Jendella Benson: Rising To The Challenge
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When I first told my mum that I was pregnant, her reaction wasn’t the excited ‘congratulations!’ that I had been hoping for. Instead, she asked if I thought I would be able to handle it.
When it comes to being a new mum, there’s no worse feeling than someone questioning whether you’re capable. It can feel like they’re questioning the love you have for your child, or even suggesting that your precious baby would be better off with someone else.
With all the conflicting advice and suggestions, as well as your own internal doubts, motherhood often feels overwhelming. No matter how much you tell yourself that unhelpful comments from those close to you are coming from a good place, they still cut deep.
Mia’s anxieties about being a first time mum are familiar for any new mother – and I’m told these anxieties return again and again with each new child that follows. As ‘natural’ as we say that motherhood is, there isn’t a handbook walking each new mum through every possible thing that could happen. You can only learn on the job.
This means that some mistakes will be made, as MTV’s teen mums are showing as they share the true journey of parenthood – like Dylan buying Megan a horse they couldn’t afford to keep. But as long as you’re willing to learn, like Megan and Dylan, mistakes really aren’t the end of the world.
For many young people, becoming parents is a crash course into adulthood. Learning how to look after a child, run their own home, and manage their money, as well as work and whatever else, means they have to grow up very fast.
Within the space of a year, teen mums go from only having to make plans for their weekend to thinking about their long term hopes for their kids’ future. The change is immense, but only because they take it seriously.
Seriously enough that they can end up debating the desires they have with their partner, like Chloe and Jordan, or find themselves working through uncomfortable situations with their ex, like Naomi and Amber, so that their child has both parents in their life.
The challenges are as varied as the individual situations, but don’t think just because a mum is younger than most that she can’t and won’t rise to them. Teen mums are capable, and like every other mum, they’re learning as they go.
Words: Jendella Benson, Young Motherhood
Don't miss ALL NEW Teen Mom UK, Wednesdays at 8pm - only on MTV! Teen Mom UK is working in partnership with charities Brook, Gingerbread and Little Lullaby to provide advice for teens on sexual health and being a single parent. If you need advice, get in touch.
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