Becoming a teen mom at 13 years old is a rude-awakening for any girl.
And that was certainly the case for the young lady I spent two hours getting to know by listening to her story leading up to and after giving birth to her child.
Welcome back to Part 2 of my interview with her.
When we left off last week, she described how and why she made the decision that altered her life’s journey.
Today, we pick up with how her life has changed since.
What happened with you and the baby’s father?
Things were never the same after I got pregnant.
He started acting different and dodging me at school.
Our relationship didn’t even last the whole pregnancy, and we weren’t dating when my child was born.
Guys becoming “disinterested” after sex happens more often than girls think.
Add a baby to the equation, and you can almost count on it happening.
Sadly, many girls believe the opposite will be true, which is why they agree to sex in the first place.
(A topic I delve into more in depth in Chapter 4 of my book, 7 Secrets Guys Will Never Tell You).
Then the “rude-awakening” begins…
How did your life change when you got pregnant?
I missed out on things that most girls my age were able to do.
…I was never able to go to school dances.
…I wasn’t able to spend the night with friends.
…My grades suffered because I was so depressed.
…I dropped out of school my sophomore year, but went back the next year.
And I’m scheduled to graduate this year.
I’m so proud of this young lady for working hard to return to school and graduate with a high school diploma later this month.
It couldn’t have been easy to pull off, but she did it.
Still, it’s unfortunate that the choices she made at 12, put her in a position where she had to work twice as hard to even get to where she is now at 17.
A Bitter New Normal
No one ever told me why I shouldn’t have sex.
They just put me on birth control after I had my child.
I felt like I was always being judged because I was continually given pregnancy tests even though I wasn’t even having sex.
No one trusted me anymore.
I think the worst part was how I was treated by everyone—from my family, to the people at church, to the cafeteria workers at school, to cashiers at the store, to strangers on the street.
They talked about me like I wasn’t even there and said hurtful things to me like I didn’t have feelings at 12-years old.
I always looked younger than my age, so you can imagine the stares that I would get from people while I was pregnant.
I stopped going to church because the people there were just as hurtful as everyone else.
Everybody told me what I wasn’t going to be able to be or do.
Not one person told me anything encouraging or that they believed I could still make something out of my life.
I was so depressed that I tried to kill myself and the baby, and spent almost a week in the hospital as a result.
I was tired of being judged and listening to people tell me that I had ruined my life.
I knew that I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I just got rid of the baby, so I wanted both of us to die.
Now you see why her story broke my heart?
I cannot imagine any 12-year-old girl enduring the shame, pain, sense of abandonment/betrayal and loneliness that this young lady has experienced.
And I couldn’t help but wonder how she would do things differently now, knowing how tough it’s been for her these past several years.
When You Know Better You Can Do Better
If you could go back in time, what would you have done differently?
…I wouldn’t have dated an older guy.
…I wouldn’t have let my boyfriend come over and hang out at my house when my mom wasn’t home.
…I wouldn’t have believed my boyfriend when he said that he loved me.
…I wouldn’t have had sex.
After watching your videos, I realized I didn’t value myself.
And I wish I had found out about you and your videos before I had sex.
Hearing this is so bittersweet.
On the one hand I’m thankful she discovered my videos on YouTube, and in the process realized why she made the poor choices she did at 12 years old.
And now she knows she’s worth so much more than she gave herself credit for back then.
But on the other hand…I can’t help but wish she would have found me sooner.
Before unhealthy choices were made and regrets set in.
So, it’s my hope that her story will help you enlighten, encourage and empower your daughter to make better life choices along her journey to adulthood.
What response would you have liked to have gotten from your family?
Not once did anyone in my family tell me anything even close to what you wrote me in your Instagram messages.
Everything out of their mouths was negative.
They never hugged me and said that they would be there for me and that I would be able to get through this and still make something of my life.
And that’s all I wanted was support. Not judgment.
When I asked the young lady what advice would she give moms whose teen daughters have gotten pregnant to help reroute their journey, she offered the following:
- Put yourself in your daughter’s shoes. Ask yourself whether you would want to be treated the way you are treating her.
- Don’t harp on how she has messed up her life and will never amount to anything. She already knows she messed up and feels bad enough already. Encourage her not to give up and let her know that her life is not over.
- You don’t have to be excited about the pregnancy. But, you could at least let her know that you’ll be there for her to help her get throught it.
- Show compassion.
What can moms learn from her story?
- Don’t wait until you “think” your daughter is dating, or old enough to date, to talk to her about sex.
- If it’s at all possible, don’t allow your daughter to have long periods of unsupervised time at home.
- Find some type of activities to keep her busy when you’re working if she is not in school.
- When your daughter makes poor choices, she needs a soft and safe place to land.
I know there was a lot to unpack in this awesome young lady’s 2-part interview.
But which piece of advice that she gave resonates with you the most as something you need to work on with your daughter?
And what are you going to do about it?
Your response is greatly appreciated!
Help me show this young lady that her transparency has helped you better communicate potential pitfalls with your daughter when it comes to love, sex, and relationships, so she can navigate a different path.
P.S. If you noticed from this young lady’s interview, much of her “regret” stems from not being given information that could have helped her make better choices for her future. Becoming a teen mom at 13 years old was preventable. And she lives with that every day. Start having open and honest conversations with your daughter NOW so she won’t have to.
P.P.S. Don’t let this young lady’s transparency be in vain. Please share this post with everyone you know!