Thursday, March 25, 2010

Oh Baby!

I was a young mom. If you want to get technical I was a teen mom, but I really hate saying that. There are so many stereotypes associated with teen moms that I just don't want any part of. I am not an after school special. I am not a Jerry Springer episode waiting to happen. I am just me, and I am just like any other mom...only younger than a lot of people.

There's a lot of fascination with teen moms now days. The teenage pregnancy rate is on the rise for the first time in a decade and it's all over the media. Movies like Juno and TV shows like MTV's 16 and Pregnant series pique people's interest in the subject and I've gotten asked in the grocery store by complete strangers if I was a teen mom. I also get asked, again by complete strangers mind you, if all of my children have the same father. I kid you not-I have been asked that multiple times as if just because I'm young I must have several baby-daddies. Right.

Well my story is not nearly so dramatic as that-it's just a story like anybody else's.

When I was 16 I was living with my best friend at the time in an apartment and working. I really wasn't doing much else-I have always been, by nature, a homebody. My roommate however, was not. She loved to go out and one night she decided to drag me along with her and her boss to go karaoke. Well you know me-I love to sing-so with enough convincing I figured hey, I had two days off in a row, and the place they were going was a family place so there wasn't any drinking and I didn't have to worry about having to carry a loaded roommate home, why not go and have fun?

Of course, that's where I met Hubby. I'll tell you more about that later but for now let's just say it was love at first sight. We were immediately inseparable, and from that first night forward we saw each other literally every day. A few days before I turned 17 Hubby and I started sleeping together. I don't regret it to this day-I knew he would be my one and only and that I would spend the rest of my life with him. Still, even knowing that, I also knew enough to be responsible. The first time that we were together I was already on the pill and we were using condoms. To this day I am the only person I have ever met that had completely protected sex their first time-I wasn't an idiot. I was too busy, I was too broke, and I my life was too chaotic to purposefully bring a child into the world, even with the man I loved.

When we had been dating for three months, Hubby proposed to me for the first time. I was barely 17, but there was absolutely no doubt in my mind from the moment I saw him that he was The One. Of course I happily accepted and couldn't wait until I turned 18 and could marry him. We had the normal challenges of any other young, new couple with the additional stress of my struggle as an independent minor on top of it of course, but we struggled through good times and through bad. I had to work 40 hours a week and commute 30 hours a week (3 hours each way five days a week) to have a job that paid decently and so that I could take care of myself and get ready for Monkey. I moved into my own apartment, and I worked until I was two weeks over due and my doctor told me that I had to stay home. Monkey was born a week later, and 12 days after I went back to work 45 hours a week. Shortly after that Hubby and I moved in together and we both worked. Hard. For years. When monkey was about three Hubby got a job that paid well enough for me to stay home, so I did.

The rest is pretty much history. We got married, we got pregnant with Baby Bug, we moved, we got pregnant with The Bean, and here we are ten months later happily married and with a good sized family. Our children are happy and healthy. I love being a homeschooling mom of three and I never for one second wish I could be a "normal" twenty four year old because I think my life is better than the life I would have had right now had life not been the way it was. I personally think I would be terribly lonely without Hubby and the kids. I am a responsible, hard working, loving young mother-I am not a "teen mom".

A lot of young moms aren't. Now if only I could convince the strangers in the grocery store.


Samantha said...

I do wish I could stop the judging too. It's not fair. But...maybe something I just have to learn to deal with I guess.

MamaOtwins+1 said...

I am glad you spoke up. Even as a young mom, and not close to a teen mom - I still get looks. I'm glad you are proud of who you are. GO YOU!!!

Mommy of Two said...

You have no idea of how much I can relate to you. Seriously.

I was 17 when I got pregnant with Emily. I was busy with school and taking care of my mom, she was very very sick. She passed away when I was 4.5 months along. By the time I had my daughter I had my GED (I dropped out to help my mom) and I was working fulltime...Very long story short, I am NOT the typical teen mom.

Now I am 20 and I've been happily married for 3 years. Emily is 3 of course and little Ethan is almost 6 months already. Now I am also a stay-at-home homeschool mom. I'm in my second year of school for Psychology and my husband is going to the police academy. I am very proud of the person I am but I'm horribly ashamed of the 'teen mom' stereotype. Literally, the people at my church don't believe my age. lol

Anyway, sorry my comment is super long. Great great great post! I may be inspired to write out my own story.

Nicole said...

I LOVE 16 and Pregnant! But I am SO happy your story is nothing like theirs =D Good Job!