to ask your opinion on young parents?

(171 Posts)

Been filming for a documentary tv show today and a couple of weeks ago, and a conversation I had with one of the directors got me wondering what attitudes on here are to young parents.

I know in reality a lot of people are very judgmental and do believe stereotypes about young parents, but MN often seems much more liberal. That said, the recent threads about benefits suggested that there are people who believe the have a baby, get a council house thing.

Do you judge young parents? Do you think society still judges young parents?

afreshstartplease Mon 11-May-15 20:52:08

I wouldn't judge a parent because of their age, I would and do judge people who are neglectful and cruel to their children be they old or young

Flingmoo Mon 11-May-15 20:55:33

What constitutes young? I had mine age 24 and some reactions were as though it's a teenage prengancy!

My perception is that young mums have more energy to be fun mums.

SaucyJack Mon 11-May-15 21:00:12

I think it's a bit sad when people have babies very young. There's so much life they'll be missing out on living.

I had my first two at 23 and 25, and that was too young really. I feel much more content to do the baby thing this time round (am now 34).

AnneEyhtMeyer Mon 11-May-15 21:04:29

I'm glad I had the time to do everything I wanted to whilst I was young and child free. By the time I had a child I had travelled, had fun, done stupid things and was ready to put someone else first.

That was my choice. What anyone else does is up to them.

EatShitDerek Mon 11-May-15 21:04:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RachelWatts Mon 11-May-15 21:09:24

I know a few young mums who have DCs the same age as mine.

Most of them are really good mums.
Some of them have made mistakes.
They all really love their children and want the best for them.

Much like mums of all ages.

AngelWings74 Mon 11-May-15 21:10:54

I had my first child at 19. I really felt judged especially when my daughter started school. I don't feel age should be something that parents are judged on. I work with parents on a daily basis and age has little to do with bad parenting!!

I'm now 40 and my daughter is at uni and my son studying GCSE's. My husband and I are able to enjoy time together. There is no right age to have children. It's about what works for you personally. My sister did not meet her partner until she was 35 and now has two small children. She travelled the world before having children whereas I'm planning to do that as I get older.

Let's not judge. Parenting is hard enough at any age!

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 11-May-15 21:12:51

I think it's a shame when children have children. Some teenagers are more grown-up than others, are brilliant PARENTS (because I prefer to talk about parents, not just mothers) and do just fine. Others aren't mature enough. But then I know a 40 something man who isn't mature enough to be a good parent.

I don't know anyone who believes the 'get up the duff, get a flat' nonsense.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Mon 11-May-15 21:12:52

I don't know many (any?) young mums tbh. Round here everyone seems to start much later on.

Well having said that my best friend got pg by accident in her very early 20s and I didn't judge her, it was all a bit of a tricky situation but I hope I helped her out and stuff OK, I think I did.

Depends on the people involved doesn't it. I have known some shocking older parents.

GlitterTwinkleToes Mon 11-May-15 21:13:30

What constitutes a young mum? I had my dd at just shy of 22, so what?

ESD, I've had similar comments on who the father was from stupid women on buses. Always seem shocked when I tell them I'm happily married and have been for over 4 yeas now...

You will always get people judging you, and frankly I couldn't give a shit. I try and be the best mum I can be, age is irrelevant. smile

Bodyinpyjamas10 Mon 11-May-15 21:13:32

Oh we had our first 2 at 24/25 and last 2 at 36/37.

We both wish we had started earlier and had all 4 earlier.

Tons and tons easier physically and you arnt at that ridiculous age where you follow parenting mantras and fads because you have been thinking about parenthood for so bloody long you are influenced by other older parents and want to get it right so older parents seem more keen on AP etc.

When your young you just get on. ��

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 11-May-15 21:13:49

I apologise unreservedly OP, you said parents, not mums. V tired flowers

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Mon 11-May-15 21:14:46

Actually thinking about it I know quite a few people who were young mums, but that I didn't know at the time! There's a lot of big age gaps around here too! So children in my DC classes with older siblings at uni, their parents must've been quite young when they had their first, hadn't really thought about that before.

Anyway yes any stereotyping is a bad idea isn't it, especially if it's an unpleasant one.

Bodyinpyjamas10 Mon 11-May-15 21:15:53

My mil had her first at 17 and her 5th and last at 27.

I don't know anyone who was a better mother.

ForgotThatIWasFine Mon 11-May-15 21:15:54

Society absolutely judges young parents.

