PROJECT: Young Mothers
I remember the summers of early childhood with my mother. The sounds of the Cure and Prince still bring back memories of seeing her get ready for an evening out. I watched her put on makeup, color her hair, and paint her nails with the eyes of a loving and curious daughter who came too soon. As weeks together passed, I feared the seasonís end, knowing that once again Iíd be left watching from the living room window as she drove back to a life that I was not a part of.
I was raised by my grandparents but born the daughter of a woman only sixteen years my elder. At eighteen, she moved to the city to continue her education and explore young adulthood while I spent my childhood trying to understand myself in relation to a family that did not look like the ones I saw in books and movies. Now I seek to learn about families similar to my own and to create the representation of young motherhood that I searched for growing up.
The following photographs, interviews, and collected snapshots are from the families of women who had children before reaching adulthood. Though united by this single, defining event, each family has faced situations unique to their own history. For some, teen pregnancy was confusing and alienating, for others it was an opportunity for new beginnings. Whether married or single, holding a GED or a Bachelors degree, working as a business owner or a homemaker, each mother has found different ways to create a life for herself and her family despite the difficulties brought to them by their initial circumstances. Through conversations and photography, they have given me a glimpse of their lives, sharing with me the joys and struggles that followed a decision made early on in the motherís life.