from school had her DD two weeks before mine. She is the same age as me. She is always running on about how tough it is being a young mum, and how people judge her etc. And how well she is doing considering. She goes clubbing a lot and on holidays without her DD who is left with her parents as she feels entitled to still be 'young'.

We are both in the same situation living at home and single parents. While I wholeheartedly agree that it's bloody hard as parenting is in general I don't class myself as a 'young mum'. I am young and I am a mum but in my opinion a young mum is a youngish teenager. I definitely don't qualify for any of the young mum courses in my area. At what age does it start being acceptable to just be a mum?

AgentZigzag Fri 30-Nov-12 21:29:52

I don't think you are - if it were even possible to have a boundary at what is a 'young mum'.

But I'm 41 and looking back at when I was 21 I would consider myself to have been young then (I was going to say all sorts about what I was actually like, but I don't want you to think I'm insinuating you're the same grin)

I had DD1 at 29 and DD2 at 38. I think I was probably ready to not be so selfish and consider such a huge responsibility at about 25 give or take a couple of years.

But that was me, and you are a mum which makes a difference. Young, old, in the middle, your DC won't care smile

SirBoobAlot Fri 30-Nov-12 21:34:06

I'm 21, DS is three, he was born six months after my 18th birthday.

I did encounter a lot of young mum hatred in the early days, but I also don't think it really is much harder at 18 than it would be at 38. Being a mum for the first time is always going to be bloody hard, and your age really doesn't change that.

TBH it sounds like you have taken on being a mother easier than she has if she's still off clubbing and going on holiday without her DD.

PatriciaHolm Fri 30-Nov-12 21:35:52

IMHO, you are grin but then I had mine at 33 and 34, and at 20 was still at Uni and far far away from being ready to be a parent! So I consider you very young, but that just my view, there is no yes/no answer!

SirBoobAlot Fri 30-Nov-12 21:36:35

Oh - and I attended the young mums antenatal group, simply because I was under the under 21s midwife. But I only went to the postnatal group for a short while, because frankly I didn't fit in.

I've got lots of lovely 'mum friends' now, all of whom are at least five years older than me, and most who are ten years older.

Age has very little relevance to your parenting.

HeadfirstForAMistletoeKiss Fri 30-Nov-12 21:37:55

I didn't consider myself a young mum, I had our first at 22. Looking back 10 years on, well, i do consider that I was one now.

SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Fri 30-Nov-12 21:39:10

I'm 21, DS is 14 months and I have just also found out I am pg.

Haven't really encountered any criticism but I think that may change once number 2 is here, mainly because I can't work atm though and perhaps not so much about my age.

I don't really think of myself as a young mum either but that may be because, I knew quite a few people in my year at school who had kids while we were at school, the youngest few mums, I think were 13 at the time.

MsVestibule Fri 30-Nov-12 21:39:29

Pre 25 - young mum
Post 35 - old mum
Which would you rather be described as smile.

It all depends on your perspective. I'm 41, so consider you to be young. And you're a mum. So I would probably think of you as a "young mum". There isn't meant to be any judgement in that at all, just an observation.

I had my first baby at nearly 36, so you, or other women of around your age, would perhaps consider me to be an old mum. (I know I would have at 21.) But as I'm seeing it from a different perspective, I don't.

Seriously, people are labelled all the time, for all sorts of different reasons. Just ignore it and get on with being a 'mum', whatever age you've chosen to sprog.

ZebraInHiding Fri 30-Nov-12 21:39:57

I was considered a young.min by our hospital and was directed yo the young mums group. I was 24! confused

TheReturnOfBridezilla Fri 30-Nov-12 21:41:13

I became a mother at 23, uni, mortgage, marriage etc all ticked off and was surprised to be thought of as a young mum. I think this is the first generation to think like this - I became a parent at the same age and situation as my own mother and actually slightly older than my grandmother and they weren't thought of as "young". grin

SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Fri 30-Nov-12 21:41:53

Oh, Zebra! You have just reminded me, my HV obviously didn't bother looking at my notes and thought that I would get some sort of benefit automatically as she thought I was 16, she even tried to send me to parenting classes for young mums! In this area that would be mid teens. confused

exoticfruits Fri 30-Nov-12 21:42:43

I would call it young!

