Hello there. My name is Jasmine, but you can call me Jazz. I'm currently now 23 years old, turning 24 next month. I have one 4 year old boy, and am 11 weeks pregnant with my second.
I used to frequent this board and found plenty of comfort while pregnant with my first. I was scared, ashamed, as felt like I had no one else to talk to. It took me a long time to tell people aside from babys dad (who, yes, is also the father of new baby.)
And while I was 18 when I found out, 19 when I had him, I am someone who looks younger than I am and even now at 23 I get mistaken for a 16-17 year old. So even still people give me "those looks" that I've been seeing many of you are afraid of. I've been called his sister, his aunt, even his babysitter. Asked why I threw my life away, asked if I was raped.
But I digress. The reason I am making this post is to give you young parents a message.
It. Gets. Better.
Right now, you're afraid. You feel ashamed you became "one of those" you think you're nothing more than a statistic and a stereotype. You worry your baby will be labelled along with you. You're wondering if you're even making the right decision. If you can even BE a parent.
I'm not here to tell it gets easier. It doesn't, for most. Having a baby, especially young is very hard. I was fortunate enough to have graduated high school first, but I had to drop out of college only half a year in. Many of you are still in high school, though. And will have to find a way to do both. But you will.
You feel like society and even your own family will shame you, and make you feel like a whore. And they might, but prove them wrong. Be the best damn parent you can and prove to them you CAN do it.
Every single one of you are beautiful. Every single one of you can and will be amazing parents. Not a single one of you is disgusting, or shameful, or have any reason to believe you threw away anything. It's not the hand you are given, or the choices you make, but what you do with it that defines you. I've seen both paths. I've seen young moms give up and act like society expects. Be awful parents, awful to their coparents, and live awfully. And I've seen mothers with everything stacked against them rise to the top and prove everyone wrong. I've seen addicts and bingers turn their life around and I've seen upstanding women crumble and turn into alcoholics.
Just always remember your worth. Be that woman (or man) who rises above. Does everything for thenselves AND their child. Show them what hard work gets them. Show them you can love them and still love yourself. Whether you have an army behind you or one single person use it to your advantage and be YOU. Be the best you that you can be a don't give up. You can do this. You will do this. And you will rock the hell out of being a teen mom.
You got this.
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