Monday, August 29, 2011

Meet Caitlin Shay

Caitlin, Juliette, Chris and Dalton.


I've known Caitlin for about ten years now. I was very excited when she agreed to do an interview because her story is very different.

HI! Can you tell us a little bit about you?
My name is Caitlin Shay I am 22 years old. I’m married and have two children. Juliette is four years old and Dalton is two. I had just turned eighteen when I had my first child.

Who was the first person you told? My mom.
How did you tell her? I just came out and told them[My parents]. I thought to myself why prolong it; it’s going to come out anyways
Did you use protection when you were sexually active? No, not really. My children were planned even at a young age. I don’t know why but it was like God was telling me to have her. It's hard to explain.
What was your biggest fear as a teen mom? Not knowing how to handle things by myself. I lived with my boyfriend and he ALWAYS worked which meant that I was always at the house by myself.
What was it like losing your normal teen life? Very different, I had my daughter in 2007 (the year I was suppose to graduate high school) when being a teen mom kind of started booming. Friends turn their backs on me, called me names and didn’t even care if they knew my story or not. Another thing I experienced was not being able to hang-out or even act my own age.
What was the hardest thing about being a teen mom? Well, the first hardest thing was there was, and still is, a lot of judging. You know things like friends and family. People look at you different as if you were sick with a disease. The second thing would have to be having the responsibilities for another life. Not only do you have to take care of yourself (which in most teen mom cases, they have no clue) but you have to take care of this little person that grew inside of you for 9 months. For me it wasn't as hard because I was on my own since 15, but being alone while my boyfriend was at work was really hard. That’s why we moved in with my parents when she was 4 months old.
Wow, sounds like it was very challenging to be a "single" stay at home mom with little to know friends. I can totally relate.
Were you able to complete school? No, I wasn't able to complete school. However, I didn't drop out because I was pregnant either. When I was 17 my parents abandoned my sisters and I, Brittney (15) stayed with me and my boyfriend for a while then she moved in with her friend and Tabitha (10) lived with me until my mom was out of jail. I didn't want us split up and my boyfriend was older so he took care of us.
That's tough and was a courageous thing to do, taking on your sisters and your own family that was just starting out at the same time.
Did your friends stick around like you thought they would or they said they would: Not really. I would say that I did have a lot of friends in high school, but only a couple stuck around and were really there for me. Like my best friend, Katelyn was there for both labors, she threw my son's baby shower, and we hang out all the time. The funny thing is she isn't even a teen mom, no kids, no nothing. But you do find friends in the teen mom community. I was one of the first of my friends to have a baby, but now half of them do have kids or they are pregnant.
Did you feel more pressure as a teen mom to prove yourself in all aspects of your life: Yes and I still do. Not only do I want to prove myself to me, but to my kids the most. I want to set a good example for them and I feel like if I don’t do a good enough job they will think it's okay because “mommy did it.” I could care less about proving myself to anyone else, but those two give me more pressure than anything in the world.
What advice do you have for teens that are thinking about being sexually active: Well, we all know it's going to happen but I have come to find out the first person you have sex with isn't going to be your last. I started having sex when I was fourteen; he was my first boyfriend and now my husband. Having sex with one person or more than one, isn't as important as having sex with the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with.

