Young Māori parents strategically navigate Western parenting expectations, and issues of indigeneity in their construction of early parenting. A culturally based narrative approach to research with young Māori parents revealed personal stories of early parenting located in wider expectations from family and peers, their Indigenous community and society. The application of a Māori relational analytical framework reveals how young Māori parents navigate and negotiate assumptions about being young and being Māori. They draw on Māori understandings about raising children to resist assumptions that having a child at a young age contributes to entirely negative experiences. Furthermore, identifying with Western attributes of good parenting helps to counter the negative social outcomes often attributed to Māori parenting. Further strengthening of positive experiences of early parenting for Māori requires a broader approach to developing positive representations of Māori caregiving and Māori identity and integrating these into parenting supports.