My Life As A Teen Mom – Take 1

Having just blogged about Where They Go Wrong, in reference to what the media (etc) is not really portraying in the life of teenage mothers – I decided to finally share a little. I start typing and then I hit delete. Over and over again. Because just like when I got pregnant with Brodie so young, I think of Newton’s laws of motion. For every action, you know? I’d love to delve into the psychological aspect of the beginning of my life as a teen mom, but I’ll leave that to the pros. And really everyone could have a therapists opinion on the why and how etc. I really think that is clinical speak for “who should we blame“. Truth is, nobody. In the beginning I was far to busy attempting to grow up so I could be a halfway decent mother, swallow the idea that my life was going to so much different and take on life in general. You know as teenagers, all of us, have this very skewed idea that we can do anything and we know everything. Then we get pregnant. Or at least I did. Then as life kept going on, blame never crossed my mind. But at some point when the blame game was ever present I wanted to scream, “She is not a fault. Not a blame. She’s my daughter.”

Brodie

The battles you face as a teen mom are vast and they come on, one after another. You have to learn to be a mother and you pray nightly you are good one. You have to learn to be an adult and all the situations that arise from it. You know, paying bills, routines, responsibilities etc. I’m still learning. I’m still trying to figure out budgets, savings, meal planning etc. I may never figure it out, but I feel like I have to. Or at least try to. You also have to learn to be in certain cases, a wife. While Brent and I didn’t get married until after we had three kids and were together 7 years, we were still a family. A couple. We had to learn to balance a friendship, parenting, life and a relationship. You also have to learn to not lose yourself. You may be a mother, a wife, a teenager etc, but inside you are still a person. You still have needs. And somehow you have to balance all of these things as a teenager. As a person, arguably, ill equipped for it.

As I said in the beginning and even now Newton comes to my mind. My family and those close to us (Brent and the kids) have longed moved on over my having a child as a teen. But I used to worry so deeply about three people. Brent. My mom. Brodie. I don’t anymore¬† (except as I said during the process of writing this right now).

I worried what people would think of Brent. He was older than me. Which mean he carries more responsibility than me. Which means people would question conduct with me. And that is unfair. From the beginning of meeting Brent and falling in love with him, I knew if he was nothing else, he was a good man and person. It angered me to think that who he is as a person could be questioned.

And then there was my mom. My beautiful and strong mom. She raised myself and two siblings alone. Yeah our father had joint custody. And yeah we had our step-dad. But most children of divorce understand what I mean by her raising us alone. She was the center of our world. We were the center of hers. She raised us with morals, values, independence and strength. She provided us great personal freedoms with boundaries we understand the placement of. She loved us. She is an amazing mom. My pregnancy as a teenager never could be placed at her feet. Common sense proves so. And I used to hurt with the idea that in some way people may make her feel ashamed or inept.

Then there is Brodie. The wondrous outcome of the teenage pregnancy. Before I hit the “grown up” stage where the obvious was much more comprehensible to me, I worried she would suffer from it. I figured she would be the poster child of the stats. You know, child of a teenage mother. Tell me that most of you don’t think poor, without, suffering etc come to mind when thinking of a teenager mother and child. Even I have. I do. And I could think was Brodie will never have the fair shot.

That was all then. This is now. I explained we have suffered. We had turmoil. Somehow Brent and I muddled through. We learned to fight. We look back now humbled by our journey but grateful for how far we have come – but still farther to go. Brodie still really doesn’t have a fair shot. Mostly if not fully because of me. I still burden myself with fault. I know so much more now then I did then. I could have done better by her in the beginning years. I still defend Brent and Mom. I get defensive with ANYONE who in my mind tips my perfect balancing act of them. I got lucky when it came to the stats of teen moms. Brent stuck by. Brent is still sticking by. And maybe that is part of where they go wrong. As much as we all like to think of the bad men out there, there are great ones too. Of course they probably aren’t a good ratings boost either.

Being a mom brings on challenges, burdens and emotions – all in which aren’t easily handled by adults let alone teenagers. I’m not sure if teen moms are placed with extra of these, being as they are teenagers or not. I feel like when I had my youngest, Tristan, it was much easier. I didn’t have to justify my choices and actions.

They part they are missing when they attempt to portray these teen moms and what I am attempting to get at here, is the internal battle. The one I know I fought and sometimes still do. The drama, the daily life situations, the conversations – that they sensationalize – are minuscule to what it’s really like. They cannot portray the emotion of laying in bed nightly praying that tomorrow you do it better – that tomorrow everyone else knows better.

 

To Be Continued….