From My Inbox: Battling Criticism

I'm sharing this email because it's the perfect example of the added negativity so many young mothers face. I'm sharing this email to open our eyes to the way some young pregnant women are treated, and to urge support and positivity during such a sensitive time. We can all be voices of reason and hope.

From: Holly Subject: Thank you!

Message Body:

Michelle, I wanted to reach out and let you know how much your blog has honestly helped me. I'm a 21 year old early mama to be and the negativity has poured out from the people surrounding me. My boyfriend and I had been going through a rough patch in our relationship when we first found out we were expecting. Things had gotten so rough that I had moved out of our apartment we had shared for over a year (we had only been together about a year and a half), and we were both considering walking away all together. On top of that, we were both finically struggling while working long hours at restaurant jobs.

When I found out, I couldn't imagine not having her. I still can't, and I know I made the right choice in my heart. My boyfriend and I have put our (what now are very obviously) petty problems aside and are working on a future together with our beautiful little girl. Other people, however, have not been so kind. The harsh criticism we have both been bombarded with became too much for me to handle. I became depressed, and couldn't bare to even leave the house knowing that I would be judged or questioned as if I had committed some sort of crime for having a child. I became so sick of hearing, "What are you going to do about finances? What if you two don't end up working out? How are you going to raise a child on your own? Are you really ready for this? ect..." I just wanted to scream. All of these things would have been easier to hear had we had supportive friends, but they had all drifted away in one way or another. I felt so alone and scared, doubting every instinctive choice I had once trusted.

It was during this time that I stumbled upon your blog. Each article felt like a friend. It still does to me, honestly. Though I'm just about to start my beautiful journey as a mother, I finally feel the confidence I had before anyone tried to hold me down. I've remembered the confident, beautiful young woman that I am and always will be. I get to guide my little girl to grow up and be that for herself as well, also while showing her that Mom and Dad will never stop following their dreams or encouraging hers. I've never expected this to be easy, but it is beautiful. I've learned more about myself, what I want, and what I'm capable of in just a few months than I have in my 21 years of life.

You're a voice for so many women that need to know they're not alone. You can look everywhere, but the support for mothers from eighteen to mid-twenties is scarce. Thank you for standing up and giving a voice to those of us who need it, and a message of hope for those who have lost site of it. I can't wait to hear more from you and other mamas as I start my journey myself (but knowing I'm never alone!).

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Let Holly know she's not alone.