not happy!!!

Brooke - posted on 08/09/2009 ( 54 moms have responded )

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I am quiet shocked to see in this months issue of mother and baby the article on "Which age makes the best mum?".

I am 19 years old so yes a young mother but I am so proud to be!!

I want to know when older people will finanlly realise that young mothers can be just as good if not better mothers then those in there 20's, 30's and 40's.

I am so disappointed to see how many people skip straight to judging a person when they dont know anything about them to begin with.

In the article it states that Anita Owens, 18 experience is not the norm.

I am sorry but what is??

I was 17 when I fell pregnant and 18 when I had my daughter, she was planned and I am still with her father (20 yrs old). We are not married or engaged but plan to be oneday. We recently bought our own house and a new car. Our daughter gets everything she needs. Not once has she gone without and will never but on the otherside she will never be spoiled.

I have no regrets and am happy to have been able to have this experience this young.

And to finish off I know plenty of young mothers out there who are doing great.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jodi - posted on 08/10/2009

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Melissa, if you are already a SAHM it is a baby bonus, if you are working, you get 18 weeks paid maternity leave at minimum wage, which is around $543 per week. Not sure when that comes in, I haven't paid a lot of attention because it doesn't apply to me, LOL :) But basically, single parents receive about $1155 a fortnight, plus access to public housing, plus a health care card. The show I was watching, there were two of them sharing a house, and they seriously were sitting there with enough money to smoke, drink and buy brand new everything for their babies, and the reason they did it was because they were sick of living at home (didn't like the rules) and they knew this was a way to move out and have some money.

Jodi - posted on 08/09/2009

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Leigh, you may be surprised how selfless an older mother is too. Remember, we got to live our lives, travel, career, etc, when we were in our twenties - young mothers don't have that opportuntiy. Maybe you are only selfish now because you didn't have those chances then? Just a thought.

Sharon - posted on 08/09/2009

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Sorry - I agree with the article. There is nothing saying a teen can't be a good mother.



I, however, have a difficult time seeing a jobless, mostly uneducated young girl can provide for a child and continue to experience life that will help her come to decisions later. Instead you have to make decisions about the baby daddy versus continuing education.



Decisions like a job versus continuing education.



Define "great'?

54 Comments

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Donna - posted on 03/18/2013

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And why then, do you feel the need to justify it? I don't justify my age and my family planning choices to anyone.

Nikki - posted on 08/14/2009

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I totally agree with you Brooke! My husband and I got pregnant when I was 19. He was an electrician and I was a dialysis nurse. When we went to the Dr. the Dr. was very grim with us and told us "I hope you know what you got into, and best of luck to you." I was so insulted by the way she treated us. We had 3 kids by the time we were 25 and I'm a stay at home mom now. We own a home, 2 very nice vehicles and my daughter attends private school. I am constantly complimented on how well behaved my girls are, and I have LOVED being a mom. My husband and I are celebrating our 7th anniversary this month. Everyone makes different choices, and there is nothing wrong with those of us that have chosen motherhood young! Many of my MOPS friends are young and many of my preschool mom friends are older. Amongst those women are great moms and struggling moms. People should be ashamed for judging young moms!

Tina - posted on 08/14/2009

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this is to LaMarion Morris...
God Bless You.. you sound like a wonderful person.. I am sorry that you lost your mother at such a young age, but God does strange things. He has a reason for all of us and yours was to have those 3 beautiful boys. What an uplifting story. God Bless to you and your family.

Tina - posted on 08/14/2009

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In response to Brooke Lang....
I am sorry that article upset you so...I feel that it is no ones business to pass judgement on any one person regardless of there age. Women have children at all different ages, for many different reasons at the age they choose to have there children. Ex: the career woman, a woman who couldn't wait to start a family, etc. the list goes on.
The person who wrote the article obviously does not know what she is talking about. Ages 19, 18, 20, 40,..it doesn't matter what age you are, you know when you are ready to be a mother, and who are we to pass judgment. I was 24 when I had my first child and 36 when I had my last.. I have 6 children and love the fact that I am 43, my oldest just graduated from high school and I love where my kids are at in there lives now. I am young enough to travel around with them, run with them, etc. I am still with my husband and we are very happy, and most importantly we can afford our 6 children. You sound happy with your life and that is all that really matters is what you feel.

