A fairytale tells of a love story about a princess saved by a prince and they live their lives happily ever after. Each story promises a life of happiness, love, and dreams coming true.
Many of us indeed want to live a fairytale life. In our modern world, we dream of the setup where we finish our studies, earn a good income, and have a happy family.
I always love a fairytale story. Right from my childhood, I daydreamed of having a perfect life, the perfect love, and the perfect family. It seems like a lot of perfection but who doesn’t want that?
A Sudden Turn in My Life
Fast forward to my teenage years, my dream became more distant from my reality. Like it or not, we will meet problems, heartaches failed dreams and a lot of reality checks as we grow older.
I got pregnant before I finished my course at my University. Can you imagine my fairytale dreams crashing right before my eyes? Yes, it did! I became hopeless, emotionally fractured, and frightened that I thought I was the unluckiest person in the world to end up being pregnant early.
I never anticipated moving forward to the end of my dream. I was not ready to become a mother at an early age. I was not even ready to fully face life after I graduated from my University; what more taking care of a baby?
But life often gives us surprises we cannot turn our backs away from. We end up without a choice but to face what lies ahead of us, whether we like it or not, whether we are prepared or not. I did not like it, I was not prepared, but there was no turning back.
Months passed and I felt the weight of shame upon my shoulders. There is a surrounding judgment on the kind of person I was and on the so-called change in the course of my life.
But, is it worth to feel the shame? Do I need to burden myself with the guilt and embarrassment of being a young mother?
People looked at me with surprising glances when I carry my baby around. They thought I was only a big sister until the truth hits their ears and you can see disapproving looks emerging from their faces.
No matter how real a situation is, if it does not fit their approval, people will see it as a wrong thing.
Flipping The Coin
Through the early years, it took a lot of courage and self-sufficiency to get by in the world. As I became accustomed to my life as a mother, not to mention the surprising expressions of strangers, I realized there is nothing to be ashamed of being a young parent.
There are many hidden advantages to starting young as a parent. All it takes is a shift in our perspective and see things on the brighter side than on what people are throwing at us.
I am not saying that it is better to be a young parent than an older parent. The truth is, any stage of parenthood is a blessing, a joy and gift that we have the privilege to cherish and accept in our lives. Whether you are a young parent or an older parent, you have that special gift in your life now.
So, here’s what I love being a young parent:
I have the physical strength to take care of my baby.
Taking care of a child requires less sleep and more energy to top our child’s needs. There is overflowing energy needed in the first few years of our baby, not to mention, sick days. Young as I was before, I still have a lot of energy and physical endurance in my body.
Maturity comes quickly.
With the new responsibility I have in my hands, it is no wonder I become more mature in the way I think and decide. Being a young parent, you will learn how to manage a life with you and your baby in it. There are instant decisions that you have to make and these decisions are not common for a teenager or a young adult to make. In the end, your experience as a young parent will give you more insights on how to take on the challenges in life.
There is plenty of time for you and your baby.
After giving birth, I chose to continue my studies despite the hardship of taking care of my baby. It was a challenge but the flexibility of time in my studies gave me extra time for my baby. I can take a load off and not get pressured by the time and years that I should spend on building or maintaining a career.
You and your child can relate to each other better.
As your child grows, you will soon realize that both of you are walking in the same shoes. The small gap between you and your child will give you a lot of things to relate to.
You can make plans for the future early. (And it is clearer and straighter.)
Having a baby before building a career gave me a sense of hopelessness in the future that I thought I would end up being a mother all my life. The truth is, having a baby early will also give you an earlier start in releasing them. You know the years when your children will have their own lives so you can plan what you want to do when the time comes.
Your child will have many active and young loved ones.
Grandparents? Check! Single relatives? Check! Single and cool friends of parents? Check! So, why do we need these active and young people in our life as a parent? Babysitters! These people still have the time and energy to help you take care of your baby. They can babysit for you when you need somewhere to go without bringing your baby along.
Let me ask you, young parents…
Is there a reason for you to be ashamed right now of your position? The answer is a big NO. There is nothing to be embarrassed about spending your time taking care of your child. There is nothing to be humiliated about starting a family early. For what it’s worth, your life today is amazing!
Your beautiful baby will grow up happy and cared for because you are a strong parent. Keep on living happy!
Featured Image by Daria Shevtsova