I was nineteen and in Ayia Napa when I discovered I was pregnant. Family members and peers questioned if I was ready for a child but I had no doubt in my mind that this was the right thing for me. There is so much stigma about being a young mum and television programmes such as Jeremy Kyle seem to fuel this. Having a child young does not mean that you are less capable than an older parent. I think as long as you can love, guide and teach your children then that is the most important thing. As a young parent I feel subjected to judgement and criticism from associates, professionals and even strangers. When I have discussed this with family and my close peers, people have often asked me if I am being paranoid until they hear the things people have said to me.
- At Milo’s Birthday parties “Oh I did not realise you was Milo’s Mum”
Yep, I am Milo’s Mum. I have been collecting him from nursery for three years now. I did try to greet you as you came in but you gave me your coat and walked off.
- Collecting Milo from school parents have asked me “Are you Milo’s Nanny?”
I am now twenty-five and people still think I am Milo’s nanny. No I am Milo’s mother.
- At the doctors “do you have a social worker?”
No I do not have a social worker. Firstly, what does this have to do with Milo’s tummy and secondly why have you never asked my Mum this when she has brought him here?
- “Is he yours?” (pointing to Milo)
I am always asked if Milo is mine? Last time it happened I was heavily pregnant and taking Milo to the loo at the cinema. Milo and I were both tickling each other when a lady in front of us pointed to Milo and said “is he yours?” with her mouth wide open. “Yep”, I replied with a smile. and then she continued with “oh and you are pregnant?, how old are you?”. This really infuriates me as I do not want Milo to get a complex about how old his mum is, and why does it matter how old I am?
- “You look too young to have kids”
What am I meant to say to this?? I’d love to say well I am biologically in my prime for having babies. But instead I smile and boil up inside and keep my comments to myself! I know what some of you might be thinking. I should take it as a complement but when I am asked this on a weekly basis it becomes very tedious. Why is it acceptable to say this? Would you ever say to an older woman “you look too old to have kids”?
I do not understand why people think it is acceptable to approach a stranger to ask them their age, amount of children they have or anything else for that matter, being race, sexual orientation, religion and so forth. I understand I look exceptionally young without my makeup and I might appreciate this when I get older, but do people need to ask me about my age, is this really necessary? Please tell me I am not the only one who has had this unwanted attention?