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Fri 30-Nov-12 21:43:44

I don't think early twenties is young mum territory, for me it would be under twenty, so I'd say you were neither a young mum nor an old mum just simply a mum

Or when your ds starts to talk a muuuuuuuummmmmmyyyyyy grin

Bongaloo Fri 30-Nov-12 21:45:16

Living with your parents would make you seem younger than you are.

3monkeys3 Fri 30-Nov-12 21:46:28

I had my first at 25 and thought of myself as being quite young. I am a fairly young mum of 3 at 30 too imo. Don't be so offended! Enjoy the fact that you are young!

TwitchyTail Fri 30-Nov-12 21:46:53

I'd call you young, but trust me, it's a compliment grin Enjoy it while it lasts!

I'd call a teenage mum a "very young mum". It's all very scientific.

TopPinkLady Fri 30-Nov-12 21:47:45

I think it depends on the expectations within your social circle. I was married at 24 and that was considered young within my family and friends, but it was a lot older than some of my friends when they married and their families thought nothing of it.
Ditto having DC, I was 27 when I had my first and that was years before any of my university friends had their first, so they all thought I was a young mum at 27 hmm

DudeIAmSoFuckingRock Fri 30-Nov-12 21:50:23

i was 19 and didn't consider myself a young mum, but looking now at people i know who are 19 and at uni, i think they seem very young and too immature (just the ones i know not all 19 year olds) to be parents. i think it's just different types of personalities. when i had ds2 at 22 i felt about 10 years older than i did being a mum at 19. odd.

exoticfruits Fri 30-Nov-12 21:50:58

It depends entirely on your age-if I was early 20's I wouldn't, but since I was 40 then yes it is very young.

jellybeans Fri 30-Nov-12 21:51:05

I had my first in teens and 4 by 25. Had no 5 in 30s. Most mums in my area were much older then me with first 4. I felt judged and odd one out quite a bit although had some young mum friends. We thought mums over 30 were ancient! Now I feel average age and making friends has been so much easier.

AnneNonimous Fri 30-Nov-12 21:51:22

I guess it's all relative then isn't it. I don't resent being called young! I guess I resent the 'young mum' excuse as a get out clause when I don't feel it effects my parenting in any way!

And for what it's worth I think 'old mum' is equally annoying!

exoticfruits Fri 30-Nov-12 21:54:16

I would enjoy the label-unfortunately it never applied!

foxy6 Fri 30-Nov-12 21:54:45

I wouldn't consider you to be young but then I had My first at 17 second at 19 third at 20 and forth at 22. But I was more mature than My friends . I never done the nights put or weekends away I have never left the kids with My parents overnight.

Cbh1978 Fri 30-Nov-12 21:58:35

I would probably see you and think you a are quite young, but I don't have a problem with young mums. We should support them as they have gone on to have the baby etc.

Equally, you sound much more responsible and mature than your friend, who might give young mums a bad name!

OpheliaPayneAgain Fri 30-Nov-12 22:01:30

Young mum? I would call you young at 21, but then when I was 21 anyone my age was either a dinosaur fossil or the living dead.

Mind you I didnt like being classified as old at 29, 30 nor 35 either.

Actually - t'ween you and me and the whole inter'web looking in ... having a baby at 35, with a school girl in the bed next to me and her mum, younger than me, made me fell really quite decrepit. Did I judge (of cousrse I did grin)

Age is relative, maturity on the other hand comes with mindset and experience.

