Thank you.

On the 14th February 2012 I discovered, at the ripe old age of 39, that I was going to become a father (a prospect that many of you know, didn’t exactly come with a celebration).

Fast forward 3 years and again (I’m clearly a creature of habit) at a similar time of year, I find out that I’m gonna be a Dad again, and again! This time it’s twins!

Many people in my personal life stood back and eyed me with a certain caution, waiting for the inevitable cracks to appear and the old demons to raise their heads, but it won’t happen, all I feel is joy and I can’t believe I can say that. Of course their is fear but no more than any other parent when they find out there is double trouble.

So my blog is not about me spilling out  my deepest darkest fears now. This time it’s about you guys that read my blog and follow me on Twitter, taking your previous time to offer help.

I just want to say thank you to each and every one of you that listened, commented, encouraged, cheered me up, offered me advice and kept me from going insane. It’s because of every last action of you guys that I can approach this in the well adjusted way that I can.

Thank you all.

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So, how is it going?

It’s been over a month since I put my fingers on the keyboard to write my last blog, actually it feels like a lot longer but that’s what WordPress says so I am not going to argue.

I’m sure that for most bloggers, this would be some sort of cardinal sin, the sort of thing you just don’t dream of doing as you will lose the interest of your readership and it’s just not the done thing. But I am slightly different in my views because I didn’t start the blog for followers, although I am grateful to anyone who takes the time out to read my ramblings, I did it for the therapeutic side, the side that allows me to put my thoughts down and make some sense of them and I only really feel the need to do this when things are bad, at the darkest moments of parenting when I can’t see a way out!

I havent felt like that for a while, quite the opposite you will be pleased to hear, I am actually enjoying my new family, enjoying watching him grow, watching his personality develop in front of my eyes and enjoying the firsts that I get the opportunity to see, the first smiles and the first giggles are ones that particularly melted my heart, let me tell you.

So when things are going well I don’t really have the time to blog, I am too busy trying to get every moment in as I don’t get to see much of him. I am not an absent father but sometimes feel like one as my work hours really do not fit in with having a child and so when I do get some time with him I will take every chance to enjoy it.

So why am I blogging now? Is something wrong? No, it’s all ok, I promise!

One of the bi-products that I got from my blog and twitter account was the chance to speak to people from all over the world about their different parenting situations, some happy, some downright desperate, but the one thing that they all had in common was that these people were trying to make the best of their individual situations and bring their kids up in the best way they knew how. Whilst I am on that point I just want to say this, every single one of you parents are amazing! I don’t mean the ones that walk out, the abusers or those who neglect, I mean the ones that no matter how tired, no matter how down and low, no matter how stressed they are will pick themself up and do anything for their child. When I found things hard at first I thought I was failing my boy and was not fit to be a parent even if I had planned to be. I now know, through the conversations that I have had with you guys that I feel very much like each and every one of you do at some point and its ok to cry and let it all out from time to time.

I was also honoured to be someone who a few of you have turned to, with similar situations to mine, as well as completely different scenarios, who also wasnt expecting to be a parent and was finding it hard and it is those people who I write this blog for now, to update them on how I’m coping I didn’t want to just wander off into the darkness leaving people wondering how things have turned out so far.

As we speak my little bundle of joy is 20 weeks old. Feels like a LOT longer but that’s all it is! I have to say we have been lucky, he is a lovely baby. So far we have avoided any issues like colic etc. and he is a happy healthy baby so it has been pretty drama free. The only real issue that we ever have is that he has trouble getting himself to sleep, once he is asleep he is ok but, until the last few days, he couldn’t go back to sleep when he woke but this is improving. But hey, in the grand scheme of things, if our only problem is rocking him to sleep then I count my blessings.

My partner doesn’t read my blog, if she did she would probably scoff at my last statement so I do want to recognise that the main reason things have been so much easier for me is her. She has taken to motherhood like a duck to water and I hope I tell her enough that she is fantastic and that I really appreciate what she does.

