Women are ready for motherhood at 14, claims a leading author. What dangerous nonsense, says this former teenage mum.
Watching my daughter Olivia and her friends preparing to celebrate her 15th birthday last week, the bathroom awash with false lashes and lip glosses, I couldn’t help but smile. I’m thrilled to see her so happy and carefree.
But, as I watched Olivia and her friends giggling about boys and swapping make-up tips, I realised with a tinge of regret that this was an experience I had never had.
Olivia’s main worry is finding enough money to buy a new top for Saturday night. At her age, I had totally different priorities. I was busy preparing to have a baby – Olivia.
Now, 31, when I could still be dreaming about babies on the far horizon, I find myself the mother of a teenager. Looking at my little girl suddenly brought with it a searing sense of loss over my own interrupted youth. There is no way Olivia could deal with becoming a parent right now. So how on earth did I manage it? And, much as I adore my daughter, what would life have held in store for me if motherhood hadn’t kidnapped me so soon?
Booker Prize-winning novelist Hilary Mantel said recently she is convinced she would have been ‘perfectly capable’ of being a mother and running a home at the age of 14.
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