Even though he was my first and now my husband, I wish I could go back wait until I was married. You may think it "feels" good at the time but I envy those who do wait, because not only are you giving themselves pure, but it's one of the first thing you get to do with the love of your life. I think that’s how it should be. My grandma always told me "You know he is the one when you can’t live without him, you can’t go one day without him in your life, that’s how you know it is the right one for you".
What about the risk?
If you have sex, you have consequences. You could get pregnant, or get an STD or HIV. Not all STD's have cures either and HIV doesn't have a cure at all. Plus if you do get an STD you have to tell the person you are going to have sex with. You can DIE from STD's and HIV! Is losing your life worth having sex with someone? Is having to tell people you have STD's or HIV fun? Just think about what you do before you do it. It's a big choice you have to make. You shouldn’t wait until the last minute and have to live with the consequences for the rest of your life. If you are one of those teens who have made that choice already, educate yourself, use protection, and talk with someone like your doctor. Or even your parents.
How do you feel about shows like Teen Mom? Some people feel that it shows the true life of a teen mom and keeps teens from becoming teen parents. While other people say it makes the life of a teen parent look easy and encourages teens to become sexually active and parents. I think that they are stupid and the kids get pregnant for the shows money.
What advice would you have for teens that are feeling pressured to have any form of sex? I would say that NO means NO. If you are not ready to have sex or any kind of sex, then you shouldn’t have it. No means NO!!!
What about teen moms? What would you tell them about life after the initial shock and what to do to get ahead? If they are still in school, STAY in school, that’s the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby. Half of teen moms don’t even stay with their “baby-daddies” and having a high school diploma or any kind of school will further you in your journey.
How do you feel about shows like Teen Mom? Some people feel that it shows the true life of a teen mom and keeps teens from becoming teen parents. While other people say it makes the life of a teen parent look easy and encourages teens to become sexually active and parents. I think that they are stupid and the kids get pregnant for the shows for money.
How did you tell your parent(s)? I just came out and told them. I thought to myself why prolong it; it’s going to come out anyways
What is life like today? My life is good. My kids are in school now. Their father and I are finally married (which means a lot to me). Now I can get my life under control with going back to school and really being something.
Did you think you would be a teen mom? Well being that both of my kids were planned, there is a time and a place for everything.  I feel like we should have waited a couple more years before having kids but everything happens for a reason and if I didn’t have my kids or waited to have them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
Have you thought about how to explain being a teen parent to your child when that time comes? Yes. I sometimes wonder if they will think, “Well mom and dad did it so why can’t we” But I will explain to them that school is very important and that they do not need to be thinking about having sex until they are married. Don’t do what I do, Do as I say.
What will you do to ensure that your child doesn’t end up a teen parent? Be open and honest with them. Make sure they can come to me or my husband if they need to for anything. Make sure they don’t hang out with the wrong crowd and they show their full potential.
What are your plans for the future? My plans for the future are very clear. My husband and I are looking to buy a house and I’m going to back to school. I either want to go for cosmetology or a horse trainer. But I do know that I want to do something good.
Horse training! That’s very interesting. I say horse training!


If you would like to contribute to the site or know someone that would send us an e-mail.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

School anxiety

Tomorrow is my first day at Baruch College.
Although I have attended college before this is, to me, big girl school. Lol.
I'm nervous and anxious at the same time.
Tomorrow is the first day of my life in New York City.
Everything that I have worked so hard for is finally starting to come back full circle and its so amazing and scary at the same time.
I know that I am over thinking and over dramatizing this all but .... MAN!
If you can't tell, I'm at a loss for words and how to truly describe it all.
I know I should not worry and that everything will be fine but WOW!
Blessed. Fortunate. Humbled. Anxious. Nervous and overwhelmed are just a few words to describe how full of emotions I am right now.
Blessed because I have come so far from the girl living in a trailer park in the WOODS of Florida.
Fortunate, for some many reasons but because although I am unemployed I can provide for my daughter and make her smile. I have been able to pay for all the things she NEEDS and at times the things she wants.
Fortunate to be living. And then to be living in the epicenter of the world going to a GREAT school.
Humbled because that's what life makes you feel when you've come so far. Then to have come so far and know this is only the beginning of so many more beautiful and wonderful things to come is so humbling.
Anxious because tomorrow is what all of this,life, has been leading up to.
Nervous because of the above reason and its my first day of big girl school. Nervous about finding my class, getting there on time, getting Leilani to daycare on time, not making a fool of myself.Packing Leilani a good lunch for tomorrow even though I don't really have lunch food... Oops. Maybe I should have went grocery shopping oh, wait I couldn't because New York City was shut down this weekend due to hurricane Irene.
Overwhelmed in a GREAT way. Overwhelmed by all the positivity the world has coming my way. Overwhelmed with joy and appreciation. Then I'm overwhelmed by TIME. What if I'm late and have to sit next to the sick or smelly kid?

