Do you get dirty looks in public for being a young mom?

Vanessa - posted on 10/28/2009 ( 201 moms have responded )

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I'm nearly 21, but I look years younger. People give me dirty looks when I'm out with my son, and once I even heard someone utter under their breath "What is that 14 year old doing with a kid"? I usually ignore looks and comments. A former friend from high school even sent me a comment saying it was stupid to keep my son before I finished college. How should I react to this? Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

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Jessica - posted on 11/02/2009

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I get it all the time, my son is in school now and all the moms and teachers do it. I used to get upset and not wanna go out , but now it just motivates me everyday to be the best for my son. That positive energy helps motivate him as well. He is one of the smartest kids in his class. Not bad for a young mother : ) Prove them wrong!!!!

Karianne - posted on 11/02/2009

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I totally know where you're coming from. I'm 24 and have been married for almost 3 years. and I have a 5 month old. I think it was worse when I was pregnant. Had to love the glares when I was walking around shopping with my mom and couldn't wear my ring lol my hands were so swollen. Even now when I run out of the house and forget it I can feel the stares. Just ignore them. It is definitely something us young moms have to deal with! But you should be so proud of yourself! You made the best decision ever to have your baby! He looks super cute from your profile pic!!! :)

Kelly - posted on 11/02/2009

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Don't Worry About What People Think... If Your Taking Good Care Of Your Son, Thats All That Matters ! ! ! ! ! I Know Many People That Were Teen Moms And They Are The Best Moms ! !

Amanda - posted on 11/02/2009

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Thanks for posting this... I am now 25 (26 in Dec.) my daughter will be 6 8 days before I turn 26. For 8 days I was a teenage mom. After that I personally had no reservations about being a mom at 20.

My situation is not the usual... I am doing this alone and I am 99% sure my daughter will never know or meet her "father". I was faced with a very difficult decision at 19 on whether to keep a baby - that was not a result of consentual sex with someone I knew (well). It was a really fucked up situation and I even made an appointment to abort the pregnancy after I found out I was definitely pregnant.

The point of me telling you all this is that we all had our kids for our OWN personal reasons as a result of our own personal values and morals. Don't ever forget for one second that you single-handedly created an amazing little person you have devoted your life to giving a great life.

With that being said - WHO CARES! I get comments ALL the time - "oh are you even old enough to have a child, 5 year old, child in 1st grade, school etc.

It's not about you or your child its about your self assurance and confidence. In response I usually just smile and say thank you with no furhter comment. There are always going to be rude people out there that think they actually have the right to come up to you and give you advice about parenting and want to meddle in your business. By the end of the comment or conversation they should feel like a complete asshole for even saying anything to you at all. It's like - who the fuck cares if some random stranger thinks if you're old enough to have a child - You do and I'm sure its a consensus here that we all love our kids 110% 24/7 and do anything we can to better or enhance their lives.
That is MOST important.
You could always ask them if they weren't hugged enough as a child or how old their mother was when they had them. Its only been in the last 20 years in America, that it's become "socially unacceptable" to have children younger than 20+ Like I said, I was 20 when I had my daughter and ran into all of these problems from the day I gave birth right up until today.
I always wanted to have my kids by the time I was 30 so I could have the energy to enjoy them and be an active part of their childhood.

Keep up the good work mamma!

[deleted account]

Dont listen to anyone. Do wats in ur heart. I was the same I was a senior in high school wen i was pregnant, it wasnt easy for me to walk around with a huge belly, but I graduated and walked with my class. I didnt go to college until my son was almost a year. College will always be there so dont feel the rush to come to other peoples expectations. Live urs. They will always talk and let them. For me I jus do wat I feel needs to be done even if everyone doesnt agree.

Lynda - posted on 11/02/2009

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I had my son when I was 19 and looked about 16. It doesn't matter what other people say or think, I know it's annoying I've been there. And tell your former friend to shove it cause it isn't her life or her choice it was yours.

Linnaea - posted on 11/02/2009

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I get dirty looks all the time from people because i'm only 20 and my son will be 2 here shortly it's not unusual. I've heard things like what you have and i look at the people to let them know that i heard them and that it's rude to talk about people especially when you're still within ear shot.

