Being a teen mum is tough, you get shitty looks, people think they can say what they want to you, it's hard to find your niche or know what your niche would be if you did find it... You can't wait to get older to rid the 'teen mom' label and feeling like you only exist to be judged by proper middle class boden mothers....While getting older means you might spend less time attached to the little  person, who also doubles as a neon sign above your head stating "I'm with this white trash teen mum" , the times when you are still spotted publicly in close proximity to your eldest bundle of joy, the age difference (or rather lack of) is just as pronounced, or even more so if your child out grows you or you're still trying to cling onto your youth by dressing younger than you really should...

  Even 17 years after giving birth I still sometimes find myself feeling like I'm being 'outed' and having to account for my sexual deviance as a teen because I don't fit into the expected age range for a parent of a child this age. There was my son's year 9 options days when I got asked what I was going to do after school,  then there's the parents evenings  and health related appointments that always start with 'are you the mum?' and now its accompanying my son to university open days when I get handed the prospectus and which subject I'm here for.  My son doesn't exactly revel in the attention either. Some people we meet refer to me as my son's cousin, even after I've clearly said he's my son, and he doesn't bother correcting them! Then as parents of prospective students are told to wait outside a talk on student life, I find myself in the middle of about 50 grey-haired middle-class parents in twin sets or tweed jackets with elbow pads. They look the same generation as my parents and my friends' parents, and suddenly the difference is starker than ever... They don't make eye contact and I avoid it anyway. I imagine the way they see me.. Like I'm 17 pushing a buggy through a council estate to collect my milk tokens all over again. Maybe the ambiguity of my status in previous awkward situations had temporarily protected me from this feeling... But here I'm exposed... I don't look or talk posh enough to pull off the nonchalant privileged Tamara Beckwith style young mum that I always thought I could default to if required.. I suddenly feel like an imposter in someone else's world... This is for serious parents, the ones who clearly waited till there were near drawing a pension before reproducing. And I can't kid myself that they're jealous of my quirky style or my youthful skin... Because all I want is to be invisible. Then my son bounded out the lecture theatre towards me filled with excitement of what student life had promised. And I mentally scold myself for thinking the day was about anything other than him....
 
The next day I go back to work where people forgot I'm even a parent, and my son goes back to college, where people probably think he has normal respectable parents, and life goes on as normal.....until next time I'm reminded of how I felt as a scared 17 year old mum in a world that chose to see the most important job I was doing as something to hide and feel ashamed of.