Too young to be a mother?

A few weeks ago, an author dared to suggest that there was nothing wrong with girls as young as 14 years old having babies. She was ridiculed and publicly cursed for her point of view and I am sure received the usual amount of death threats, obscene phone calls and hate mail because she dared to voice an opinion that was not in keeping with the majority.

A guest on a live  TV show looked physically sick and got extremely angry about it on live television. The host had to calm her down in the end but not before she said that not only were this woman’s comments way off, but that she had no right to make them in the firt place because she didn’t even have kids of her own! As I watched the drama unfold I questioned what all the fuss was really about.

It’s a fact that girls are ready to give birth from as young as 12 years old in some cases and in some countries in this world this is what still happens, and yet girls in these countries are not vilified for it. The scientific argument therefore stands in place. The moral argument however is the one that we always go to, citing how unfair it is for the girls and making the assumption, in this country anyway, that the state will end up raising these kids. The psychological argument says that girls still in their teens to do not have the mental aptitude to be able to deal with the headaches that a new child can bring. Industry heads throw their two pence worth in by saying that these girls will not be able to add to the economy and the govt is worried that Britain will become known as a country of teenage mothers.

No surprises there.

At the end of the day, the view we have of a teenage mother is always one who lives on a council estate and gets benefits. The father is usually a layabout or a brick worker who doesn’t take responsibility, if he is known, chances are the young mother in question was putting it about a bit and just may not know who the father is anyway. Not until they all land up on Maury or any other daytime paternity show! This is the picture we have been given from the media and this is the single story we hold to be the truth. To dare to accept to live in a country with teenage mothers seems to suggest that as an individual we should be ashamed and that as a society, we are failing.

But let’s take a look from another angle. What are the good things about young mothers? Well for one, if you had your child young by the time you hit your twenties you are ready to join the workforce without the pressure of leaving to have babies later, employer happy, mother happy!

As a young mother, you will share a different kind of relationship with your offspring, perhaps making you closer and more understanding of their plight, what I like to call ‘the generational argument’.

With so many girls not sure of what they want, perhaps it is the perfect time to be having children rather than hanging around getting drunk or high or having lots of random meaningless sex and a monthly abortion.

I could go on but I think you see my point. For every bad reason there is a good one and therefore I am inclined to believe that perhaps what needs to change is our moralistic and high filuted attitude to this subject. One thing that makes me chuckle is that with the number of wars that this govt is getting us into, where do they think the troops will come from?

Perhaps what needs to change is our attitude. Perhaps we need to look at the bigger picture and move away from this idea that science is only right when we say it is. There may be a good reason why young girls and young boys can become parents. There may be a good reason why it is important for the world to be structured in this way and just because we cannot see it doesn’t mean it is bad. If someone dares to speak out no one has the right to vilify them for their beliefs or question them on a moral high ground that they themselves couldn’t possibly reach. When I see women, castigating other women, especially over childbirth, I always wonder what else is going on there. When we feel strongly against something there is always little more to it, something a bit personal that we are really angry about.

Now in saying all of this I am not stating that teenage mothers are the way forward, I just think that for some girls it may be right for them. I do not criticise or make a moral judgement on it; I will look at what the benefits may be. My reasons? Well on a day like today where we celebrate Mothers every where, I don’t think it right or fair that some will get better press than others.

If either of my girls had dropped a child while they were teenagers would I have been angry? No.
Would I think they had thrown their lives away? No
Would I make them feel like they were a burden on society? No
I would do the only thing that I could do, be a young grandparent! (maybe that is what the fuss is really about?).

A good mother should be patient, flexible, loving and nurturing. A good mothershould love and care for her children. A good mother should want the best for her child and will always put her child first. A good mother is an important and necessary requirment in today’s social and economic climate.  So, to all you  mothers out there, no matter how young you may be, Happy Mothers Day.

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2 Responses to “Too young to be a mother?”

  1. Prekosifa Says:

    I agree Anonymous, but should that mean that the answer lies in demonising young parents until said 20 and 30 yr olds acquire the necessary life skills? Isn’t is possible that perhaps the very nature of childbirth and raising a family has the effect of ‘forcing’ young people to grow up?

    In my many years I have seen terrible ‘older’ and excellent ‘young’ ones
    So ina way age can nevr be used as a determinant of anything. QWhen you live in a society based ona set of rules there will always be exceptions and sometimes what actually happens does not really, upon closer inspection, make much sense.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    BTW…I completely 100% agree that people should be encouraged to voice well-reasoned opinions.

    However…perhaps what all “the fuss is really about” is the fact that we stunt the emotional, social, and mental maturity of young men/women in this country. They are not given the tools to cope with and succeed in society until they are well into their 20’s. (I even have friends in their early 30’s who still live at home.) If people do not grow up until then, how can they possibly be expected to successfully raise another human being at half that age?

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