Motherhood is a crazy job. You have to be a million different things at once – a cook, a maid, a chauffeur, a nurse, a doctor, a storyteller, a friend, a teacher, a caretaker, an authority figure, and so much more. Not everyone is up to the task of taking care of a little one who requires so much time and attention to stay alive, healthy, and happy. When you’re a younger mom, it can be even more difficult to manage all those responsibilities. After all, you’re not much older than a kid yourself!
In Hollywood, youth is a prized possession, and occasionally, when a celeb has been in the spotlight for years, we can forget how old they actually are, because it’s like we’ve known them forever. So, while they might just be 19 or 20, they can appear to be in their late twenties! It’s both a maturity thing and an exposure thing. The more we see you, the longer we think you’ve been around. When other twentysomethings – or even teens! – are busy with school or dating, these 17 celebs are changing diapers and waking up for 2am feedings. With over a decade separating our “oldest” youngest from our “youngest” youngest celeb mom, it’s true that there’s no right way to be a mom!
16 Britney Spears, 23 years old
To some, starting a family at the age of 23 might seem young, but according to Britney Spears herself, it really isn’t that young for a woman who has been in the spotlight since she was 16. Prior to announcing her pregnancy, Spears posted on her website, “I’ve had a career since I was 16, have travelled the world and back and even kissed Madonna! The only thing I haven’t done so far is experience the closest thing to God and that’d having a baby. I can’t wait!”
By 2005, Spears had given birth to her first son, Sean Preston Federline, and just a short time later, unfortunately, lost custody of both Sean Preston and her second child, Jayden James, just before her very public 2007 meltdown. Now, she’s back to being a happy and glowing mama to both boys, who are now 12 and 11!
15 Reese Witherspoon, 23 years old
Reese Witherspoon is the first to admit that becoming a mom at 23 wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. After meeting husband Ryan Phillippe on the set of Cruel Intentions in 1997, the two tied the knot just a couple years later and then welcomed daughter and Witherspoon’s mini-me – Ava Elizabeth.
The Oscar winner confessed later that it was difficult being a mother at such a young age when she was reaching the apex of her fame in Hollywood. “It was so hard…living [away from family]. I really didn’t have any friends. And I had a baby. No one else who was 23 had a baby.” Witherspoon waited four years before giving birth to a second child, son Deacon (also with Phillippe) before waiting until after her second marriage to Jim Toth to welcome a new bundle of joy, Tennessee, in 2012.
14 Charlotte Church, 21 years old
Like Britney Spears, a career in the limelight at an early age can have an effect on how mature you see yourself. Starting out as a classical singer at the age of 11, Welsh singer-songwriter, actress, and activist Charlotte Church had already had 10 years in the spotlight before she welcomed her first child with her then-boyfriend Gavin Henson – a daughter named Ruby Megan Henson. Rather than wait around to have baby number two, Church hurried things along and gave birth to her second, this time a son named Dexter Lloyd, just a year later!
Tragically for Church, after waiting a few years to conceive a child again – this time with her longtime partner and musician Jonny Powell – the singer and Powell lost their unborn child this past summer, after the surprise announcement of her third pregnancy while in concert.
13 Kylie Jenner, 20 years old
The most recent addition on our list, we can now confirm that the littlest Kardashian-Jenner, Kylie, had become a proud mother at the age of 20 after months of speculation.
The story is well known now, with Jenner choosing to hide her pregnancy from the media despite intense scrutiny. Avoiding her favored avenues of promotion like Instagram, Snapchat, and other media outlets, Jenner played coy about her possible pregnancy, even enlisting the help of family and friends who stayed mum about whether or not the entrepreneur was expecting. Of course, we know now that Jenner was expecting all along, and that she had been surprised to find out she was pregnant with boyfriend Travis Scott’s baby after only a few months of dating. Now, mother to a little girl named Stormi, Jenner may be the latest addition on our list of young moms, but she certainly won’t be the last!
12 Emily Maynard, 19 years old
She may not be considered A-list, but this Bachelor and Bachelorette alum’s story of becoming a teenage mother is famous enough to earn her a spot on our list! At the age of 19, blonde and bubbly Emily Maynard gave birth to her daughter Josephine Riddick “Ricki” Hendrick, named after her father. Tragically, Maynard faced an unexpected hurdle on her way to becoming a teen mom when she and her then-unborn daughter discovered that Ricki’s father, Ricky Hendrick, died in an airplane accident just days after Maynard discovered she was pregnant. He was 24 years old.
