Julia Mead

Young Mothers

Why are you pregnant and happy about that?
About a year ago, I realized that I needed to reconnect with some of my friends from high school. Our lives had slowly diverged because I went college while they stayed home and had babies. We are just about the same age and had similar upbringings. I have never felt so close to seeing how my life could have been. We were overwhelmed with drastic changes, and I needed to come to understand why they had been so reckless. Why had they gotten pregnant so early and seemed to be so happy about it?

Making photographs of my friends and their children was the best way for me to reconnect with them.

The women, who are Sara Gipe (now Janson), Stacy Healy (now Bireley), and Chelsea Adcock, all have so much in common. Not only do they look alike, they are all involved in this alternative lifestyle of young parenting. I cannot help but think that I wouldn’t be able to handle it all.
Through my camera I saw a great deal of the inherent anxiety of such a situation, from everyone involved, but I also discovered patience, truth, and humility. Because of this, where I may have at first judged them according to what I saw as a mistake, it turned out to be just right for them and I now understand and respect why they made the decisions that they made.