Mandy, a mother of three and blogger from Hermiston, OR, didn't plan on having her first son at 19 years old. However, after going on to have two more sons in three years, Mandy wouldn't change her experience for the world. In an honest Instagram post, she explained that while she had to make some sacrifices early on, she truly enjoys being a young mom.
"My age doesn't determine my ability to be a good mother. I got pregnant and became a mom at 19. Being a young mom comes with a fair share of challenges and sacrifices," she explained. "Just when I was getting used to my woman's body at 19, it started changing to create a new life and was no longer my own."
Like many women who wind up becoming parents at an early age, she realised she was making certain concessions.
"As a young mom I am sacrificing my youth," she said. "A lot of people my age are out at bars, concerts, and parties and meeting new people all the time. Meanwhile, I'm home all night and day changing nappies, feeding the baby, potty training, and sleep training. My husband and I didn't have much 'us' time. We got pregnant around 8 months after meeting. Those 8 months were blissful and amazing. Sometimes I wish that we would have had more time with just the two of us."
"I'm glad that motherhood came early for me. It's worth the sacrifices and challenges to have this extra time with my babies."
That being said, Mandy believes there are tons of upsides to starting your family young, regardless if it's on purpose or not. "Despite the things you sacrifice when being a young parent, there are so many amazing things you get to experience," she wrote. "I'm growing up with my kids as I raise them everyday. I learn from my children as much as they learn from me. I have learned to be happy and thankful for what I have, to be resourceful, to look forward to the future and what's in store for my family and I."
In the end, Mandy wouldn't change a thing. "I'm glad that motherhood came early for me. It's worth the sacrifices and challenges to have this extra time with my babies," she said, adding words of encouragement for other women in similar situations.
"To all the young mommas out there doubting yourself or being told by someone that you can't be a good mother because you're too young, don't listen to them. Keep being the amazing momma you are. I know you're doing your best. I know it because I was you, and I still am you."