What do you think?
Tomorrow, there will be an article about how much better it is being a young mum. Being a young mum is so fabulous, it will say, life will be so great, it will promote, why would anyone do it differently?
The day after, there will be an article about how much better it is being an old mum. You’re ready for kids, it will say, you’ll have no regrets, it will promote, why would anyone do it differently?
So we got two mums in the office to go head to head. To sort this out once and for all. Who has it better? The young mum who has her energy and youth to run around after crazy kids? Or the old mum who has lived her life to the absolute fullest before becoming house-bound with nappies and finger-painting.
Who do you think has it better?
Lisa – first child at 20.
I have never hidden the fact I love being a young mum, so much so I make a living by talking about it.
When I fell pregnant at 20, I had a number of people (the number is so large I choose not to mention how many) tell me I had ‘ruined’ my life. How would I ever finish my university degree? Or have a career? Or travel? Or ever have any money to live?
In their mind, my life was OVER.
In my mind, it was only just beginning. And fortunately, I was right.
Of course when I had my son my life changed forever but it wasn’t in the bad way some of those around me had anticipated.
It changed in the way it does for all parents – you become less selfish, more sure of yourself, more grounded and you get crappy wreck-able furniture.
I took on the responsibilities some 40-year-olds say they ‘aren’t ready for’ and I took it in my stride.
In fact, I loved being a mum so much we went back for number 2 and at 22, I was a mum to two gorgeous little men.
And, for anyone wondering, I was also a university graduate.
For me being a young mum hasn’t meant giving up my life but instead it has meant I got to create one I could share with my kids.
Yes, as a young parent life is, and always has been, a juggle. I’ve always juggled study and work and parenthood and sometimes it’s been all three simultaneously.
I cannot remember a time as an adult when I wasn’t pregnant, or watching a baby, or doing school drop offs. I can’t remember it because it barely happened.
But when I get asked whether I would do it all over again - and I get asked that A LOT - I can say confidently I absolutely would.
That doesn’t mean I don’t see the benefits of being an older mum, I do, but for me being a young mum was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Older mums often can’t understand that you can have a life AND be a mum. I study, I work and I travel; I just do it all WITH my kids (except when I escape for holidays without them, and yes, that happens too).