My last post took me back about 10 years ago, upon discovering I was about to become a statistic or rather a few statistics. As I mentioned last time, I don’t like to be labelled. But here I was 18 staring at a test staring back at me with the realization that I wasn’t going to be able to avoid any labels anymore. To this day, I’m not sure if it was the label or the experience that terrified me the most though I’m pretty sure it was the label. I was fortunate that I had a stable enough job even as low paying as it was and was well liked, so they didn’t mind letting me work all the overtime I had the energy for both before my son and after.
What amazed me was that I went to look for books and articles in parenting magazines for something I could relate to, and I found nothing. What’s worse than thinking you’re alone, is realizing that you have nothing to prove you wrong. Logically, I knew even from school that I wasn’t the only teenager who ended up in this place of pending motherhood. I read magazine after magazine hoping to read an article about someone my age or even someone alone in the process to write something I could relate to. Instead, I found articles about how to include your partner or how adulthood changes when you become a parent. What about me? What about how much more difficult it is to be a teenager and become a parent, whether you’re 15 or 18 like I was. Or at least something that didn’t make me feel like I was less than every other parent out there wanting to do what’s best for their child. Even now all I really see is that you get a TV show about being a pregnant teen and realize that the “role models” are terrible for other teens that find themselves in that mess, and worse that it sets a bad example for those teens who step up and make something out of their situation. Why can’t they show that not all teen moms are train wrecks waiting to happen (or currently is). Some of us work our butts off to do the best we can and go to college and try to succeed in life. This applies to single mothers, they shouldn’t feel like they need to give up on their life and work minimum wage or not at all.
Even in today’s age, I think single and teen mothers are seen in a negative light. Prominence of them doesn’t mean acceptance. Someday I can hope that just because the situations aren’t ideal, doesn’t mean we should ignore it like it doesn’t exist. These parents need just as much relatable information as every other parent does without the fear of judgement about the situation they are in. They get enough judgement from people in the real world, they don’t need it from so-called parenting experts. I hope someday someone with the means to offer such a publication should reach out. I’m all for prevention, but sometimes even all the prevention in the world, you need to accept things do happen.