13 Teen Moms Explain How Drastically Their Lives Changed After Having A Baby

Twenty20.com Darby
Twenty20.com Darby

1. MY LIFE TURNED UPSIDE-DOWN

“I became a mother just a couple months before I turned 17, and wow, did it turn my life upside-down….I didn’t think I would have to drop out of school. I didn’t think I would have to get a job as soon as she was born. I never thought of any of that! 
I never knew I would stay up all hours of the night feeding my daughter and changing wet diapers. I didn’t know doing the simplest of things like taking a shower would be such a hassle and always have to be planned around a naptime or something….Even though I do enjoy the shows, I think it’s a big negative. Mainly because most of the girls don’t have actual jobs (because they are paid by MTV) and they are just in it for the fame. I do appreciate 16 and Pregnant though, because it portrays all the drama (child’s father, parents, etc.), and it goes deep into showing how hard it is to actually finish school with a baby.”

—Catie

beetlejuice

2. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M GOING TO TELL HIM WHEN HE GROWS UP

“I am 20 years old and have a 2 ½-year-old son. When I first found out I was pregnant, I was in shock; I really could not believe it. I have raised my son by myself. Of course my family has been there for us, but I am the one who takes him to his appointments, buys his diapers and clothes, and teaches him everything. I make sure he has food on the table three times a day. I give him the comfort and love he needs. We live on our own with our own apartment….The worst part of the situation is I have no idea what I’m going to tell him when he grows up and asks me why his ‘dad’ is not in his life, because I honestly have no idea why.”

—Katie

beetlejuice

3. A BABY HAVING A BABY

“At the grocery store just across from my apartment I place a small blonde baby in a cart, push my way to the back aisles, grabbing a few apples from the produce section as we pass through, and head to where the diapers sit. I toss a package into the cart, kiss the little girl on the head and push my way toward the register. Still on time. Still on time….We’re standing in line at the register. My daughter is grabbing for things that line the sides of the checkout lane, and I distract her by feigning to bite her fingers and seeing if she can keep them away from me. She squeals in laughter. Then I hear it….Behind me a lady is mumbling, obviously irritated. I glance and see she’s looking at me and I hear, ‘That’s a baby having a baby,’ her voice filled with disgust.”

—Shaina

beetlejuice

4. SLEEPLESS NIGHTS, DIRTY DIAPERS, AND GIVING UP YOUR CHILDHOOD OVERNIGHT

“Becoming a teen mom isn’t as glamorous as they show on MTV with all these young kids living in nice houses and driving brand new cars. That show in my opinion is all fluff and drama. This is not reality. The reality of being a teen mom is sleepless nights, dirty diapers and giving up your childhood overnight. It’s being judged by your peers and adults, not being on a reality show and being on the cover of a magazine.”

—Ashley

beetlejuice

5. HIV+

“I fell pregnant in 2011 when I was 18 years old and doing my first year in Varsity. Unfortunately I found out I was also HIV positive. At first my baby daddy was supportive but as time went on (when he started working), it became clear that he was not the guy I had thought he was. I was not good enough for him anymore; his cousins started insulting me telling I should leave him alone he has a girl that he loves and that he’s going to marry. (At that moment I didn’t even know we had broken up.)”

—Tracy

beetlejuice

6. HER FATHER WAS SITTING IN JAIL WHEN I GAVE BIRTH

“I was 16 when I had my daughter Casey 20 years ago. Just shy of turning 17. I was super-scared. Her father was 24 at the time and sitting in jail when I gave birth. I was alone except for my mom and my sister. I did have a smattering of close friends….A huge shock. This baby wasn’t a doll. I could not just put her down when I was done playing with it. I had to nurse her, then later on make bottles. I had to wash those bottles. I had to bathe her, wash her laundry. I had to take her temp rectally. I had to be a mom….At 16, I was now a mom and I had to care for someone other than myself….Being a teen mom is hard, much harder than I thought it would be.”

—Ginger

beetlejuice

7. IT REMINDS ME TO BE HAPPY

“It’s a common postpartum symptom to be depressed after you have a baby. Nicknamed the baby blues. I had depression for about three months. I had absolutely zero appetite, if I ate it was just to make sure my milk didn’t dry up. I also had really bad nightmares and would start crying out of nowhere. Some days I had insomnia; other days I slept nonstop….Little things like changing his diapers 10 times a day and getting three hours of sleep didn’t bother me too much. I guess when your motherly instincts kick in, you don’t mind. I used to loathe changing a diaper, but once I had Christian it was more like, ‘Oh look it you pooped, time to get you cleaned, love.’ Things like getting a booger out were great accomplishments. Some days aren’t easy and sometimes life is hard, but when I see my cutie pie’s adorable eye smile and double chin, it reminds me to be happy.”

