3 Good Things About Being a Teen Mom (Yes, There Are Some)


Teen Girl and her one-time Teen Mom
Sometimes, I read the bios and blog posts of my fellow writers and I get envious. Their lives sound so exciting. They’ve covered stories in exotic parts of the world, they’ve been in the midst of historic events, they’ve had once-in-a-lifetime adventures, all in the name of being good journalists.

While they were having these amazing experiences, I was a mom. I kind of got off to an early start with the baby-making but a late start in my career. I wasn’t Guinness Book of World Records young, but a teenager nonetheless. No fancy internships for me, no traipsing the globe. Not that I’m expecting a pity party. I knew the wages of condom-less bumping and grinding. I had sex ed in grade school just like ery’body else.

That being said, there are some surprising upsides to becoming a mother at a young age. Now that the initial shock has subsided and I’m grown, of course. 

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You’re more in touch with what’s poppin’ in youth culture. When you’re already naturally walking the walk and talking the talk, you can relate to what your kids are thinking, doing, and contemplating. What Girl Child and her friends are into isn’t alien to me because we’re both products of the hip-hop generation, even though I’m way more into Jay-Z and Common than her obsession with Wiz Khalifa and Nicki Minaj.

Now before somebody fires off a litany of hate mail, please understand I’m not saying that folks who waited can’t be hip and cool and connected to their kid’s interests. It’s just a little easier when you’re on the adult side of youth culture yourself.

The things your own parents did (and didn’t do) are fresh in your mind. You learned a lot from being a kid. You had to get hit with that “when you live under my house, you follow my rules” line at least once in your 18 or 21 years at mom and dad’s. Being a student of your parents’ rules, regulations, and beliefs helped to shape you into the person you are today, whether it’s because you still follow them or you vehemently run in the opposite direction (my mom is still trying to get me to wear a slip with my sundresses).

The more recently you’ve been released from their watchful care, the more you’re likely to stick to not doing the things you scrawled in your diary that you would never, ever do to your own children.

You have more energy and pep. I honestly don’t know how women in their late 40s and their 50s could even think about having a baby. I mean, they have all of my respect for doing it but man, that’s wild. Chasing toddlers is draining, rearing preschoolers is exhausting, and herding teenagers? Jesus take the wheel. But I was always up to play and run and rip and tear with Miss Skylar — still am — and that was an upside, since she has been a fireball on the go since she was old enough to get her Pamper-wearing rear in gear. 

My all-time, absolute favorite part of being a young mom — and my dear, sweet daughter’s least — is when folks assume we’re sisters rather than mother and daughter. Of course I’m not making light of being a mom before your time. Any woman of any age should be financially, personally, emotionally, psychologically, and professionally prepped (or as prepped as she can possibly be) before she subjects herself to the ride of motherhood.

But it does happen and like everything else that unfolds, there’s a little, bitty silver lining, even if it takes a couple years and a lot of retrospect to see.

When did you know you were ready to have kids? Or did you find out that you have to hurry up and get ready?

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