An Open Letter To Teen Parents

Shutterstock/Soloviova Liudmyla
Shutterstock/Soloviova Liudmyla

I sincerely hope you’re doing well because these times are probably going to be hard on you, even if you have support from your own parents, or friends, and especially if you’re completely alone. The levels of “hard” will differ from one another but hey; shrapnel is still shrapnel.

I’m not a teen parent; I’m not expecting a child or nor am I married. I don’t know what you’re facing and I can’t relate to you in the teen parenting department. But I guess that’s the essence of it all; I don’t know you and you don’t know me, to you I’m nothing more but a stranger who wrote something, but I’d like to say thank you. Not just the simple kind of thank you, it’s the deepest kind, a sincere gratitude.

You’re wondering what’s it for, why would this stranger say thank for something you should be doing? First of all, you’re not supposed to even be parenting in your teens. We don’t live in the medieval era where that’s a normal thing, nor do we live in the deepest parts of the forests where it’s their culture to have babies from age 13 to 20. Teenage years is the time where most teens have loads of fun and stress about menial things such as pop quizzes, what clothes you’re going to wear tomorrow, what will you eat for dinner, hang out with friends, read tons of fanfictions, or play Vault 4 until your parents scream bloody murder at 2 AM.

But here you are. You’re young and you’re raising a child/children of your own, sometimes on your own. You’re probably working while you’re at it to provide not for just yourself but for your child, all the while still going to school with the worst thing we can face when we’re in our teens; overflowing emotions. It’s hard being a teen alone and parenting is not a walk in the park either, I really can’t imagine what it must be like for you.

People probably judge you here and there, they look at you as if you’re this sex-crazed maniac who finally got what he/she deserved. They think of you as a bad statistic, they set you as a warning example for all the other teens your age. Sometimes it probably feels like the only one who loves you is your kid. I cried when people spread rumors about me, some teens cry over a bad tagged photo on facebook. I can’t imagine how hard hearing bad words flown at you point blank, or even feeling the judgmental stares of those people who claim they’re decent citizens.

Somewhere along the way you’ve probably wanted to throw in the towel. You wanted to give the baby up, or worse you even regretted not aborting the baby. You’re probably crying at nights or when it’s just you alone. You’re probably using up all of your strength just to smile at people, or just to look someone who thinks you’re a failure dead in the eye and pretend you don’t know what they’re thinking, to pretend that nothing much changed. You’re losing more and more sleep because not only do you still have school, you have work and your baby to take care of. You’re probably battling with thoughts such as, “Will I be a good mother/father?” or, “Am I going to be like those messed up parents I see on television?” You probably never even wanted this to happen; maybe you wanted to have kids but certainly not at your age.

It hurts, everything hurts, and it’s taking its toll on your health and sanity.

But yet here you are.

Here you are doing your best for your baby. Here you are trying to give them love and compassion. Here you are trying to make weird bubbly faces for the little one just to make them giggle. Here you are sacrificing your teen years to grow up so that they might have what a great childhood. Here you are trying against all odds to have the best of both worlds for everyone. Here you are being responsible. Here you are trying to beat the statistics. Here you are battling with those hateful and pity stares. Here you are showing the world that your baby can grow up happy and you can also be happy even though you two had a rough start. Here you are alive with your baby despite everything that makes you want to give it all up.

Here you are.

If that is not one of the noblest things anyone could’ve done, I really don’t know what is. And I thank you for that.

I also wanted to tell you that despite what other people say to you or you feel is being thrown at you now, it does not in any way define you. You are not a failure, you are not some sex-addict who got served by karma, and you are not a bad person. You made a mistake, but darling, that does not in any way make you a failure or a bad person. What makes you now and what defines you will be what you do in the future to come. It gets better. I know that phrase is so used and abused and you’re probably sick of hearing it. But don’t lose hope. Even if you can’t see it now, don’t lose hope.

I also pray and hope things will get better for you, that you receive all the best in life now, and that you’ll keep on fighting and striving through because you know you’re capable of greater things even with a baby in your arms. I hope you understand how thankful I am that people like you exist in this world to show that you and your baby are more than what they say you both are; and how proud I am of you that you’re here against all of the overwhelming odds.

I don’t know who you are, I don’t know much of what you’re going through even after watching all those, “15 Teen Mom Confessions” videos online. I may never meet you in person, but I am so proud of you and I am sincerely thankful for what you have done. TC mark

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