MsVestibule Fri 30-Nov-12 22:02:11

I think I understand what you're saying. You believe your friend is 'getting out' of some of the hard work of parenting by using the 'but I'm young' excuse, when in actual fact, 21 is a perfectly acceptable age to have a baby; it's no easier and no more difficult than if she was a few years older. Is that right?

youngermother1 Fri 30-Nov-12 22:03:30

15 years ago in London, first time mothers over 28 were 'elderly primigravida'

MyloMash Fri 30-Nov-12 22:03:52

I'm 24 and ds is 18 months. I don't consider myself a young mum, I think I'm just a mum but I do notice some looks off of older people and some snippy comments on the bus but I just glare.

However, my Gran had the opposite reaction and said... 'Aye, just be watching, you'll be classed as an older mother now with all these 12 year olds having babies!' I still don't know what I was meant to be watching for exactly. She was married at 18 though.

I was 20 and was never considered a young mum where I lived, even though most mum's were in their mid thirties.

I know some mum's who love nothing more than having a night out/going on holidays without children etc... Who are not young, it's the excuse that parenting is hard when they only parent monday-Friday.

marriedinwhite Fri 30-Nov-12 22:07:22

I had DS at 34.5. I thought I was an old mum then. Now I'm 52 I look back and think I was a young mum.

You are a young mum and that's a compliment. I'd love to be a young mum but I never was and never shall be again. My DC are 18 and 14 and believe me if I were 39 rather than 52 and I would be sooooooooooo pleased to be a young mum.

blisterpack Fri 30-Nov-12 22:08:07

Of course 21 is a young mum! "Young mum" shouldn't have the negative connotations that it seems to have. I consider a teenage mother an underage mum, not a young mum.

Hobbitation Fri 30-Nov-12 22:10:29

I had DDs at 29 & 33 and got called a 'young mum' several times. But when you get to a certain age, anyone who is a mum with young children seems 'young'.

I know I'm a young Mum, I have been judged for it, but I don't care, at 21 I had a 18mo and 3yo, my own house, car and fiance, I still have all of those and I'm expecting dc3, I'm 24 now. I find now the dc are older people see past my age a lot more.

I can't stand this entitlement to act a certain way due to age, if your a parent, act like one whether your 16 or 60, yes we all need free time but not holidays alone and boozy nights out, well imo anyway.

wilysmiley Fri 30-Nov-12 22:13:11

I was 19 when I had DS (who is a teenager now) and I definitely considered myself as a young mum! But blisterpack is right, you should be reclaiming the title and not allow it to carry negative connotations. When others observed me with DS, they were always impressed by my parenting - I think my energy levels and being closer to his generation really helped with that, especially as he got older.

I do get a bit hmm when others make throwaway comments that anyone under a certain age can't be responsible enough to be a good parent. It has very little to do with age ime.

Casmama Fri 30-Nov-12 22:13:57

Is it maybe that you are living with your parents and people presume that they are financially supporting you?

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 30-Nov-12 22:16:13

I would class 21 as a young mum too, of course its young.

therewearethen Fri 30-Nov-12 22:16:48

I had DD 12 days before my 21st, I never really came across any 'young mum' comments except from my own mother! I'm pregnant with number 2 now which is due a month before my 26th birthday and I feel ancient! Mainly because time seems to go so quickly when you have a LO and every birthday my DD has makes me feel even older!

However, looking back 21 seems really young to me now!

ThisIsMummyPig Fri 30-Nov-12 22:17:24

I think it is all about attitude. One of the mums at school had her first at 18, but she is a grown up, still with her partner, and I don't think of her as young until I start talking about school, and realise how she remembers it so much better than me (but I am nearly twice her age!)

Your friend who goes out clubbing does sound young, and too immature to have a child (IMHO).

My SIL was 26 when she had her first child, and was told that she was an old mother by the hospital. Her DD is 28 now.

catcalledginger Fri 30-Nov-12 22:18:46

Yes, I would consider you to be young at 21. There is another thread on here somewhere about someone who has just found out she is pregnant at 45.

