- Family and Parenting
My Teen Mom Success Story
My Teen Mom Success Story
If I am going to be honest, I have to say that I do not believe that most young girls decide to become moms at age 15, 16, etc. A few bad decisions and there you are pregnant, expecting your first child. What happens now?
You brace yourself for what is to follow, because if your family is anything like mine was, you are in serious trouble. My parents were angry and disappointed and rightly so and they made sure to direct all that rage at me and there was nothing I could do about it. Then there were my friends, they pretended to be concerned. Some even thought it was cool. Then as school started, they went back to their own affairs and all of a sudden, there I was, on the outside looking in.
Even though that was over 30 years ago, much hasn’t changed. Most sixteen yearold's are not really interested in hanging out with you if you got a couple of kids tagging along. Your life changes, and it does so quickly.
So what do you do? I decided to keep my baby, then I decided to be the best mom that I could be. My philosophy was, yes I am young, but my kids didn’t ask to be born to me, a teen mom, therefore, they were going to have the best I could give them.
I had my two oldest girls before I finished high school, dropped out of high school for two years, then went back and took day and night classes to catch up so that I could graduate. After that I enrolled in college, but halfway through my second year I became pregnant with my third daughter. That ended college for me, I had to take care of my kids.
So imagine this, here I was, by age 20 had three girls, everyone said that my life was over and that my children weren’t going to amount to anything. The first part of that statement was somewhat true, my life as I knew it then was over, and I had now started down a different path that led me to where I am today.
It’s not going to be easy and it wasn’t for me. So if you’re a teen and you’re pregnant, I want you to know that life is going to be more difficult for you than if you had waited. However, I didn’t let that stop me from doing the best I could for my kids.
So as I said, by age 20, I was a mother of three, by age 21 the relationship between their father and I started to disintegrate. I believe that my reluctance to stay in the same situation that was in, meaning, wanting more for myself and my children, put in motion a series of events that would cause the young man whom I thought I couldn’t live without at age sixteen to become my worst nightmare at age twenty-one..
I think I just wanted to know what else was out there and I began to slowly pull away from him and he wasn’t about to make it easy for me.
There was a lot fear and a whole lot of crying. There were nights that I didn’t sleep, trying to figure out how to get out of this mess that I found myself in. I was afraid to tell anyone, because I didn’t think anyone would believe me. So I dealt with it privately.
But no matter what happened, through it all I made sure my children were protected so that it wouldn’t affect them. All they knew is that one day their dad was there and the next day he wasn‘t.
So here again I found myself leaving college before it’s completion so that I could find a job, because I was now the sole provider for my kids. You know what that was alright. Again, my kids did not ask to be here, so they were going to be protected and cared for, whatever the cost.
You know what, my desire to care for and protect my children wasn’t any different then than it is now when I became a mom again as an adult. It was simple a matter of me making a decision to do something to the best of my abilities and seeing it through to the end. The end being, my children becoming responsible and productive adults able to care for themselves. What could be more fulfilling than knowing that you’ve done the best for kids, and they turned out just fine.
Today those same people who said that my children would amount to anything, can’t stop complimenting me on what an awesome job I did and how successful my girls are. Some of them have even asked me how I kept my girls from going down the same path I did and I tell them the same thing I said before. I decided to be a good mom. I engaged in all parts of my kids lives.
I was mom first, but I was also a friend and confidant. Was it always smooth? No! Especially in their teen years, some tried to flex their muscles, but I was always in control and they knew it. I didn’t let go until I knew that they were strong enough and smart enough to make good decisions for themselves.
How did that happen, well the same way I decided to become sexually active an early age without a clue as to what the repercussions would be, I decided to be a good mom. Plain and simple. You decide and then you work at it everyday. Always thinking about what your kids needs are and putting them first.
Understand this though, you can’t do it by yourself. As angry and disappointed as my parents were, they never turned their backs on me and there were some times when I thought they might and should have. But they never did. However, I still had to do all the heavy lifting, and if I fell short, my parents were there to pick me up.
So if you find yourself in the situation where you become a teen mom and you have a good support system, use it. Don’t push people away who are there to help you and don’t walk away from them. Most young girls when they become teen moms they think they know everything and most neither want or take advice. I am here to tell you that you don’t know anything and you can use all the advice you can get.
Sometimes you might become at odds with your mom, however, don’t let that keep you from learning from her. She’s done it before and she only wants the best for you. If home isn‘t so great, decide to do better for your kids. Decide to give them what you did not have and I’m not talking about material things. I didn’t have a lot of that my kids, but they were happy and they were loved and they knew it.
So even though I was a teen mom and I didn’t finish college, it didn’t prevent me from being a good mom. I was there for my kids. I engaged in every area of their lives. I joined the PTA, went to all the parent-teacher meetings. I made sure I knew who all their friends were and their friends parents. If I saw them with kids who seemed to me like they weren't interested doing anything worthwhile with their lives, I made sure they stared clear of them.
I took them to church, we prayed, laughed and cried together.. I learned how to be a mom, a friend, a teacher, provider, and a fierce protector. I did all of that so that my girls would not make the same decisions I did and they didn’t.
I am older now, got married at age 33, had two boys who are now ages 16 and 14 and I am practicing the same disciplines with them that I did with their sisters and it’s working. So I must be doing something right. If you met my girls you wouldn’t know that their mom was a teenage mother. They show no signs of having less than anyone else.
They’re all grown up now, some with children of their own. They’ve all graduated from college and have good careers. So even though I was a teen when I had them, they still had a great childhood with great memories and if you ask them, they‘ll tell you the same. Today, they are my best friends.
Who knows, maybe financially, my life might have been a little easier, if I had finished college and gone down the career path I originally plotted for myself. I don’t know. However, I haven’t any regrets, I love my kids, my husband and my life just the way it is.
The decisions that I made at an early age, gave me my girls and I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world. Now I am not saying go out and become pregnant at age sixteen because I didn’t want that for my girls. What I am say is this, if you find yourself in that situation where become a teen mom, decide to be a good mom and give your kids the best chance you possibly can at a good future. That is all.That’s my life in a nutshell. We’ll talk later.