THERE are nan prouder than these women, a new generation of thirtysomething grannies – or GLAMMIES.
Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner knows just how they feel.
She has just become the House of Commons’ youngest gran aged 37, sparking a #grangela frenzy on Twitter.
Here, three other glammies tell LYNSEY CLARKE why being a young mum and a youthful gran should be celebrated.
‘We are best pals and I hope Arlo will be as close’
FULL-TIME mum Maxine Newman, 37, lives in Daventry, Northants, with her chef husband Adam, 36, and children Georgia, 18, Jack, 15, Harry, 14, and Poppy, four.
Georgia had just finished studying beauty when she found out she was expecting Arlo with boyfriend Danny Withall, 18.
The tot arrived on Monday this week. Maxine says: “I was 19 when I had Georgia and I felt like people questioned my parenting because I was so young.
“So I felt determined to prove to everyone I could juggle both work and parenting.
“Now Georgia is a mum, she reminds me of myself at her age – strong, independent and wanting to be the best mum she can be.
“I never asked anyone to look after Georgia when she was young because I wanted to do it all myself.
“It was a shock when we found out Georgia was expecting. I was worried she wouldn’t cope with pregnancy or labour.
“I used my own experiences of labour to help her through it, and holding Arlo for the first time was a very proud moment.
“Being a new mum is exhausting at any age but she’s already proving me wrong. Georgia is really hands on.
“In my experience, when children reach their teenage years it helps being a younger mum.
“I have a better understanding of what it’s like being a teenager because it isn’t so long ago since I was there.
“Myself and Georgia are best friends and I hope to have the same relationship with Arlo.
“Age is irrelevant when it comes to parenting. Just because you’re a young mum it doesn’t make you any less skilled.
“There are women in their 40s who leave their children with babysitters to go out every weekend, and young mums such as Georgia who will always put Arlo first.”
Georgia says: “I’m loving being a mum and enjoying every moment.
“Having Mum’s support means everything and because she was my age when she had me. She gives great advice about what to expect.”
‘I can run around the park and garden with Harrison’
MICHAELA NORMANTON, 37, was 17 when she had her first daughter Ellis, and 17 years later Ellis had a son, Harrison, now two – making Michaela a gran at 35.
Cashier Ellis, now 20, is in a relationship with Harrison’s dad, vehicle engineer Aaron, 21.
Michaela, a sunbed salon manageress, of Barnsely, is also mum to Rosie, 15, and Darcey, six.
She says: “Despite the initial shock, being a grandma so young is amazing. I love it.
“I have stacks of energy to play with Harrison and feel like I can really engage with him.
“I chase him around the floor without worrying I won’t be able to get up again and run around the park and garden with him.
“My daughter Darcey is only four years older than Harrison and they are incredibly close. They are more like brother and sister. I know they will always have a very special bond.
“When I became l pregnant at 17 I felt like I had to prove myself, like Angela Rayner who said her experience made her want to prove she wasn’t a ‘scumbag’.
“People are quick to judge and assumed just because I had a baby so young that I was automatically going to scrounge off the state and demand benefits.
“But Ellis’s dad worked hard to provide for us and as soon as my daughter turned one I got a job in a local shop and haven’t stopped working since.
“It’s those ethics I’ve drummed in to all my children, they have to work hard to enjoy the nice things in life and nothing will be handed to them on a silver platter.
“Ellis and her partner Aaron both work and have provided Harrison with a beautiful home where he is loved and cared for.
“And I’m always on hand when they need help. Harrison is a delight and keeps me on my toes – and no doubt will do for several years to come.”
Ellis says: “I love the fact that Mum is such a young gran. She has a really strong bond with Harrison. Mum is so young at heart and likes to think of herself as a cool grandma – and she fits the role perfectly.
“She has supported me from the minute I found out I was pregnant.”
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‘I’ve been mistaken for my grandson’s mum. I feel lucky’
CLAIRE HEY, 38, became a gran seven weeks ago when her daughter Cara, 18, gave birth to son Jesse, five weeks after discovering she was pregnant.
Single Cara was studying for her A levels.
Despite being shocked, Claire, a full-time mum to Cara, Ben, 13, Mia, ten, and four-year-old Eva, could not be prouder.
Single Claire, of Ossett, West Yorks, says: “Being a mum comes naturally to Cara and seeing my baby with her own baby makes me feel so proud.
“We initially had no idea she was pregnant because she has polycystic ovaries and irregular periods. When she took a pregnancy test we were both shocked. She was 34 weeks gone. We had just five weeks to prepare for the arrival.
“I was 19 when I had Cara so I also know what it’s like to be a teen parent. There’s a stigma attached but Cara is confident she can do a good job raising Jesse because I did the same at her age.
“Cara was nine weeks old when I went back to working full-time at a bank. I was determined to work hard to give us both a good life.
“I felt I had to prove I could do a good job raising Cara, especially because I was on my own after I split from Cara’s dad when she was one. I had no choice but to get on with things which has given me a strong work ethic.
“Angela Rayner had her son very young and has still managed to make a success of her life, there’s nothing stopping Cara from doing the same.
“Three years ago I set up my own business painting furniture. Being self-employed means I can split my time between my work and helping Cara.
“She lives at home and I feel lucky to be able to go through the newborn baby days with her. I’m her mum and her best friend. I love being a young grandma.
“My friends call me ‘glam-ma’ which makes me smile, and I’ve been mistaken for Jesse’s mum.
“Everything happens for a reason and although it might not have been what either of us would’ve planned for Cara’s future,
“I’ve told her there’s 7 nothing she can’t achieve.“
Cara says: “It was the biggest shock of my life to find out I was eight months’ pregnant.
“Mum reassured me I could do it on my own and she would be there every step of the way. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without her.”