A young mother and child.


I’m Not a Teenager with a Baby — I’m a Mother

Feb 21, 2019

When I’m in public with my daughter people usually notice me before they notice her. They fail to see her big blue eyes, perfectly curled strawberry-blond hair and chubby dimpled cheeks. Instead, they see my baby face and either assume that my life must be hard, or that she isn’t even mine.

I can see sympathy, disappointment and judgment on people’s faces. In moments like those, I feel as if I should be ashamed of having my daughter so young. I look away quickly. But then I look down at my daughter and all of that fades away. 

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People generally don’t see me as "a mother," they see me as a teenager with a baby. And unfortunately, some people don’t keep their opinions or questions to themselves. I've been told that I couldn't possibly have a baby because I am still a baby myself, I've been asked if I’VE been helping MY parents raise my daughter, or if I’m even capable of supporting her myself.

Needless to say, I often feel lonely, misjudged, and put under a microscope. It sometimes feels like my every move is being observed by someone. I don’t think anybody should ever have to feel that way, no matter what age they become a parent.

My life did not end — it began the moment I held my daughter in my arms for the first time.

Many people have said that my life ended when I had my daughter. And I've been told that being so young makes me less of a parent, because I myself haven't finished growing up. But I am not too young to understand what parenting is about or what it entails. And my life did not end, it began the moment I held my daughter in my arms for the first time. 

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I have been told many times that my age means I can’t give my daughter an amazing life. And after hearing it so many times, I stopped seeing myself as an equal. I quieted myself because I was afraid anything I did or said would be deemed irresponsible or immature. There have been so many times I felt unable to do it, that I would never be the mother my daughter needed me to be, just because of things people have said to me.

I know now that isn't true.

I am not any less of a mother because of my age. My age doesn't mean that I won't care for and protect my daughter with everything I've got. I've learned to ignore the negative things the world has to say about me, because I feel that I'm giving my daughter a good life. I'm doing the best that I can, and that's all anybody CAN do.

Being a parent is not about being an adult or a teenager. It's about raising and celebrating my child.

I am not parenting the wrong way because I had my daughter at 15. I think that everybody out there should remember that age does not define maturity or capability. Whether I was 15 or 26, I'd still have dirty diapers to change, sleepless nights and endless laundry. I'd still need to potty train my daughter, to be her teacher and to be everything else that she needs me to be. She'd still have her grocery-store meltdowns and tantrums because her socks don't have Paw Patrol characters on them. And she'd still roll her eyes so dramatically that I'm afraid she may lose an eye in the back of her head (she's only two and a half, how does she do that already?).

Being a parent is not about being an adult or a teenager. It's about raising and celebrating my child, it's about understanding and loving her unconditionally. It's not about making myself look like a good mom, but making sure I'm doing what's best for my daughter, hearing her needs and setting a good example for her. I don't need to worry about what people think, it's not important. What's important is loving my daughter and making sure she grows up healthy and happy. Having her so young just means that I get to love her a little bit longer.

Article Author Sabrina Boileau
Sabrina Boileau

Sabrina Boileau is 18, a student, and the proud mother of a beautiful two-and-a-half year old girl, Charlie. She is currently studying fitness and nutrition. When she is not studying or hopelessly trying to match socks, she is a freelance beginner writer. Sabrina hopes to one day become a published author.

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