2010 was the hardest year of my life and 2011 has been the best!
What has bought me this FAR is ALWAYS thinking forward and above all else POSITIVE. 
Manifest positivity.
:)

Recycling.

As we all know as mommies and daddies it is our job to raise awesome kids! My definition of an awesome kid is pretty vague but it does include being GREEN and environmentally conscious, that is why we recycle!
First let me say that recycling does NOT make you a "hippie" or a Green "freak" it just means you recycle. Everyone recycles for their own reasons, some states give cash for returnables while others don't and some people recycle because of the positive effects it has on the planet.
The latter is the reason why we recycle.
Leilani has really gotten into recycling and everything else that comes along with being Green.
She will make sure the recyclables go into their own separate bin but that's about it she wont take them out. Lol.
Some ways to help your family go green are get educated!
Go to your local bookstore and by your child a book about going/ being Green. Leilani's favorite Green book is Fancy Nancy: Everyday is Earth Day.
Source
Recycling is very easy to do and it FREE, so why not do it and help the environment.
You can often times request a recycling bin from the city you live in by going online to the cities website.
You can also just use any bin you have laying around and if all else fails you can go purchase one from you local hardware store.
Remember to check you cities website for the pick up days as well.
Join us and GO GREEN! Why? Because it's awesome!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

How to Love

I heard this song before the video came out and I'm not going to lie I didn't like it. I imagined that when the video came out for it it would be your typical unhappy sad girl stripping and other unglamorous things.

However, when Twitter started blowing up about how intense the video was and how people are giving mad props to Wayne for such a video I decided to check it out. I'm glad I did, whereas often times watching the video to a song makes you dislike the song even more (Britney Spears's Hold it Against Me... don't get me started) this video actually made me really like the song.

Some people are saying that the video isn't deep at all and is just common sense. My reply to them is, if the subject matter in the video was common sense the world would be a completely DIFFERENT place and there would be no need for videos like this.
As a single mother of a daughter and the daughter of a not so stable up bringing I worry ALL the time about the type of messages I unintentionally send to Leilani.
The video opens with a young girl going to get an abortion but she can't go through with it. Eventually, she has her daughter and subjects her to dangerous situations and relationships. It is through the relationships that the mother has that the child learns How to Love. Since the mother doesn't have a grasp on what love is, how to find it and or can't provide a positive environment where love can flourish (whether single or married) the girl grows up a mess and her behaviors lead her to contracting the HIV virus.
If you watch the video above you will see there is a twist.

The importance of this video is that it promotes something that I agree with one HUNDRED percent (and go into a bit more in the post about confidence), how you behave and let others behave around your child teaches your child how to behave and interact with other people.

That being said, LADIES if you are constantly saying men are dogs and or guys aren't shit around your child and only bring men around that reinforce these types of thoughts your child will grow up acting, believing and saying exactly what you say. That goes for the GENTLEMEN TOO!

If you are IN a relationship with someone whom treats you like GARBAGE, tries to control you or monitors your every move; it doesn't not MATTER if they are the father of your child or not, GET THE HELL OUT! If not for your sake then do it for the sake of your child and the potential person your child can grow to be in the future.
You would not want your child to grow up in an unhealthy environment. Don't let your fear paralyze you.

Remember whether your child is a boy or girl, whether you are single, in a relationship or married. YOUR ACTIONS both intentional and UNintentional speak volumes to your child.
Be the person you want your child to be, by doing this you are being the best you and the best example you can be for them.


Thank you for reading!

Disney's Tangled

Often times TV is a way to get your child(ren) out of your hair, we all do it! However, it is also important not only monitor what your child(ren) watch but watch it as well!
Shows often have and send subliminal messages to child that you may not want them to hear and or watch.

You can also check out another post I did about The Rugrats <- Click. I LOVE the Rugrats and I think they are a good show for my daughter to watch. Why, because the show is about friends and family. The kids are having fun and enjoying their little adventures and learning about the world around them.

Anyhow, this is how I feel about Disney's Tangled...
Source
Even though I personally do not like Disney that much, I did promised my daughter a Movie Night so when she saw Tangled was available on Netflix she decided that was the movie she wanted to see. I liked the movie but not really. I think it was too heavy for children, there were certain remarks I could have definitely done with out and them showing the "mom/witch/antagonist" fall out of the tower and THUMP on the ground was too much!

