YOUNG MOTHERHOOD

Are you an ageist mama? Have you ever found yourself sitting there, pondering that, ‘that girl is far too young to have a baby’? Or, on the other hand, are you a victim of an ageist mum or person? Have you ever been sitting in a café while your child screams and refuses to eat making you already feel like a failure to realise there is already a mum 5 years older sitting in the corner judging you as her child the same age sits nicely?

Now, do not sit there and act all perfect as you read this because we know we have all silently judged another mum at least once in our heads. However, most of us are quickly brought back to reality when our child reminds us how they can go from cute to feral real quick, then we get some guilt’s for putting our judgey pants on – well this is the normal scenario for most of us. It has been made aware to me that not all mothers function this way though.

Being a young mama of two has been an eye opener. I have been told a few things by various different people and it always seems to come back to my age. Why is it that some (to be clear there are plenty of older mums/people who aren’t judgey but there are plenty who are) older mothers think they are better than a women who became a mum at 21 because they became a mother at 29?

I sit in the ‘young mum category’ and I am proud to say I am a young mum and a dam good one at that. I do feel as though I have to constantly prove to those older, that I do know what I am doing, regardless of age. There is such a preconception on young mothers, by everyone – not just older mums. Example of this being that when Harlee-Jae was only 2 weeks old and she ended up in hospital, we were asked some pretty interesting questions from the doctor-

  • Do you have a cellphone?
  • Does your cellphone have credit?
  • Will you ring an ambulance if something is wrong?
  • Do you have a car to drive to the hospital in an emergency?
  • What sort of housing situation are you in?
  • Do you have heating in your house?

Well slap me sideways and call me sally. I knew I looked like crap because I had a newborn who was sick and bugger all sleep but never did I think I looked homeless, haha! Now sure this might be some sort of protocol but really. Did I really look like someone who would not ring an ambulance if I needed one? I still think I got asked these questions purely because of my age, I bet they didn’t ask the 35 year old mum down the corridor the same questions!

This is what I really felt like saying to the doctor but I was far too tired to care at that point. ”I do own a cellphone which always has credit, shock horror huh. Another crazy fact, we own a bloody car! It even has petrol in it and I even have a full license to drive safely to the hospital, if need be. And I know, you’re probably thinking ‘bet they live at home with their parents or in a run down crappy flat.’ We actually own our own home! All by ourselves! It even has a fireplace to keep us warm just too really throw you off.” Could you have imagined the look on his face if that is what I really did say, ha!

The most common phrases people love to throw at you when they find out you are pregnant usually include-

  • Oh you are so young, why have children now when you have your whole life ahead of you? Yes, I am young but having children young only means I get to enjoy my whole life with my children in it. When you are 35 with a new born, changing nappies and still having sleepless nights, I will be sleeping peacefully in my own bed while my grown ass children make their own food and wipe their own asses, ha!
  • You are just a child yourself! Thanks, for the input but 21 is not a child, I am a grown, independent woman who can look after herself and children.
  • Shouldn’t you wait until your friends are having kids? I have never been one to do something because someone else is; everyone leads their own journey and will do things when they are ready!
  • You should have travelled the world first! Has it ever occurred to people that travelling the world is not everyone’s cup of tea or that maybe I would prefer to travel when I am older?
  • You have not had time to enjoy your twenties! Oh sorry nancy drew, I wasn’t aware you were so invested in my life to know what I have and haven’t enjoyed! I have had my fair share of drunken weekends and concerts now I plan to invest my youth into my children.
  • Your parents are far too young to be grandparents! Gosh, I never knew there was an age restriction on when you can and cannot become a grandparent! These people would be shocked to know my youthful parents in there 40’s love having grandchildren and have the energy to enjoy them.
  • Having a baby is really expensive, can you afford that at your age? Babies are always going to be expensive. No matter what age you are, you will make it work and give your baby what is best in your ability.