Not everything is rosy I have to point out in case this is all looking too idyllic, I still find myself dreaming of my old life, I still get annoyed that I seem to have little time to do anything and at the moment the biggest issue we face is our own relationship and how little time we spend together but I am sure this will also sort itself out. See, he will NOT take a bottle so my partner is pretty much tied to him with breastfeeding and over the last few weeks he has regressed to wanting to feed every three hours, so another night out is not in the immediate plans, however, hopefully it will not be long before we start introducing some solids into his diet and that will help. We have also been experimenting today with sippy cups and have had some success, so there is a glint of light at the end of the tunnel that my partner and I will be free to enjoy ourself on our own very soon and can get back to being a couple, not just Mum and Dad.

I am very aware that not everyone situation is the same as mine and in comparison, I have had it easy to some. We are lucky that we had good jobs so money hasn’t been an issue so far, not that we are rich or anything like that, but we can get by and this takes one issue out of the equation but I know many people can’t say the same and this just makes things even harder.

I havent written this blog to say “look at me, it’s all great, just keep going and it will be fine!” I can’t say that because I don’t know that. I don’t really know whats around the corner in my life let alone someone elses!

But if there is one thing that this has taught me, this whole emotional rollercoaster, it has made me realise that you will never know what tomorrow brings and therefore you shouldn’t worry about it. Concentrate on just getting through the day you are in now, and learn everything you can from it, because tomorrow may as well be a different life altogether.

When I was at my lowest I could never see things getting better, regardless of how many people told me they would, and they did! I could never imagining enjoying spending time with my son whilst his Mother is out but I do! I could never imagine getting used to by previously immaculate home being full of baby artifacts but I have!

So my point is this, don’t try to second guess what is going to happen because it will rarely turn out the way you imagined. I can’t tell you it will be fantastic, it may be, or it may be bad, but I can say it is likely that your deepest pessimistic thoughts will be worse that what the reality really is, I know mine were.

Conflicting emotions

My little boy had his jabs yesterday, the second ones that are due at 14 weeks, and we were warned that this could cause some disruption to his day, and ours, as his temperature could raise and he could feel poorly. Effectively we were told to brace ourselves.

They weren’t wrong!

I will explain a little bit more about what happened in a moment as this post is not about this in itself, it’s about the emotions it stirred up in me and the constant confusion that I keep feeling.

Even as I am writing this I am finding it hard to choose the words that I want to use as I am not one hundred percent sure what I am trying to say but bare with me.  Usually, when I write these posts, the words tumble out and then I just check it for grammar, spelling, make sure it makes sense and publish! Simple really, but then that’s because in the past I have felt that I was ready to explode before I put my thoughts down. But this isn’t the case now. I am generally content with how things are going, I certainly smile a whole lot more than I did 14 weeks ago but then there are these moments of conflict that keep coming and Ithis is what has bought me to sit at the keyboard and try and make some sense of what is going on in my mind.

OK, lets see if I can actually write something that makes sense because I am being to confuse myself even more!

My LO is now 14 weeks old and if you have been following my blog you will know that there is a massive difference between the guy that first sat down and spilled his desperate thoughts onto a post and the person you are listening to now. Generally I have been using Twitter to update on the nice things, the smiles and the cuddles, not the screams and the grizzles, because I have started seeing the up side of father hood,  I see excitement in my boys eyes when he sees something new, the wonderment of just looking at his hand and all the other little things that I now know you would never notice until becoming a parent yourself. Things that are clearly of no importance to anyone else but you and your new-found family!

I can also say we have been lucky, extremely lucky, our boy is happy and healthy, the poor sod looks a lot like his Dad but he is oblivious to this and this age and can’t be causing him any self-esteem issues yet! We have had colds in the early days which led to bronchilitis and albeit this was stressful and heartbreaking for us to see I also know that its is a small blip in the scale of problems we could have had. I should be counting my lucky stars that we have been this fortunate.

