A Guest Blog Post from Chloe Ryland
I fell pregnant with Harry when Matt and I were 16 years old and slap bang in the middle of our A-Levels. Shocked was an understatement to be quite honest. I found out very late on that I was pregnant; people knew, I knew too but I guess I was in denial, scared of what people thought and I just couldn’t handle all of the chatting behind my back so I didn’t want to tell anyone.
I do feel guilty now for Matt and our parents about how I kept it quiet but I am so glad we had Harry when we did. He is clever (definitely doesn’t get that from me that’s for sure), he is beautiful and one imaginative little boy who never fails to amaze me or make me proud of what he can do.
So we had Harry and we both went back to school when he was very young. We wanted to finish our education. We worked extremely hard for it so we weren’t just going to walk away. We both wouldn’t be where we are now I don’t think if we didn’t finish school. It was tough. Ok that’s an understatement too; it was hair pulling, teeth grinding shite that was literally eating me apart as we wanted to get a good grade and to prove to people that yes we were young parents but having a baby wouldn’t stop us achieving our goals. Finally we got there, we did it. We finished school. THANK GOD!
I hate the stigma young parents get. Not everyone is having children ‘just for the money’, or because ‘they are too lazy to work so they decided to get pregnant and live off the state.’ I have had all of that said to me. I think I got used to it after a while when people used to say ‘you look like a young mum, how old are you? You look no older than 20.’ The look I got from people when I said well I am only 16 but age is just a number shocked me; but you know what age is just a number. You could be 52 and become a first time mum then people would give you stick for being ‘too old.’ Is any age the right age to be a mum?
Yes Harry was most definitely not planned but we wanted to prove to him and to everyone else that we can do it. We can do the jobs we need to do to provide for our child. Matt is training to be an accountant; he is almost qualified. We don’t say it enough to him but we are so proud of what he has achieved. I finished my university course and went on to work at a lovely little playgroup which I love.
Harry is a happy boy; cheeky and yes a little shit when he wants to be but he is just right. He is excelling at school, dotes on his younger brother – though a few times he has asked me when is Freddie going to be sold in Morrisons but I wouldn’t change him for the world. His attitude yes but his personality no. Also, where the heck does a 5 year old get their attitude from? It must be school. It’s got to be school! Definitely not me….
At 22 years old in May 2016, we had Freddie. Our number 2 little cheeky monster. I can tell already he is going to be just like his brother. Noisy, loves to sleep, eat and is a happy contented little boy. I feel Freddie has made Harry a more loving person – how does that happen within a space of 12 weeks?
Since Freddie came along on the day after Harry’s 5th birthday life was so different going from one child to two overnight. Juggling two children, trying to keep the house reasonably clean and tidy is hard. I’m not going to lie. Matt works 24/7 so he needs his downtime on the weekends where he either plays cricket or watches Cheltenham Town and I have mine – Zumba (got to love a boogie with my fabulous instructor Kerry). We both need it to be quite honest or we would be basically killing each other. Freddie has filled our little gap in our family and he has just fitted in perfectly.
Both of our boys make me and Matt so proud and so happy.
I love being a young parent. You lose friends when you have children but the real ones stick by you through thick and thin. My 2 best friends Nikki and Jess are literally my life support sometimes when I need words of encouragement. Jack and Joe – Matt’s best mates are the same. We cannot thank them enough.
Yep we met the boys a little early but we get to love them longer. If you’re a young parent or you’re a young pregnant mum my only word of advice is to believe in yourself – you can do it. Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you are a failure to society. You’ve got a child to love – what more can you want? A mini piece of you running riot everywhere (not sure if that’s good or not – Harry’s definitely inherited my attitude and Freddie’s inherited my resting bitch face).
Life with 2 monkeys at 22 is tough but so worth it and I love my boys to pieces.
Chloe Ryland is a Tewkesbury girl, though she grew up in a lovely little village called Twyning and is a young mum to two little cheeky monkeys – Harry and Freddie. She can be followed on Instagram and is hopefully starting up her own blog soon! (she asks…*Does the snapchat filter cover my full eye bags and ageing skin?*)