To be a young mother is almost by definition to be considered an “unfit” mother. Thus, it is not surprising that young Canadian, U.S. and Australian mothers are often scorned, stigmatized and monitored. This is a book about being young, being a mother, and grappling with what it means to inhabit these two complex social positions. This book critiques the dominant, negative construction of young motherhood. Contributors reject the notion that the “ideal” mother is a 30ish, white, middle-class, able-bodied, married, heterosexual woman situated in a nuclear family.
This collection privileges the insights and stories of a diverse array of young mothers such as; a young mother coerced into giving her child up for a adoption, a young queer mother who has been parenting a child borne by her trans partner and who is now pregnant herself and many more. The tales analyzed and recounted in the collection record experiences of pain and joy, frustration and success, struggle and resistance, oppression and empowerment. We invite readers to hear the all too often silenced stories of young mothers, to learn what prevents and what allows these mothers to lead lives of grit, determination, authenticity, and agency as they strive to lovingly care for themselves, their children, and in many cases, other young mothers.