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to feel that 'young mums' shouldn't all be tarred with the same brush?

(187 Posts)
ElieRM Fri 31-Jul-09 17:59:24

Am about to turn 19and DD is 7 wksold.At baby clinic, which I attend fortnightly to get DD weighed and discuss the odd issue with HV, have made a great deal of effort to be friendly to other mums, all of whom are 30+. Can never get more than a curt 'hello', often attract sneaky, unpleasant looks and feel although I'm being judged because of my age. Other mums are happy to sit and chat together, I tend to leave as soon as all necessary business is completed.
Also often attract unpleasant looks when out and about; general concencus of opinion about younger mums seems to be very Daily Mail, all on benefits, single, no prospects, councilhouses etc etc
I KNOW not everyone thinks this, but AIBU to feel a little hard done by? After all, DP and I are in a comitted relationship, we dote on DD and are both students' DP is working flat out to support us over summer, and we're both fully intending on completing our degrees and paying our way!
Often see other young mums swearing at kids, shouting etc and can completly understand why people form opinions. However, should we not be judged on our indivual merits, both as parents and people, rather then simply by the age we gave birth?

StealthPolarBear Fri 31-Jul-09 18:00:33

yanbu
but is it possible that you are hyper sensitive to it now? and seeing dirty looks that aren't actually there iyswim?
Do you try to start conversations?

StealthPolarBear Fri 31-Jul-09 18:01:02

congratulations on your DD btw - just noticed she's only 7w so not too late to say that

sarah293 Fri 31-Jul-09 18:02:59

Message withdrawn

pasturesnew Fri 31-Jul-09 18:03:44

YANBU and people are out of order to be giving you unpleasant looks but as SPB says hopefully most of them are not as unpleasant as you think, maybe just curious or blank looks instead.

Where I live, I felt I got similar looks for being pg in my late 20s as so many new mums in my area are late 30s / early 40s - I was quite surprised about that! But found it easy to ignore.

ElieRM Fri 31-Jul-09 18:04:37

Thank you! May well be a little paranoid. I do, generally ask questions about other's DCs, compliment their outfits, ask thier ages etc. but met with nothing!

K999 Fri 31-Jul-09 18:05:14

YANBU. Ignore them all! You have a lovely dd to care for and a dp to help too!! smile

Or you could pretend to be here gran and that would really give them something to stare at!!! grin

StealthPolarBear Fri 31-Jul-09 18:06:09

well that is rude of them! They can't all be like that though - keep trying and hopefully you'll find the nice majority.
Can you ask your HV if there's anything aimed at young mums (Sure Start??) in your area? Not that you should have to, but at least you can meet people there without feeling as though your age is an issue.

JoesMummy09 Fri 31-Jul-09 18:06:58

YANBU. Where I live I am considered unusually young. I am 27!

Though I will confess I hate talking to people at the baby clinic. But that is because I am an anti-social so and so and can't bear all the baby cooing. I find it embarrassing.

Do you have friends from anti-natal classes with babies the same age as yours?

I would ignore anyone who is being a bit off hand (and probably play up to the stereo type a bit just to rile them!)

juuule Fri 31-Jul-09 18:07:08

Is it possible that you are being a bit sensitive and self-concious?

If smiling and trying to start conversations doesn't break the ice then it's probably just not a particularly friendly group at your clinic. I've gone to baby clinics like that. Maybe ask the hv if there are any mother/baby groups in your area or that the clinic run so that you get an opportunity to meet others.

Most of all try not to assume that anyone giving you a sideways glance is being judgemental. Some might be thinking 'awww how lovely' I know I've thought that with some of the young mums that I've seen out and about with their obviously loved babies .

StealthPolarBear Fri 31-Jul-09 18:07:37

wow I'm 29, feeling old fat and tired, glad to see I'm still considered young

pasturesnew Fri 31-Jul-09 18:09:46

I am going to pretend to be the granny this time round, see what reaction I get!

StealthPolarBear Fri 31-Jul-09 18:13:04

lol - "she's not mine"
<sighs of relief>
"she's my daughter's"
shock

Morloth Fri 31-Jul-09 18:13:18

LOL, SPB I keep getting comments along the lines of "but you are so young!", "you have so much time!", "gosh I wish I had started so young!".

I am 32 this year and had DS when I was 27. Just that here in perfect Middle Class land the average age of mums (and therefore most of my social group) is 40ish.

Might just not be the friendliest group ElieRM, though they could just be jealous. I assume it is a lot easier, physically being pregnant at 19 than it is at 35+. grin

Indith Fri 31-Jul-09 18:13:30

I know exactly what you mean Elie and it is so hard to shake that feeling of paranoia and that eveyone is looking down on you or being patronising or only being nice because they feel they ought to help the poor young mum etc. Dh and I were both students when ds was born and I found it really difficult to make mum friends as it just felt like as though everyone was taking pity on me, I felt like a wayward teenager even though I was 23!

