I was 17 when I had my first child. I got pregnant when I was 16 to a guy I was in no relationship with and had no feelings for at all. Even though I was a legal age (16 in NZ) Before I lost my virginity I was still a baby. I was a kid having a kid BUT...
I did not neglect my child, I did not palm off my kid so I could drink and do drugs, I did not drop out of school, I did not sit on my arse collecting a benefit, I was not a shit mum.
I just wanted to say that I am in the majority of younger parents (including young fathers) that actually bring a child into the world and make a good go it. I finished my 7th form year and passed my exams when my baby was three months old then went on to get a diploma in teaching speech and drama. I know many other young parents who have done the same.
I went to a play group with a young girl who was 15 when I met her, she had her little angel at age 14. Despite her mother dropping her off on the door step of a man she suspected of raping her daughter when she found out her daughter was pregnant with , quite possibly, his child, and having no support int he world, this young woman had her baby and raised her to be a very polite, well mannered and smart little angel. She is now 17 and is self sufficient, living in a house she rents with a little dog and her daughter, she has a job and is currently, with the support of the play group, doing NCEA level one.
I tell this story because I want to tell people that we are no what the stereo type tell you we are, most of us are very very good parents and with your support and understanding we can be even better.
I know its hard not to look at a teenager with a baby on her hip and not think 'crap shes a bit young' but please, smile and say 'what a cute wee thing' or just say nothing. but smile.
Thank you, we need your support.