Being a teen mom makes you a (blank)

1.12.2013

I don't really discuss my experience as a teen mom on this blog very often. I'm not really sure why, but I guess it feels kind of weird to talk about. It feels strange to call myself a "teen mom". I am not in my teens anymore. In fact, I am approaching mid-twenties (please, shoot me now). But I really wonder if somebody ever stops being a "teen mom". My child and I will continue to have the same number of years between us. Eighteen years, two months, and two days. Exactly.

I still get really strange looks from people. Honestly, even more so than when I was younger. Probably because I don't look any older, but my child obviously does. The look of complete shock when I tell people I have a four year old is priceless. I have learned to just be okay with it. Surprise is an acceptable reaction. In fact, I welcome it. When people stop being surprised that young girls are having babies of their own, that is when we have a problem.

But surprise definitely is not the only reaction that I get. You can tell that it really disgusts some people. Without even knowing my story, who I am, or my age for that matter, people automatically think that they know me because I got pregnant young. The amount of unsolicited judgement that I receive based on a single aspect of my life is completely ridiculous. 

Though most people are not upfront and honest about their disdain and disapproval, some people are. I could not even tell you the amount of times that I have been called a slut because I was a teen mom. Literally, this is the most frequent correlation that people make when they find out you had a baby young. It definitely blows my mind how this association is made, especially when it is by young people.

Sex leads to pregnancy. You could have sex one time or a thousand times, with one partner or five partners. Getting pregnant does not relate to sexual activity in any way, besides to make obvious that you are having sex. Having a baby, at any age, does not automatically make you promiscuous or skanky. (Side rant: most of the time when I have been called a slut for being a teen mom, it was by another female. I think as women, we should really be ashamed of ourselves for making this type of judgement towards each other. Ever. But that is off topic...so I will leave it at that.)

I am not going to sit here and deny the fact that at seventeen, I should not have been having sex. I was way too young and naive, but I was a teenager. Sure, I was being stupid, and I thought I was all grown up when I really wasn't. But I owned up to my mistakes. I took responsibility for myself, for my child. And I have made it my life mission to beat the terrible statistics involved with teenage pregnancy.

But sometimes, it feels like that doesn't even matter. Like no matter who I am or what I stand for, I will always be judged by that one little thing. I yearn for the day when people stop pretending that they know who I am because I got pregnant at seventeen. Maybe that is why I have distanced myself from the label "teen mom". Because with it comes the judgement and the horrible associations. 

Yes, I was a teen mother. But I am so much more than that. I am not the best mother, but really...who is? My son is my entire world, and my heart is overfilled with love, admiration, inspiration, and gratitude for that little boy. I try my absolute best to be the mother that he deserves, and that is what I want people to see when they look at me. 

Not the label. 
Not my age.

One Response to “Being a teen mom makes you a (blank)”

  1. I feel exactly the same way! I was 18 when I got pregnant with my son, it wasn't the younger teen age but I was still very young. Even though I got married I always get strange looks, even now when I take him to school. His teachers always assume i am his sister, and when I correct them they give me looks like wow.. I dont think age should determine how or what makes someone a good mother! I really love your blog.

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