It does get easier, keep trying different groups as you find that friendship groups tend to build within them so you end up with some groups having younger mums. I do still have some older mum friends too, as time goes on you remain friends with those who you actually get on with, have similar values and parenting styles to etc. I think the hardest thing is making yourself ask the ones you think you would like to be friends with out for coffee or something and not limit yourself to seeing them at groups.

StealthPolarBear Fri 31-Jul-09 18:14:29

there there Indith, run along dear

JoesMummy09 Fri 31-Jul-09 18:15:20

I think next time you go you should:

Wear a nice track suit

Pull your hair into a Croydon face lift

Chew gum with your mouth hanging open

Adorn yourself with some great big chavvy earings from Argos.

Chat bollacks loudly on your mobile

grin

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Fri 31-Jul-09 18:17:20

The looks won't necessarily be because of your age. I am 37 and was just at the library with DD, I smiled and made a friendly comment to 5 or 6 people as they arrived in the kids section and only 1 or 2 people actually even smiled back, the rest gave me funny looks and blanked me.

pasturesnew Fri 31-Jul-09 18:27:47

If they are getting to you just enjoy teasing them, I am chuckling to myself at how many times this pregnancy people have asked "Is this your first?" and then can't cope with being told "no"!

At work it is not so bad as people know I am fairly senior, having worked for 10 years in the same career, but it is really funny when you meet people at various community groups and see their reactions. Am chuffed really that I apparently look so young grin.

What is funny too is that DH looks under 25 in many people's eyes so I think he can have fun pretending to be the grandfather.

I saw a nice-looking chap in Sainsbury's the other day with 2 children aged I would guess 5 and 7 and I would say he was about the same age as me, that is, early 30s and the lady at the till was a bit older and would not let him buy a 4-pack of beer in his weekly shop! She was of a different ethnic group to him, I'm not sure if that makes a difference when people are guessing age. He was not very happy, he was asking how old she'd thought he was when he'd had children!

duchesse Fri 31-Jul-09 18:36:20

You don't want to be friends with a bunch of DM women anyway do you? I recommend just hanging in there and taking the moral high ground by smiling and being as pleasant and mature as possible to these foul beotches women, and focus on your beautiful little daughter, BF and degree. I've seen at second hand how a friend who'd had a baby at 16 and was struggling with him due to his ADHD was treated by "right-thinking" mothers and teachers at his school. They were a bunch of prize cows, and not worthy of anything more than contempt.

babyignoramus Fri 31-Jul-09 18:37:58

Elie - my sister had a baby about a month after her 18th birthday, who was diagnosed as having sn when she was a year old. She is now nearly three. I've always admired how my sister coped but since I had DS 5 months ago my admiration of teenage mothers has gone through the roof. Seriously, I have nothing but the deepest respect that you are coping with a baby and a degree at your age (sorry if that comes across as patronising but I really do mean it). Good on you and balls to all those who think their way is the only right way! grin

petitmaman Fri 31-Jul-09 18:45:35

I ahd dd when i was 20 and looked about 13. i am not hte stereotype either and was slightly paranoid but defintely got people assuming things because of my age.
My dd is now 7. i made 1 or 2 lovely friends at toddler groups , one a couple of years older than me and one who was 45. since dd has started school it has got a lot easier but i think that is because i used to really care what people thought and now i really don't.
i used to drop in to every available conversation about my partner, how we were buying a house, my job etc.
now if i get funny looks i just think i know i am a great mum. don't really care wht you think as you don't know me. good luck.

petitmaman Fri 31-Jul-09 18:47:37

Still not great at typing though blush
BTW I think the dropping stuff into the conversation may just have made me look like a defensive prat.....

Scotia Fri 31-Jul-09 18:48:26

I was 17 when I had my first baby, and had ds2 six months ago at 43. People are FAR colder towards me this time round. I hate going to the clinic because the other mums don't talk to me at all - I've actually seen the amused looks and stifled sniggers between them.

So op, you might nbu, but it works both ways sadly.

And congrats on your dd

duchesse Fri 31-Jul-09 18:53:42

How incredibly rude and blinkered of them at whatever age, Scotia.

I was at antenatal clinic for my 20 week scan a few months ago. There was a range of clientele for the scanning machines, including a lady in her 80s who manifestly was not pregnant. My point being that nobody had any way of knowing what people were there for. A girl who looked about 15 came in with her mum and her boyfriend who looked like a slightly overgrown 14. Now she was definitely pregnant. A couple who looked in their 40s were called, to which 15 yr old exclaimed loudly, audibly and rudely "She can't be pregnant, surely!". Have to say I turned around and glared at the silly girl. For all she knew, that woman might have been having investigations for any number of conditions, and anyway it was NONE of her business what the other patients were there for.

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