Deszare - posted on 11/02/2009

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WOW! That's not cool! I am 23 years old and I have three children. I had my first daughter when I just turned 17. To tell you the trueth I never noticed because I didn't care. I'm sure I had some stairs! If that person would have said that to me I would have confronted her just for the heck of it. hehe! But don't let it get to you, just be happy your a young hott momma!!

Shawna - posted on 11/02/2009

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dont listen 2 anything anyone says. yea they give us look but just tell them its none of their concerns

Kirsty - posted on 11/02/2009

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im 23 and have 2 boys, a 2 yr old and a 3 yr old and i'm 2 wks off having my 3rd son. i get alot of dirty looks and comments because i look younger as well. i have learnt to turn a blind eye to the comments and looks. as long as your child is healthy and being looked after there is no reason for ppl to say anything to you. no matter what your age, you can still be a fantastic mother. hold your head high and dont let them get to you. proving them all wrong is way more fulfilling than letting them get to you and thinking you have made the wrong choice. your child/ren are the most precious thing in life, i know mine changed my life and without them i probably would not be here today. i'm not a very spiritual person but i believe that god gave me my children to save me and to show me that there was more to life than what i was doing so thats why i will never let anyone judge me on being a young mother.

April - posted on 11/02/2009

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I'm 25 and my daughter just turned 5 this year and she is in kindergarten. I get looks all the time from the other mothers bringing their kids to school. Most of the kids' parents are as old as my mother and it is really difficult to make friends with these parents. My daughter wants to have play dates with these other kids and the parents won't let their child come over to my house. I think it is because they think I'm much younger than I am and they don't see me as a responsible parent or something. It's hard to go through that, but I just deal with it and go on, most of them are just being a little childish. Just because you are younger or look younger than you really are doesn't mean they should judge you by that. They don't know you and until they do they shouldn't say a thing. My opinion I think you should have a kid younger rather than older. I mean there are people that are much older, like over 50 who have kids and their going to be like 70 when their kid is like 20, you don't enjoy your kids full life like that you might be dead before they have kids or are married. Anyway dont fret over the little stuff just enjoy life one day at a time.

[deleted account]

I was 20 when I had my son and married and am still married 7 years later with another addition a little girl now 3. I think people think if you have a child in your twenties now it is a horrible thing. People are having children a lot later in life when they are more established. That is their decision as well as it was our decisions to have children at a young age. I didn't want to have a 10 year old when I am 40. That is fine for some people, but not me. My dad was 40 when he had me. He is a great dad, but I see my father-in-law who is more active because he is younger. I think to each his own. People just need to remember if you don't have anything nice to say don't say it at all!

Calondria - posted on 11/02/2009

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Im glad you said FORMAL friend... Because that not a friend... Don't worry about what people say or how they look at you. People get a kick out of bring other people down. Don't react just keep taking care of your baby and he will love you for that....

Brittany - posted on 11/02/2009

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I'm 21 now and have a two year old & working on number two. Age doesn't matter when it comes to being a good mother. You could be 40 and someone would still have something snotty to say!

Ashley - posted on 11/02/2009

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im 19, ill be 20 when i have my baby, and im starting to really show, just walking thru malls and stores i get tons of dirty looks, ill be the first to admit that this wasnt planned and that i think im not mature enough to be a mom right now, but its nobody's business. Ive accepted that im going to be a mom and im excited now, and if your happy and you love your baby then nothing else should matter. i just smile and wave when people keep staring =) hahahah

Desiree - posted on 11/02/2009

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i get this alot, im also 21 and its even worse because im not married!!! the thing is, the father of my child WANTS to get married... I dont. its a personal choice, thats all, he's a great guy.



just ignore people, i know its hard. i look like im about 16 and i get dirty looks from people all the time. luckily im carrying really small, im 7 1/2 months but i look like im only about 5months pregnant. alot of people think 21 IS too young to be having kids, especially in todays world where people are having their first child older. but think about it, at least you're not one of those 12 year olds on jerry springer with a newborn!

Natalie - posted on 11/02/2009

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i know how you feel...i'm 21 and have a 3month old baby boy..people look at me as if i'm 15 or 16yrs old high school student. so when i tell them i'm 21 and i'm a Registered Nurse they usually shut up and some of them are shocked.

Heather - posted on 11/02/2009

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thats what i said to in the old days they already had so many kids at a younge age. you would be married at 14 and had a kid or two.

