A teen mum has opened up about how much her life changed after a course of antibiotics caused her contraceptive pill to fail.
With dreams of becoming an actor or a midwife, teen pregnancy wasn’t in Chloe Patton’s plans.
The mum-of-one, who says she doesn’t promote having kids young, admits she’s missed out on teenage fun and nights out – although she wouldn’t change her son for the world.
Chloe, from Nottingham, joined Teen Mum UK at age 17 when she was pregnant with son Marley, now five, after a course of antibiotics caused her contraceptive pill to fail.
Now 23, Chloe and on-off partner Jordan Edwards’ fiery rows were a familiar sight on their first few years on the show, leading to horrible messages from viewers.
“When I first started doing the show, the trolling was worse,” she told.
“Jordan and I would get into tiffs and people would be either on his side or my side. They’d say nasty things about either of us, or say ‘kids having kids’.
“I’ve had ‘kill yourself,’ ‘you should’ve got rid of Marley’. These are from accounts with no profile picture, no followers, they say the worst of the worst.
“But as the years have gone on, I feel like I barely get anything now (from trolls). Whereas before it felt quite overwhelming and I’d always comment back. Then I got to a point where I thought ‘I don’t actually care about these people’.
“Imagine having that big of an opinion about someone you’ve not even met. That’s when I decided to just leave it alone.
“When I go to sleep at night, I know I’m a good mum, a good friend, a good partner, a good daughter. I do my best for everyone.
“These people can have their opinions, but they don’t really know me. I know I should be on this earth and I should be Marley’s mum. I think the older you get, you learn your self-worth and how important life is.”
When she did her pregnancy test, Chloe had just left performing arts college and was working in retail with her mum.
She says: “When I found out I was pregnant, I just handed in my notice and left, because I was so scared of people finding out.
“I think it’s the whole stereotype of being a young mum, kids having kids, me and Jordan had only been together a year, I was still living at home, what on Earth could I offer this baby?
“Then when it all soaked in, I realised I could give this baby a lot of love. I’d saved up money from where I was working, so I could buy nappies and stuff like that, I could make it work.
“Jordan 100 per cent stood by me, which helped me get through it. I feel really lucky that where I live, I didn’t get any judgment. People said I was so grown up anyway.
“My friends all used to say ‘out of anyone to have a baby, you are the best one’. Because I was always the mum of the group, if we went to a party I’d be making sure everyone got home, if someone was being sick I’d be there rubbing their back, I’ve always had that motherly instinct of wanting to help people.
“So I was very lucky that no-one ever gave me the eye. Now I get it all the time, ‘you look too young to be a mum’. And in my head I’m like ‘yep I probably was’. But I get nothing negative to my face.
“I sometimes get mistaken for Marley’s sister. We had that at the weekend. Someone tried to give me a Christmas box for Marley and then said ‘sorry, I thought you were the mum’ and I said ‘I am’.”
Chloe is now retaking her maths GCSE, which will set her up to do an Access course next year, before hopefully studying midwifery at university in 2023.
She says: “I always say, if I could have exactly Marley but wait until I was older, I would definitely do that.
“Even though everything fell into place, I was still really young and I wish I could’ve had some life of being a teenager.
“But I wouldn’t change it for the world, because everything’s worked out perfectly for me. I get to do everything I wanted to do, but with my best friend.”
When the time comes, Chloe will be discouraging Marley from the parenting route she took.
She says: “I’m definitely going to be that mum who’s sitting him down at 16 saying ‘OK make sure you’re careful’.
“Only because I know how hard it was and I do want him to have those teenage years of going out partying and crawling in at silly o’clock, because that is all the fun and games of growing up.
“I look at my brother who’s 20 and he’s done all of that, and I’d love for Marley to have that.
“I’m definitely not a promoter of teen pregnancy. I tell people all the time ‘if you can wait, wait, but if it happens, it happens, it’s not the end of the world’.”
Asked if she has any regrets about missing out, Chloe says: “Not now, but when I was younger all my friends were in Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield and London, I was missing out on the partying and social side.
“Now I really enjoy a night in with my little boy, watching Toy Story in bed in our pyjamas, eating popcorn.
“Because it is such a rewarding feeling. And I do get to go out now and go on trips, but Marley can do it all with me. Obviously not going into clubs and necking shots, but for everything else he can join me.”
When Chloe had Marley, Jordan moved in and the couple lived with her parents until Marley was slightly over a year old, before buying their own place.
Initially squeezed into one bedroom, with a cot and all their stuff, the couple became known for their rows on the MTV show.
Their passionate relationship has led to some splits but are now very much together, with Chloe insisting they’re “going strong”.
Asked if anyone ever suggests she’s a less good mum because of her age, Chloe says: “Not in real life. On social media, the whole ‘kids having kids’ thing comes up quite a lot.
“If me and Jordan were to have an argument on the show, I would always get that comment.
“But tell me one family who has a newborn baby and doesn’t have a tiff over who’s doing the next nappy or the next bottle, when you’re so sleep-deprived.
“It was hard work, it was quite overwhelming and it must have been hard for Jordan, to leave his family to move in with me and Marley. That’s sometimes why we clashed or had tiffs, because we were literally with each other all the time.
“I don’t watch back series 1, it just makes me cringe. But it’s a nice memory and learning curve, because I have grown up since then. The cameras have followed me from this 17-year-old to being an adult.
“At 17, I was thinking ‘am I grown up enough? How can I look after this tiny baby when I feel like I need to still learn to look after myself?’ But (motherhood has) just made me a better person. I’m so much more independent from it and so much more grown up.”
This article was originally published byand reproduced with permission
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