I wouldn't waste sleep over it. Who cares anyway?

therewearethen Fri 30-Nov-12 22:18:50

Oh and your friend sounds like she's using the 'young mum' thing as an excuse to go out on the piss and forget her responsibilities.

whathasthecatdonenow Fri 30-Nov-12 22:23:44

When my mum had my eldest sister she was 19 and considered quite old to be having her first. When she had me she was 33 and told she was far too old to have another, even if it was number 5. People always have opinions. Mostly they don't matter.

AnneNonimous Fri 30-Nov-12 22:28:21

I suppose it is the negative connotations that it carries, that in the case of a 'young mum' or 'old mum' young or old = incompetent. And yes my friends behaviour is only supporting that and it does piss me off.

AnneNonimous Fri 30-Nov-12 22:30:56

My aunt had her first at 40. That was when she met her DP and settled down and she gets countless comments about it. I wonder what the cut off point is from young mum, to just a mum, to an old mum!

fridgepants Fri 30-Nov-12 23:04:14

Where I grew up, it's quite normal to get pregnant in one's teens - many of my schoolfriends were engaged or had children by 19 or so. So there, 21 wouldn't seem particularly young. My sister had her first the day before she turned 20, and her last at 25. Where I live now, a bit of a naice area, that would be considered pretty young. It depends where you are, I think, and what order you decide to do things in.

My mum had me at 36 and was considered very much an 'old mum' at the time - she was offered a whole battalion for tests for birth defects (which she refused).

bedmonster Fri 30-Nov-12 23:19:50

Dude I'm in the same boat as you. 19 when had DC1, didn't feel young at all. Was 27 when DC3 came along and felt very old.
Now have a nephew who is 22, nieces 21 and 19 and think they would be very young parents. All are at Uni and living the student dream I guess, in my eyes I still see them as children!
OP, in answer to your question, I don't believe there's a universally acceptable age to just 'be a mum', it's a role I think you settle in to in your own time.
Enjoy it though, cos it sure goes fast!

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 30-Nov-12 23:29:11

I think at 21 you are a young mum,but not in a bad way at all,just as you say,you are young and you are a mum.. I'm 24 so don't think it's an incredbily young age to have a child. I hopefully will have a child by 25/26/27 and I would still consider myself at those ages to be young,or rather younger,than the "average" mum age because that's apparently 31/32.

Before the age of 20 people would refer to you as a "teen mum",frequently in a negative tone.

DrCoconut Fri 30-Nov-12 23:52:06

I'm 35 and at the top end of the range at toddler groups here.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 01-Dec-12 00:15:34

I was 21 when I had my first, and I felt like a young Mum. I was the youngest by about 10 years in my ante natal class, and I felt like I was the youngest Mum around right up until my oldest was at Junior School. Then it seemed like there were a few more young Mums around, but now he is at secondary school I feel like I'm by far the youngest again!

It's not a problem now, but when I was still quite young I felt judged for it. Even though most people were lovely, I wasn't particularly confident so I think I felt worse than the reality iyswim.

guccigirl666 Sat 01-Dec-12 01:01:06

I'm 23, ds is 4 and I had him the month before I was 19. I do consider myself a young mum, I live at home and am the only of my friends to have a child. We've all been through uni and the last thing on my friend's minds is having any dc for another 10 years!

I feel like I have to 'prove' myself to everyone - look at me I can be successful even though you all thought my life was over when I got pregnant. I find I don't really 'fit' in with the other 'young mums' either. I only really mix with 2 other people with children and wouldn't say we are friends it's more for the children's sake.

But I honestly wouldn't change a thing - apart from his father, if I could swap who I had ds with I would grin

splashymcsplash Sat 01-Dec-12 01:01:53

I would definitely consider you a young mum, but thats not a bad thing!

