I became a mama at 19. I turned 20 years old fifteen days later, but technically being a teen mother was enough to bring on the disdain of my OB. It didn’t matter to her that I was married, that my daughter was planned and conceived in marriage, or that we were independent and financially stable.
All she saw was my age.
At our first (and incidentally last) OB appointment with her, she filled the time telling me about how disadvantaged my child would be because of my age.
She may have been among the first to let me know in no uncertain terms, that I should’ve waited, but she wasn’t the last. The reactions plagued me. Ranging from silent, like eyes going from my baby bump to my ring finger, to outright declarations that under no circumstances should a person have a child before age – you fill in the blank.
Even my Mother had pushed for me to be on birth control so I wouldn’t get pregnant right away and had briefly lamented when I told her I was pregnant.
I can’t pretend that I didn’t struggle, but not as most people would assume. I was pregnant with my oldest when the shows “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” were first coming out and putting young motherhood in the spotlight. These young women, for the most part, seemed to be selfish and immature and of course there was drama.
I felt the need to prove critics of young motherhood wrong, and this manifested itself in overcompensation. I didn’t leave my daughter with a baby sitter until she was 6 months old and even then with extreme guilt, because I didn’t want to be seen as dumping my child on others to go have fun.
I isolated myself and never asked for help.
Hindsight is 20/20, and I see that this guilt was not from God. I struggled for years with feeling inferior and I praise the Lord that I gave that over to Him and let it go.
I’m now 27 and the comments have slowed to a trickle, and mostly only when they hear my age and do the math.
I’m not easily offended, as long as your intentions aren’t malicious, so most of the time I put on my tolerant face and answer their questions. But sometimes I’m exasperated at being made to feel like a freak because my husband and I didn’t want to wait to be blessed by the Lord.
I know I’m an ambassador for young moms. I don’t try to justify or defend my decision, I let our loving family speak for itself. We have 3 children now, and one in heaven lost to miscarriage. I love being a mother with all my soul and I know that this is God’s purpose for me.
If I could say one thing to a Mom who feels that she is too young to be mother or is fighting the voices of others loud in her ears, I would tell her what the Bible says in 1 Tim. 4:12, “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Make no mistake, raising children is kingdom work and God often uses unlikely people to fulfill His purpose.”
This story was submitted to us by Krista