Falesha - posted on 08/14/2009

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hi lamarion i have to say u are a great person for taking care of ur little sister and handling ur life as u did but dont ever say u would change it if u could because i strongly belive everything happens for a reason so if u had waited u would not have the child u have now and from what i read u love ur child(children) very much so just remember it was ment to be the way it is

LaMarion - posted on 08/14/2009

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If I had it to do all over again, I would wait on being intimate with any man until I finished school, went to college, had a career, felll in love, now this is funny (got married) experience intimacy for the first time and then had children.....I would have waited, there is something to be said about waiting. I know I probably will get a lot of flack but life seems to be out of order babies before marriage but life is what is is today. I judge no man/woman, that is not my place, I can only judge my life and the decisions I make. Like I said when I started is that for ME I wish I had waited but like a lot of you wonderful mothers I had to grow really fast. When I was 14 years old my mother past away 13 days after giving birth to a beautiful baby girl which meant that being the oldest and only girl I was now given the resposibilty of taking care of my baby sister and other family members boy did I have to learn fast, I went from being taken care of by my mother to being a mother. Three years later at 17years old ( 15 yrs old when I met him) I became pregnant with my first son, didn't go back to school after I found out that I was pregnant, my boyfriend at that time had joined the Armed Forces and wasn't in the area. I tell any woman that is pregnant young or old that carrying a child, going through L & D and giving birth to a child is the easy part ( may not have felt likeit) but now you have to buckle down and realize that you have a child to raise, YOU have a child to raise not your parents or your grandparent ( I give it up to all th grandmothers who are raising their grandchildren) which is what happened when a mother no matter what age decides they no longer want the resposibilty of taking care of another life which they brought into this world b/c they never grew up or lived there life. Thank God for grandmothers.I am sorry I have an issue with that subject. After giving birth, never did I think it was anyone elses resposibility to raise my child, taking care of my baby sister prepared me for taking care of my own children. I was a very responsible teen mother and their are a few that are out there. The main need that I gave to my son is all my love I poured into him, let him know that everyday that I was there and resposible for him and to God to take care of such a wonderful blessing of life. Where I went, he went and my sister also. Yes, children need a lot of things and will until they can stand on their own but the main ingredient in life is LOVE that is what they need above everything else. He may not have received all the physical things but he never lacked in knowing that he was loved and he felt love and still feels it to this day. My Airmen and I married when I was 18yrs old, had our second son when I was 19 years old, I went on and finished school our first year of marriage and at age 25 years old I had my 3rd son who is 21 years old today. The day I gave birth to him, I remembering thinking this is the age I should have started a family because I felt ready. Now I see things I would like to do, which had to be put on hold until I raised my sons b/c I wanted to raise them and not a stranger....you definitely have to put something on hold to be a decent mom but it is worth it. It would have been easier to do all the things, college, career before children. I have three of the most awesome, respectful. loving, thoughtful and handsome young men in the world who are loved deeply by a mom who started out as a Teen mom. I leave you with this Life is fragile (especially young life) handle with Tender Loving Care and if you are going to bring a life into this world just know that your life isn't over but your life now is to raise and care for another life besides your own and that life is dependent on you. Having a Blessed Day.

Falesha - posted on 08/13/2009

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I agree i was 12 yes 12 when i found i was pregnant it only takes once and 13 when my first daughter was born I had some help here and there but was on my own and I know that over the last 8 yrs of her life i have done more and been more of a mother to my daughter then my mom ever was or is.heck I am 21 and have 3 little girls now and wouldnt change it for the world and if u askedd anyone in my family they would tell u that out off all my family i have been the most responsible. i feel the younger u are the smarter u should be about ur parenting we still reamember all the things that was wrong in our childhoods so we know what we want to do for our children. I wish I was alittle older b4 having children but i do not think that anyone is a better parent just cuz they are over 25..

Kacee - posted on 08/13/2009

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One of the people on here said "Define 'great'" Good point. What makes a great mother? Is it staying at home and not having to work so that your children are under your watchful eye? Is it providing a large home with a great yard? Is it remaining married for the kids? Or could it just be that a great mother does what she has to even when she thinks she can't because she'd lay down and die for her child in a moment? I think it's the last one.

Julia - posted on 08/13/2009

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Kudos to you Young Mommy! Some of the best mothers I know are much younger than I am (29) and quite frankly, the older you get, the more selfish and set in your ways you tend to become too. Sure, there are young women who are not "mature" enough to have children--and there is an entire generation of "it's all about me" mothers who choose profession over family and also struggle to be good mothers. There are struggles on both sides. In fact, I've seen more women who have been young professionals first, having children in their 30's that have a much harder time letting go of their "rights" and independence and gearing in to give their hearts to their children. All that to say, good motherhood really has nothing to do with age or education; it has everything to do with how unselfish and willing to put others before yourself you are.