Since that sad beginning and her time on both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, Maynard’s life has become exceptionally rosy, marrying husband Tyler Johnson in 2014 and has had three more children in quick succession – all boys!
11 Sofia Vergara, 19 years old
Sofia Vergara has a beauty that is absolutely timeless, which is why it was a shock to us to learn that she is a proud mama of a grown, adult son! The Colombian actress was just 19 years old when she gave birth to Manolo in 1992, after marrying her high school sweetheart (the two later divorced in 1993).
While 19 is a daunting age for almost anyone to become a mother – and Vergara has acknowledged the struggles she faced raising Manolo as a teenager – the actress has also admitted that there was an upside to being a young mom: “When I had Manolo, I was 19, and I had the energy for everything!” In 2016, Forbes reported Vergara as being the highest-paid actress on television, thanks to her starring role on Modern Family and her multiple endorsements. Not bad for a former teen mom!
10 Kim Zolciak-Biermann, 19 years old
Another alum from the reality show circuit, we have Kim Zolciak-Biermann of Real Housewives fame. While the Atlanta Housewife loves how close she is to daughter Brielle – even sharing 'under the knife' tips with her 20-year-old daughter – things weren’t always so idyllic. When she was just a 19-year-old nursing student, Zolciak-Biermann gave birth to Brielle in 1997. While Zolciak-Biermann once stated in an Instagram post that she was emotionally supported by her parents at the time of her surprise pregnancy, she has since become estranged from the both of them.
Since making it in the reality TV world– and adjusting her look to match – Zolciak-Biermann has had five more children, four with her second husband Kroy Biermann, with one other daughter from a previous marriage who was later legally adopted by Biermann, along with Brielle.
9 Solange Knowles, 18 years old
Beyoncé is usually the one who gets all the glory, but when Solange Knowles announced that she was expecting at the age of 17, she captured media attention and had people everyone clutching their pearls in horror.
In 2004, Knowles was married to Daniel Smith, and the pair welcomed son Daniel Julez Smith Jr. into the world when Knowles was 18. Like most things, Knowles was outspoken about how difficult it was to raise a child at such a young age, especially after she and Smith divorced, but stated that she managed and felt “blessed” because “my son is the coolest kid ever.” While Knowles acknowledged the regular struggles of motherhood, like lack of sleep and having your child be your sole focus, she stated that motherhood for her was still “a blast”.
8 Bristol Palin, 18 years old
It was shocking when Bristol Palin announced that she was pregnant. First, she was unmarried. Second, she was only 17. And third, her mother was governor of Alaska and Republican running-mate and Vice President hopeful Sarah Palin!
The media circus that surrounded Palin was extreme, with Palin first stating that abstinence among teens was “not realistic at all”, before then choosing to appear on morning shows to encourage teens to abstain from s*x. Palin even partnered with the Candie’s Foundation to attend talks and seminars to promote her views.
While Palin was engaged to the father of her son, Tripp, the two called things off before reconciling and breaking up again – the way teenagers tend to do. Palin later married Dakota Meyer (after first breaking off that engagement as well), and had two daughters by him, Sailor Grace and Atlee Bay.
7 Whoopi Goldberg, 18 years old
Born to a single mother who she described as “strong, stern, and wise”, comedian and actress Whoopi Goldberg isn’t who we might think of when we think of celebrity teen moms, but the lady has lived!
When she married her first of three husbands, Goldberg had just become old enough to vote, and that same year, gave birth to her only child, Alexandrea Martin, who is also an actress and comedian. Following a pattern that is often exhibited by children of teenage mothers, Martin ended up giving birth at an early age too – she was just 16, which made Goldberg a grandmother at 34. Then, Martin’s own first daughter quickly became a mama too, making Goldberg a great-grandmother at 58!
While Goldberg married two more times, she never bore any more children and in 1995 stated her decision to never walk down the aisle again.
