(Enjoy this selfie of me bc I didn’t know what else to put for the image on this post).
Honestly, just don’t read the comments.
I had the honor of being published by WorkingMother.com–I wrote a piece entitled “What a Teen Mom and College Dropout Wishes Other Working Moms Would Realize“. My goal in writing it was to uplift other young mothers and to reassure them that they’re doing a great job, no matter what other people are saying.
I made the mistake of reading the comments on the Facebook post (I know, I know–everyone warns against this). I have to admit, my face got super duper red while I was reading them. I know I shouldn’t care.
One woman said that my story was trite and oversimplified–a bit disheartening, considering I’ve never really been called trite before. She even asked, “Why would they even publish something on this subject by someone only a year in?”
Another lady replied, “I snickered when she got to the part about not needing a college degree…Good luck getting a lucrative career without one.”
I was so upset! I still am. I wanted to write a long reply back and tell them to maybe get some self-awareness and realize that they’re exactly the type of people I was referencing in my story–mothers who, instead of uplifting other parents, try to insult them and ridicule them.
I feel like there’s a big damper on young perspectives and other marginalized groups. Maybe I am still a green idiot. I’m nineteen–so don’t expect me to be as aged or mature as some grandparents are. But I’m doing my best. And honestly? Their comments proved the necessity of my post. Young mothers already get enough criticism from their family members and people around them of their horrible, awful, life-ruining mistake. We get it. As a young parent and working mother, I need support. I need friends. That’s why I wrote that story–because I know how lonely and awful it is to feel like no one is on my side. And like it or not, we need to hear more voices from marginalized groups.
With their dismissive, insulting comments, and their implications that since my daughter is less than a year old, I don’t have much authority on the subject–they proved my point.
How unkind of you women! Do you see yourselves? Do you have any sense of self-awareness?
“Maybe it was less her age that made people wonder if she would be a good mom and more her naivety”.–do you realize how that sounds? Do you realize how arrogant, dismissive, and unkind you come off as?
“Why would they publish something on this subject by someone only a year in?”
Stop gatekeeping. Just because I’m a new mother doesn’t mean I’m not a mother. Representation involves sharing perspectives from people from many different walks of life, not just the ones you approve of.
“I snickered when she got to the part about not needing a college degree…Good luck getting a lucrative career without one.”
Susi Pudjiastuti is a high-school dropout. And now she’s Indonesia’s Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. She owns a seafood export company and a charter airline. Eat those words. Eat them! The only point I made was that a college degree is not necessary for survival. I never said it would be easy. I never talked about lucrative careers. All I said was that college degree =/= success in life.
“Maybe it was less her age that made people wonder if she would be a good mom and more her naivety.”
How dare you? I talked in my story about how we need to uplift other parents instead of bringing them down. Did you read that part? You can assume my naivety all you want, but you know very little about me. Despite the shitty hands I’ve been dealt, I choose to continue believing and hoping. If that’s naive, then so be it.
“I found this really trite and oversimplified“.
Of course it’s oversimplified–it’s only a thousand words. But it’s not trite. As a young mother I’ve found that what I needed more than anything else was emotional support and someone to say, “I’m here for you. You’re not alone. You can do it, because I believe in you.”
Your darkest days are over. Your career is established. But for new/young/teen parents, the world has just changed so much and everything still seems scary. I’m writing for them.
Anyways, thank you to everyone who’s commented on both the Working Mother post and the Magdalene one. I appreciate all of you who have expressed your support!
My warmest regards,