My first nit pick at the movie was the Stockholm Syndrome! I don't know why but Disney LOVES using Stockholm Syndrome and then the fact that a "MAN" always saves the girl is so UNREALISTIC and just difficult for me to enjoy or even want my daughter to see.
The fact that the beautiful princess has LONG BLOND STRAIGHT hair and the CRAZY wicked "mom/witch/abuser/antagonist" has dark curly hair is also very UPSETTING! Then **spoiler alert** if the girls hair is cut it turns brown and is dead and ugly. UM excuse me my daughter and I and all of my family have DARK CURLY HAIR.

Hey, DISNEY I have an idea, it might be a bit too crazy for you though. How about making a movie about a beautiful girl of colour who has the type of hair that a girl of colour has, you know possibly brown or even BLACK and have a little texture to it. Just an idea.
The things I liked about the movie... it was cute for face value but I don't think I will let my daughter watch it again. We will be sticking to my personal Disney favorites, good Ole Lion King, Bugs Life, Jungle Book, Mulan, movies like that.

Why would you want your child to watch a movie that is FULL of strong adult content? Now some of you maybe saying that I'm taking it too far and its a cute movie and all that however, I don't think I am. Plus there are plenty of great movies and shows out there for kids that "teach" them about life and aren't full of adult content.
What do you think? Do you think I'm being overtly dramatic? If you think I am you can tell me I don't bite :)
Thank you for reading.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The search is on!

I am currently and forever will be on the search for anyone that would like to contrubuite to the site. Nothing is off topic.If you and or anyone you know would like to contribute send me an email at gloriamalone@teenmomnyc.com.
Again the contributions can be anything from fashion, health, financial, educational, questions you may have about being a teen mom or advice and information you would like to see on the site are just a few examples. Also if you ARE or know anyone that was/is a teen parent I would like to hear from them too. Its important for teen parents to know and have someone they can relate and look up to!
Please pass along the information!
Thank you !

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dealing with baby "daddy"

As you all may or may not read before in my other post I am no longer with the father of my child and NOT for reasons society may think. If you feel like finding out why read the above post, it's one of my personal favorites.
For several reasons both emotional and legal he, Leilani's "father", did not sign her birth certificate. What this  means, along with other things, is that getting child support now, that we are no longer together is going to be that much more difficult.
I have been trying to work with him without the court for a while,  to no avail so now my only, and what should have been my FIRST option, is to go through the courts and establish child support.
However, since we do live across the Untied States from one another and his work schedule is not typical it has not been easy getting him served with the child support papers, even though he is well aware that he can go pick them up any time he still hasn't.
So today I called him and TRIED to have a mature ADULT conversation with him which always seems too hard for him to handle and in the end he told me that him picking up the paper work was not his job. I told him that it would probably be in his best interest to get this done and over with and he insisted that he is. ...Now I don't know how blatantly avoiding picking up his documents is getting the process done and over with... In the end of the "conversation" he did what he always does and resorted to name calling, cursing and hanging up the phone. I called him back because there was no resolve and I needed to know if he would work with me to in fact get this all done and over with. Instead he made the mistake of telling me to "come at him."
Now if there is one thing you don't do its tell someone to come at you unless you are truly and fully prepared for what you have just asked for. I informed him that he is not going to like the process and that he is going to possibly dislike me even more by the end of all of this, then as he proceeded to yell obscenities in my ear. I just hung up.
I remember watching an episode of Teen Mom where Maci was obviously upset because Ryan, the father of her son, had not paid her in a timely matter, in the end it was a bank error and the funds where put into her account. My message to her, try going about a YEARS time with absolutely no support from the father of the child and still dealing with his mouth.
Another reason NOT to get pregnant at a young age OR unless you are in a MARRIED committed relationship: Baby "Daddies" You will have to deal with them for the REST OF YOUR LIFE and so far its only been a year and I can't.
If you are currently a teen mom or know one URGE them to have the father of the child sign the birth certificate it may save you and or them a headache in the future.
Once again thank you for reading.

