In the picture above, I'm not a teenager, however I didn't want to post a picture of William any younger. The picture was taken a year and a half ago.
Although I'm no longer a teenage mum, I was only 18 when I gave birth to William. They say that it wouldn't have mattered 'back in the day' but these days it's pretty much frowned upon and people judge so easily without knowing the full story.
When I got pregnant, some people said I was only doing it to get my ex back (which is ridiculous. See this post here). Others would say that I was only doing it for the benefits and the free house (also ridiculous).
For me, getting pregnant at such a young age was hard. I stayed in a hostel for about 4 months before the council put me in a house. I had no college education and no job, and was pretty much poor. Every bit of money that I had went straight on William which meant that my needs were neglected. I lost a lot of weight very quickly due to this and I decided that I needed to get my life together if I was to give William any sort of future.
I knew that I didn't want to stay in a council house as I felt that it wasn't somewhere that I could call home. It was a spacious two bedroom house but too large for me to maintain on my own. I knew I wanted out.
I decided to go back to college and get some sort of degree. William attended the creche that the college provided and he soon became a happy little boy surrounded by friends. I'll be honest, it was nice for someone to take him off my hands for a few hours a day. It meant that I could have 'normal' conversations and discuss topics that didn't involve nappy changes.
I'll be honest, as I didn't have a lot of money I used to dress like a scruff, so I don't blame others for judging me. People close to me thought I was on drugs (I wasn't) and others thought that I found other ways to make money, if you know what I mean (also not true). I hated people for judging me yet couldn't blame them for the way I looked. It was a horrible feeling standing at the front of the bus with a pram, looking like I was a lot younger than I was, knowing everyone behind me was judging me for how I dressed and what I was doing with my life.
I vowed to make them all regret judging me that way.
Before I met Mike, I struggled to cope living on my own and raising a little boy. With no job and only benefits as income I was depressed. The first months when it was just William and myself, I would cry myself to sleep and wonder why I ever let my ex into my life. I used to think what it would be like to be like all the other teenagers in my college class. Then I'd look at William and feel guilty for the thoughts that I had.
I was in a very dark place and it wasn't until William was 11 months old that Mike and I started a relationship. He got on so well with William right from the beginning. He'd stay over all the time and do the night feeds, he'd help me out with food shopping and even changed nappies.
Back in my depressed days I saw him as the light that saved me. He brought me out of that horrible black hole that I was in and made me a better person. I got off my arse and did something with my life.
I finished college with top marks and was awarded a scholarship at Liverpool John Moores University. I'm now in my third year and hope to graduate in summer.
I have a stable job, I privately rent an apartment with Mike and I run my own company. William is as happy and as healthy as ever and has just started Reception class.
Even today people still look down their noses at me as if I was dirt, but I brush it off because I'm extremely happy with my life and the direction it's going in. I understand that people have their opinions of me but I know not to listen to the negativity or it will only bring me down.
Please don't judge others before you know the full story. There's a lot more to the situation than what you see and your actions could have severe consequences.