A mother of eight children has spoken out about having a baby at the tender age of 15 and the difficulties she faced.
Sharon Jabbour was barely out of high school when she became pregnant with her first kid in 1999, a small miracle for which the now 34-year-old says she was advised to abort and highly condemned.
‘There are shocked and disappointed expressions everywhere you look, with people watching, murmuring, and shaking their heads.’
‘This is how I recall being treated as a young mother,’ remarked Melbourne mom Sharon on the Tsunami Project site.
‘The majority of people advised me I was too young and that I should abort.’ For me, that was never an option.’
Sharon was hiding her expanding baby belly from unwanted eyes while her colleagues were doodling notes in class or dealing with the challenges of puberty.
She recalled, ‘I would purposefully wear larger garments to disguise my increasing tummy because I was embarrassed.’
‘It worked until I was pushing my baby in a pram,’ she says, ‘because then there was nowhere to hide.’
Symonne was born two months after the school-aged mother’s 16th birthday, and she described the experience as “love at first sight.”
Despite her youth and the challenges that lay ahead, Sharon says she knew she wanted a large family with her child’s father right away.
Symonne, 18, Celinna, 15, Tifinney, 13, Sebastian, 12, Alesha and Ethan, 10, Amaliyah, four, and Aliyrah, two, are the business owner’s eight children with her now-husband Ramsey.
Sharon recognizes the social and financial consequences of adolescent pregnancy, but she is proud of the empire she and her husband have built.
‘Both Ramsey and I are 34 years old, we own our home, have two cars, two businesses, and I work full-time,’ she explained.
‘I am proof that being a young mother does not mean your life is over or that you will never achieve your goals.’ You become what you are willing to put in the effort to achieve.’
She also claims that being a young mother has numerous advantages, including the opportunity to form genuine bonds with her children.
‘Some kids feel embarrassed to be with their parents, but because I’m younger, I’ve been able to form a close bond with them,’ Sharon told the Daily Mail Australia.
‘When we go shopping, my older girls are overjoyed to have me come out with them and lock arms with them.’
Sharon now works as a manager for a data-marketing firm and operates the Lullabye Baby website.
The busy mother says she works hard to provide the greatest opportunity for her children and pushes them to pursue higher education.
‘I’ve always been upfront and honest with my children, explaining that having children when you’re young is difficult, that your life is placed on pause as you become responsible for another human being’s life, and that my upbringing was quite different from theirs,’ Sharon continues.
‘But it’s also not acceptable that young mothers are unfairly classified.’ There are a lot of people out there, like me, who devote their entire lives to raising their children.’