Pompous security guard!

So today I woke up and continued my nonstop momentum since being home from vacation. I went down to my school, Baruch, and had to meet some of the on site day care facility staff and drop off some more paper work. When I got there I got a horrible splitting head ache and could barely keep my eyes open, however, I got through it because of the wonderful staff.
After that I decided to go try and meet with an adviser I have been trying to meet with for far too long. As usual I had Leilani with me and we went to the building where the advisers office is. In the front there is always a security guard, this time it was a POMPOUS ASS! I walked in said good morning and asked if he wished to see my student ID since it is required. His reply "You know this is a child free campus, no kids are to be on campus." I apologized I said I have never had a problem before, I've taken her with me all over the campus and have never been told that. He looked at me like I was lying and kept quiet. Mind you I have my horrible headache still. I looked at him just like he was looking at me and told him " What do you want me to do?! I can't leave her downstairs like a dog while I go up there." Let me call someone was his response.
At this point I should have just walked right passed him and into the elevator but decided to keep my cool. I informed him while he was on the phone that this was all a bit ridiculous and unwarranted. He did like that too much ...lol and when he hung up he proceeded to ask me: Where I was going, what I was going to do, how long I was going to be, and my two personal favorites; If I was sure I was in the right place and if I was even a student at Baruch College. ... Really? Did he just go there. Did he have to go there? I informed him that  I was a student and reminded him that I had a student ID I offered when I first arrived and also told him the floor I was trying to go to. He took my ID and asked me if... wait for it... my daughter had an ID...? I told him he was now beyond ridiculous and proceeded to the office of the adviser.
First off as a society have we really gotten to the point where children aren't allowed to go public places with their parents? I mean airlines are banning kids and now this guy behind a desk is both interrogating me and being blatantly condescending? For what reason? None, whats so ever. When we finally got upstairs the women in the office were very nice and did shriek at the sight of a child.

Thank you for reading!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Meet Mercedez

Call you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Mercedez, I'm nineteen years old and I have 1 child.

How old were you when you had your first child? 17
Who was the first person you told? My Ex Boyfriend
Did you use protection when you were sexually active? Not always.

Did you think you would be a teen mom? Never in a million years, even when I was having sex.

What was it like losing your normal teen life? I really didn't party or anything before, so it wasn't really as hard.
All moms have fears what was your biggest fear as a teen mom? Not making it through school.

So were you able to complete school? How? Yes, by the grace of GOD and good support systems.

That's awesome! What was is it like going to school during and after your pregnancy? Normal. I was a pregnant senior while there were pregnant freshman, so it wasn't a big deal.

Did your friends stick around like you thought they would or they said they would? Yes, the real close ones.

What was the hardest thing about being a teen mom? Just feeling like a disappointment to my family.
I know what you mean. A lot of people think don't think that teen moms have feelings and worry about how their pregnancy can affect their families, but we do.

Do you feel more pressure as a teen mom to prove yourself in all aspects of your life? Absolutely!!

Did you get a job after having your child? Yes, I continued to maintain the two jobs I was working while pregnant.

What do you think is the reason girls become sexually active early is? Peer pressure, desire to fit in and just trying to experience life soooo fast.

What advice do you have for teens that are thinking about being sexually active? Use Protection, you do not want to raise a baby in this corrupt world.

What advice would you have for teens that are feeling pressured to have any form of sex?  Just to wait. It’s not all its cut out to be and if not, Protect Yourself!!

What about teen moms? Don’t bring anymore babies into this world especially if you are not able to provide for them!!

What would you tell them about life after the initial shock and what to do to get ahead?
It is a very uneasy feeling knowing your young and going to have a child to provide for. Not knowing how things are going to change drastically with your friend’s family and school. I would just say don’t give up. There have been several teen moms to make it above the stereotypes.

How did you deal with people ridiculing you for being a teen mom? I didn't deal with all that.

What was the biggest shock to you after having your child? How happy but sad I could be all at once.
That's a very good point.

What is the one thing you couldn’t go without while pregnant? Support!