Julia, Mommy of 3

Bobbye - posted on 08/13/2009

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I am 44 years old and have four children..24, 23, 19 and.....5! I had three of my children when I was much younger - starting my first at pregnant at 19 and delivered at 20. While I loved my kids with all my heart and took very good care of them - the best that I knew how, I relied a lot on my family. This is not saying that you do, but with me being so young I needed support from them when it came to advise, babysitting (because I was still young too and thought I needed a life) and any other thing that might have come up. Sad to say that I ended up being a single mom with three children to support and grew up very fast. Now I have been remarried for over ten years and we have a little five year old - having her at 39 years old. I can tell you from experience that if I had it to do all over again, I would definitely have waited to have my children at an older age. I am stable, secure, financially set and am able to provide my little girl with things that I was not able to do when I was 20. You have to admit that a teen or 20 year old can not provide for a child the way someone can when they are financially secure. This does not mean that you can not love them with all your heart and take care of them as best as possible but I now see that there was just much more to it than me loving them.

I take my hat off to you for being such a responsible mom because there are so many who aren't and that goes for all ages. I also think you have a lucky little baby to have a mom who cares for her like you do. Maybe when you are in your thirties, revisit the situation, think about your life as it is at that time verses how it was now and see if you still feel the same. Just try not to take the article too personal because I am sure you are a wonderful mom!

Teresa - posted on 08/13/2009

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Not all teenage mothers are irresponsible, however, I do agree that if they understood and really knew what it meant to have a baby they would choose to do things differently. I was a teenage mom, I had my first at 18 and my second at 20. I loved being a mom and would not trade it for anything, but if I would have been mature and if I would have thought of the benefit of having a child after being fully prepared to take care of him without assistance, I would have waited. Both of my kids get all they need, and sometimes more, but I know that if I had gotten a degree first I would have been better equipped to raise them. I am in school and it is rather hard to study with a pair of little rascals running around screaming. Plus, I think that now that I am older I have more patience.
I do have to say though, that without them I don't know who or where I would be. They have been the push and strength I have needed to go on and pursue a better life. They are my life and even though it is hard being a single mom (was married, got divorced) I am grateful I have them. They are the ones I look at in times of trouble or decision making and base my conclusions as to what to do on what will benefit them in the longrun. I have always being a good mom, but I know maturity and age ultimately does HELP to be a better mom.
But, I find that at 24 I still have to justify having kids who are 4 and 6....
And I agree with Amy, you can be a great mom IF you choose to be one.

Amy - posted on 08/12/2009

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It is good to see a young mother be so grounded. My daughter is a 19 year old mother to 2 year old twins. She is a single mother who also takes care of the boys needs and does NOT go out with friends. She loves being a mother. I have to agree with you it doesn't matter how old a woman is she is a good mother IF she chooses to be!

Lisa - posted on 08/12/2009

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Quoting Krista:

Well, the harsh reality of it is, most young mothers AREN'T ready for children. Which isn't to say that ALL young mothers aren't. Statistically, young mothers don't have the best chance to move forward in life, often having to leave school to take care of their children.
That being said, it is extremely rewarding to meet young mothers who DO excel at life and who do do what's best for their children. Please don't take this post as insulting, because it isn't meant to be so. ANY one could make a bad parent, no matter the age. However, a lot of younger moms aren't quite mature enough to handle the responsibility.

Kudos to you for being one of those moms who can!



It is sad that anyone considers that the "harsh" reality because I was only 17 when my daughter was born and she is going on 14, I have done a good job raising her, I was divorced from her father when she was 3 and have been taking care of her by myself since she was born.  She always has good holidays and birthdays. We go on vacations and the only problem I have ever had with her is when she gets an attitude problem, Which has only been in the last year because of her age. I believe that too many people stereotype teen moms just because of their age and many of use do a darn good job.

