The Life of a Teen Mom
February 18, 2020
MHS senior Trinity Smith realized that she would have to grow up a lot sooner than expected after she looked down at a positive pregnancy test. Finding out you are pregnant can be scary for anyone…especially if you’re still in high school. No matter how much you think you are prepared, children do not come with instructions. Not only are you responsible for yourself, but you are responsible for a whole other life.
Being a teen mom is a struggle in and of itself, but, without a support network around you, having a child can seem like a burden. Whether your family agrees with your decision of keeping the baby or not, having their support means the world to many expecting teen moms.
“I really don’t have a lot of family on board with it. My mom is the only one who is not [okay with] getting rid of the baby. Although, in the beginning, she said, ‘Oh, you’re not going to have an abortion, but you are going to put it up for adoption,’ but I won’t do that either because that is not the type of person I am,” said Smith.
Choosing if you want to keep your baby at such a young age can be very troubling, especially if you run into a moral dilemma: is it wrong to have an abortion? Some choose to keep their child, some have an abortion, and others choose to go through the adoption process. How do you decide what the best option is?
“My mom… raised me as a Christian, so that is her belief. I did choose to lay down with someone, at the chance of getting pregnant, so I wasn’t about to take that child’s life without any actual reason.”
If you get pregnant as a teen, it can be very mentally exhausting. Ideally, you should not have to worry about fully providing for yourself, let alone a child, until you have graduated high school. “Pregnancy brain” is a term that a lot of pregnant women use, which is when you have a difficult time remembering things during pregnancy.
“Mentally, it has been really rough. There have been days that I didn’t feel like getting out of bed. There have been days that I had so much energy that I wanted to go and do everything in town. Physically, I can’t really work more than three hours a day on my feet, because I get so lightheaded and sick,” said Smith.
“Remembering to take my vitamins all the time is a struggle, as well as making sure everything is ready and that I am prepared. You’re never mentally prepared no matter your age. Planned or not, there is never enough experience for a kid unless you have multiple kids already.”
School can also be a very difficult thing to juggle when you become pregnant. Most people think that pretty much all moms drop out, but that’s not the case. If some choose to not attend public school, then they often resort to online.
“I am proud of myself for not giving up on school. I am actually going to finish with a little extra time. One of the most common things that you hear about teen pregnancies is that you will never graduate high school. I was already on track to graduate as a junior. It cut a whole trimester out of the picture when I did get pregnant, so it was iffy. I’ve now flown through multiple classes in the course of weeks.”
As well as school, friendships can also be hard to maintain. “There are always friends who say that they will be there for you then disappear. The friends that have stayed in my life have helped me through a lot,” said Smith. Friends tend to show their true colors during trying times, and pregnancy is one of them.
When all you have taken is maybe economics or a 101 child care class, how do you know how to prepare not only for the responsibility of having a child but also the financial stress? There are many things you have to consider, such as the cost of diapers, food, clothes, toys, how to feed them, what to feed them, the easiest way to get them to sleep, how to keep them asleep through the night, and the list just goes on and on.
“My sister just had her baby, so I am getting that experience now and helping her out,” said Smith. Having someone in your family, or a family friend, who has a baby can be a big help. This way, you can get hands-on experience and learn methods that may be able to help in the future.
Being a teen mom is something no one ever anticipates, but you must play the cards you’ve been dealt. “I never expected to be a teen mom, but, now that I am, I wouldn’t change it for the world.”