Hannah - posted on 11/02/2009

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Just have confidence in yourself. People have no idea who you are or what your about. If you love your child and the two of you are good to eachother people will respect you. But again, just try not to give a shit about that. Im 20 and my daughter is 15 months old I have gotten some ridiculous comments, like insane, I was in Barns n Noble a long time ago, I had walked there and had all sorts of layers and toys and blankets on me and my baby, who was in a front pounch on me, and this startchy old hag comes up to me and says, "You have no right being homless with that baby."............?!WHAT? I was just shocked I didnt even know what to say. I just kind of laughed and said excuse me and got away from her. Ive gotten exasperated in the past, A woman told me I should never have kept my baby. I LOST it. I just screamed at her "Your just jealous because when you had yours you got fucking FAT" And other such comments....When you do that though it might be momentarliy satisfying but your just proving them right, you know? Persevere, we are going to be young enough to be able to play with our babies for much longer than older mamas, and really, back in the old days if we didnt have 6 kids by the age of 19 we were old maids. Its all societies bullshit. Dont even worry about.

Heather - posted on 11/02/2009

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i am 19 and i get that too. one time last year around this time a women came up to me and was like why are you buying baby toys. i said i have a son and she was like aren't u like 14 i was like no. to mind her own p's and q's. and it doesn't help bc my son looks older then his age and i look younger then mine. but most ppl said now to me is my son soo cute and dont ask my age just try to make them think more about the child then your age.

Carla - posted on 11/02/2009

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i had my daughter my first child at 16 and being that young i got loads of comments. i just held my head up high and if people want to put there 2 cents in just ignore then thats what i done. and when i had my son i was 22 and as i live in a elderly town it was even worse as they all looked at me like i was scum and that i was just another young mum.

Sam - posted on 11/02/2009

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I was 19 when i had my first and iv just had my 2nd and im 21 i love the way people presume that because i have two they must have different dads and i couldnt possibly still be with him,,infact iv been with him for nearly 7 years we are married and they are both definatly his lol and i dont claim anything more than anyone else lol he works full time and pays for everything ha ha ,,to be onist this is for everyone just ignore them ignorence is bliss and the only reason thed be looking at you funny is because they are obviously not happy with there lives,, and as for thoose who make nasty comments laugh at them youv got better things to be doing than taking any notice of thoose vile creatures, just look at your babies and know your amazing for bringing them into the world and bringing them up the best you know how :) x x x x

Autum - posted on 11/02/2009

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I am 26 and look 16-17, my husband is 27 and looks in his 30's (so people say) I heard a woman telling her husband that my husband was a cradle robber. Her husband said who cares a man at his age will get any easy thing with two legs .. My husband was arrested and the man took a vistit to the hospital.

And while going shopping with my two boys a woman said very loudly to herself that I was a whore, and my parents should be ashamed. I was taken back, and I wanted to cry. I told her I was 26 and she needs to keep her mouth shut, my 4 year old butted in and told her that she looked like a Horse not his mommy! I thought it was cute, and was glade that he thought she said horse and not whore!

Crissy - posted on 11/02/2009

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i totally understand where your coming from. i got pregnant with my first the week after i graduated from high school. now i have 4 children and im only 23. i was at the grocery one day shopping with all the kids by myself and people give dirty looks. i even had the cashier ask me if i was paying with food stamps. i was in shock. (i have no problems with assistance...i used it when i got prego with the first) but i asked the lady why she asked me that. she said that she assumed i was bc i looked like a single young mother. i told her next time dont assume things bc your wrong. im married and i dont get assistance. my husband is in the army and we pay for everything all by ourselves. if were going to have kids, then we support them. people might give us looks when were out bc all my kids are close n age and young. people always comment on how well behaved they are though. my children know better and will respect me now and forever. :0) keep your head up and dont let anyone put you down. they just wish they had your life. keep doing the best you possibly can.

Meghan - posted on 11/02/2009

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I'm 24 and look like I'm 16 or 17 so I get it all the time. If I'm out with my mom, most people automatically assume she's my mom's daughter which aggravates her as well. Most people I want to smack because they don't know. That's the frustrating part. All those people who look at me funny have no idea that I'm married, own my home, have a bachelor's degree, old enough to drink, and am old enough to have as many children as I see fit. Thankfully, no one has said any comments that I have heard but if they did, I think I would say something back. Personally, what does it matter how old you are, as long as you can provide for your child and have a happy, healthy baby, who the hell cares.

