My baby girl is a month old this week. I may be only 17, but why does everyone think the worst? Teen mothers have become a type of scape goat in our society. With teen moms being shown on television nowadays, why is there no acceptance of young women who work their butts off for their kids? Yes, having a baby at a young age is hard, and yes, sometimes it sucks, but from my personal experience, most of the sucky part is because of how taboo having a kid at 17 is. I love my daughter with all my heart, and being pregnant with her and having her in my care is not the hard part at all. Sure sleepless nights and feedings and all the normal things involved with caring for a child take a lot out of you, but a 35 year-old mom deals with that too. For me, my struggle as a young mother is caused by peoples opinions. I CAN do this.
MY boyfriend of two years, whom i loved deeply, initially was supportive. I was so relieved that he was confident we could do this. However, as time set in, he became increasingly worried about how his being a young father would affect his "status". We both come from well to do backgrounds, and he's ivy league college bound. He left me and is no longer speaking to me, even about our daughter. He has turned into a complete monster, and done and said things to me that I never would have imagined he could be capable of doing. All this because he's convinced his family will exile him, and Princeton won't accept him to college. First off, I thought and still think that him leaving me as well as his daughter for a family that clearly isn't supportive was a huge mistake. If i've learned anything from this process, it's that family is not always the one you're born into. Your real family is the one that supports you unconditionally. For me, that been my mom, my brother and sister, my family on my mom's side, and my friends. Yes there are people in my life that look down upon me, and yes that's upsetting to me, but why would anyone want to choose the family that isn't unconditionally supportive? It makes no sense to me.
Peoples opinions of young mothers and fathers took my daughters Dad from her. While I realize that obviously he's not a great guy, and ultimately his leaving us was his decision, I see that he left because of fear. The fear of being exiled, and mocked was too much for him. People love to throw out statistics about how teen parents never stay together and lead these terrible lives, but why don't they see that their negativity towards young parents contributes to young parents splitting up, as well as contributes to many other struggles young mothers face.
So in conclusion, YES, being a teen parent is hard, incredibly hard, but does it mean I love my daughter any less? no. Does it mean that I'm not going to work just as hard as the 35 year-old mom to give my kid an incredible life? certainly not. If anything, being young and having a child motivates me to be an even better mother. I will break statistics, I will graduate as planned, and I will go to college, and have a successful career. I will do all this and not miss a school play or a doctors visit. I will read bedtime stories and I will kiss every boo-boo. My child WILL NOT suffer as a result of my age, and no, my life is not over. On the contrary, my life is JUST BEGINNING.