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Teen Mom Misconceptions #5: Success is Impossible
Teen Mom Misconceptions #5: Success is Impossible
In Her Own Words
Our waiter hadn’t noticed that while he was giving my 3-year-old daughter a puzzled look, I was glaring at him. I cleared my throat as I repeated my order, requesting an apple juice for Sophia before he left to put in our order. Sophia was obliviously coloring in the children’s menu while I glanced around to catch a few other people looking at us. I frowned toward them, successfully embarrassing them before they looked away.
This was not an uncommon occurrence for us, yet somehow I still could not get used to it.
When we went to the counter to pay, the waiter glanced between me and my daughter again before offering a smile and asking if I was babysitting after school for extra cash.
“She’s my daughter.”
His cheeks flushed red as he apologized and handed me my receipt.
I didn’t bother telling him I had taken off a day of work from my 8-5 office position to take my daughter to a doctor’s appointment because she wasn’t feeling well.
I didn’t bother mentioning that the bags under my eyes were due to the lack of sleep I had the night before because Sophia just would not go to bed.
I didn’t bother mentioning the paper I had due by midnight that night, and I definitely didn’t bother telling him how obnoxious it is that I couldn’t even have a meal with my daughter in public without being ogled like a social experiment.
With every year that I tack onto my age, my daughter follows suit, so it seems that my age will never catch up to what is “socially acceptable” in terms of motherhood. I still find myself the recipient of other’s judgment—a never-ending feeling of having to justify myself and my daughter’s existence.
The common thought here is that teen motherhood = failure. It’s an unspoken judgment that I experience frequently as I am bombarded with assumptions in the form of questions and harsh stares.
When I first found out I was pregnant, I was a terrified 17-year-old living in a small two-bedroom apartment in New York with four other family members and one bathroom. I made my way back to Colorado where my mother was living.
Soon I came into contact with an old friend who had participated in a very strange sounding teen mom program that she claimed had changed her life. So, following the birth of my daughter, I visited Hope House to tour the facility and was matched up with a mentor.
Apprehensive doesn’t even fully explain my initial feelings. However, after some time, the employees at Hope House gained my trust and I started to unload all of my goals onto their desks.
I was living in a make-shift room in my mother’s house. I didn’t have a job, I wasn’t attending school, I didn’t even have a driver’s license, and I was extremely frustrated. Hope House immediately started handing me all the tools I needed to achieve each of my goals, and then I started off down the path towards the type of success I had come to believe was unachievable.
Three years later, I am now a full-time employee for an amazing company that works closely with Hope House. I rent my own apartment, attend Metropolitan State University of Denver and just purchased my very first car. My daughter, sassy as all can be, is happily thriving in a stable household I would have never been capable of providing her with if it weren’t for Hope House.
Success as a teen mother is achievable. It is possible. And so long as there are people in this world willing to believe we are capable, more young mothers will feel empowered enough to fight for the respect that every mother should be granted.
By Lauren, Hope House Graduate
Knowledge Share #8: Breaking Out of Poverty - 08/18/2016
Knowledge Share #7: Creating a Home - 07/11/2016
Knowledge Share #6: The Power of Mindset - 06/14/2016
Knowledge Share #5: College or Bust! - 05/17/2016
Knowledge Share #4:Understanding Addiction - 04/07/2016
Knowledge Share #3:Mentoring Empowers Teen Moms - 03/21/2016
Knowledge Share #2: Healthy Relationships - 02/11/2016
Knowledge Share #1: Brain Development - 01/12/2016
Teen Mom Barrier #8: Communicating the Barriers - 12/16/2015
Teen Mom Barrier #7: Homelessness - 10/09/2015
TEEN MOM BARRIER #6: GENERATIONAL POVERTY - 07/16/2015
Teen Mom Barrier Number #5: Domestic Violence - 06/03/2015
Teen Mom Barrier # 4 The Challenges of College - 05/12/2015
Teen Mom Barrier #2: Childcare - 02/18/2015
Teen Mom Barrier #1: Society's Negative Expectations - 01/26/2015
Teen Mom Misconceptions #5: Success is Impossible - 09/22/2014
Misconception #3: Mentoring Teen Moms is Complicated - 06/05/2014
Because they want someone to love them? - 05/21/2014
Teen Moms - A Persecuted Population? - 04/22/2014
Community - 01/20/2014
8 Pennies - 12/18/2013
"The most courageous young women I know." - 11/14/2013
Our Graduates: In their hands, they hold the future! - 09/30/2013
Measuring the Intangible - 06/15/2013
Grown-Up Mom - 05/01/2013
Misconception #4: Shaming Teen Moms is an Effective Approach
Eva said: I am so proud of Vanessa good friend of mine and mother. [more]