Maddie Lambert had always assumed young moms would make bad parents — that is, until she gave birth to her daughter, Everly Joy, when she was 14.
“I’d always look down on teen moms, if I’m being completely honest,” Lambert, now 20, told Truly, per the Sun. “I think that was just from a lack of knowing what it’s really like.”
She recalled the “negative” portrayal of teen moms on TV shows, which “would be filled with drama,” and was scared of others’ reactions when she discovered she was pregnant.
Lambert, from Fort Worth, Texas, had her toddler with her ex, Isaac, who was absent for the first 10 months of Everly’s life but has since become more active.
“So many people assume I’m a bad mom,” she said. “But I have the same capacity to parent as anybody in this world.”
“A good mom is somebody who drops everything for their child,” she continued, describing her kid as “so mature and so sassy.”
The young mom admitted that she faced harsh backlash and cruel comments from internet trolls after announcing her pregnancy, some of whom allegedly wished she would “die in labor” or insisted she’d “ruined her life.”
At school, she was subject to ruthless bullying from classmates, and some girls mimicked her bump by putting sports balls under their shirts.
“Everybody had something to say and they didn’t hold back,” she recalled. “I had people send me the address to abortion clinics.”
But as soon as her baby girl entered the world, Lambert “gave up her childhood.”
Now that Everly, 5, is about to begin school, Lambert is heading to a university for a degree with dreams of working in health care as a radiology technician.
“I do everything for that little girl,” Lambert said. “She is my entire world.”