A British MP has sent social media into a frenzy by announcing she’d become a grandmother at the age of 37.
Angela Rayner, who is a Labour MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, took to Twitter to announce that she had welcomed her first grandchild into the world.
Given that the media typically presents grandparents as frail and elderly people who wear cardigans and walk with walking sticks, it’s fair to say that she’s doing a good job of smashing stereotypes.
Speaking to her 71,500 Twitter followers, she wrote: “At just before 6am today after an eventful evening, I became a grandma.
“Thank you to all the wonderful staff at #NHS #Tameside #Grangela.”
Sky News reports that Rayner was originally a teen-mum herself and is now a mother of three children.
She had her first baby at 16 years old and said that being a mother at such an early age was the best thing that could have happened to her.
“It actually saved me from where I could have been because I had a little person to look after,” Sky News reports the 37-year-old telling a Labour Party conference earlier this year. “I wanted to prove that I could be a good mum and somebody was finally going to love me as much as I deserved to be loved and that’s what pregnancy was for me.”
Thanks for the lovely msgs today regarding my new grandchild, all are doing well. I’ve had the usual negativity but pls try not to be so judgemental, when you don’t know what’s it’s like to be a Mum at 16. My son(20) & my daughter in law(24) are amazing parents & I’m really proud
— Angela Rayner (@AngelaRayner) November 22, 2017
Given that some women don’t become first-time mothers until their 40s, it’s fair to say that Rayner has experienced a lot of life’s greatest joys in a short amount of time.
Despite her initial joy, the trade union officer admitted that her news had not been well-received by everyone.
She explained on Twitter: “Thanks for the lovely msgs today regarding my new grandchild, all are doing well [sic].
“I’ve had the usual negativity but pls try not to be so judgemental, when you don’t know what it’s like to be a Mum at 16. My son(20) & my daughter in law(24) are amazing parents & I’m really proud [sic].”
One person said: “But, but, surely you’re too young to be a grandma?”
Another added: “I mean this in the nicest way, but you really don’t look old enough to be a grandma!”
Still, not all the messages she received were negative.
One supporter said: “Welcome to the world of being a grandma.” Another tweet read: “You can hold your head high as a parent and now grandparent. You spend your time trying to make the country better for yours and all. Very happy for you all.”
A third added: “I became a mother at 16 & will forever feel that in doing so my lovely son saved me. Also like Angela, I will soon become a grandparent – at 36.”