My partner got our boy into a routine very early which meant we got our evenings back very early on in his life and it gave us back a bit of our normality that we lost when he arrived.

But, and this is me being honest, there are still bits of the old feelings there, there is still resentment for the situation that I am in. It’s not all-consuming like it was, but it’s there, nagging away at me and this is why I feel the need to write this, to get the feelings out.

Some people may read this and think its only been 14 weeks, not a long time I admit, so why should I be expecting to feel any different, surely it’s just great that there has been such an improvement. To you, I say you are right, for any emotions there is a process you go through to deal with them but something changed, something was added to the mix that really threw a spanner in the works, I love him, I love him more than I thought I could ever.

I know it’s not the first time I have declared such feelings, I mentioned in an earlier post that I love him but didn’t love the life that he came with but with hindsight I am not sure I did. I’m not saying I lied, I genuinely felt something, but it was nothing like this and this is what has caused the conflict.

How can I love him so much, how can I look forward to seeing him smile every morning and yet still get so frustrated when I spend a more than a few hours with him? Why do I not look forward to having my days off work as I know it’s going to be a whole day of feeds, naps, nappy changes and attention? Yet I honestly would lay down my life for him now. It doesn’t make sense.

It was the drama of last night that really made me think about my feelings and made me appreciate exactly how strong the bond I have with him is now. I got a text message from my partner saying that she couldn’t settle him and that the jabs had clearly affected him. There was no panic or hysteria in her words but, knowing her as I do, I could tell she was having a rough time so I made my excuses with work and came home early to give some emotional support and take over for a while to give her a break.

As I walked in the door the screams were blood curdling and quite took me aback, I had expected tears but nothing like this. My partner was more calm than I had expected but clearly worried and she run through everything that she had tried. I took over, hoping that just a change of person would distract him as it usually does but it didn’t. Nothing would work. She explained that she had given him Calpol and we were just praying it would kick in and work quickly.

I have never seen him so worked up, his face was covered in tears, his eyes were red raw from rubbing them, he clearly needed sleep but nothing was going to subdue him. I eventually took him back downstairs, held him close to me, gently whispered in his ear, rocked him back and forth on the nursing chair and slowly but surely he slept, still sobbing whilst he did, but he did. It only last half an hour but it was enough to calm him and we got back to his routine and he slept peacefully back in his cot only waking for the usual feeds.

As for me? I couldn’t sleep until the early hours and at one point sat downstairs and sobbed myself. I had never prepared myself for the pain of seeing your child suffer, even if its minor and expected, and it scared me! How will I ever cope if something more serious

So why do I still have so many issues? When does it all become normality?

I know the progress in 14 weeks has been phenomenal and I just hope this continues and I will look back at this in another 14 weeks and wonder what I was worried about. 

 

 

Going backward?

Over the last few weeks things have really been looking up for me and my new family. The visits to my doctor had suggested that there was nothing wrong with me, just exhausted as I had thought myself, and this led to my partner and I trying to plan a schedule that suited firstly the baby, and then the two of us. We both then found a bit more of a routine and everything has been going well, or so I thought!

Yesterday was the first time I had been left completely on my own with my son whilst his Mum went out for an exercise class. Although I had done this when he was a couple of weeks old, I don’t feel that really counts as he didn’t stir the whole time my partner was out!

This time we were going to need full-time attention! This is a little boy who only sleeps for half an hour at a time so I knew that if she was going to be out for 3 hours or more than sleeping through it would be wishful thinking, no new-born perks for me this time! We could be talking feeds, nappy changes and naps all in one compacted time period.

I don’t know why I get so nervous when I am left on my own with him, I do a bit of everything when she is here so it’s not like I don’t know what I am doing, but its different when she is not, there is no-one to gently remind me when I miss something or can just give me an extra hand and pass me those things that are just out of reach. But my partner spends almost 24 hours a day with him and there is no doubt she knows him better, she knows the cries better than me, she can foresee whether a feed or nap is going to be needed and generally understands his routine better as she is the one that implemented it. I suppose I just need a bit of validation that I am doing things correctly and that I am not unwinding the hard work that Mum has put in so far.