Isobel - posted on 08/12/2009

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You've got a good point Nicole...I was 25 (young by my friends' standards) and I must say that although I'm going to college now, I am entirely jealous of the kids that are going while they are young and responsibility free- all they have to do is their homework and go out to party. I wished I had traveled before having my kids too...they have so many questions about the world, and while I look up the answers on the internet, my boyfriend is able to tell them about when he was there...

on the other hand...I will be foot-loose and fancy free by the time I am in my mid 40's- Lots of time to travel then (though maybe not backpacking ;P)

Jodi - posted on 08/12/2009

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Hey, Nicole. I agree with you. They are so much more work when they hit school age. I'm waiting for the high school next year - I know it is going to get even more difficult. So anyone who thinks having a toddler is tough........welcome to the next 20 years of your life??? LOL :)

Nicole - posted on 08/12/2009

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That is wonderful! but not the norm. I was 24 when I had my first of two. It wasn't until I hit my thirties that I realized that there were some things that I wish I would've done before having children. For example, I have always wanted to get my master's degree. I accomplished this for me but it took me away from my children two nights out of the week for two years. Or what about if you have sickly child, the younger you are the less prepared you are to handle the situation. Stay encouraged because those tough times will come, it's part of the package. Having children not only costs alot but takes a lot from you. When my children were little babies, it was easy, there weren't any real requirements other than to love them. Once they hit school age...OMG.

Mel - posted on 08/11/2009

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ohh thats terrible. alot of teenager girls dump the baby on parents to go out on weekends as well not all though :)

Cathey - posted on 08/11/2009

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Again, I say, this is totally an individual thing. I hate (but love to make fun of) all stereotypes. You won't regret having your children at a young age when you get older. I believe we are built to have children when we have the energy to raise them. And not so much at 30, etc.

Jodi - posted on 08/11/2009

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Melissa, it used to be lump sum a while back. I think it changed about 2 years ago because of this problem with the ones who did it to get the money. Ther have been several studies who have shown girls getting pregnant for the money, dumping the baby on mum once they get the money and taking off. Apparently it was not uncommon (not saying it was common, just not uncommon, to the point where the government had to change the system).

Mel - posted on 08/11/2009

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hey Jodi i just wanted to say , you know they were not giving the $5000 in a lump sum to girls under 18, they were paying it fortnightly since not all teens are responsible. i was just turned 19 when i had Brianna and they said to me "your over 18 arent you" and told me that if I was younger i had to have the money paid fortnightly but being 19 i had the choice if I wanted it lump sum or not. I chose to get it lump sum and we bought a few bubba clothes her ward robe, got some professional photos of her, and over a few months used it on nappies baby needs etc then it was gone and i was using my savings that i had in my account from the years gone by. after that went we live week to week off my fiances income and we manage he does extra work outside his to get more money

[deleted account]

Quoting Laura:

First of all I want to say congratulations! It sounds like you might be doing better than me ;). While the statistics probably do paint a grim picture of young mothers, I think that it must be noted that there is a HUGE difference between a 15-year-old and an 18/19-year-old. That being said I also think that if more 'older' moms (and I'm not sure how fond I am of that term, ahem) offered their guidance and support to young mothers instead of pre-judging, a lot of problems would be solved.


 

[deleted account]

Touche, Brooke. It's nice to see passion from a mother who is loving and dedicated. You are more than correct on your point about age not defining a 'better' mother. I worked in day-care for a few years and realised that there was a lot of parents that were very out of tune with their kids... some of them didn't give a rats at all, as long as they had somewhere to dump their kids while they worked or, worse, sat at home and gladly let someone else do the job with the daily raising of them. There was no typical age group - these parents came from all age groups. I support you and your right not to be judged. Some of us, no matter what age, were born to be mothers... and sadly, some of us were not as maternal and nurturing as others. Take care and all the very best

Jodi - posted on 08/10/2009

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Lydia, me too - it doesn't seem worth it to me either, but we are talking about kids who work for pocket money, or junior wages, and that sort of money seems like a fortune. I am not tarring every teenage parent with the same brush, because I have know many fantastic teenage parents too, but I have also know the ones who did it for the money, and boy does it backfire.



Hubby and I are in our own businesses too, and just to get the FTB is a pain in the you know what. I just found out I don't get the recent stimulus package until I finish the business taxes for 2008/09 - everyone else got it in December (the $1000 per child), but because I don't claim the FTB fortnightly (I'm too scared to in case I end up owing them money), I don't get it until I jump through more hoops.



On that note, however, I have enormous respect for the girls who pick themselves up and do something with their lives. As I have said, I don't know that I could have done it, but then, that's why I decided not to have sex at that age :) I just didn't trust the birth control. I knew too many who got pregnant. I guess they probably weren't using it properly, but I didn't know that, I just knew it didn't work for them!!

