“Why did you have a kid at such a young age ?”
– “Why? Does it matter ? Do you think I didn’t choose this ?”
I became a mother at the age of 20. Neither was it planned nor was I in a relationship with the father. I had just started studying for a month when I found out about my pregnancy. The moment I found out about it I knew I would keep the child since there was no reason for me not to. I also don’t believe in abortion. Knowing I could keep my job and get enough support through my family and the government made this an easy decision for me.
My mother raised me and my brother as a single parent so I knew what I would be facing in the future. When I push my son in the stroller I feel all these eyes staring at me and mouths starting to whisper as soon as I pass. No, I did not drop out of school! No, I do not live off welfare! No, I am not desperate! Yes, I’m young and I have a child but why does that mean to so many people that I failed in life? Why is it making me look like I am dumb? Why do so many people think that I was forced into this situation? Yes, I am a young, hardworking and educated woman who chose to become a mother at a young age and who also chose to be a single parent from the start. Becoming pregnant was a blessing for me, it actually changed my life for the better and it gave my life a purpose . Being a young single mother doesn’t mean that I am a desperately struggling woman who was stood up and who isn’t able to take care of herself and her child. This also doesn’t mean that I have to change my life goals; it only means that I will have to consider that I will have to invest a little more time than people without children.
Therefore, next time you see a young woman pushing a stroller I hope you will reconsider your prejudices towards her and respect her just as much as you respect an older woman with a child. Age should not define the qualities of a mother and her ability to take care of herself, her child and most importantly, her intelligence. Of course being a single parent is not all peaches and cream. It’s twice as much work but also twice as much hugs and kisses. Taking care of another human by yourself is probably one of the hardest challenges you can face in life but it is done daily by millions of mothers and fathers. To me, this is the best practice someone can get in life. I see this situation as a blessing, not as a problem. Yes, sometimes I feel like crying or giving up but I always have at least two good reasons not to.
Words by Rawan Elkhatim
Photos of Rawan and her son Omari by Hannah Wolny
The views presented in this article reflect the writer’s opinion.
2 replies on “Thoughts Of A Young Single Mother”
i commend you for taking such a stance in your life, i also became a mother at a very young age, fast forward to 14 years later i have the most loving, caring human being cheering me on. continue your journey the rewards are priceless. also you can check out my page i wrote a few blogs on single parents. oh and your picture are so adorable.