Many look at me with a surprise look when they see me and my daughter out and say they can’t believe she is my daughter, I often get the “OMG but you look so young” or “I thought she was your sister.” If I got a dollar every time I hear that, I’d be rich.
Truth is I was a teen mom, I had my daughter after my 16th birthday. Yes I know I had no business doing what I was doing I was young, stupid and horny (damn hormones) but I knew what I was doing, but little did I know all the twists and turns my life was about to take, sacrifices, struggles, frustration, pain and all the tears that I was going to cry while raising this human I brought into this world.
I became my dad’s big disappointment and got kicked out, I had to move in with the biological father and the hell was just about to start. After my daughter’s birth, I was still trying to finish High School, being a mom of a small child, homework and having no support at all from your family or anyone was really hard.
I was in a really messed up situation dealing with abuse, until I met a loving family and they took me in and my daughter and I never looked back.
I was able to finish High School I graduated from Hamilton High School in 2007. I did not get to attend College as soon as I graduated, I did not get to go to frat parties, I did not live a promiscuous life or party every weekend like most people my age did.
As soon as I graduated I had to start working, not one but two jobs to support me and my child. I struggled financially and fell behind on bills, almost got evicted from my house “several times” because the money, utilities would get shut off, I was all on my own, there would be times where we did not have enough food to eat so I would walk miles to food pantries and would load my stroller with food.
You are wondering why am I telling you this, I am not doing it to make anyone feel sorry for me but for people to know the struggle some teens moms go though. Being a teen mom taught me a lot, it molded me into the woman I am today. Being a mom gave my life a purpose because the one that was always there to cheer me up was my daughter, the only reason why I never gave up, was my daughter, all the sacrifices I made and all the pain I went through was, so I could provide for her. I know what struggle is, I know what having no money feels like, I know what feeling broken is, I know what being hungry is and I know how to work hard for what I need.
Despite of it all, watching her grow, her smiles, her hugs and kisses made me keep going.
She gave my life a purpose.
I put many things on hold to raise a child, but life is a journey not a race, I am not where I want to be in life, but I am on a road of self-improvement, I am working hard towards my goals and I have the perseverance and diligence to get there. My life isn’t perfect, it still gets difficult, but I live comfortably and I am thankful for what I have.
Despite all the negative stereotypes about teen moms, being a mom at young age doesn’t ruin your life, I know a lot of successful women that had children at a young age. I don’t want to promote teen pregnancy; believe me, it’s not easy at all. PLEASE WAIT! But I truly believe that having Jemny (my daughter) has made me into a better woman. And I’d like the world to know that teenage moms can be as caring, loving, responsible, fully capable of providing for her child as any other mother, unlike like other moms, we are only a little bit younger.
There is this misconception that all young parents have made a careless mistake and have thrown their life away as a result. Getting pregnant at 16 didn’t mean my life was over. It meant that I get to live life with my daughter longer, I met her sooner than expected. Of course, I spend most of my time doing “mom “activities, but I also have my own life I have a social life, I go out with friends, I am working on my education, I go on dates, I travel and do many things, but most of everything I do, I do it with my daughter and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Now as a parent I am teaching my daughter that education first before committing to anything serious, I teach her how to value and respect herself and most importantly the struggle I had being a teen mom. I want her to do better, be better and to reach her full potential. I don’t have any regrets because I learned a lot and I love her with my whole heart, she is my life.
But overall, my life is amazing being a mom. My daughter has become my best friend and I enjoy watching grow into an amazing young lady.
Don’t use your children as an excuse why you can’t get ahead in life yes it will be harder and life absolutely changes when you have a child at a young age, but remember that you can still make a wonderful life for yourself and your child. Don’t stop!