But I kept my calm and approached it with military precision, I know it was only going to be a few hours but it was so important to me, not just for me to feel better but to give my partner some confidence that she could go off and relax whilst I held the fort.

And it went well, very well, no drama whatsoever!

So why do I feel the way that I do now? See, this is the thing, a few hours after all of this success I should have been on a high, but I wasn’t, quite the opposite, I’m still not and no matter how much I rack my brains I can’t work it out. This didn’t happen straight away but as the day drew on I went into a slump.

Now many people would look at this and wonder what is so odd, most people get down from time to time and often with no apparent reason, it’s just one of those days! But you see, I don’t, well at least I didn’t, not without a good reason and as far as I can see I have no explanation for this.

I have always been a logical person, I have a very straight forward, calm thought-out approach to everything I do and this is the same with my life in general. I am not saying that I don’t get down, of course I do, you will know that if you had read any of my blog. Many things will set me off such as bad days at work, arguments with my partner through to more serious issues like losing a family member. But I have never known a time when I feel down and have NOT known why.

I also want to point out that this isn’t a massive low, I am still cheery to people, I am laughing, joking and generally getting on with life but just feel like something’s not right. The easiest way I have been able to describe it is that it’s like that feeling that you get at the end of a great holiday when you realise that it’s finished and you are going back to normality, it’s that feeling of anticlimax, a feeling of being thoroughly fed up.

So, if it’s not that bad why am I even worried, it will surely pass.

But the main reason it’s bothering me is it has got me wondering if it’s because I spent the whole day with my boy? When I really think about it I don’t see much of him now we are in a routine and I have to work. I wonder if I am not dealing with it quite as well as I think? Or is it that I have had such a rough time in weeks gone by that now every negative feeling will make me paranoid that I’m slipping back.

Whichever it is, I am having trouble shaking it and I don’t like it.

The future’s looking good

I have somewhat neglected my blog throughout the festive period and the New Year due to family commitments and returning to work. Before I had realised it three weeks have gone and no one has heard from me.

I promise that this is not a bad thing, it’s a good sign. You see, I only feel really compelled to blog when things are going badly, when I’m feeling at my most desperate, then I have to get my thoughts and feelings out to help me deal with them but I don’t feel like that presently.

One of the bi-products that I have always discussed of my blog is being able to help others through my experiences and from some of the feedback I have had this seems to have come to fruition. So really I am writing this post for the people that are going through the same and following my progress, I would hate to just disappear and their imaginations run riot as to what is going on.

So how are things going?

Pretty well to be honest. In my previous blogs I mentioned my visit to the doctors to see if I was depressed and it turned out, as I had thought, that I was just exhausted. I have since been back to them as they wanted to monitor me,to make sure I didn’t slip into depression and this went well, they are happy that my mental health is good and that I am equipped to do this. They now only need to see me if I feel I need them.

Things at home are much better. My partner and I have a lot more understanding of each other through this whole process and this has bought a calmer atmosphere into the house. The roles are more balanced and I realise I don’t need to be some type of Superdad, I work long hours and most evenings he is now asleep before I get home so we have our evenings to ourself. My partner is more involved in our boys routine during this time and then, when I get time off of work, I take over to give her a break.

We are now managing to go out together and these outings are becoming more and more stress free, I admit to getting more stressed than her when he whines and cries but this is because she spends more time with him so I am sure I will learn to relax in time. We have yet to go out on our own but that is coming.

The main thing that has struck me was how quickly things have changed. 11 weeks ago I was at the lowest point in my life, I felt trapped and desperate, I couldn’t see how life would ever be enjoyable again. As much as everyone kept telling me things would be ok, I wanted to believe them, but I couldn’t see how they could be right. But they were right, I know that now.

