We’ve talked about how it’s possible to maintain a healthy relationship as a young mom (despite the overwhelming skepticism and pity), but the reality is that some young relationships don’t work out — baby or no baby. And it’s important to know that you’re not the only one.
Today’s Q+A comes from Tania of My Adventures in Mommyland, who is a newly single mom who recently moved out of New York City to start a new life.
1. How old were you when you first got pregnant? I was 24 years old when I found out I was pregnant.
2. Was this an expected/planned pregnancy? It was unexpected.
3. Tell me about the reactions surrounding the pregnancy: yours, your boyfriend’s, your family’s, your friends’, etc. I was in shock; I cried. I was scared; I cried some more. The initial reaction was pretty much the same for everyone involved before finally turning to feelings of acceptance & excitement.
4. I see that you were in NYC when you got pregnant. How do you think that affected your view on young motherhood? I think it made it a lot more difficult. In my small hometown (of CT) it may have been more common for someone to get married or pregnant young and settle down to start a family, while in NYC everyone seems to be more concerned about work, advancing their careers, and partying.
5. What’s been the most challenging part of young motherhood? Making friends, playgroups, etc. All the mothers with kids are a lot older than me, so I always feel awkward. It’s hard to relate on a friendship level, but I try for the sake of my daughter being around kids her age. And the girls my own age are all still child-less, so they’re going out all the time or don’t understand when I can’t just go out every night.
6. What’s been the best thing about your experience? The love I have for my daughter. I never imagined it could be so intense — especially now that it’s just the two of us. We’ve been growing this amazing bond that is just so incredibly special. She is my best friend.
7. We’d been collecting our favorite reasons to choose “early” parenting. What’s your reason? I have much more energy than the “older” parent. I can’t imagine doing this (single parenting, working & going to school) if I was 10 years older.
8. I see from your blog that you’re newly single. How are you adjusting to the change? It’s definitely not easy, but I have an amazing support system filled with family and friends. I have two very special best friends that I grew up with and my daughter calls them “Auntie.” They both love her as their own and I don’t know how I would get through it all without them!
9. What would you say to other younger moms going through the same situation? It gets easier. Though the situation doesn’t get easier, you get stronger as a person. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. It doesn’t mean you as a mother are failing, but it’s simply impossible to do it all completely alone.
10. If you could go back and tell your pregnant self one thing, what would it be? Enjoy each moment because when everyone warns that it flies by, they’re right. It truly does. I remember saying to myself numerous times that I can’t wait until she can do this or do that and wishing for each milestone to come sooner, but just sit back and enjoy the moment you’re in because it will come before you know it.
Do any other single “early mamas” have advice for Tania?