Amanda - posted on 11/01/2009

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I am 20 and look 15. I get the same looks. Tell your friend to be more suportive to your decision to have a child. As for the people in public, be nice. They don't know any better. Show them how mature you are. Tell them nicely... I couldn't help but to over hear what you said and I would like to let you know that I am alot older than I look. They really stare at me when I am with my husband and my little girl. I have felt ashamed to be out in public with a baby, but not anymore. I am a proud parent. I see it as.... I am a better parent than most women in their 30s. Just remember to show them how mature you are about the subject. Amanda Perotti

Elizabeth - posted on 11/01/2009

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I am 22 and I get dirty looks everywhere I do. I am content with my life I am a single mother and my son is 3 months and he has everything he needs and more. As long as you are happy don't pay attention to any of the nasty coments. There is always going to be someone who is going to bring you down.

Lorraine - posted on 11/01/2009

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If you love your son and can provide for him then who cares what anyone says cause in the end it's both of your lives and memories. None of that will matter as the years will pass. I'm sure when he gets to be your age, he will love having a young mom. Just enjoy your little one. Life is to short to be upset over small minded people.

ALISHA - posted on 11/01/2009

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i too get it all the time i have a 3yr old 2yrold and 4month and im 22... and look way younger as well but its ur choice jus because maybe they would have decide not to keep a child doesnt mean thats ur decision we r strong individuals we can b mother work and finish school if we want to i bet u have a beautiful baby and if ur happy with ur decision on keepin ur child bun the haters out there tha stare and grill and talk shit bout u b strong!!!!

Kelly - posted on 11/01/2009

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I know how you feel I'm going on 24 and my son will be 4 2 weeks later.... i look 17 haha Dont let people get to you. And that is why that friend is a former friend and they should just stay that way. Things happen...you cant change the past only can think about the future.... as long as u take care of ur son that is the only thing that matters. Old people just cant get out of the 50s....this is the 21st century! For gods sake i had ppl thing that i was married to my father cuz we go everywhere together. I love my dad and im going to spend as much time with him before i dont have him anymore. PPL just need to mind their own business... it will never happen so just take care of ur son and enjoy life to the fullest.

Brynn - posted on 11/01/2009

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I get them all the time. i'm 24 and my oldest daughter just turned 5. my middle daughter is 18 months and my youngest is 4 months. every where i go i get dirty looks. my saying is it doesnt matter how young the mom it is how much you love being a mom.

Katherine - posted on 11/01/2009

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I kinda get that. I'm 28, but look ten years younger. I go into church and some newbies there ask me how old ONE of my kids are, and I tell them I actually have three more children in the other rooms. They'd look at me for a second, then ask for my age - LOL. They say "Oh, come on. You can't be more than 20!". Puh-leese. I tell them I'm nearly 30!

To the people who says stuff within audible range, directly approach them - say "I heard you say that about me.", and proceed to show them your ID. Then leave. They'll stand there feeling so stupid.

Emily - posted on 11/01/2009

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ooohhh yea! me and my boyfriend look very very young but were 19 and 20. but i was pregnant at 18 so it was very hard cause i could hear people talking about me under there breathe, but i just ignored them cause in the long run, you dont need them, you have your family and your baby thats gonna love you more than anything!

Rachel - posted on 11/01/2009

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It never ceases to amaze me how judgmental and just plain mean people can be. I remember accompanying a mom to a conference when her youngest (#7 of 7 children) was just a few months old. I was 14 or so. I stayed at the conference with her to take care of the baby. I took a walk around the hotel with the baby for a change of scenery and got the dirtiest look from an elderly couple! Shame on them for making assumptions!

That's been my opinion ever since - shame on people for making assumptions when they have no idea what the truth or circumstances are! Nasty comments and looks about age and children are hurtful. So many judge without realizing that it just makes them look immature.