What is life like today? It has its ups and downs but I can’t complain I'm more than blessed.

What are your plans for the future? As of now my major in school is Political Science. Once I graduate I'll either pursue becoming a governor/senator or be a teacher.
That's amazing!

Have you thought about how to explain being a teen parent to your child when that time comes? Yes. I plan on enlightening him on the huge sacrifices I had to make with him and how I bettered myself in several different ways to provide for him and myself.

What will you do to ensure that your child doesn’t end up a teen parent? Stay On His ASS! (Laughing) I'll just preach to him on how hard it is and just pray he'll do better than I did.

How do you feel about shows like Teen Mom? Some people feel that it shows the true life of a teen mom and keeps teens from becoming teen parents. While other people say it makes the life of a teen parent look easy and encourages teens to become sexually active and parents.
In my opinion I feel like that show kind of glamorized being a teen mom. I mean it does show how difficult things can get but these little brats are on TV. Which pregnant teen wouldn't want that??
I agree I don't think the show is at all an accurate representation of the life of a teen mom.

What is the one thing you think teen moms need more of? Common Sense, A lot of the girls I know got pregnant to keep the man around and don't have a clue about what being a parent is all about.

What do you think is the common misconception about teen moms? They'll be supported by the government, never make it and their child will fall under the same statistics! They're frowned upon honestly 

Remember in the future vote Mercedez!

If you would like to contribute to the site or know someone that would send us an e-mail.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Patterns of a Lost Father by Jordyn Lewis

I met Jordyn through Maile and she is an incredibly strong young woman. It is no surprise that it is very easy for some fathers to walk away from their child(ren) and never look back. However, there are those that like to make cameo appreances that seem to hurt more then help and eventually are forgotten all together. I think this poem captures that cycle beautifully.

Patterns of a Lost Father
By: Jordyn Lewis
There’s a turnabout, a turnabout
Change-change-change
Watch him fall again, him fall again, and fall again
When he begins to move, begins to move, the directions same
Although there’s been chance, after chance, after chance…
He’ll never change his stance, his stance, his stance
Even when the song’s the same, it stays the same, it never changed
Still the excuses come in tune, stay in tune, a dreadful tune
In his heart he fails, his heart it fails, he failed
Still he believes there’s change, believes there change, when there has been change
Only thing is though, the thing is though
Her years are passing by, still passing by, before your eyes
As moments fade away, they fade away, quickly fade away
His feelings stay the same, stay the same, stay the same
Watch him try again, just try again, and try again
You’ll see his dance will change, his dance will change, his dance will change
Lack of love remains the same, it stays the same, stays the same
Making him so lame, him so lame, so very lame
I’ve done my part it seems, my part it seems - yet
Importance never brings, it never brings, no never brings
Hope for him another day, another day, or any day
Until the day he learns, he finally learns, and understands
It will be too late, very late, oh way too late
And his heart will break, his heart will break, yes,  his heart will break
For he’ll miss his loss, he’ll miss his loss, he’ll see his loss
For she’s everything, just everything, the only everything
That means anything, ANYTHING
In this whole wide world, my entire world
He still thinks he will change, he thinks he’ll change, thinks it means a thing
Yet it stays the same, it stays the same,
Will always be the same
Until it’s been too late, far, far too late
And he’s forgotten.

More of Jordyn's writing can be read on her Facebook page at Jordyn's writings

If you would like to contribute to the site or know someone that would send us an e-mail.

Making friends

One thing I have always been really worried about since moving to New York City is how will Leilani make friends. At first, and still now, I was very protective and didn't even want her to play with the neighbor kids that my father has known for years. I still remember the first time I let her go out and play in the hallway with the other kids. It was Thanksgiving day and my younger sister and father told me to stop being so over protective and let her go. I, of course, said no and came up with numerous horrible excuses as to why she had to sit inside and watch me cook... ridiculous I know. However, after looking at her sad, lonely little face and realizing she hadn't played with other children for far too long I agreed. Her face lit up and she ran for the door. Of course I was a nervous wreck and checked on her numerous times or would snap at my sister for not watching her play.