6 Anna Nicole Smith, 18 years old
The owner of a sad life that was cut short before she reached her 40th birthday, model and Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith had to grow up early on, marrying her first husband, Billy Wayne Smith at the age of 17, three years after she dropped out of high school. (The couple had met in the restaurant they both worked at.) Nine months later, when Smith was 18, she gave birth to her first child, son Daniel. Daniel was raised by Smith and his grandmother until he was six, when she enrolled him in a variety of private schools.
Smith’s very public struggles with addiction and her high profile romance with a man more than 60 years her senior were well documented, and, shortly after giving birth to her second child, a daughter, Smith’s son died of a drug overdose in her arms. Smith herself followed her son just a few months later.
5 Keisha Castle-Hughes, 17 years old
Keisha Castle-Hughes was the youngest person ever to be nominated for a Best Actress award at the Academy Awards in 2003 for Whale Rider (her first role ever) when she was just 13 years old, and it seemed that she possessed a sense of maturity that went well beyond her years from the get go – she had her first child just a month after turning 17!
While you might recognize Castle-Hughes more recently from her stint on Game of Thrones, Castle-Hughes was courting quite a bit of controversy when she announced that she was expecting. Castle-Hughes later stated that all the hand-wringing about her pregnancy – and her subsequent casting as the Virgin Mary in A Nativity Story – left her feeling that “it was bad for [her] to be happy about it.”
4 Roseanne Barr, 17 years old
Roseanne Barr’s time as a teen mom isn’t too well known in pop culture because Barr opted to give her daughter up for adoption. At the age of 16, Barr discovered that she was pregnant, but she had also suffered a car accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury that required her to be institutionalized for eight months! During her stay in the institution, she gave birth to a baby girl, whom she placed for adoption, and Barr moved into a Salvation Army home for unwed mothers.
But before you start reaching for the Kleenex, there is a happy ending here! After Barr’s show Roseanne became a hit, the girl – whose name is Brandi Brown – was located, and mother and daughter reunited when Brown was 17. Despite the years apart, Barr admits that she sees a lot of herself in her daughter.
3 Fantasia Barrino, 17 years old
This story is another one with a rocky start, so brace yourself. American Idol alum Fantasia Barrino had a rough start to motherhood. First, she was harassed and r*ped by a classmate, which caused her to drop out of high school. Later, at just 16, she discovered that she was pregnant by boyfriend Brandel Shouse, and gave birth to her daughter, Zion Quarri Barrino. Having dropped out of high school, Barrino later revealed in her memoir (which was dictated by her to a freelance writer) that she was functionally illiterate.
While on American Idol, Barrino cited her daughter as her driving force behind attempting a career in music, which later saw her win her season of Idol, nab a Grammy Award, and release six albums. Barrino now goes by Fantasia Taylor, having married a businessman named Kendall Taylor in 2015, and in 2011, she welcomed a son.
2 Jamie Lynn Spears, 17 years old
When Jamie Lynn Spears announced her pregnancy at the age of 16, the Teen Nickelodeon star made headlines all over the country. The father was Casey Aldridge, whom Spears had been dating since she was 14, and it seemed that everyone had an opinion on the whole situation, and many accused the media of using Spears to glamorize teen pregnancy, and others disappointed at Spear’s on-screen “good girl” personality and the supposed “bad girl” move of getting impregnated as a teenager and before marriage. It effectively put Spears’ career on hiatus.
Spears was 17 when she gave birth to daughter Maddie, and she and Aldridge later became engaged before calling things off for good in 2010. Spears has since recently wed someone new, voice actor Jamie Watson, and the two announced this past December that the actress was expecting her second child!
1 Shirley Temple, 19 years old
Shirley Temple was all sweetness and light as a child, with her dancing, singing, and bouncing curls, so it’s a little strange to think of that chubby-cheeked girl all grown up and being a mother. However, since she became a mom at 19 after tying the knot at just 17, perhaps it’s not too big a stretch!
Temple had met her first husband, John Agar, when she was just 15 and he was 22. After giving birth to daughter Linda Susan in 1948, the couple divorced less than three years later amid rumours that the marriage had long been troubled, and the former child star was awarded custody of her daughter. Less than 11 days later, Temple chose to walk down the aisle again, this time with a man she had met just a year earlier, Charles Alden Black, to whom she remained wed until his death in 2005.
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