Friday, July 31, 2009

Life Changing...Teen Pregnancy

Sandy at One day at a Time hosts Tell Me About It Thursday. I read about it too late, but after reading the topic, I just kept thinking about it over and over...so I'm a few days late but here it is...

The topic today is: An event that changed your life

Well that's an easy one for me - getting pregnant at just 14 years old.

When I first thought about this topic I thought, well this'll be easy. But as the days past I just thought about every aspect of my life that is touched because of this.
Being a teen mom is not easy, obviously.
But unless you've lived it, you absolutely no idea just how hard it is.
Let me start by saying that I came from a good home. We went to church every Wednesday and Sunday, I went to school everyday, and mainted a good grade average.

But I was a teenager, a teenager who was much more mature than I should've been
(I always joke that I'm actually 10 yrs older than my real age).
A teenager who was "in love" and was determined to do what I wanted to do no matter what anyone said or did.

Obviously my parents were heartbroken and very upset. But my 14 year old brain couldn't process the life changes that I was about to go thru...

Judgment

When you're a teen mom, people believe that they know what's going on in your life and that they have the right to judge you.

Once when I was pregnant as I was walking into a store; the solictor outside asked how old I was. I replied ,14. He said, If I was your father, I would woop your ass.

Well thank god you're not my father, thank god my father has taught me better than to speak to someone with such disrespect.
Another time I was at the laundry mat folding my daughters clothes and a man walked up to me and said, Why didn't you give her up? Excuse me, I asked?
He said, why didn't you give her up for adoption?
Really, are you serious, you think you have the right to ask me that?!
I just chose to ignore his ignorance...
My prenatal care nurses told me I would be obese while I was a whopping 120 lbs.
Again another adult choosing to say anything they wish to scare me.
That is the kind of judgement and verbal harrasment that most teen parents have to deal with.
Now I'm not trying to be an advocate for teen parents,
but more of an advocate for not judging people.
This turned me into a bit of an introvert because I always felt like people were judging me.
Determination
But this also made me a more determined person.
I was determined to prove everyone wrong and show them that I wasn't this loser kid that got pregnant.
I became, what felt like, a full blow adult when I had my daughter on my 15th birthday
(oh yeah labor from 4am to 11:50pm, Happy Birthday to you!!)
I gave up my friends and hanging out for my baby and motherhood.
At 16, I had graduated high school, moved out to my own apt,
working full time, and part time college.
At 17, I had my second daughter.
By 20, I was married, bought my first home, had a brand new car,
and was financially making what people twice my age were making.
However by the age of 24, I was divorced, selling my 2nd home and had filed bankruptcy.
(I told you 10 years older than my real age!)
Realization

As I got older I realized alot of the things I had done out of determination to...

#1 Prove that I could be a good mom - this is a constant work in progress

#2 Prove everyone wrong - not always such a good reason to do things. I realized that I did things for other people, not for myself.

#3 Prove to myself that I was strong and capable enough to handle the life that I had created for myself.

I realized that I had given up a lot to become this parent at 15 years old. That I had missed out on alot of life because I was already a parent, because I was always wanting to prove something, prove someone wrong.

I don't think that I really truly believed that having my kids so young was such a big deal until my oldest daughter turned 14. That's when the reality of it hit me, when I stopped to actually understand the life of a teenager, when I could understand the heartbreak and dissapointment that my parents must've felt...

She is now 15 1/2 and my 2nd daughter is coming up on 13, and let me tell you, this has been THE most stressful, anxiety filled year of my life. Not because they're bad kids, they're typical teenagers. But because I realize how much I missed out on and do not want that for them.

I love my girls to death and honestly wouldn't change a thing, but I want so much more for them. I want them to experience life as a teenager. Go to school dances, experience dating, keep their high school friends through the years, just enjoy living. Enjoying being young.

I'm stressed beyond words hoping that I've raised them well and am leading them in the right direction. Working on keeping communication open but still being the mom, not just their friend. And of course the sensitive subject of talking to your kids about how hard life is without making them feel like they were the cause of it. We live well now, but I dont want them to not understand where we came from and what we've gone through.

This keeps me up at night, hence my insomnia!

This post became longer than I thought and not sure if I could pinpoint just the thing that changed in my life. Maybe it's just been more of a therapy session for me to actually have to go back and think about these things.

ME

By my life experience overall is much different than most people would assume.

I am who I am because of it.

Now I'm able to enjoy things in life for myself and my family and am not doing it out of determination to prove someone wrong.

I try my best not to judge someone at first glance because I've been judged and looked down upon. I have no idea what's going on in their life.

I married a great man and I've learned to lighten up and not always be in control, it's a partnership...(right honey?!!)

I had my son at 27 and am doing my best to enjoy every second of it because I know how quickly they grow.

I'm trying to do the best job raising these teenage girls with all my love and compassion.


8 comments:

Grand Pooba said...

Wow.

Your story just amazes me. I remember myself at the age of 14 and there is no way in hell I could have done what you did (not the sex part, the responsibility part)

And I can't believe there are such dumb asses out there that would say such ugly things to your face! God people can be such jerks sometimes!

I so look up to you! Look how much you've grown!

Are You Serious! said...

♥ I know how hard it is at the age of 32 w/4 kids and I stay at home all day with a husband to work and I CANNOT even imagine doing it at 14!!! I think it's wonderful that you've accomplished so much and have such great kids!

I can't believe how rude some people can be! I think some should have a permanant filter attached to their mouths!!!

Amanda said...

I think you are a better person for the life you have led... I have always admired the life you have led.

Christian Mommy Writer said...

Stopped in from Momsweb:

Thanks for sharing your testimony. I'm not sure why people feel the need to speak such negative things to people, especially to those who they don't know.

Your story can give such inspiration to teen moms all over that life isn't over and you can succeed and be happy after becoming a teenage mom.

Anonymous said...

My darling daughter ... Thanks for sending me the link to this "blog" ...
First let me say that I was never "disappointed" with you, maybe sad, for the same reasons that you give for being concerned about Loryna & Lorysa, that you had to grow up "faster" than you should have... But you did that marvelously !!! If I was ever disappointed, it was w/ me, not you ...
You have always been a wonderful daughter, friend and a great Mother to three of my most favorite people in the whole wide world !!!
You chose responsibility and you chose Life, for that, I will always be very Proud !!!
I Love You Janelle,
Dad...

Now, send those two teenagers over to clean my house !!!

kimberly said...

my sister... i love you. and i know i would not be who i am today without those two little girls.

thank you for growing up so fast... to take care of me and teach me. and never let me turn out like the guy in the laundry mat.

kimberly said...

p.s. don't cry

Shari@aPsychMommy said...

Wow, what a beautiful and powerful post. You sound like you are a great role model for your children as well as the teen moms that you advocate for.

Follow along through the fun and agony as we try to figure out how to raise two completely opposite teenagers- Teen 1, the fiesty yet inquisitive one, Teen 2 quiet but wise-cracking and our ball full of energy known as The Boy. It aint always pretty, but we’ll sure try to make the best of it!
These are the stories of our lives…