Last week the lovely Hayley from singlemummy.net interviewed me for her blog.  Here are some of the answers I gave about the thinking behind prymface!

How did you first come up with the idea of prymface?

I had known I wanted to do something for ages, I just didn't know what. I would get really angry about all the stereotypes and discrimination about teenage parents and it didn't seem like there was anyone just saying 'so what if you're young, age has nothing to do with whether you are a good parent or not'. For my dissertation for my MSc I spoke to some absolutely amazing young mums and I just wanted people to acknowledge how hard they had worked, often with no support.

People would say to me 'you're the exception to the rule' and I always think 'no, its just that you've not really heard from other young mums'. Everyone has their own story. They might be working, or studying or at home and I've realised that it really doesn't matter. You don't need to justify yourself to anyone. It's not about proving other people wrong, its about proving yourself right, listening to your own instincts and doing what's right for you. The constant judgment makes us forget that sometimes. So I wanted to set up a website that promoted respect to young mums because that's what they deserve.

It's good that there is now more support for young mums but I think there is sometimes this assumption that all young mums need a lot of support, whereas actually there are many young mums that are doing just fine....Prymface is about showing a different 'face' of young parents. We are all individuals afterall, and we don't stay 'teen' age for long...

Where do you hope prymface will go in the future?

It's become a bit of an obsession. I'm not really sure what I would like. The feedback from other young mums has been brilliant. But I'd also like to think we could change other people's views. It's tricky because people are so scared of 'encouraging' teenage pregnancy but often they don't realise just how harmful the negative stereotype of 'teenage parents' can be. I was really lucky that my college tutor was willing to break all the rules at college and allow me to study part time but normally this wouldn't have happened. (If it wasn't for her then I would have had to drop out and then I wouldn't have gone to uni). I think part of the problem is that the 'reputation' of young parents is that they wont commit to studying, so colleges don't want to take the risk to be a bit more flexible, whereas the reality is the complete opposite!

I do think there is some really good work being done locally to support young parents and counter the negative image and things are getting better, but organisations are often restricted by government targets etc. Often their main focus is to reduce teenage conceptions so for them to then say they will also help or respect young parents can appear to be giving mixed messages if it isn't understood properly. People want to see everything as black or white, good or bad, but it is much more complex than that. All kinds of girls become parents for all kinds of reasons.

The best thing about prymface for me though has been the young parents I've got to know and that when I asked everyone to write letters to their pregnant selves for a local project they ALL did. I guess maybe that's where prymface should go in the future; feeding into and supporting local organisations and networks. Can you tell I'm making this up as I go along? If you have any ideas let me know!

What do you find the most irritating thing in the world?

Judgmental people!