[deleted account]

Quoting Jodi:

I understand your comment about the baby bonus gone before the baby is born, but these girls see the $5000, get pregnant, and THEN realise how much a baby really costs.



LOL ...funny coz its true! (or is it tragic?) Its really quite funny how the system works. People who dont seem to really need government assistance seem to get the payments so easily - I own my own business which currently runs at a loss(although my partner works he earns less than the income means test amount for the FTB) and it was just too freakin' difficult to bother getting the payments!



We make do just fine - he earns the money and I just try my best to spend it at a slower rate ;P Regardless of age being a single mum for government benefits still doesnt seem worth it to me!

Jodi - posted on 08/10/2009

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Lydia, ufortunately, there are many who do abuse the system. It depends on where you live with regard to public housing, but rental assistance is still pretty generous too. If I was on my own with one child, I know for a fact I could get by on the money they get.



I am not making judgements on every teenage mother by any means, as I said, I know quite a few very responsible teen mothers who are keen to make a life for themselves and their child, but I also know the ones who just want the money and do the bare minimum for the children, and this is really very sad.



I understand your comment about the baby bonus gone before the baby is born, but these girls see the $5000, get pregnant, and THEN realise how much a baby really costs.



No, not all of them are like this, but flash $5000 in front of a 15 or 16 year old and they are thinking like millionaires.



Age is not the most important factor, and I know many people of different ages who have babies for all the wrong reasons. I know someone who takes a nanny on family holidays with her, and she is in her 40s. In my mind, that defeats the purpose of family time, she is someone who should never have had a child. She was in her late thirties when she had him. I don't understand why she bothers, I think it was the token baby, but I feel sorry for the child.



And the amount I get from my ex barely covers my son's food, forget the school fees (yep, $165 a month goes an awful long way for a 12 year old boy), and he is 40, so it just goes to show :)



I don't have any particular judgement on anyone. As I said, I truly admire teenagers who make the very best effort, but I have also seen a lot who don't because the system allows them to do this. In all honesty, I could support myself and one child (a baby, but probably not a school age kid) on what the public system provides. I've been a single mum, but I worked.

[deleted account]

Age is definately not the most important factor in making a "good" mum. When you are ready to take on the responsibility (and when I say ready I guess I actually mean capable and willing) you are ready and age is neither here nor there. The judgement comes from seeing those who arent - as is true in just about every generalisation known to humankind.



Also - I have two women who are close to me who are single mums and both on Family Tax Benefits. It isnt enough to live comfortably. My sister was forced back into work (in a high risk job) to start saving to send her daughter to school. Even with child support the money she was getting from the father was barely enough to clothe the child. Neither mum has been able to keep up with their rental payments at all times (where unexpected expenses such asmedication have arisen) and they both pay minimum rent/board to their parents.



Public housing has something like a four year waiting list so having a kid to get into that is a bit daft) and many of the womens shelters are now overflowing (we recently had a homeless mum with two kids living on the street near us because she couldnt fit into any of the local shelters) The baby bonus(for most people) is gone on setting up before the baby even arrives. There is still little incentive to have children from the public health system dispite what the media would have you believe.



No matter how 'bulletproof' the system is there will always be those who find away to abuse it - but for those who need it it is only just enough to see you through the easy times.

Joan - posted on 08/10/2009

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well done you!dont let some small minded bigots get you down ,i had three children under five and i managed ,there will always be doubters that you cant cope ,but you get out there and show them!!well doneyou

Jodi - posted on 08/10/2009

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Quoting Leigh:

Jodi, actually I think that ALL mothers are selfless, regardless of age. For me having a baby young meant backpacking around Europe/Asia with a 6 week old baby, without stressing out 'thinking about what could happen' & just living in the moment. It also meant that I had to get a degree, because I realised how important it would be to opening opportunites that would give me a more varied work/lifestyle. It meant juggling life to fit, & now that I'm older, I realise that I don't have the physical & mental energy nor the drive or paitence to be able to do these things now. I also find that my level of spontinaity is so much lower than what it was when I was younger, with 3 kids...age, life, rat race lol. Laura, I agree with your post, not prejuding a Mum because of her age would be a great way to start.



Which is why I said "you would be surprised how selfless older mothers are too".  Operative word TOO.  I was not saying that young mothers are selfish at all, I was commenting on your statement about older mothers being selfish. 

