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New mums open up about motherhood

We asked some of the young mothers who are supported by St John of God Horizon House’s Young Mother and Baby Program  about their early parenting experiences.

10 May 2019 

The program provides accommodation and support for vulnerable young mums during pregnancy and through to the baby’s third birthday, including intensive pre and post-natal care and parent education.

We asked some of the young mothers in the program about their early parenting experiences. 

What have you learnt about being a good parent since living at Horizon House?

Christina

Young mum Christina moved into the Young Mother and Baby Program when her son, Zoran, was only four weeks old. Since living at Horizon House, the 18-year-old has learnt to care for her now 15-month-old baby.

“The Young Mother and Baby Program has shown me how to care for Zoran when he’s upset for different reasons, how to know when to get medical help when he’s sick and I’ve also learnt how to multi-task while looking after him including washing and cooking,” Christina said.

For 19-year-old Ethel, she has learnt about the importance of connecting with her 10-month-old baby.

“I’ve learnt that it’s not just about feeding them, giving them bottles or changing nappies – it’s about connection as well,” Ethel said. 

What is your favourite part about being a mother?

Finda

“Cuddles. Seeing Zoran happy and being the only one to be able to put him to sleep - no one else can,” Christina said.

“Because of him I have changed myself and have prioritised looking after myself like going to school and getting my driver’s licence.”

Ethel said her favourite part about motherhood has been the ability to watch her son grow up and achieve milestones. 

What’s been the biggest surprise about motherhood? Was there anything that you didn’t expect?

Ethel

Christina said she was not short of surprises when her son came into her life.

“How fast he grows, how quickly he crawls and how much he eats,” she said.

“It surprised me that I would wake up at night when he cried, because before Zoran was born, I never thought it was normal or that I would wake up in the middle of the night, but now it has become normal to me.”

Ethel said it was having a “little person” to be responsible for and guiding them on the right path.

“It’s another life that you’ve made and you’ve got to guide them on the right path,” Ethel said.

“While I’m growing up, I’ve got to help him grow up as well.”

For young mum Finda, she has not only bonded with her newborn Amelia, but also with the staff at Horizon House Young Mother and Baby Program, whom she now calls “family”.

“The staff are really great and I feel I’ve created a family here,” Finda said.

“The staff go out of their way to get you to places like appointments and they treat you like their own kids – that’s what’s amazing, you don’t feel like you’re you’re in a program, you just feel like you’re with your family.”

Ethel shares that her favourite part about living at Horizon house Young Mother and baby program is the support she’s received with no judgement and wants to encourage other young mums to seek the help they need to be the best mums they can be.

“I’ve been homeless a number of times – don’t be afraid to seek help and get the support to seek a better life for you and your baby,” she said.

The images above were drawn with assistance and provided by the mums at Horizon House Young Mother and Baby Program which were created for this special occasion.

For more stories of hope visit Horizon House. 

Updated 9 September 2019.