Another online group to support mothers has started on the Coast, and this time it’s for teenagers.
While it is a platform for advice and socialising, its main purpose is to get young mums to meet face-to-face.
The group, called Teen Mums on the Hibiscus Coast and Surrounding Areas, attracted more than 50 members in its first two weeks.
Claire Britton created the group for her daughter-in-law, Racheal Hausman, who became a teen parent at the age of 19 with Claire’s son, Samuel Harkin, who was also 19. Their daughter, Mila, is now three years old.
Both Claire and Racheal are administrators of the new Facebook group. Rachael says that while being a mum is hard work at any age, having a child in your teens presents its own set of challenges.
“Claire saw the anxiety that young people feel from growing up in the age of the internet. It is almost like we’ve forgotten how to meet new people, which adds to the feeling of isolation that teen mums can experience,” Racheal says.
“She saw the need for us to connect. The Facebook group works because we have Claire, who is older and also supportive and neutral, to provide guidance when needed.”
While Racheal thinks society is becoming more accepting of teen mums, many group members were concerned about being judged.
“Family members who do not accept the pregnancy are a big challenge for teen mums, who also face the perceived judgement from people day-to-day,” Racheal says. “One of my friends in the group is 17 with a baby and she gets anxious just walking through the mall with her child. That’s where the group comes in. You can just ask if someone wants to go with you; you’re not alone.”