When you’re a child, the last thing you’re envisioning about being a teenager is being a mom- at least it was for me. I was raised according to Bible standards, so a major part of my background was being taught no sex before marriage. But if you’ve ever read my blog, then you know that all of that changed at the age of 17 when I was date raped.
Shortly after that, the proverbial gloves came off and I decided for myself that sexual exploration was the way to go. So I did a bit of exploring and needless to say as the title of this blog would indicate; a baby was made.
I gave birth at 18, and even though I was an adult by legal standards; I was still a kid by mental standards. A lot of growing up had to occur in order for me to see a modicum of success in raising a baby while I myself was still trying to grow up. Needless to say the journey was not easy at all.
I made a lot of mistakes along the way. There were a lot of sacrifices, a lot of selfish moments in my mind, a lot of decisions to be made that now had to include another life that wasn’t planned. I rose to the occasion albeit begrudgingly in some moments; and I did what I had to in order to make it work.
So did being a teen mom really shape me?
Now that I’m in my thirties, and a mom to two additional children, and that baby I gave birth to at 18 is a teenager herself; I have to say without a doubt it absolutely did shape me.
Her birth changed the trajectory of my life in so many ways. I was on a bad path in my life at the time she was conceived, and getting pregnant with her made me have to stop in my tracks and change my whole life around. Did the changes I made over the course of her early life happen over night? Of course not.
There was a lot of learning, and in my mid twenties though I was already married and on my second kid; there was a sense of resentment that began to surface. I am ashamed to admit that it happened; but it’s the truth. It was as if I woke up one morning and realized that I had been a mom my entire adulthood. I began to think about all the things I missed out on because I had been pregnant, and raising a child. I mourned and grieved my teenage years hard during that time, and it almost cost me my marriage and my family.
I had to snap out of it and recognize that while being a teen mom wasn’t ideal, it was a choice I made. When I look at all the growth between then and now I realize it gave me the tools I needed to be able to teach my daughter and her friends lessons about the choices we make even as young ones.
If I could redo life; I certainly wouldn’t have had a baby as a teen, I surely would’ve waited until I was an adult. But I do not regret my daughter’s existence. Even when we’re going through trials and tribulations that make me pull my hair out and threaten to send me to the psych ward and sometimes even leaves me in tears; she is worth every single stress because ultimately…she saved my life.