I majored in magazine journalism in undergrad because I love telling stories. I love talking to people and hearing what they’ve been through and then using that example as a way to inspire others. I’m not working for a glossy magazine now, but I’m doing what I love and I’ve found my calling working with young mothers.
Recently, I started the hashtag #WhatAYoungMomLooksLike on Twitter (https://twitter.com/TheYoungMommy) to highlight some of the young moms I follow and tell why they’re awesome. Because really, who else is doing that? What other mainstream magazine/website/books are giving us our due as mothers? No one is. So we’re doing it for ourselves.
Too often when people think of a 21-year-old mother, what does that image look like? Is she successful? Is she happy? Is she secure in her role as a mother? Not usually.
I have people try to tell me that the young mothers I talk to are the exception to the rule. “The majority of young moms,” they say, “aren’t like the ones you highlight. They’re not trying to do anything; they’re lazy.”
I usually just sigh and rattle off how many young moms I know who are striving to be better, even if they aren’t where they want to be just yet. They are pushing to reach their goals, to support their family, to educate themselves and their children.
And it’s troublesome to hear that even as we are trying to climb, there are people who are scoffing that we’re not climbing fast enough or that we’re not climbing toward the right things or that we shouldn’t be allowed to get help as we climb.
My biggest goal with the #WhatAYoungMomLooksLike hashtag is to show that young mothers are MOTHERS who are young. We care just as much about the well-being of our children. We have the same concerns and some of the same needs. All we’re asking (*cue Aretha*) is for a little respect. That’s it.