As for my boy, he is wonderful! I now understand what people mean when they say the troubles of the world disappear when you see your baby. I’ve yet to experience the excited screams of ‘daddy’ when I get home from work but to see his little face light up and his smile beam across his face when we first get him up in the morning is giving me a little taste of what I have to look forward to.

I am not naive enough to believe that it will all be a bed of roses, every stage of his life will bring me plenty of new challenges and I am sure I will have plenty to blog about in the future but I am ready for that, well at lot more prepared than I was 11 months ago! So bring on the teething, the tantrums, the terrible twos through to the teenage years and beyond, I’m ready for ya!

In all seriousness, if you are going through anything like I was I promise you that you will come out of the other side a stronger, wiser person, just keep talking, don’t bottle it up. Twitter and this blog have been a great outlet for me and I am sure they will continue to be. Never feel that you have no one to talk to, I have been shocked and touched by the time and kindness complete strangers will give you. I can be found on here it in twitter and am happy to talk to anyone who feels they need a sympathetic ear.

How can I help?

Anyone familiar with my posts so far will be aware of the low points I have had and how totally against fatherhood I was.

In the last 9 months and 10 weeks since I first found out I have battled to come to terms with the responsibility that comes with bringing a new person into the world and so far I think I’ve done ok, not perfectly I am sure, but as we speak I am in a good enough place to be positive about the future, and I have to say a lot of this is due to the help, support and advice of people who I have met on Twitter. Just having these people, in fact complete strangers, who are not in the thick of the situation and are prepared to listen, without judgement, has been more therapeutic than I could ever have imagined.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been contacted by people in similar situations who have turned to me for advice, a fact of which I am extremely flattered about, and it has got me thinking about how I could point others in the right direction.

Before I go any further, I think it’s important to say that I only have my own experience to go by, so I am not suggesting that I have all the answers, but if I can offer any advice that helps that I want to do just that, But, if I have learnt anything from this, the one thing that’s stands above everything, is that you have to learn what advice works for you, sift through everything you are told and relate it to your own situation. There are no rules set in stone here.

This is also the first post that I consulted with my partner on, after all, this has been a team effort and I wanted to know how it has been for her dealing with this situation. It can’t be easy knowing that your partner didn’t want children and constantly wondering and worrying if they are going to stick around day after day!

So what would be our advice to anyone else going through this?

Communication

This is the key word for me. Most of the arguments or frustrations that have arisen in this situation, or between me and my partner directly, have been due to misunderstandings, both of us second guessing what the other one is thinking and getting it horribly, horribly wrong.

Let me give you an example, one that I think I may have mentioned in the past but is relevant to the point I want to make here.

When the baby was born I threw myself in head first and went down the “new age man” route of doing everything, and I really mean everything, if I was at home and something needed doing I would offer to do it, anything I could do to make life easier for my partner. I felt so compelled to look after her as well as our new arrival. In hindsight, I now know I was overcompensating for the fear etc. of becoming a father and, I suppose,  I was trying to reassure my partner that I was sticking around and was in this for the long haul. This route would have been hard enough and tiring enough for someone who had planned kids, let alone someone who was totally against the idea!

So in a very short space of time I burnt myself out and broke down as previous posts will explain. At the same time the resentment built that my partner got to stay at home, see family etc.

So that was my side of things but what about my partner? I thought she was just happy for me to take all this off of her and sit back, relax and enjoy life which, looking back now, was and is a ridiculous thought. So what was going through her head? I now know that she was scared to interrupt me, thought that I wanted, or even needed, to do all of this to bond with the baby and it never occurred to her that it was more likely to drive a massive wedge into the relationship between me and my son as i became more and more tired and resentful.

It was only when it all reached a peak and we sat down and TALKED that we saw each others sides. This allowed us to forge a plan together that split the duties more fairly, taking into account my working hours, and we started to make some sort of sense of things.

