If you caught my first post here on Parenting.com, you already know that I’m joining the cast of bloggers here on “Mom Without a Filter” — but I think a proper introduction is in order.
Hi, there. My name is Michelle Horton and I’m a 26-year-old mother to a four-year-old superhero (or so his daily rotation of capes and costumes leads me to believe), and a young wife. For certain people this might sound quite typical and traditional — and it was certainly the norm in the not-so-distant past — but it’s not exactly the life I had planned. And it’s certainly not the typical life path of most 20-something millennials.
I know what it’s like to feel judged — from gossipy whispers to insensitive comments. I know what it’s like to feel embarrassed and defensive, as if you need to prove to others (but really yourself) that you’re capable and “mature” enough to handle motherhood. I know what it’s like to be lumped into a statistic.
I was 22 when I had my son — a time when most of my classmates were finishing up college, traveling the world, and living without inhibition or focus. I was young, unmarried, and incredibly isolated in my new identity and lifestyle. But I promised myself early on that my pregnancy wouldn’t define or limit me — that I’d never blame my child for holding me back, even if the odds were stacked against me. Could I have a successful career? A long-lasting relationship? Could I grow as a young woman without the all-important “finding yourself” years?
It turns out I can and I am.
I created the site EarlyMama because it’s the kind of Web site that I was desperately searching for — a place where younger moms can connect and feel inspired. I didn’t identify with the moms in TV shows or blogs or advertisements, and when there was a young mom in the spotlight, she was usually in handcuffs or on MTV (sometimes both).
I know that there are a lot of younger moms here — or moms who got started at a young age — and I hope to be a voice that you can identify with. Having a child at ANY age poses specific challenges and unique benefits, so it’s all about finding your community, your people, to uplift you.
So here’s that community. Cheers!