—Aimi

beetlejuice

8. HITTING ROCK BOTTOM

“You never really know that you have hit rock bottom until you feel like a failure to thrive. You no longer have any want to keep moving forward and try to make things better. You literally just want to fall into your grave and not look back….Every second that I was alone and away from my family I cried. If I still had a problem with cutting myself I can only imagine how my hips and wrists would have looked after that day. I remember multiple times I just had to curl up into a ball and I couldn’t even cry. My eyes felt like there were no more tears to be cried. Life really is a roller coaster. I can’t deny that. Some lows are lower than others and some highs are higher than others. It keeps life interesting. But after hitting what felt like rock bottom of this roller coaster I was ready to move on and fight for what I knew was right.”

—Myranda

beetlejuice

9. WHEN ONE THING GETS EASIER, SOMETHING ELSE GETS HARDER

“I had just turned 17 years old when I found out I was pregnant. I was more than shocked. I wasn’t ready to be a parent. I felt like I could barely take care of myself, let alone a baby that would be completely dependent on me for everything….I’m now in college full-time, we’re living in our own apartment, and we have a newer car that’s much more reliable than the first two. But with every milestone comes new challenges. I’m a student-mom, and that in itself has many challenges. There are endless bills to pay, laundry to do, schedules to keep. When one thing gets easier, something else gets harder, but that’s life!”

—Cole

beetlejuice

10. MY HEART WAS FULL OF PAIN AND SHAME

“Becoming a mother was a very different experience for me than most women I know. My heart was full of pain and shame, not joy and hope. I was 18 when I got pregnant, and 19 when I had my oldest son, Skyler. Yes, I was legally an adult when I became a mother, but I wasn’t married, had just started college, and was still living with my parents. I struggled with my sense of self-worth, with the experiences I never got to have, the dreams I still wanted to reach for.…I can’t say that life is always rosy, or that I don’t still have struggles, but I’ve come to a place where I’m learning to be truly comfortable with my life, who I am, what I do.”

—Amy

beetlejuice

11. I DON’T HAVE MUCH OF A SOCIAL LIFE

“I can’t ignore the fact that my life is really weird compared with the lives of most kids my age….I don’t have much of a social life. I can’t relate to my old friends anymore: the things they talk about, the clothes they wear, the parties. I still have my Eminem posters in my room, but instead of staying up late listening to music or talking on the phone, I go to bed at 8:30 so I can get up at 6 a.m. with Tyler….Tyler’s a good little boy most of the time, but like any toddler, he has his moments. When he cries in public, I really cringe, because I feel under a lot of pressure to be a perfect mom. If he acts up, or if he falls over and bumps his head, I always think people are looking at me as if to say, ‘It’s because you’re a teenager.’”

—Jamie

beetlejuice

12. IT’S VERY HARD

“From day one my biggest obstacle has been people. Juggling family dynamics, failing relationships and choosing who to fight for and who to let go….It’s very hard. There are a lot of battles, and it usually feels like I’m up against something or someone at all times. Trying to get everyone (family/friends) on the same page about things, learning how to mesh a family in such a short amount of time, combining traditions and households so suddenly is a recipe for absolute disaster. Losing people who don’t understand. Judgment from people who thought I was ‘above’ getting pregnant as a teen. Changing churches. Earning an income and being a student.…Shows like Teen Mom, 16 And Pregnant and movies like Juno make being a teen mom seem ‘almost’ appealing. Not to say that girls are out there TRYING to get pregnant, but it makes the reality of teen-motherhood seem a lot less serious. It’s serious, trust me.”

—Jessie

beetlejuice

13. I’M THE TALK OF THE TOWN, AND IT HURTS

“Teen parenting isn’t easy. You must live two lives—one as a teen, and one as a parent. A teen mom faces so many more issues than an ‘older mom.’ Dealing with the day-to-day chores that involve a baby, trying to take care of a baby, and getting an education can be very stressful….Trying to go to school, raise a baby, and still grow up is not easy. And a teen mom faces more than just the bills and the baby. She often deals with becoming stereotypical in the eyes of those around her. That includes strangers, friends, family, or anyone….Being the talk around town often hurts. Closer to home, teen moms have to deal with relationship problems. Boyfriends of any type tend to drop out of the ‘picture’ or promise to be around only to leave later.…Although I’m only sixteen years old, I’ve had to experience how mean and cruel people can be. I also had to experience a controlling and abusive relationship with my boyfriend. I never expected any of this to happen to me, but most of the time you don’t want to believe that it can happen until it’s too late.”

—Anonymous TC mark

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