{YML Voices} The Real Baggage Of Being A Young, Single Mother

by Angelica Hartgers

Sure, being a young, single mom is difficult—can’t lie there. But what makes it even more difficult is the social stigmas that we often have to deal with.

Let me first start off by mentioning that I’ve come across many open-minded people that are completely supportive of single mothers and understanding of their circumstances. I readily applaud and show gratitude for the mindset of these individuals. But of course, as can be expected, there are also many intolerant people with their own set of prejudices and generalizations.

Every now and then I come across the latter group of people online through forums, YouTube videos, and the like, all dedicated to bashing single mothers. These people contribute some harsh viewpoints on young, single moms.

Being 22 with a 4-year old, I try not to internalize the things I read. But some of the stuff just makes me cringe as I think of all the single mothers, who have enough on their plate already, having to go through their everyday lives carrying the baggage of such negative perceptions about them, and facing the world with insecurities.

The stereotypes and judgments of those with the “holier-than-thou” attitude are detrimentally oppressive. Though I’m aware that some of the criticism may ring true for some women, generalizations are never okay. There are single mothers that are beautiful, capable, and individualistic–and they need to believe this in order to continue to be an asset to themselves, their children, and the world.

No, I’m not promoting young women having children out of wedlock. But for those of us that have taken responsibility for our decisions and are raising our child, why must people chose to oppress us with all the negativity? It’s the last thing we need. We are human, we are living our life, and we aren’t damaged or flawed because we are mothers.

For those that believe single mothers have a lot of “baggage,” they are right; however, this baggage comes from the judgments we have to endure, and not from our child.


  1. “For those that believe single mothers have a lot of “baggage,” they are right; however, this baggage comes from the judgments we have to endure, and not from our child.” – LOVE THIS.

    While I whole heartedly agree with your post (I’m also 22 with a 4-year-old) unfortunately, there are just some horrible young mothers out there who make the rest of us look bad. Granted, there are horrible mothers in this world of all ages but for some reason society likes to make a spectacle out of the young ones. Not to mention you have these shows on MTV & TLC etc also making a spectacle out of young mothers lives.

    All we can continue to do is be great parents to our children. Whether or not ‘society’ acknowledge that, oh well! I’m sure we are not the last things on their minds before they go to sleep at night. Our kids take note of it, that’s all that really matters anyhow.

  2. I never dreamt of being a single mother at 22 myself but when I got pregnant I was in a steady relationship that would have led to marriage but I guess the responsibility was too much for my baby daddy.we are great together though not married but society was very quick to judge and my church was the first to crucify me.but I got to learn that I have to shelter and protect my son from the negativity.my happiness and that of my son is most important.this doesn’t mean that I don’t get hurt when I’ll remarks are sent our way.i take it with a pinch of salt.


  1. […] This is a guest column I wrote for theyoungmommylife.com.  See the original article on http://www.theyoungmommylife.com/2012/08/21/yml-voices-the-real-baggage-of-being-a-young-single-moth… […]