16-Year-Old Teen Mom Takes Toddler to Prom After Not Finding Babysitter
A U.K. teen mom went viral after she decided to take her toddler to prom when she couldn't find a babysitter for him.
With more than 1.6 million views since it was first posted, the short and sweet clip features photos of Melissa, who is wearing a baby blue prom dress, posing with her 1-year-old son Arthur, dressed in a charming gray suit.
Speaking to Liverpool Echo, the 16-year-old mom explained that "when prom came around, no one could really have him, and I wanted him to be a part of my prom day." So, she ordered a suit for the tot and took him with her.
"All of the teachers were saying how gorgeous he looked," Melissa shared, recounting the special night. "It was honestly so cute having him with me and getting pictures taken together because we don't really have any nice up-to-date pictures of us. He loved it, and he particularly loved all the snacks!"
Naturally, Melissa's prom date, who she describes as "the most kind-hearted little boy," drew some attention at the event.
"It was so nice because people who I don't normally even speak to were coming up and saying how cute Arthur is and saying how proud they are of me," she continued. "I couldn't have asked for better support from my teachers at school ... They're the people who've got me through the bad times being a mum."
Melissa has faced her unfair share of criticism for being a young mother, especially from judgmental strangers.
"So many people make comments when I'm out with him. Often people think he's my little brother, and when I tell them he's mine, their attitude completely changes," she revealed. "Older people especially find it disgusting because obviously, their way was to get married first and then have kids."
Melissa, 14 at the time, discovered she was pregnant during the COVID-19 lockdown. She was 15 when she had the baby.
"When I found out I was pregnant, obviously I was really young. It was hard because everyone told me I was ruining my life and I wasn't going to get my [academic] GCSEs," she shared.
Meanwhile, according to the teen mom, Arthur's father has not been involved in the child's life.
"His dad's not really been involved, so I've just sort of done it on my own really, with my brother and sister-in-law's support," she explained. "Especially considering Arthur only has one parent, I think I've done a good job."
While being a teen mom has its challenges, Melissa hopes to inspire other young women in similar situations.
"I've had the odd couple of negative comments, but I've also had messages [from] girls who are pregnant and are still in school and are worried about going back to school," she shared. "I've mainly had loads of people being really supportive, which is really nice because it's coming from people I don't know."
With the help of her brother and sister-in-law, as well as the support of her school, Melissa has worked hard to balance being a full-time single mom and a high school student. Last month, she completed her exams. Now she'll attend college in the fall, with a focus on health and social care.
"I am proud of myself because when I found out I was pregnant, I thought that was it," she told the publication. "I was thinking I wouldn't be able to go back to school, but when I looked into it, I realized there are ways that you can do it. I've got my place in college in September, so I'm looking forward to that."