I became a mum at 23 and considered myself young. Looked far younger too. People often thought I was the nanny when out with dc.

ellargh Sat 01-Dec-12 01:05:56

I think you are a young mum but not in a judgmental way. I was 19 when I had DD1 and 22 when I had DD2. I'm 24 now and still feel young but I am much like you although I don't live at home and haven't since I fell pregnant. No holidays. Clubbing once every few months when DP fancies a night in alone and vice versa.

I am much more of a hermit than my friends my age with babies who go out every week and have babysitters on tap.

MissMummy1 Sat 01-Dec-12 01:13:25

I am almost 21 and due my first anyday. I definitely don't consider myself a 'young mum' in the stereotypical sense! I have a degree, my own business, my own home/car/etc and I've been with my partner for 3 years, engaged for 1.

Everyone's different. I don't think 'age' as a number comes into it, more maturity that defines someone as 'young'. To me a young mum is one who is still quite childish themselves - clubbing and generally just selfish like the girl you described. A lot of my friends from school had kids at 16/7 and are better parents than many 30+ year old mums I know. That said, I know I personally wouldn't have coped well with a baby at that age.

Cezella Sat 01-Dec-12 02:13:47

I'm soooooo jealous, would love to be a young mum sad

(Realise how unhelpful this post is but really am green eyed)

squoosh Sat 01-Dec-12 02:58:46

21 is definitely young to be a mum.

Loveweekends10 Sat 01-Dec-12 04:36:37

It's all down to maturity isn't it and not age. But enjoy the label I say. It's far better that being called an old mum believe me.

I think you are a young mum but that's not an insult.

I was a mum at 17. I fell pregnant by accident but from the moment I POAS I was a mum and I did everything I could for my baby. I felt ready. Myself and dd's father lived with my parents until I was 19. When we moved out, got married and had ds. So I had 2 dc at 19. I was happy with my life and family.

Looking back I was young there's no denying that. But it hasn't stopped me being the best mum I can be. Unfortunately my relationship with dcs father didn't last. I think that was mainly to do with us both being young, but it can and does happen AR any age. And we've been amicable. We are both now in stable relationships, me married and him engaged. And my children are well rounded and settled. (and very excited about the impending birth of their little brother/sister).

I don't feel much older this time round at 25 tbh, and I know I still get counted in the 'younger' bracket, even though now I feel much older than when I had dd. (although that's likely to be partly because I have an 8yo and 6yo!)

Try to take it all with a pinch of salt. Be the best you can be and let the 'labels' be just that. It's no skin off your nose.

(sorry for rambling, 38 wks and can't sleep, urgh)

FellatioNelson Sat 01-Dec-12 06:03:14

I think you are a young mum, but when people (especially HCPs and social workers, HVs etc,) say 'young mum' they usually mean teenagers.

You are an adult, albeit a young one, and 30 or 40 years ago it was not at all uncommon for most women to marry and become mothers at your age, but these days it is fairly unusual and I imagine most women having babies at 20 or 21 in the same position as you.

Boomerwang Sat 01-Dec-12 06:03:55

I'd say you were a young mum, as I've had my first aged 32 and I certainly feel like an older mum. Looking back at my 21 year old self there's no way I could have dealt with having a child, though that's not to say that you are the same.

I'm actually jealous of younger mothers because they'll have so much more time with their kids, more in common and similar memories of the social eras they lived in.

FergusSingsTheBlues Sat 01-Dec-12 06:12:22

You are a young mum referred to me as a young mum the other day and i had to correct the old 38!

RawShark Sat 01-Dec-12 06:20:59

IN NHS terms I was virtually geriatric at 33, so make the most of it grin

BieneMaja Sat 01-Dec-12 06:40:10

For me you are a "young mum" but probablyore likely to consider you as as that because you live at home etc.

To many people that would mark you as "young".

However, it's doesn't have to be a bad thing. If you are ready for it then thats fine. Your friend clearly isn't!wink

YABU! because if you're not a young mum, what hope have I got of being one at 29?! wink

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