Deirdre Curley was pursing a career as an actress when she fell pregnant with her son at the age of 19.
Life wasn’t always easy, but now 27, she’s built a stable, happy life for herself and her son Oscar, tied the knot with his dad, Gary, and written a book about all the challenges she’s faced along the way.
Here, she shares the five biggest misconceptions about becoming a mum as a teenager, and why she believes that you can overcome them all…
1. ‘Your life is over’
This couldn’t be more wrong. Life is just beginning, for you and your newborn. Being a young mum doesn’t stop you from getting the most out of your life, you can still do all the things you want to do. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a harder route – but you learn, you grow, and you become the person you want to be while bringing up your child.
2. ‘Aren’t you too young to be a mum?’
People will always judge. We humans are good at that, but they are not you. People judging probably don’t know you, your situation or how happy you are about the decision you have taken to become a mum. Feel empowered by your decision and prove people wrong. Young mums are just as capable as an older mum and the less you worry about what others think the more time you have to concentrate on looking after you and your baby.
3. ‘How are you going to afford everything?’
Yes, money helps. But there are so many ways to get support if you ask your midwife and local family centre, you will get by. And guess what’s more important than money? LOVE. What do babies need? LOVE. Not a state of the art pram, or the most expensive organic baby clothes. We’re constantly wanting to be perfect mothers and give our children everything but it’s not always about how much you give your children. Much more important is how you make them feel.
4. ‘So are you not going to go to university?’
Hell yes you are! Just because you have decided to have babies younger, you’re capable beings with ambition and drive and you don’t need to put our studies on hold. Colleges and universities provide incredible support for mums. Children give you real focus and I know many new mothers who are studying full-time or part-time while bringing up kids. Anything is possible!
5. ‘Do you think you’ll get your body back?’
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Okay, you might not look like Kate Middleton did leaving the hospital after giving birth, or have a personal chef cooking up nutritious meals for us on a daily basis, or a personal trainer shouting at us as we sweat away our pregnant bodies, but guess what? You can get back to the way you were, you can even look better than you ever looked before because not only can bodies build little babies, they can also build a six pack! Admittedly I’m still trying to find the whole six pack thing 8 years later… but the point is, it can be done.
Growing Up Pregnant: From Party Time to Nappy Time, a young woman’s journey into motherhood is available on Amazon, priced £9.99