Socialist Worker

Interview: ‘People look down on you if you’re a young mum’

Kirsty Ann was 17 when she had her baby. She lives with her mother in Glasgow. Kirsty Ann spoke to Sadie Robinson about the reality of life as a teenage mother

Issue No. 2172

Kirsty Ann was 17 when she had her baby. She lives with her mother in Glasgow. Kirsty Ann spoke to Sadie Robinson about the reality of life as a teenage mother

‘You’re looked down on if you’re a young mum. If you’re older and get pregnant then everyone is happy for you and nice to you about it.

If you’re young they just see it as a problem.

Some people say having a baby when you’re young ruins your life, but I’d say it has changed my life for the better.

I used to be agoraphobic but when I was pregnant that changed.

I’m more motivated to do things now. I’m doing a computing course and want to get a decent job.

When I was pregnant people made comments to my mum, saying that I’d be alright because she’d be doing all the work.

That made me so angry.

I’m looking for a private flat to rent, but it’s really hard to find one that will accept people on benefits.

And you have to have a guarantor who owns their own home and earns quite a lot – but people who know someone like that probably aren’t on benefits anyway.

I’ve no space living at my mum’s, but I want to be able to give my mum her house back too! There are baby things everywhere.

Respect

You don’t get as much respect as you do if you’re older and have a baby. I took my baby to my health visitor because she wasn’t sleeping much through the night.

She didn’t understand and just thought I was over-reacting or that I had post-natal depression.

But I don’t – I just took her in because I was worried about her. She told me I should go to parenting classes.

At other times midwives and health visitors would just turn up without telling me first and I felt like they were checking up on me.

They think I can’t cope because I’m young.

Now Gordon Brown says we all have to live in one big house – isn’t that just like an animal pen?

And if it’s legal to have sex at 16, why are you so looked down on if you get pregnant?’


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