Tuesday, May 24, 2016

ReThink TPPM

I made this images because I was moved to present the other set of facts in many of the prevention folks use to justify stigmatize and shame teen and young mothers. 

I was interviewed by Taylor Bell of ATTN on why I made the images, read some of it below.

"And it's past time that all men who contribute to any pregnancy, especially an unintended teenage pregnancy, are held accountable, too," Malone said.

"The things prevention folks say about young people who experience an unintended pregnancy are super problematic, and I knew and continue to know there is more to the story than they choose to put out there about me, my family, and my peers."

Friday, May 6, 2016

#NoTeenShame looks like National Teacher of the Year, Jahana Hayes and Barack Obama

May is REALLY REALLY HARD but things like this make it a bit easier. 
The National Teacher of the Year award recipient this year was a teen mom and she just introduced the CHILD of a teen mom, President Barack Obama, at The White House. Both say they got to where they are today by SUPPORT, not shame. 

President Obama credits his mother, who had him as a teen, for the successes in his life. President Obama's maternal grandparents supported and helped their daughter raise her son.  

2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes credits teachers who encouraged her to stay in school even after she found out she was pregnant

Support goes a long way and it is important that we remember that ALL the time when thinking about pregnant and parenting teens. And it's especially important to remember it during May. 

Support= Prevention. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

#NoTeenShame Thunderclap

#NoTeenShame is
A movement led by young mothers to improve strategic messaging campaigns and conversation around young parenting to a non-stigmatizing and non-shaming approach, while highlighting the importance of comprehensive sex ed. 
One way do they do this is through an annual Thunderclap campaign to show the variety of support for pregnant and parenting young people.

If you agree with the mission of this year's Thunderclap which is,

#NoTeenShame is pushing back on the stigmatization of young parents because our futures and our children’s futures are deeply impacted by its presence. Our goal for May 2016 is to raise awareness on the issues young parents and their children in the face that stem from and are perpetuated through problematic campaigns. We ask that you please join in solidarity with young families and pledge today to continue recognizing and supporting young parents and their children, inspiring dialogues in your community, and sharing resources with young parents. 

Please sign on TODAY as TODAY is the last day of the sign on period of the campaign.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

School and Childcare Help for Teen Parents in NYC

Education and childcare can be a REAL struggle to try to figure out.
With childcare cost being as high as they are finding childcare as a teen parent is very difficult.

New York City's Department of Health's Lyfe Program helps to make this less difficult.

Are you a young parent attending school? Students enrolled in NYC Department of Education with children between the ages...
Posted by DYCD Youth Connect on Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Learn more about the New York City Department of Health Lyfe program

Visit the website: http://lyfenyc.org

Friday, October 2, 2015

I had a moment in Target today and it was great

When I was 16/17 years old I would go shopping for clothing for Leilani. At the time I was working at Taco Bell making $7.50 an hour. Gas was pretty much consistently $3 or more so my $7.50 after taxes and gas didn't go very far.

I remember going to Walmart to get her clothes but always preferring the options at Target because they were much cuter and didn't fall apart in the wash as quickly. The thing is I didn't have Target shopping money.
Hell, I barely had Walmart shopping money.

Around 17/18 I started working a sales job at a cellphone store and making more money (not that much more but more nonetheless) I was finally able to go to Target and shop their sales for kids clothes.

Being in the toddler section and seeing the "bigger girl" options (sizes Leilani would grow into) made me REALLY want to be able to get her the cute clothes from Target. I remember telling myself that I would one day be able to afford those clothes for her.

Today I went into Target for 2 things (and came out with like 1000 like everyone else).
Leilani is a Cat Lady through and through and when I was in the kid's section I saw they had a great assortment of Cat Lady merchandise. I walked around for a while looking at all the Cat Lady options and put a few in my cart without thinking too much of it.
Then I walked over to the shoes and saw the perfect black and leopard print booties that she would love. I instantly grabbed them. Unfortunately, the size was too small so I had to put them back.

As I put them back on the shelf I had a huge realization. I ACCOMPLISHED MY GOAL.

I was shopping in Target in the "bigger girls section" without having the think about it and counting every single penny with the same shame and anxiety I had when i was 15/16/17 years old.

Don't get me wrong. I still count pennies and I had to put back an an item I wanted to get her but DAMN I was doing it!

Being that I've been in a really bad, negative, and low confidence level place with all things in my life this moment came right when I didn't know I needed it.

It showed me that although I'm not "where I want to be" in life I'm living, I'm growing, and I am accomplishing goals I set out for myself.

My 15/16/17 year old self is proud of me.
My 25 year old self is proud of my 15/16/17 year old self.

Monday, August 31, 2015

I found a gym


I've been struggling for a while with my overall health. I love to be physically active and exercise often however, I haven't in a long long time and have just been really stuck in life.

Stuck in my writing.
Stuck in my search for full time work.
Stuck in developing this space to the next level.
Stuck in my professional stuff.
And stuck in my parenting a bit.
Just overall stuck.

Finding a gym right around the corner from my house comes as a bolt of positivity.
Not only is it right around my house but I can go to it while Leilani is in her enrichment classes.

I hope that going to the gym and becoming more active will help me feel less stuck.