Honesty

Honesty in this communication is paramount as well. By talking things through we both are starting to realising when the other needs a break, to know when the other needs to just step away for a moment, and can accept that they are finding it hard without it upsetting the other. But at the very beginning we kept telling each other what we thought they wanted to hear, back to second guessing again, and, yet again, we kept getting it wrong.

Know your limits

There were plenty of days, and still are, where one of us was feeling stronger than the other and we have begun to recognise this now. But at the time we were so panicky about making things fair, we got it wrong on many an occasion.

A short example to make this point was when she found me sobbing in a heap on the bedroom floor because he was crying when I tried to put him down for the night. At the time she was downstairs clearing up, doing a bit of dinner etc.and  I had been upstairs for longer than expected which made her come looking and that’s how she found me. Now, with hindsight, I was the wrong person to be putting him to sleep that particular evening, he wasn’t doing anything wrong or anything different that day to any other night, he was just being a baby, but it was me that was the problem. Things had been getting to me and I hadn’t said anything as it was my turn. I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have had the same reaction if I had been doing the dinner that night and she had put him to sleep.

So my point is, don’t worry about point scoring, it doesn’t matter who has done what and when in a day or how often, it matters over a long period of time I suppose, but not on a day-to-day basis. Things will level themselves out, today you may not be the one to change a nappy for example, but don’t feel bad about it because the next day you could end up doing them all! It’s a team effort and every team needs to play to its individual players strengths for the team to succeed.

This is what I have learnt so far and the main constructive advice I can offer ut as i say it is early days and I will keep you informed as we both learn more, if you are going through something similar I hope it has helped.

As always, if you want to talk further then contact me directly on Twitter, I can’t guarantee I have the answer but I will offer an understanding ear. There will be good and bad days but its recognising that the bad days are just that, days!

It does get better!

Young Mums – Help or Harass?

I made a comment on Twitter the other day about being surprised with the amount of grief and insults some of the young mums on the site were subjected to and since I have mentioned it, it has been niggling away in the back of my mind so I wanted to revisit it here, with no character restrictions, and because it should be the season of goodwill, yet it seems some people have missed this completely.

Having never wanted children I have never really given any thought to the different types of parents that do and how varied a range of people they are, I had no reason for it to enter my mind. I joined Twitter to follow, and hopefully get followed back by, anyone who was baby related. So I searched for Mum, Mom, Mummies, Dad, Daddies, well, you get the idea and I did just that, I followed people to my heart’s content. In a very short space of time I built a decent size number of followers that I could start airing my thoughts to. It has been wonderfully therapeutic and I am glad that I did, thanks to all those that have been there.

Over the last few days my own situation has taken a bit of a turn for the better so I haven’t needed to put down in words as much content as I usually do but this has allowed me time to be able to spend my spare minutes reading the tweets and blogs of the people I follow and wow, has this been a real eye opener?

One of the most prolific groups of tweeters I have come across are the so-called “young mums” and, from what I have seen in my brief research, these range from 15 – mid 20’s, mums of all shapes and sizes that are sharing their experiences through Twitter on a daily basis, when it’s good and also when it’s bad and they are disappointed, upset, annoyed or whatever the negative emotion may be. It strikes me that what they are doing is no different to the reason I came on here in the first place.

But there is a difference. It’s not the age gap, it’s not the experiences, it’s not even the difference in countries. It’s the reaction from the people around them that is so shockingly different.

I have been lucky to get some very positive feedback from most of the people who follow back, those of you that aren’t just advertising your baby products that is, but it seems these young mums aren’t always offered the same level of compassion and it confuses me.

I am not suggesting that there is no support given, far from it, as well as helping each other there seem to be a lot of experienced parents willing to offer their wisdom to these new breed of mums and I applaud that in the same way that I am grateful for the advice I get given.

