Teens get pregnant and have babies every day. Just this week the world met Maisie, the baby of 15-year-old Chantelle Steadman and 13-year-old Alfie Patten (although according to some reports he may not be the dad after all). And Greta Van Susteren interviewed Bristol Palin (the teen daughter of Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin) who gave birth in December. As Cafe Kierna reported, Bristol says
that it's hard being a parent. But Bristol is fortunate because
she's getting help from her mother and other family
members. Not every teen mom is so lucky.
So I was really impressed when I saw this journal post by kalio. She just became the new owner of a group on CafeMom called Big Sisters. The group is a safe, nonjudgmental place for teen moms to go to get advice, support, and mentoring from other moms. I talked to kalio, mom to two young boys, about why the group is so important.
What inspired you to get involved with the group Big Sisters?
My friend started it and I just thought it was such a wonderful concept. There are just too many young mothers who don't get the support they need. I just wanted to help out in any way I could.
Why do you think it's important that there be a group for teen moms?
When you're a young mother it's scary and new. Knowing you have someone there who won't judge you no matter what is critical. I think it's a nice feeling knowing you have someone routing for you every step of the way. Not everyone is blessed with a loving, supportive family.
Do you see the group as a place where teens can compare notes or as a place where they can go to get advice and
support from older moms?
It's more of a place for young moms to get advice and support from older moms. But anything is welcome, it's not just limited to one thing.
Will there be one-on-one mentoring—where a teen can
pair up with an older mom? Or is it more of a community of support?
It's kind of both. Anyone is welcome to post a question on the main board to get different opinions. But each little sister has a big sister (or two) for that one-on-one interaction.
How is the group going so far?
It's going fairly well. I have a lot of organizing to do. I've been trying to get the group more active. But so far I have had mostly positive feedback from the "sisters."
What kinds of issues do you hope will be discussed?
I really hope anything can be discussed here in a calm, mature manner.
What's the goal of the group?
To give young moms a chance to build their confidence. And to help change the stereotype about young moms.
Are you a "big sister"?
Yes, I have two "little sisters" from the group.
Who can join the group?
Anyone who feels they need the support of a big sister (there is no age limit, although it is aimed toward younger moms) and older moms who feel they can give advice and be there for younger moms.
Are you a teen mom? Do you get a lot of support from family and friends?