Though it doesn't hurt to just turn the other cheek most of the time (smiling sweetly while making eye contact is always fun - and usually embarrasses the person), I think there are times to say something back. People need to learn that there are facts and circumstances they are not aware of and to judge without knowing those things is foolish. Correcting someone, even in a nice way, will sometimes make a person think twice before making the same mistake again. Wouldn't it be funny to respond to "What is that 14 year old doing with a kid?" with an exclamation "What, are you serious? Where?" and look around, then look the person in the eye and smile. :P

Regarding your friend's comment... shame on her!!!! How dare she say something like that to you! It's not right. She is completely out of line. I have a friend that I've known since middle school who recently told me she was pregnant - she's not married and the dad is a bit of a deadbeat (no job, etc.). You know what I told her? "Congratulations! I'm so excited for you! Having a child is an amazing gift and you are going to have so much fun with your little bundle of joy. Sure, it will be hard to be a single-mom, especially without the support of your family. But, that's okay! I'm here for you and support you all the way." But, the sad thing is, I'm the only one who has even offered to throw her a baby shower. Everyone is all about the shame of the situation. Screw the situation - enjoy the pregnancy and be thankful for this little miracle.

Everyone deserves to be excited about their baby. I don't care about the circumstances - it's not the baby's fault. And friends and family should rally around the mom, especially a mom in difficult circumstances. She has to work all that much harder for the life she wants to live and to provide all the love and material goods for her child(ren). Though my views are very conservative regarding sex (premarital is a no-no in my book), it is *not* my job to pass judgment. It is my job to love and support, regardless of the choices my friends make. What's done is done, passing judgment won't fix anything. Being supportive changes lives.

So, if it were me with a friend who put me down for keeping my child at age 20 - I would tell her: "Yeah, I have to work a hell of a lot harder for what I want now. But, my son is a gift that I'm thankful for and proud of. Nothing would make me give that up. You are missing the fact that my son brings so much joy to my life. I'm sorry you can't see the bigger picture here. You are entitled to your own opinion, but until you have walked in my shoes, you don't have the right to judge me or my decisions. So, if you have nothing positive or supportive to say, then keep your opinions to yourself."

Keep your chin up! I'm betting you are a loving mom who takes great care of her son. It's no one's business, but your own, how old you are or the circumstances surrounding the birth of your child. Everything happens for a reason and we can't change the past. Move forward with pride and the knowledge that you do the best you can do every day - which is a lot more than most other people!

Janice - posted on 11/01/2009

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I just turned 23 and I have 2 boys. I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old. Taking them in public can sometimes be very hard. One day my 3 year old was screaming because he couldn't get a toy because he wasn't listening and some lady looked at us and said that we must not know how to take care of our children because if we did he wouldn't be screaming. I usually just ignore the looks and the talking because yes they are children and yes they do scream and want attention to get something... I would just ignore it and hopefully it will go away soon

Danielle - posted on 11/01/2009

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I don't get dirty looks for being young, I'm 27 but I actually get dirty looks for the fact that I have tattoos and piercings. My arms are covered in sleeves and as is my chest and back, add to the fact my lip and nose are pierced and it's a joyride. Apparently that makes me a bad parent and I don't know what the heck I'm doing. Keep your head up and continue being the great mom you are, that's what I do. And hey maybe a few years down the road my daughter will think I'm a "cool mom" or she'll be embarrassed,haha.

Patricia - posted on 11/01/2009

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I'm 27 now and have a daughter who's about to be 9 and a son who's about to be 4 and I still get dirty looks from people cause I have always looked younger than what I am. But you have to learn to ignore people because who cares what they think. If you are taking care of your child, and being a good mom--- Thats all that matters!

[deleted account]

I too have come across this over the years... I am 27 and my eldest is 9 followed by a 5 year old and 2 year old. I have always been aware of such comments/looks ect and I have therefore always made a real effort to show that I am a good mother. My children are always well dressed and the have a lovely home and parents that just adore them. It does not matter how much of a successful ( i run a household, plus I have just completed study in aged care, plus i look after my special needs child!!) young mum you are there are always going to be people like that who believe that because you are young your a bad mum. We will always be Typecast into this group. We just have to do the best we can and try to just ignore outsiders input!!

Jade - posted on 11/01/2009

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Yes it is hard to be a young mom....I think it really doesn't help when people judge young moms as a group and not by individual accomplisments. I have a good job and im a home owner and doing much better then lots of kids from H.S. that went to college and don't have kids.

