May is a busy month for advocates, between Mother’s Day and month-long campaigns around mental health and teenage pregnancy prevention. But for many teenage mothers, this month can be a challenging one to navigate. Not only do mainstream Mother’s Day images feature a very particular type of family and demographic, teenage pregnancy prevention ads usually depict teenage motherhood as the worst possible outcome for sexually active young people.
At this time of year, we advocates for teen mothers often wonder whom Mother’s Day is for.
I became pregnant and gave birth to my daughter when I was 15 years old, and ever since then I have been wondering in what narrative my situation was supposed to fall: the public health “problem” of teenage pregnancy or the possible celebration of motherhood.