I had a baby at 22 and YES, my life went on.
Yes, there are obstacles to being an "early mama," but there are tons of positives, too. (Let's talk more bout those, shall we?) If you find yourself in a position like me - I got unexpectedly pregnant at 22 - here's the advice I wish someone had given me:
1. You don't owe anyone an explanation for your lifestyle choices, past mistakes, living arrangements, religious beliefs, career decisions, or priorities. You might think that you do, but this is YOUR life.
2. You don't have to know what's going to happen next. (No one really does, and some of the best things come from the unplanned and unexpected. Roll with it.)
3. You don't have to have your life figured out. You don't have to know your exact career path, or your life's purpose, or what on earth you should major in. Still, it's stressful. Read these "7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose" by Mark Manson when you're feeling stuck.
4. Your life isn't over, she screamed from the rooftop.
5. You're not alone. No matter what you're thinking or feeling or experiencing, I guarantee you someone else has, too.
6. Being a mom (wife, adult) is hard, no matter what age we get started. In MANY ways, it's a level playing field. Every life choice has perks and challenges. Embrace yours.
7. You don't have to enjoy every minute of motherhood.
8. It's okay to be sad, or angry, or scared, or whatever you're feeling.
9. Here's the truth about big life changes: Some people won't come with you. And that's okay.
10. Not all of the things you think about yourself are true.
11. It's only for now. Everything is temporary. You are okay.
12. You are more than a statistic.
13. The best thing you can do for your child is to be your healthiest self. Whatever that means for you.
14. You can do hard things.
15. You are enough.
Michelle Horton is the founder of EarlyMama.com, a blog and community determined to prove that young motherhood doesn't have to define or limit us. She writes about growing up through motherhood, sustaining a young marriage, and the stigmas faced by many young moms. She also features stories of young moms all over the world. See the original post here.
This article was originally published at Early Mama. Reprinted with permission from the author.