Jolene, 30, had her first child when she was 24. She’s a mum to Kayla, six, and Keira, four.
“I’ve always loved kids and didn’t mind having them young. I liked the idea of being able to keep up with them while I still have the energy. My first pregnancy was planned, and when I got pregnant, my husband was very happy as we had been trying for about five months.
Some friends did ask: ‘Are you sure? You just got married.’ But I told to them it was what I wanted, and they were all supportive. I didn’t feel like I was missing out on my young adulthood, and I still see some of my close friends at least once a month.
Of course, there were some things I had to give up, like a career. I had gotten married the year I started work, and then got pregnant the following year. I gave up my job after the birth of my first daughter. Now, even though my kids are no longer toddlers, I still can’t focus on a career as I want to be their primary caregiver. I do do some part-time accounting work. It’s got a pretty flexible schedule, so I get to plan my time around my kids and stay home to look after them if they’re sick.
My parenting style is very different from that of my mum’s. She was strict and would scold or hit to discipline us, but I don’t believe in raising kids with those methods. I prefer reasoning things out with my girls.
It does get hard, and when the going gets tough, I’ll go to the gym or for a run to relieve stress. Exercise is a great way of keeping the negative emotions at bay. Of course, it helps to simply look at my children’s faces – they really make me smile.
I go on dates with my husband from time to time, though not as often as I would like. But I know that we’ll have more time to ourselves when the girls are older and don’t need us around as much, and I look forward to that.
As a millennial mum, I put pictures of my kids on social media. Every mum will think their kids are the cutest, and I just want to share. Besides, it’s a great way
of backing up my photos.
Now that some of my friends have kids of their own, we spend a lot of time talking about motherhood. Because I became a mum much earlier than them, they turn to me when they face issues and I’ll share with them my experiences and advice.
Motherhood can be tough and tiring. But my kids are my priority, and as long as they’re happy and healthy, I’m happy.”
An earlier version of this article first appeared in the November 2017 issue of CLEO magazine.