I would be very disappointed if my children became teenage parents, I would be supportive of them in whatever choices they made but I would feel deep sadness that they had chosen that option.

I know lots of young parents, particularly mothers and they are all in less than favourable situations wrt relationships, finance, etc. I wonder why they made the choice to have children at a young age.

I should probably add that I was a young parent myself and that undoubtedly influences my judgement of young parents.

ScorpioMermaid Mon 11-May-15 21:15:55

I was a teenage mum once upon a time (17) my DH (20 when we had dc1) and I both worked and have never had a council house. I dont think any less of a young parent than I would an older one. probably as I've been there myself. I only look twice if the child looks like it could be better looked after.. no coat or no socks in winter, you know what I mean.

Jessica2point0 Mon 11-May-15 21:16:39

My sister has a DD following an unplanned pregnancy at 18. She was under a LOT of pressure to have an abortion even though she didn't want one. Once baby arrived tho, people have been really supportive and generally impressed that she's doing well at uni. I imagine that if she'd just quit uni and been a sahm (supported by our parents), or been a crap mother, people might be more judgemental.

DurhamDurham Mon 11-May-15 21:19:03

I had my first at 22 and my second at 26, I was living with friends in London when I was pregnant with my oldest, we decided to make a go of it and I bought a flat with my then boyfriend in Watford because we couldn't afford to stay in London. We moved to a Bucks a few years later and had out second daughter. We got married when she was a few months old. The girls are almost 22 and 18, if I do say so myself I think we did very well considering it was all a bit ad hoc grin.

All live happily in Durham now and with both girls about to move out we are looking outward to paying our mortgage off and having a couple of holidays a year, I'll be 45 in October so having them young worked out well for me.

306235388 Mon 11-May-15 21:20:39

24 isn't young mum though is it? I was that age for dc1 and definitely don't think I'm a young mum.

I mostly think good for them I wish wed started younger. Honestly though I'd possibly think it must've been difficult if they were very very young ie early - mid teens

ahbollocks Mon 11-May-15 21:21:00

If we are talking younger than 19 I would feel a but sad that they'd not had the opportunity to party and travel and be a bit crazy. I had my first at25and was the first in my group of friends.

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz1234 Mon 11-May-15 21:21:01

I don't know if I 'judge' young parents but I don't understand why people would deliberately have DCs when they are young. I don't understand what the rush would be, surely there are other things concerntrate on when you are young like work or education or having fun . More importantly, I think it's better to wait until you are more mature and in settled long term relationships.

I know two 17 year olds who had a baby. It was a very sad situation. The child is happy and very much loved but does not ever see the father. He would like to but he can't. It's sad.

If I see young mothers I can't 'judge' them as I don't know their circumstances. Maybe they got pregnant by mistake and they might be brilliant mothers for all I know.

I'm very glad that I didn't get pregnant as a teen and I'm very, very glad my DC didn't get pregnant (or make someone pregnant) as teens. I had four kids by 30 and was 25 when I had my first so I wasn't too old myself.

Sorry for not defining young parents... I'd say under 21? I was 19 when I had DD and faced a lot of judgment. The reason its on ny mind is that i was talking to the filming people about the fact that I still get people saying what a shame, don't I feel like I've thrown everything away, and yet I finished uni on Saturday and I'm not even 21 yet, I graduate in October, started full time work today and there are still people who've assumed I do bugger all. I'm lucky enough to have OH, who's still a student so he's being a SAHP until September while I work.

The 'is the father around' question grates on me. Worst of all was a midwife who asked if I knew 'who the father is'. Wonder, would she'd ask a 30 year old in a stable relationship that?

MoonlightandMusic Mon 11-May-15 21:22:19

What afresh said - mind you, my lack of age awareness might have something to do with getting a shock each time it's brought to my attention I'm no longer 21...sad grin

Lottiedoubtie Mon 11-May-15 21:24:01

Honestly? If I think about it at all (not often), I am mostly full of admiration about how they cope(d). I'm an 'national average' age FTM and I find it tough, draining and the responsibility is scary. Personally, I couldn't have done it at a 'young' age. If i hear of a very young pregnancy I mostly feel sorry for the mother as I think it's going to be unbelievably tough for her.

Perhaps thats just projection and I'm being a judgemental cow though.

I've had this perception challenged though as I've recently become good friends with someone who had her first when she was sitting her GCSES. He's a lovely teenage lad now, who bears no 'sign' of having a young mother- she and he are both happy and doing well.

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