However, since tweeting, I have not had a single bad word from any of my 700 followers, this post may change that, but I can’t say the same about these mums. Some of the comments that i have seen would invoke violence if said to someones face directly, spilling pity on the mum-to-be’s child, questioning the promiscuity of the mother and that’s just for starters! It’s this aggression that baffles me the most – What can it possibly achieve?

No matter what scenario I go through in my head I don’t really understand the outcome that these purveyors of doom and gloom are hoping for, do they think that by telling a young teenage girl that she is a worthless skank that has no job that this mum-to-be will politely say “Thank you for making me realise the error of my ways, I will put my baby up for adoption right away now that you have bought it to my attention!” Of course not!

I know that there is a part of our society that spends time on the internet insulting people at random and my first thought was that this was all it was, just morons trying to get a reaction whilst they hide behind the anonymity of the site, but then I questioned why I don’t get it? Why did no one tell me that I had ruined my life and was bringing an unwanted child in to the world and I should just go ahead and die? In fairness, some of these young mums had shown much more bonding with their babies than I had in the early days so why do I deserve any more respect than them?

So what is it? Can anyone shed any light on this for me?

That is a genuine question, no matter how much I rack my brains I can not get to the bottom of why this happens.

In my short time on here I have been overwhelmed by the passion and the spirit that a lot of these young mums have shown, a real kick ass attitude to making sure their baby is looked after whatever happens, shouldn’t we be applauding this rather than knocking it out of them?

I have found bringing up a child to be one of the hardest challenges that I have ever had to face and I am only 9 weeks in! I have my partner, a good job and a strong network of family help around me so I am lucky in that respect. I hope that I will be around one day to see my child have his own but as I am a bit older I am aware that there is a chance that I may not be so blessed. I hope that should he make a mistake in life and get a girl pregnant at a young age that he will be surrounded by people willing to help him through and not berate him for what has happened.

I also said on Twitter that I am not suggesting that all teens go out and get pregnant and it’s the right thing to do, of course I am not advocating that, no one who isn’t emotionally ready or physically capable should be planning a baby but mistakes happen, contraception fails at times, most of us at some time have taken risks when we were younger if we are honest with ourselves but maybe we were a bit luckier with our gambles.

So, when these mistakes do happen, and a girl takes the brave decision to keep the baby and bring it up to the best of her ability, whether the partner has stuck by her side or not, shouldn’t we support them and help them out with advice and help rather than feed them vile messages about how their life is over?

On that subject, is it really over? At my school there were a handful of girls that got pregnant during their final exams who have now done more with their lives than a lot of the others who didn’t have children, and also bought up lovely members of society, not the next prison statistic! I am sure to have a baby at a young age will be damn tough but if the only thing you do in life is bring in another life that is happy and well-adjusted, then is that any less that what the majority of us achieve? I know when I die the only legacy I will leave is my son, not my flash car or flash house or how many sales I made at work, it’s the way he behaves as a human being that I want to be judged by.

My own mum would have been in this category. I was born in the 70’s when mums were younger as a rule but we are forever saying that youngsters these days grow up quicker and mature so much faster so why should we believe that someones age is an indication of how they will do as a parent? Why do we judge these people by age alone and not their abilities or find out more about their situation?

Even if someone goes out and foolishly decides to have a child when they are ill-equipped to do so is it really anyone elses business and again, what does insulting them achieve?

For those of you that have read my other posts you will know that I do tend to rant when I am passionate about something and this post is no exception, something that I would never of thought twice about has made my blood boil and I just had to get it out there.

I’m pretty sure if I was 15,16, 17 or even in my early twenties and expecting a child I would be scared, petrified and if it had been an unplanned pregnancy I would be beating myself up for the mistake, I wouldn’t need someone else doing it for me. What I would need is advice, encouragement and understanding to help me bring up this new member of the world in the right way.

So if you are sitting at your keyboard now, and you are about to preach to some young mum about how disgusting you think they are, just stop and think about what you are doing, then, if after thinking about it you have no words of constructive wisdom to give them, back off and leave them alone – they really don’t need your input!