Tarah - posted on 11/01/2009

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I think you should just try to ignore them im 21 and im just about to have my 1st and i have seen ppl give me funny looks but i dont care they dont know the situation i planned this baby. but i know alot of young mums that are better then alot of older mums so just ignore them you know that your child is happy and well looked after and you dont need to be old to do that.

Meghan - posted on 11/01/2009

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I dont' know if I recieve looks because I'm younger looking too or because my child is mixed. Either way, I don't let it bother me. What other people do shouldn't affect me or how I feel. I think it used to bother me and now I could just care less.. Go on and stare! Hehe!

Amanda - posted on 11/01/2009

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i get those looks all the time, i am very short so people think im 12. But i dont let it get to me, I just think well when my child has childern i will still be young enough to enjoy them.

Ashlea-ann - posted on 11/01/2009

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i get a lot of abuse from people who should know better, you'd think. but at the end of the day your doing the best you can and there are alot of older mums out there who cant cope. as long as your comfortble, sod em! x

Savanna - posted on 11/01/2009

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Completely agree! I actually did my own experiment with my mom because she didn't believe me that people really do judge just by looking. I made her walk around walmart with me without a ring on my wedding finger.......and she was disgusted by the looks. People see the belly and smile but then they see the face and think wow young frown. Then they look @ your hand. I was 19 @ this time....well then I put the ring on and you wouldn't believe the change in attitude of people. So judgemental......its awful

Lindsay - posted on 11/01/2009

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I was 19 when I had my son and I have never really gotten dirty looks in public for being a young mom, but I did have some problems in the hospital when I had him. They kept coming into my room trying to take him from me to take him to the nursery. I had clearly stated to my ob that my baby was to stay with me at all times, of course with the exception of the dr. looking at him and stuff, and they were really rude to me and would just come in and literally take him from my arms and take him away and that is the only thing I could think is because I am a young mom and wasn't married at the time. But I personally don't like it when people say things like that it is not their life it is yours and if you made the right choice that is your business and no one elses!

[deleted account]

I will be 24 in 2months and still get nasty looks from people, I had my first when I was 19 but was in a commited relationship and lived on my own and had the money to take care of a child I will be having my 2nd in the end of jan. I am married and have been with the father of both my kids for 6 years...I do look young for my age but I feel like no one has the right to judge you when they dont know you or your stiution..I even have people ask me how old I am and if I am married which I find very rude whats it to them I know a few single moms who do a very good job and find myself to be really lucky to be married to the father of my kids...you really gotta ignore the looks and hold your head up high. Remember they dont know you!!

Marie - posted on 11/01/2009

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If you love your son then keep doing what you always do. Tell your friend to mind their own business, and live your life. Everybody was against me having my baby for a bunch of reasons. She's my pride and joy! Just do what is best for you and the baby and ignore everybody else. And stand up tall! Being a mother is the most honorable thing to be! It's easy to quit or give up. Being a mother is hard, really hard, but you'll be richer for it.

Louise - posted on 11/01/2009

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people r so rude! i remember when i told a 'lady' at work that i was pregnant and she said "well that was stupid" i was 23 then and 25 now. i said that i could be alot younger and she replied "you cold be alot older", i could of thumped her. I dont want to be 50+ years old when i become a grandparent! grrrrrr! lol xxx

Holly - posted on 11/01/2009

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im 20 but apparently look 15 i just ignore people and just think i got a beautiful daughter and thats all that matters. maybe ur former friend just jealous u have a beautiful baby boy and they dont. dont matter wat others think only that u and ur baby are happy

[deleted account]

I've never had anyone say anything to me, but I notice the occasional judgemental look. Mostly I just ignore it, and it makes me want to roll my eyes at how stupid some people can be. I'm nearly 27, I was married before I was pregnant, and my son just turned two. But I look young, so people tend to assume I'm not even 18. I also have a "non-traditional" wedding ring (my husband and I are both of Irish heritage, and he got me a custom claddagh ring instead of a diamond & band, so it's actually very traditional, but a lot of people don't seem to realize that), so they often seem to assume I'm not married. But whatever my situation, it's none of their business. When you hear someone thinking you're so young, that's their problem, not your reality. As for your former friend, that's a very narrow minded comment. I'd probably ignore it, but if you feel the need to respond, jjust say you did what was right for you, and you're happy with your decision - the how and why of everything else is none of their business - and then forget about it.

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