Young mom with her baby girl


I Had My Daughter Young, But I Will Not Be The ‘Cool Mom’ Just Because We’re Close In Age

Dec 3, 2020

I used to be called promiscuous, irresponsible, stupid, a low life, easy… I was told I’d get nowhere in life, and that I wouldn’t be a good mother.

Now that I’m 20? I get told that I'm "amazing" and I've done a good job. I also get told: “Oh my goodness, you guys are so close in age! You're going to be like best friends! You’re going to be the cool mom!”

Honestly? I don’t want to be the “cool mom” — the mom that’s more friend than parent.

"Your life isn’t over because you’re a teen mom": Sabrina spoke to three women who had been teen moms about their experiences. Read what they shared here.

I agree to a certain extent that maybe I’ll be able to relate more, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to be her friend first. I’m like any other mother, we just have less of an age gap.

"The line separating friend and parent for us will sometimes be a wobbly and twisty one ..."

My daughter will always be able to come to me when she needs me. I’ll make it known to her that no matter what is going on inside her mind, she can speak freely with me, because that’s my job as her mother — to be there for her. But that’s not my only job.

My job is also to discipline her when needed and let her know there are consequences to her actions. It's making sure she stays on top of her studies, keeps up with her hygiene, learns life skills, knows right from wrong. That’s not a friend's job, that’s mine and her father's.

I’ve been told I'll be the “cool mom" that lets her drink and smoke. Nope. My job is to teach her how that damages her body, and to encourage her not to do those things, while also teaching her how to be responsible. And if she ever has questions, my job is to inform and educate the best way that I can. And I’d rather her come to her father or me about these subjects first, so that we can teach her about safety. Not so that we can be the first ones to offer her a drink when she turns 18.

When Sabrina found out she was pregnant, she quit school. Her message to other teen moms now: stay in school. Read about her experience here.

My decisions are not based on how close we are in age and finding a new BFF in her, I'm just trying to do what’s right — not what’s going to make her like me. Of course, I want her to like me and feel like she can come to me, but I’m not scared to do what I need to do as her parent.

"... but part of having a healthy friendship and mother-daughter relationship with her will mean knowing where that line is."

Grounding her, telling her no, saying things she doesn’t like — I'm not letting things slide just because I was a teen mom. The line separating friend and parent for us will sometimes be a wobbly and twisty one, but part of having a healthy friendship and mother-daughter relationship with her will mean knowing where that line is.

Part of that will be boundaries. If there are no boundaries, there is no security, and where there is no security, there is stress. That’s knowing that I can’t confide in her the way I would my best friend, because she is my daughter, not my support system. And while it’s OK for her to give me a hug when I’m feeling down, it is not OK for me to put the pressure of helping me with my problems on her shoulders. Being a friend and being a parent both require listening, but one of them requires guidance much more than the other.

Thank goodness my daughter is only four right now, so my biggest worries currently are whether I allow ice cream for dessert and preparing her for kindergarten. But please don't mistake my age and friendly relationship with her as a sign that I'll be the "cool mom" who lets her get away with whatever she wants.

Article Author Sabrina Boileau
Sabrina Boileau

Read more from Sabrina here.

Sabrina is a student, worker and full-time mother of a beautiful daughter and son, Charlie and Harrison, whom she loves more than anything. When she isn’t hopelessly trying to match socks, Sabrina is a freelance writer, who hopes to get a degree in journalism, and one day become a published author.

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