Diane - posted on 08/10/2009

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It doesn't matter what age you start having kids, it's just as hard. I had a miscarriage at 19 and told my self that it was probably better cuz i was too young and probably wasn't ready. Well let me tell you when I had my first son at 27 I still wasn't ready and still am not. It's just hard no matter what.

Lauren - posted on 08/10/2009

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Hear hear!! I'm also 19 and had my son at 18, he's now 8 months old. He has everything he ever needs and wants (within reason!!) i love my son more than anything in this world and would do anything to make sure he is happy. I have been with my partner for nearly 2 years, i fell pregnant quite soon into our relationship, but i don't regret having Jake for one second. We are engaged and living together in a 2 bedroom house and both working and i'm also going to college next month. Yes there are some young mothers out there who struggle with a young child. However, there are also many of us who are judged because of those irresponsible people.

Leigh - posted on 08/10/2009

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Jodi, actually I think that ALL mothers are selfless, regardless of age. For me having a baby young meant backpacking around Europe/Asia with a 6 week old baby, without stressing out 'thinking about what could happen' & just living in the moment. It also meant that I had to get a degree, because I realised how important it would be to opening opportunites that would give me a more varied work/lifestyle. It meant juggling life to fit, & now that I'm older, I realise that I don't have the physical & mental energy nor the drive or paitence to be able to do these things now. I also find that my level of spontinaity is so much lower than what it was when I was younger, with 3 kids...age, life, rat race lol. Laura, I agree with your post, not prejuding a Mum because of her age would be a great way to start.

Charlie - posted on 08/10/2009

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Yeah thats what i thought , dosent apply to me then , lol i wish i had 150k!!

Jodi - posted on 08/10/2009

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Yes, I heard it was means tested, but I think it is means tested at $150K or something like that.

Charlie - posted on 08/10/2009

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I think the baby bonus changes came in January !! is it also means tested ?

Mel - posted on 08/09/2009

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Christina is right alot of young mums are just high school drops outs. While i am a high school drop out i only dropped out because i was forever changing schools i did really want to graduate and i did finish my year 11 all As and a couple of Bs. i went back to do it when i was a year older then the other kids and had been working and going to tafe for a few yrs before that so i missed my year 9 and 1- (i dropped out of my first high school early in year 9). However when I left school i did get a job i studyed first then i quit that to help pay rent, food and bills plus fuel, car rego etc. i figured full time work was better then study as I was living in share houses in which nothing was provided and being charged a fortune but i was happy there I just needed to work more and after cutting classes to get more hours of work i decided I just had to quit study all together. People in my life told me you dont want to be a check out chick youre whole life, your studying to go to Uni keep at it, but i chose not to. I was planning on working for one yr then back to tafe to start my study to become a youth or social worker however i fell pregnant unexpectadly because i had been trying for 2 years. I worked til one week before i had my little girl, she was born one week early, then i put in for 6 months maternity leave. I had her when I was 18 and i went back to work when she was 5 months old til she was 7 months then decided to leave altogether to be a FT mum for now. shes 16 months and im enjoying being a mumma but i feel like I have to constantly justify myself and my reasons to others. I do intend to go back to work but not yet. Id rather wait til after I have another child. well done to all those young mums out there



PS Jodi - is baby bonus still around? I heard it was paid materniy leave or nothing now, which is good for those who have never worked and get knowcked up as a teen just for the money. Have a friend who has never had a job for more then a day and just had her baby last month, living with her dad because her partners income did not even pay the bills when they didnt have the baby

Jodi - posted on 08/09/2009

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I agree with you Sharon, we shouldn't prejudge, because there are many teens out there who are responsible and excellent parents. But statistically speaking, most teens rely on their families for help, and still want to live as teens. In Australia, we have a baby bonus ($5,000 for every baby born, although I think now it is paid in instalments), and the welfare these kids get is more than the minimum wage, plus they can claim child support. I watched a program on one of our current affairs shows the other weeks interviewing some of these teen mothers asking why they should have to go out to work if they want to be SAHMs and they can get enough from the government to be able to do so. I have paid taxes all my life, I have never had the luxury of being able to be a total SAHM without working in one way or another to contribute to our household economy, and these girls seem to think it is their right on my tax dollars. I feel our system here is breeding irresponsible teenage mothers.



There was actually a case recently where a group of 16 year olds from one school decided that they all wanted to have babies and raise them together, so they made a pact to go out and get pregnant. One of them just picked up some homeless guy off the street so she could get pregnant at the same time of the others. True story. Its almost like it has become the latest fashion trend. And that seriously bothers me.



