by Courtney Inkpen

My Story & Journey Being A Young Mom...


For a while now, I’ve always had a feeling that I needed to share my journey with being a young parent and it’s trials. I’ve encountered some very hurtful things with being a young mom, and even though I take the beating and judgement from others, I’ll do whatever it takes to keep that kind of negativity and arrogance away from my daughter.

I don’t even know really where to begin, so I might as well jump right in it with a back story…

I’m currently 26, and my daughter is 6. So it’s pretty obvious that I had her young age. Not teenage and pregnant young, but you’d think that I was by how I’ve been treated sometimes in the past — and still to this day (I’ll get to more details soon). Truth be told, Ryleigh was not planned — and Justin and I were not married. Being in the South and a Christian, you can already guess that this is very frowned upon and everybody has to insert their own opinion on it. Even some of our family members had their own choice words and perspective about us. With what was happening, I already knew there were consequences, but ultimately, God was (still is) watching and walking with Justin and I on that difficult season. It was hard on us and both our families; and it created so much tension and anger between the two that it was eating us up on the inside. Prior to the news, Justin and I had been in talks about getting married, and a couple months after finding out, we had a sort of elopement with our immediate families. I did not get the wedding of my dreams, I didn’t go straight away on a honeymoon, and I did not get the stress of putting all of those wedding details together — instead, it was just a different kind of stress. I’m not bitter about not getting what I had wanted when exchanging my vows with my husband, and we did end up having a reception with all of our friends and family, and even intertwined a gender reveal as our cake cutting ceremony.

But even through the next two years after finding out, it really put a test on mine and Justin’s marriage. At one point it did get really bad and I thought we were done. Borders had been crossed and we were letting our families influence our decisions. We both understood that this was hard and difficult on our families, but it was tearing our marriage apart. Marriage is a lot of hard work and team effort, but unfortunately, we weren’t treating it like that. We had seen a couples therapist to help get us through and we started really talking to each other about how one another felt and knew that it had to ultimately be a collective decision between the two of us, and only us.

Times were still tough for a while, and thankfully things have gotten better than they were 4 or 5 years ago. Everything that had happened between us only made us stronger, and I can definitely testify on that!

But here’s were the mothering journey begins…

I still get insecure sometimes because of what had happened and what we had been through, and it doesn’t make it easier when I get judgmental looks from the “more mature” parents. The irony. I didn’t even start feeling this way or even seeing it as that until one day about 5 years ago when a cashier lady at Target looked at me and Ryleigh, then looked at my wedding finger, and made a comment that she was glad to see a ring on my finger. Yes, I know what had happened, but like Jesus said. “he who is without sin cast the first stone.” So to hear her say that, hurt me and left an inner mark. Even today I still get looks and passed on judgement just for, what seems like, being a younger mom. I mean let’s get real, I am still 26, but I’m not even close to being as immature as I was back then compared to now. Sometimes I don’t even feel like I relate to people my age who are without kids, because I am a parent and have different priorities. But at the same time, I can’t always relate to the older mothers because they already have 2 or 3 kids under their belt and have more life experience than I do.

What’s the saying? I’m between a rock in a hard place? It’s definitely hard relating to either side and I feel like I don’t exactly know where I fit in. It’s a completely awkward mambo in my social life right about now! I mean, women my age are just now getting married or just now thinking of having kids. The majority of the people I know close to my age aren’t even thinking about the “k” word till after 30. And then there’s the women who are in their 30’s/mid 30’s who already have kids that are currently enrolled in both middle school and elementary school, and are a part of the PTA, and yes, dress differently than a 20 something (or in my case a fashion blogger).

So this is why I’m writing this. To tell my story and lay it all out on the table. There’s nothing for me to be ashamed of! 

I want other mothers who are in my shoes to know you’re not alone. I’m not exactly sure what your story is or what you’ve been through, and I know everybody has a different story of their own. But I do know that it’s tough sometimes with being a young mom and still trying to figure out what you want in life as well. It’s like, you’re trying to catch up to your age but at the same time raise a little human being who you want nothing but the best for. And unfortunately, there are going to be people who will judge a book by it’s cover, but what they don’t see is the trials and tribulations that you have faced and HAVE overcome! It’s what has made you you and an even stronger MOM at that! I feel like we are the toughest one’s there are to be honest, haha!


Overall, when raising a child, as long as they are happy, healthy, and are loving unconditionally, and that you’re doing your best—that’s the only thing that matters! I continue to pray for Ryleigh and that God continues to guide her on the path that He has planned for her. She deserves every bit of blessings that God grants her with, and just seeing how happy and energetic she is on a daily basis -- is also a daily reminder that Justin and I have done something right and that God is answering our prayers! 





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