It has been well documented that becoming a parent marks an important period in a person’s life. Having a child brings new challenges and experiences that can greatly change one’s priorities and future plans. For many people it is also a time of major transformation as they grapple with a new identity. Becoming a parent has the capacity to profoundly change how a person sees themselves and others.
The demands of caregiving can also have a significant impact on work, relationships, and lifestyle in general. Having adequate support is critical for parents to be able to meet their child’s needs whilst also maintaining their own physical and mental health.
It has been suggested that young parents may face unique challenges and could benefit from support which is more relevant to their circumstances. Work precarity and current housing markets may present new obstacles for young parents trying to establish an independent family and achieve a manageable work-life balance. Conversely, some young people may feel parenthood is desirable at an earlier age – whether that be for personal, social, or practical reasons.
The Our Lives project aims to explore these experiences through the eyes of young people themselves. We are currently conducting in-depth interviews to gain insight to the types of journeys young parents have undergone in their transition to parenthood. We hope to develop an understanding of how young people negotiate this phase of life and uncover areas for future research and policy.