Basically, it is girls like this that gives the responsible teen mothers who have a plan and sense of commitment a bad name. I have great respect for the girls who do take the responsibility seriously, such as the OP and other mothers here. I don't think the article in question is necessarily accurate, but probably more reporting the statistical reality of various studies that have been done. I haven't read it, so I couldn't say.

Isobel - posted on 08/09/2009

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I don't aim my comments at anyone, unless their funny. just trying to be helpful...

Sharon - posted on 08/09/2009

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I know that last comment wasn't directed at me. I'm not prejudging anyone. The teens around here are skanks and lazy. That isn't a prejudgment, that is my direct experience. They sit in the charity offices to get money for services and form carpools, clubbing their change for gas to get to the churches to ask for more money for services. And they sit in the waiting rooms talking about who got what shade of makeup - talking about a brand I shuddered to think of paying for when I did work in a professional position. After discussing pricey make up they move on to discuss who is gonna watch the baby and they laugh about the baby daddies and how they have their parents full support so they can hang with friends.



Its disgusting. I bust my ass day in and day out and these puling little girls think they are women because they cranked a baby out of their vagina. PUHLEASE.



I said before there are exceptions and I feel bad for them because they get lumped in with the brainless twits I described above. I've worked with several goodones. They show up on time for work, their babies are clean and well feed and the mothers' themselves are happy, tired but happy.



In retrospect - 2. TWO teenage mothers 17 & 19 out of the dozens I've met and worked with, I can call good moms with a good plan.



I ALWAYS reserve judgement until I see the traits of the person in front of me. My ex-boss always hired these girls because of his church work. Most didn't last a week. One worked two days and then quit, then called back to inquire about severance pay!



The OP seems like an excellent mom with good intentions. I wish her the best.

Isobel - posted on 08/09/2009

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First of all I want to say congratulations! It sounds like you might be doing better than me ;). While the statistics probably do paint a grim picture of young mothers, I think that it must be noted that there is a HUGE difference between a 15-year-old and an 18/19-year-old. That being said I also think that if more 'older' moms (and I'm not sure how fond I am of that term, ahem) offered their guidance and support to young mothers instead of pre-judging, a lot of problems would be solved.

Brooke - posted on 08/09/2009

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Thank you ladies! I do realise where a lot of people come from. I know there are plenty of teenage mothers out there who have no clue and think of the money..etc. What I am getting at is not everyone fits in the same catagory.

Next year I'll be 20 and all of a sudden I'll be a responsible mother in strangers eyes. Now people who don't know me think I was just a knocked up teenager.

I know it's great to live your life young and settle down when your older but I'm just doing it in reverse. I have done all my partying lol.. I was 16 when I was going out and doing all that and I hate it now!! I am actually scared to go over sea's lol I don't like being out of my comfort zone. So I don't think travelling that far will ever be on my list of things to do. I do plan on having a career and after years of looking after my mother when I was 14 I decided that I wanted to be a nurse and then maybe study to be a midwife. I am going to go to tafe next year for assistant in nursing then the year after go back for enrolled nursing.

We want our children around 3 years apart. maybe when they go to school I'll then go to uni..

Melanie - posted on 08/09/2009

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I don't think we are ever really 'ready' to have children - until you have a child of your own you only think you know what it is going to be like living on two hours sleep and still having to be responsible for a little one.



I am sure we have all been in situations where we could have done something which would potentially harm our child. But for whatever reason we decide not to do it. However there are many parents out there who do not exercise that self control and harm their children no matter what age they became parents.



I believe we often look at teen mums expecting them to be bad parents and that is what we see. We prefer to marginalise a group of mothers because of their age/marital status/parenting beliefs etc to make ourselves feel better about our own choices. We are all mothers and we should be helping and supporting each other.



All single parents face the same challenges no matter how they became single parents. As members of their community it is up to us to try and help them and encourage them to do what is needed to do the best thing for their family - even if it is not necessarily the approach we would take.

