Read this mums very honest account of her experience over 15 years on...
Becoming a mum in my late teens and now having another baby in my thirties.
The average age to become a mum in this country is now 32 years old. Some women are having children later as they may want to be more financially secure, or maybe they have not found the right partner to settle down with or the right time comes later. There are many other personal reasons I am sure. Whatever the reason, and whatever age you become a mum at it’s an honour.
I became pregnant at the age of 17, it was a huge shock, and I remember bawling crying when I found out. Even though I had been with my boyfriend a number of years and we truly loved each other, it was a massive thing to deal with. I had plans to go to college and my boyfriend was planning to take a trip to Australia. Destiny had other ideas and suddenly we were faced with a very adult situation, one we were honestly not at all ready for.
I was lucky that I had finished my Leaving Cert. I was living in a little bedsit, so was somewhat independent. Our parents took it well enough but my biggest worry was my Nana, she was 70 odd and having her grandchild pregnant so young was a huge embarrassment. The hardest things were that we had no savings, not enough money and no proper jobs. We had a tiny home that was not suitable for a baby. Of course our little one arrived and then it seemed irrelevant, she was perfect.
There were many difficult times and my boyfriend took on a job working long hours in a pub so I became lonely, and my bundle didn’t sleep well at all. When he came in from work and I would still be up rocking her to and fro. I lost a huge amount of weight to the point that my sister nearly didn’t recognise me when she returned from a job abroad. Friends stopped visiting us and nights out were non-existent as my doll wouldn’t stay with anyone but me, but I adored her all the same. It took a long time but we finally bought a house and got married, we bth had two jobs each at one time! However, being young did work in our favour. We had loads of energy, and we were so determined to settle down and be great parents for our girl.
Now I’m in my thirties and I have had another baby, it is completely different this time. While before I was constantly worried and stressed about money, I am more laid back now. I doubt I have as much energy as before but I am lucky that this new arrival sleeps well and is happy, maybe my other child picked up on my stress before? While I didn’t ping back into shape this time around, I feel a lot healthier. Everything is just more relaxed, and we enjoyed the planning for a pregnancy and buying new items. I have a good circle of friends and we support each other as we are all in the same boat, when I was younger I was alone in the boat!
I don’t know which one for certain is better, each person to their own. Regardless of age I loved my daughter when she was born all those years ago and I don’t regret anything. However I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy my second pregnancy more. Being financially stable and free of huge worry is a massive benefit.
If I could give some advice to my younger self, or to those who have not yet begun their journey- begin your family when it feels right, or if the unexpected happens don’t fret, it will all work out eventually.
Kindly submitted by an anonomous Family Friendly HQ reader