Then there are just the downright offensive comments-

  • Was it an accident? Really, why is this such a big deal and why cannot we use the term surprised? Like yeah I was not planning on this right now but I would not call any of my children accidents. They were a surprise and I would not have it any other way!
  • It is just not right. You are far too young! Well regardless of my age, am I doing a good job? Yes, you say. So why not back off about the age side of things!
  • At least you got it out of the way early… Yeah really out of the way. The kid is our kid, and will be our kid forever so I am not quite sure how it’s ‘out of the way’, Ha!
  • Did you consider abortion? Do I really need to explain why this question is not okay? RESPECT people. It really is not hard!
  • Wedding must be happening before the baby is born then. Why does a ring determine if we will be good parents? To be honest, a child is a lot more testing and way more of a life commitment than a wedding soooo short answer, no.
  • You might regret having kids so young. The. Heck. What sort of assumption is this? I am pretty confident when I say that every mother who has had a child young would never regret them. But hey, what do I know? Because I am just a ‘young’ mum right. 😛

Why is it okay for people to be so offensive to mothers regarding age? Tell us how we are doing but do not regard it to our age. We do not need to be reminded every single day that we are young. We know our age and if a child is being brought up in a safe, happy and healthy way then who is anyone to judge?

So next time, you want to judge a mum purely because of her age, stop and think is it really worth it? Because in all honesty, I am as much like you as you are like me. We all have bad mum days and we all have amazing mum days. We all feel mum guilts. We all feel like we could be doing a better job and we all feel some crazy love for our little humans but it is time for mum’s to stand together and have each other’s back regardless of age, race, working mum, stay at home, mum of one or mum of ten. We are all doing what’s best for our families and busting our butts to make the best of this crazy adventure we call life.

So, in case no one has told you today. YOU are a good mum, YOU are doing an amazing job and YOUR little humans are so lucky to have you! ❤

Lace xxx

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#DADLIFE

*PLEASE REMEMBER THIS BLOG POST WAS WRITTEN FOR FATHER’S DAY BUT WAS NEVER POSTED DUE TO OUR LITTLE DUDE MAKING HIS EARLY ARRIVAL! EVERYTHING IS WORDED FOR FATHERS DAY!*

Father’s Day. A day for people to show their appreciation for fathers and father figures – like stepfathers and grandfathers. So, what better day to talk about the men in our lives who can play many roles from our rock to the best daddy in the world. I want to talk about all things dad from your relationship to daddy bonding!

I will start at the beginning – Ben and I had been together for only a few months when I found out I was pregnant. Obviously, it was not planned but we both knew we wanted kids one day and that day had just hit us a lot sooner than expected! We were still living a long distance relationship at the time and we were in the process of getting Ben’s transfer and buying our first home! He was around 4 hours away so we really appreciated the time we did get together – maybe a little too much and that’s how we ended up having a baby so soon! 😛

Although we had not been together for long, it felt like we had. It was almost weird to imagine life before Ben. We loved each other and were excited about our future. However, throwing a kid in the mix definitely does not make things easy!

So what most people do over five years, we did over five months – hah! We meet, fell in love, brought a house, moved in together for the first time and got pregnant. Then just days after the day we first meet a year before, Harlee-Jae was born. On our first year anniversary, we had already had a baby! And by our second year anniversary, we will have another! This is what I would have called crazy once upon a time, now it is my life.

The truth is though; this is extremely hard on your relationship! A baby coming into your life at any time of a relationship but being such a short time made things challenging for us. We were still learning things about each other and now we had a baby in the mix too. You are sleep deprived, your hormones are out of whack and you’re learning how to be a mum. Your relationship tends to take a back seat – not on purpose, just because you have a lot going on.

There were a few other contributing factors for us like unwanted opinions and certain people, taking a toll on our relationship. I will be honest – it was a bloody hard time. Ben and I both do not do well with lack of sleep and we are both headstrong and stubborn. Yes, there were arguments but we figured it out. It may have taken some time but we were still learning things about each other. Truth be told, we still deal with the issues of unwanted opinions and certain people trying to interfere with our relationship but now we know how to handle it a lot better because we have learnt more about each other.

