Melissa Mccabe said her teachers and schoolmates were really supportive of her as she took her son to the prom.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on July 14, 2022. It has since been updated.
A teenage mom has received appreciation after taking her toddler as her date to the school prom. Melissa Mccabe, who is 16 now, became pregnant when she was 14 and gave birth to Arthur in November 2020. Mccabe, who lives in the U.K., describes her 1-year-old son as her "little blessing" and said she wanted him to be part of her prom. "When prom came around, no one could really have him and I wanted him to be a part of my prom day. I ordered him a suit and took him with me. All of the teachers were saying how gorgeous he looked," Mccabe told The Liverpool Echo. She said it was amazing to take him along and also have good pictures taken of them. "We don’t really have any nice up-to-date pictures of us. He loved it and he particularly loved all the snacks!” she said.
The video was shared by Mccabe on TikTok, garnering more than 1.6 million views and 227,000 likes. The reactions have been overwhelmingly supportive, said Mccabe. “I’ve had the odd couple of negative comments but I’ve also had messages of girls who are pregnant and are still in school and are worried about going back to school. I’ve mainly had loads of people being really supportive which is really nice because it's coming from people I don’t know,” she said. “Arthur is genuinely the most kind-hearted little boy. He loves everyone around him and he’s so spoiled,” she gushed.
Melissa recalls being surrounded by negativity and hurtful comments after she got pregnant during the lockdown. She gave birth at the age of 15. She is now more vocal and wants to break the stigma surrounding teen mothers. She said her brother and sister-in-law have been a huge support throughout the process. “When I found out I was pregnant obviously I was really young. It was hard because everyone told me I was ruining my life and I wasn’t going to get my GCSEs. So many people make comments when I’m out with him," she recalled. "Often people think he’s my little brother and when I tell them he’s mine, their attitude completely changes. Older people especially find it disgusting because obviously, their way was to get married first and then have kids."
The prom was a huge boost for Mccabe as students and teachers cheered for her and Arthur. “It was so nice because people who I don’t normally even speak to were coming up and saying how cute Arthur is and saying how proud they are of me," she said. "I couldn’t have asked for better support from my teachers at school. My deputy head and my form tutor especially have been so supportive throughout it all. They’re the people who’ve got me through the bad times being a mum.”
She completed her GCSEs in June 2022 and is now set to study Health and Social Care at college in September. This is a huge deal for her personally, especially considering the number of people who told her she wouldn't be able to go back to school. “I am proud of myself," she said. "Especially considering Arthur only has one parent, I think I’ve done a good job."