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CS Daily:I'm.Possible: Life of Young Mothers' Exhibition


In early May, Yuen Long District Youth Outreaching Social Work Team (YLYOT) held the 'I'm.Possible: Life of Young Mothers' exhibition at the Jao Tsung-I Academy. When a passerby sees a young mother with several children, he asks, 'Do these children have the same biological father?' In fact, young mothers are stigmatised by stereotypes that they are immature and bad parents.

Man, 21, has a two-year-old daughter. Becoming a young mother is not because she 'did something wrong', but as a child raised by a single parent, she has always longed for a complete family, and becoming a mother has always been her life plan. However, she said that the biggest stress of motherhood is not losing her own life, but being questioned by relatives, 'During the confinement period, my husband was not at home due to work, and I was the only one to take care of the child. After birth, postpartum hormones greatly impacted my mood, and those criticisms made me cry.' Man said. 'The stigma attached to teenage mothers affects their self-perceptions and makes them feel less confident, but they have worked hard to fulfill maternal roles,' said the social worker Kaki.

Teenage mothers face many challenges in the transition to motherhood. Kaki said, 'At this age, they should explore their possibilities, but they paused for parenthood, so they need support in this transition.' When asked if Man had dreams besides children, she replied, 'Actually, I don’t have any dreams.' Kaki said, 'Dreams are a distant and luxurious thing for young mothers.' So instead, she would ask young mothers, 'Is there something you can do to make yourself happier?' YLYOT encourages them to explore more possibilities in life.

When Man was young, her mother often let her watch videos about Sea World. Although she says she has no dreams, the ocean is actually the world she wants to explore. Later, Man applied for a diving course. Usually, the day before class, she entrusted her daughter to her mother and went to Sai Kung Pier early the following morning. Now, she has obtained an internationally recognised elementary scuba diving certification and will push herself to the advanced level. 'I want to learn night diving and go to Taiwan to see sea turtles.' Man said. Not knowing how to swim, Man takes a lot of courage to step into the water using the Giant Stride method. 'I told myself "I can do it" and someone below would hold me.'

Similarly, young mothers are in need of someone holding them, to make them believe in themselves again. The word 'Impossible' can be divided into 'I'm possible', Kaki explained, 'They have many restrictions when they become mothers, but they can develop their interests. The key is whether the mothers believe that they have other possibilities,' Kaki was so surprised that Man, who was shy and had always said no, was willing to share her experiences in front of audiences in the exhibition. Man breaks her limiting beliefs and reframes them with her golden quote: 'Try first, don't say no.'