Leigh - posted on 08/09/2009

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Brooke, I've walked in your shoes, so I know how they fit. What I can say about having kids young, is that you have the energy you need to physically be able to cope with how draining they can be, especially when they're young. Your youth also helps with making your life decisions, based on how you feel, & not always what you want. I was absolutely cluess of what it took to look after a baby/child when I was your age, but I adapted. I also went ahead & had 2 more, so ended up with 3 by the time I was 24. Those years just flew past, & we didn't need alot, but being together with my husband & enjoying the journey was (is still) so rewarding. What I've learnt though, now that my boys are on the cusp of making their own way in life, is that I think if I'd started having kids in my 30's I would have stopped at one, because bascially I'm selfish, & I enjoy putting my time & energy into so many different avenues, the majority being related to what my boys have wanted to do. I think at 19 you really haven't realised your dreams, & 'life' takes over & you start realising these 'dreams' for your off spring before your own, & that's a major contributor to being a MUM (selfless). You sound like an extremely mature 19 year old, so good for you. Enjoy making your life the best you can.

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well I think it is great that you handled your responsibility at such a young age. I am not sure where you are from but here in north America I am sad to say that mothers like you are not the norm :( I wish it could be the opposite but the fact it the most (not all) teen moms here are not capable of supporting a child on their own without the help of their family. most drop out of high school and many end up on government assistance. Many still are very immature and do not put the needs of their children before their own. while there are some exceptional teen parents it is not the norm where I come from.

Jodi - posted on 08/09/2009

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Melissa, if you think about it, statistics can be manipulated to be used any way you like. If you are comparing statistics of 15-20 year olds, with 20-40 year olds, of course there are probably going to be fewer (a 5 year span vs a 20 year span). Also, if you consider the situation, most children who are a little older taken from their parent's care, their parents are older too, that's logical. I studied statistics, and they can be construed any way you like, it depends of you are comparing apples to apples or oranges to oranges. Your friend is probably not considering all the factors, such as what age these children are, compared to the age of their parents, how many people fall within which age group, and so on.



I totally agree with Krista's post on this - there are many young mums that are fantastic mothers. But there are many that also struggle. As an example, my husband's ex had her son when she was only 17. She is a fantastic mother to him, and always has been, BUT there are many situations she faces that she struggled with how to handle, and it has take my husband to step in and deal with it for her, or point her in the right direction. Simply life experience and maturity can really make a difference to the decisions you make. Does that necessarily make older people better parents? No, I know some people my age that are terrible parents (in my opinion anyway).



Am I saying that teen mums aren't good mums? No I'm not, I also know many young mums who are fantastic parents. There are so many more factors than age.



Brooke, I haven't read the article, but is it possible they have just assessed it based on statistics, and they have generalised? Most teens aren't ready for motherhood, and this is totally understandable. I wouldn't have been.

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I am very glad to hear that you are being responsible and being a good mother! I do think that women as young as you being truly excellent mothers is the exception, though, rather than the rule. For every one good very young mother I can name (I do know one who is truly exceptional) I can name 20 who range from barely adequate to having no business being mothers (and I don't use that term loosely, I mean truly harming and/or neglecting their children). You are correct that it is wrong to judge without getting to know a person, but on the other hand, you have to realize that there is a huge body of evidence that older women DO make better mothers IN GENERAL and when people have met a dozen selfish, neglectful teen mothers it is going to be hard for them to overcome that stereotype. There are older women who can be just as crappy as anyone else but I find those to be much fewer. I think that when you are 30 or 40 you will look back and see that even though I'm sure you are wonderful, that being older DOES give you experience and wisdom that is valuable to mothering. The good news is that if you're a great mom now, you'll most likely just get even better!

Monica - posted on 08/09/2009

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They probably left out the late teens because most people that age are still in school or otherwise not ready to start having children yet. While I know there's plenty of very young women who make great mothers, most just aren't prepared for the challenge. I know I wasn't at that age.

Mel - posted on 08/09/2009

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you know Brooke someone on here told me it was not the young mums that were reported to CPS and things like that (she worked in the area) it was usually the ones 29-30. i too am a young mum and planned and trying for a second and most girls i know, not all but most have planned there kids and been great with them or not planned and still been great.

Krista - posted on 08/09/2009

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Well, the harsh reality of it is, most young mothers AREN'T ready for children. Which isn't to say that ALL young mothers aren't. Statistically, young mothers don't have the best chance to move forward in life, often having to leave school to take care of their children.
That being said, it is extremely rewarding to meet young mothers who DO excel at life and who do do what's best for their children. Please don't take this post as insulting, because it isn't meant to be so. ANY one could make a bad parent, no matter the age. However, a lot of younger moms aren't quite mature enough to handle the responsibility.

Kudos to you for being one of those moms who can!

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