‘We are able’: What Mother’s Day really means to young mums

By Anna Murray

Depending on what life stage you’re at, Mother’s Day will mean different things to different people. 

For some, it’s a time to spend time with you’re little ones, celebrating mum-hood. For others, time away from the kids might be exactly what you need.

If you're a grandparent, you may have a whole extended family to celebrate with you. If you are a new mum, you may think about establishing key Mother's Day traditions like lie-ins and breakfast in bed- so you can make sure they STICK.

Though we all have ways of marking the day, there’s one thing we all seek: Appreciation. Recognition. The nod that acknowledges that you are doing your best at a VERY difficult job. The world has become more vocal about the difficulties of being a mum. The emotional turmoil mixed with sheer joy is the tip of the iceberg- and we all know it at this stage…

But what if you don’t look like a mum? What if people’s eyes widen in disbelief when you mention you’re rushing home to make the school run or that the reason you look like a zombie is that you were up all night feeding a teething baby? 

When you’re a younger mum, recognition may not come as frequently. Many assume that your little surprise is being raised by a granny or by a more capable family member. That you couldn’t possibly put in the same hours of housework, or parenting or even work-work as those who had their lives 'sorted' before raising a family.

Us young uns’ tend to feel like we need to prove ourselves to others. To show we are 'able', even though our childhood ended only yesterday.

We may not have the same financial resources, living space or lifestyle to be 'in' with the mum-crew from our kid's school. Many of us have lost the friends we had before we became parents because our lives took off at a different speed and in the opposite direction.

We have few people to vent to or to share struggles with. Though all mums feel the sting of isolation, being on the very young end of mum-hood means the risk is even greater.

Many teen mamas spend their pregnancies hiding from the world, feeling like they have disappointed those they love as well as society as a whole. Many do the entire messy thing alone.

They forfeit opportunities, face stigma and battle the loneliness, with only a baby to confide in. 

So this Sunday, I wish to give the nod to the babies with babies of the world who are unfamiliar with appreciation. Those for whom moments of mummy-recognition have been few and far between. Whose decision to be a parent has been met with anything other than a smile.

We see you.

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