Dear Young Mom,
I know that you are worried. I know that you are afraid. Being a mom is the biggest, most important job you will ever have, and so, it is right and it is good that you feel the weight of that responsibility on your shoulders. But, as someone who was a teen mom, I want you to know that everything will be alright, more than alright, actually. Someday you will look back, and be happy that things worked out the way that they did.
Maybe, you didn’t plan for this, or maybe you did. Maybe you are a young wife or still in highschool. Either way, you have felt the sting of judgement from your family and strangers alike. Maybe, people in your life looked down on you for your decision to keep your baby or are shocked when they learn that you planned this. It doesn’t matter.
But, it will be hard. When you are pregnant, you will feel large and ungainly around your tiny friends. They will be staying out late and you will be getting up at all hours with a newborn. They will be coming home from a night out, as you are getting up for the day with a toddler. It will be lonely and boring at times. You will tire of playing pretend, and Barbies, and cars, and you will wish for some adult company, but most of your friends are not moms yet, so your conversations will be strained and the choices limited. When you do have time to chat with your old friends, it will be hard to relate because their no-kid lives are as foreign to you, as your life is to them. You might feel out-of-place and as if you are missing out.
Around other moms though, at school events, and practices, and games, you might feel awkward at times. You will look at the other mothers who seem so “momish” and assured. They have mom-bobs, clogs, and large SUVs with decals of stick figure families in the back window. They have giant, expensive purses and large coffees. They flock to the other “momish” moms. You will stand alone, afraid to approach the tight circle, worried that they might not accept you because your circumstances are different from theirs. You will feel out-of-place and like less of a mother at times.
Sometimes, you will feel jealous. On some days, you will wish that you were free and unencumbered, thin, and well rested like your old friends or at least financially secure with a gaggle of friends your age to commiserate with, like the SUV moms. Sometimes, You will wish that you did not have a toddler on your hip and a preschooler tugging on your stretched out t-shirt and wiping his nose on your yoga pants.Your hair will usually be in a messy bun and makeup? Ridiculous! You will long to get dressed up sometimes and have fun, then, sleep in. It’s ok though. This is normal, and someday you will do these things.
In the meantime, remember that you have this little person looking to you, adoring you and watching your every move. You have so many advantages as a young mom. You have energy and passion on your side. Play with them, be like the kid that you still are. This is what a child wants. They need structure and rules, yes. These things are so important for a child to feel secure, and to teach respect, and how to be a good person. But, they long to be with you. You can be a friend, and a parent too. Jump on the trampoline, chase them, play hide and seek, throw rocks in a puddle, play hopscotch and jump rope. Do everything with them now, and they will want to do things with you later, when they have grown. That’s what I did, and I don’t regret for a minute the parties and bars I didn’t go to. I felt like I grew up with my kids and now we are on the same level, like friends.
I recently saw a quote that said, “I wish I had met you sooner, so that I could love you longer.” Although this was probably not meant to apply to children, that’s what I thought of, and as a young mom, I am grateful to have been given the gift of extra time with my children, my children’s children, and God willing, my children’s, children’s children.
Young mom, don’t worry, everything will be fine. You are not alone, there are plenty of us out there, who for whatever reason, found ourselves there too and know how you feel. Your child will be fine, and someday, maybe you will be a young grandmother like me and you will realize that everything turned out as it should. Rocking chair and baking cookies? Sure, after I show my granddaughter how to do a cart-wheel, and race her inside. I have learned that God’s timing is perfect, hold on and someday you will know this too.
Love, (a young) Noni