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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

By Lisa Steven, Executive Director, Hope House of Colorado - See more at: http://www.hopehouseofcolorado.org/index.cfm/id/71/bid/14#sthash.ozlGKa6E.dpuf

 

Fantastic blog Lauren - and so true. Success IS possible when people love and believe in you! Never forget that!
Brenda
Posted By Brenda | 10/1/14 12:02 PM
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Blog Archives

April 2017

Knowledge Share #14: Creating Connections through Children - 04/18/2017


March 2017

Knowledge Share #13: Managing Volunteers: Benjamin Franklin had it right! - 03/13/2017


February 2017

Knowledge Share #12: Advocacy and Self-Sufficiency: Finding the Balance - 02/14/2017


January 2017

Knowledge Share #11: Effective PR and Spot On Communications - 01/18/2017


November 2016

Knowledge Share #10: I Walk the Line: Creating Deep Connections While Maintaining Professional Boundaries - 11/15/2016


September 2016

Knowledge Share #9: "Fundraising for Non-Profits: An Insider's Perspective" - 09/22/2016


August 2016

Knowledge Share #8: Breaking Out of Poverty - 08/18/2016


July 2016

Knowledge Share #7: Creating a Home - 07/11/2016


June 2016

Knowledge Share #6: The Power of Mindset - 06/14/2016


May 2016

Knowledge Share #5: College or Bust! - 05/17/2016


April 2016

Knowledge Share #4:Understanding Addiction - 04/07/2016


March 2016

Knowledge Share #3:Mentoring Empowers Teen Moms - 03/21/2016


February 2016

Knowledge Share #2: Healthy Relationships - 02/11/2016


January 2016

Knowledge Share #1: Brain Development - 01/12/2016


December 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #8: Communicating the Barriers - 12/16/2015


October 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #7: Homelessness - 10/09/2015


July 2015

TEEN MOM BARRIER #6: GENERATIONAL POVERTY - 07/16/2015


June 2015

Teen Mom Barrier Number #5: Domestic Violence - 06/03/2015


May 2015

Teen Mom Barrier # 4 The Challenges of College - 05/12/2015


April 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #3: The Unexpected Bill: Car Repair, Doctor's Visit, Broken Pipe - 04/03/2015


February 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #2: Childcare - 02/18/2015


January 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #1: Society's Negative Expectations - 01/26/2015


December 2014

Teen Mom Misconception #7: Teen Moms Are Completely Self-Absorbed - 12/29/2014


October 2014

Teen Mom Misconception #6: Teen moms drop out of school because they want to - 10/31/2014


September 2014

Teen Mom Misconceptions #5: Success is Impossible - 09/22/2014


July 2014

Misconception #4: Shaming Teen Moms is an Effective Approach - 07/22/2014


June 2014

Misconception #3: Mentoring Teen Moms is Complicated - 06/05/2014


May 2014

Because they want someone to love them? - 05/21/2014


April 2014

Teen Moms - A Persecuted Population? - 04/22/2014


March 2014

Connecting across the Continents: Teen Moms and the People Who Love Them - 03/18/2014


February 2014

Can you break out of poverty with a vocabulary of just 900 words? - 02/17/2014


January 2014

Community - 01/20/2014


December 2013

8 Pennies - 12/18/2013


November 2013

"The most courageous young women I know." - 11/14/2013


September 2013

Our Graduates: In their hands, they hold the future! - 09/30/2013


August 2013

The Cliff Effect and Other Perils on the Journey to Self-Sufficiency - 08/30/2013


July 2013

Breaking the Cycle: Do Poor Teens Have to Become Poor Adults? - 07/30/2013


June 2013

Measuring the Intangible - 06/15/2013


May 2013

Grown-Up Mom - 05/01/2013


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Recent Comments

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Lisa Steven said: Laura, you are an amazing teacher! You are making a huge impact in the lives of our young moms ...   [more]

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