I am 23 and my husband is 27 and we have a 2 year old and I am pregnant with our second.
I always feel judged by older mums that my children were accidental or unwanted, and even that I could not possibly give my children great opportunities in life because of my age.
My husband and I were married before we had children and very much decided and planned in advance both of our kids. We took everything into consideration - our finances, our capabilities as young parents, and even down to how well we would cope and how much help we would be able to get from our parents, as they are obviously young and working full time as well.
It took us nearly a year to fall pregnant with my first son, so of course we were delighted and more excited than ever to hear that we were finally pregnant.
My husband and I bought our house when I was 18... We had saved our deposit all on our own. We are in the process of building a brand new house now - again, that we have saved and worked hard for all by ourselves.
My son is very well dressed, well fed, goes to swimming lessons twice a week, plays kindy soccer once a week, and has regular play dates with other children. He is bathed every night, read to, cuddled, sang to, kissed, played with and educated. Developmentally he is right where he should be - he runs, he talks, he swims, he laughs and most importantly - he loves.
Yes, I am a young mum, but My husband and I provide for him everything an older mother and father could provide for him.
I hate feeling judged by older parents because they have no idea of our situation. My husband and I have worked hard for everything we have and will continue to provide the very best for our children that we can regardless of our age.
Don't judge a book by its cover - just because I am younger than you does not make me an incapable parent. Nor does it make me love my children any less than you do. It also doesn't mean that I am financially disadvantaged or that I provide less opportunities to my family. It may just be that I was more interested in setting myself up for life when I was younger than going out drinking with my friends every weekend.
I wouldn't change my life or my decisions to have children young for anything. My babies are my absolute world. There is nothing I love more than watching my son grow and blossom into a polite and warm hearted little boy.
Please feel free to tell me how I am doing a bad job just because I am younger than you.