My name is April and when I was just sixteen, I got pregnant. I am now eighteen years old and a proud mother to my beautiful baby boy Harrison, who is eight months old nearly coming up to nine.
Finding out I was pregnant
Finding out I was pregnant was obviously not something I had planned on at the age of sixteen, I was terrified of the future and had no idea what I wanted to do when I found myself in that situation. When I had my first ultrasound I was still unsure as to if I was really ready to take on such a big responsibility. When I heard that heartbeat for the first time, I fell in love; I was ready to open my heart to a new kind of love and the fresh start I was subconsciously looking for.
Continuing with my education
I was in year 11 when I found out about my pregnancy; word spread fairly quickly around my school and it was really hard to be in a place where I felt constantly judged. I left high school at the start of the second term to continue alternative education (tafe) where I had and am still enrolled (currently year 12) in a young parents program. I’m able to finish off my education with my son by side with the support of our childcare worker supporting us in the classroom. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to receive the education I use to not only enrich my life but Harrison’s life too.
My personal experience being a young mum
My journey to becoming a young parent hasn’t always been easy; my age is something I was always quite self conscious about but I’m learning not to let it get to me. Being a younger mum, I feel that people are constantly watching to see if I slip up. As if they are just waiting for an opportunity to say “you’re a bad mum because you’re young”. It’s hard to fully focus on being the best parent you can when you feel like you’re constantly being criticised for everything you do purely because you’re young. It’s something that’s always annoyed me since because I am successful and I am a good parent. It is empowering to prove the people who doubted you wrong.
Adjusting to motherhood
Adjusting to motherhood is something I thought would be a big struggle for me but I feel I adjusted much better than I expected. I was and am very fortunate to have always had so much support from loved ones and knowing I had a secure safety net of support really took a lot of pressure off. The changes that come with having baby for me were sometimes extremely draining and at some times lonely. All hardship becomes worth it when I look down at that beautiful life I created.
My advice for other mums
The advice I’d give to other mums is to know your worth! Know how hard you work both physically and mentally to keep your children happy and healthy, celebrate your effort because mums endure so much more than they are ever given credit for!
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