Honestly though, we had our moments were we were both pushed to breaking point that it would have been a hell of a lot easier to just get up and walk away from the relationship but, we didn’t.

If you love, each other like you say you do, you have to persevere. Learn about balance and figure out what is reasonable and what is not. Learn that communication is your new best friend. Learn to remember that you are both tired. Learn to not take your sh*t out on each other. None of this is easy but it is so worth it! Once you get it, you will wonder why you did not figure it out earlier.

Everyone has bad days and everyone argues sometimes but the good days and good times definitely outweigh these. The key to a healthy relationship with kids is figuring out what is best for your relationship. Do not try living a certain way because Sally and Jack down the road are happy and that is what they do. Only you and you partner can figure out what works for you!

Another important factor to a healthy relationship is to make time for eachother! Kids generally take all your attention but your relationship needs attention too. Try having a date night or day once every now and then – even if it is just chilling at home together. Put down your cell phones at night when the kids are in bed and talk! We are definitely guilty of this. We can be sitting on the couch next to each other but be in completely different worlds because we are busy on our phones. Remember your relationship is more important than Facebook! Always be willing to work on your relationship and do not forget to remind each other that you do love one and other!

As hard as those days were in the beginning, I am so happy with where we are today! We do not have the perfect relationship; I do not think anyone does. However, we are happy and love where we are. I am lucky to have someone like Ben, who puts up with everything that comes with me. We work and right now, I would not change a thing.

One of the most awesome things for me has been watching Ben grow as a Dad. Harlee absolutely adores him and watching there bond is so awesome! I understand that building a bond can be hard on new dads. Even mum’s struggle forming a bond so I can imagine it must be difficult for dads. Yes, for some people it comes naturally but some it does not.

Ben was lucky, he fell in love with Harlee from the get go but the bond they share now is not like the bond they first had. Ben had not been around too many kids before Harlee, so it was all a big learning curve and because babies do not exactly communicate with you or have a personality it can be challenging. I guarantee you though, as soon as they start interacting together and your little one has a personality, the bond will be awesome!

Ben is the laid-back one. He’s the one that dances around like a dork, plays with Harlee’s toys – from tiara’s to blocks 😛 and just always makes everything fun. He is going to be the dad dropping all the lame dad jokes in efforts to embarrass Harlee and be that ‘funny’ Dad.

Our lifestyle approach is I am the stay at home mum and he is our provider – the working Dad! We could not do what we do and have what we have if it was not for Ben. I am so grateful to be able to be a stay at home mum – although it is still a tough gig! The joys of this mean that Ben gets to be the cool one. I am the one who says no 10,000 times a day and then when Ben gets home he gets to be cool Dad and I am totally okay with that! Because although it is hard being a stay at home mum at times, it is also bloody rewarding but Ben misses out on some of this rewarding stuff being at work so to me, letting him be the cool one is the least I can do! This is what works for us, so remember it may not work for you.

Too often we are extremely hard on our partners. We are quick to expect them to be like us and have the common knowledge to do what we expect. You need to remember that some mums lack there maternal instinct and dad’s don’t generally have it either. Something that seems obvious to us, may seem like nothing to them. It’s important to learn what a realistic expectation is because your partner isn’t the guy off daddy daycare – so don’t expect that of him. There is always more you can learn about your partner, especially once you’re a parent.

So dads, here’s to you! Whether you are a real dad, a step dad, a father in law or even a grandad! You are all so important and you are all so loved and deserve to put your feet up and have a beer.

To Ben, thank you for all you do for me and our growing family. For the patience you have, when mine is wearing thin, for the love you show to Harlee-Jae, for working hard for us everyday and most importantly for loving us unconditionally. I am so happy to call you the father of my children. Harlee-Jae and baby number two are super lucky to have a dad like you! We love you more than words can say!

I hope you have all had an awesome day and have spent father’s day with the special men in your life! Until next time mates!

Lace xxx