The one thing that did comfort me was that my daughter was ready to try something new, get to know other children and her new environment instead of just sitting inside all day. While she was playing she would also stick her head back inside the door smile and say "I'm okay mommy!" with a huge smile on her face and then run back and play.

Then yesterday Leilani went over to a friends house to play for a little bit, before we were going to head over to my school so I could talk to an academic adviser. When it was time to go I went to the friends house and told them she had to leave "No, please no," they both begged "can she stay and play, please?" My initial reaction was no but the grandmother, who has known my father for about 15 years and is very nice, stepped into the room and said she could stay. I explained to the grandmother that I was going to Manhattan and before I could keep talking she stopped me and said "Go, she'll be fine. You have nothing to worry about."
So I left. Its funny because it seems that as she grows I grow too.
When I got home the whole floor was filled with children playing and having fun. It was even one of her friend's birthday and they asked for her to stay out a bit longer so she could sing happy birthday and eat cake. Of course I agreed and watched them hold hands and run to the little girls' apartment.

Don't get me wrong I'm still a crazy over protective mama and have my reasons to be, who doesn't? However, I am glad that she is making friends and learning how to socialize and realize when mommy says its time to come home that its time to come home.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Meet Maile Hender

Maile and Gracie


Maile and I have known one another since the fifth grade and I bet we were both equally shocked to realize we are teen moms today.

Name:
My name is Maile Darah Hender. Im 21 and I have one baby girl. 
How old were you when you had your daughter? 
I was 19yrs old when I found out I was pregnant, 20 when I delivered. 
Who was the first person you told? 
 First person I told was my older sister because honestly, even though I was engaged to my boyfriend of 3yrs and at the time living together I feared whether he was gonna be excited or run for the hills. 
Were you using any type of birth control? 
The only protection we were using was birth control, shocker I know:):) 
What was your biggest fear? 
My biggest fear was, Omg! can I really do this I'm still only a kid myself?. 
What was it like losing your teen life? 
As for losing my regular teen life, I lost my childhood when I was 13yrs old. I had to be an adult very early and I've been on my own away from home since I was 16yrs old so the only difference was my free time would now be devoted to my baby, no more whatever, whenever which was easy to adapt to considering my daughter stole my heart before she even took her first breath.

Maile is now a single mother living in Georgia. She enjoys her family and of course spending time with adorable baby Gracie.


If you would like to contribute to the site or know someone that would send us an e-mail.

Meet Shontrese

Shontrese and 8 week old K'hari


Name: Shontrese Johnson
Age:18
How many children do you have? 1
How old is he? 8 weeks
Who was the first person you told you were pregnant? My little sister, because I knew she wouldn't judge.
How did you tell your parent(s)? Well, my ma just kinda found out & she told my dad.
What was your initial reaction to the news? At first I was shocked, scared & excited all at the same time!
That's a lot of different emotions all at once!
Why do you think you became sexually active? Peer pressure
How was your labor was it harder or easier then you thought it would be? Wayyyyy harder ! I had to sit in the hospital three weeks (miss my high school gradation) because my water broke earlier and labor was seventeen long hours.
Wow! That's crazy so, were you able to complete school? Yes I was :)
What was it like going to school pregnant? Well, kinda embarrassing because my baby daddy & his girlfriend were telling everybody my baby wasn't his -_-
What was/is it like waking up at night with a child? (laughing) Horrible!  but its worth it!
Why do you feel some teens want to have a child? A lot of different CRAZY reasons!
What advice do you have for teens that are or want to become sexually active? Sex is gonna happen, its life ! Just make sure YOU'RE ready ! oh yea & use protection ! (Laughing)
What is life like now? Well tomorrow will be my first day of college & my first day at my new job! yayyy. My life has been non stop busy since I brought K'hari home.
Wow you seem to have come a long way! Congrats! What are your goals for the future? I plan on graduating college and going to law school! I wanna be lawyer :)
Do you have any advice you'd like to give teen and other teen moms?:
Teens who don't have kids - please please please WAIT! A baby will not make a boy stay or love you, it will only make him leave and NOT LOVE YOU! I always joke with my friends and tell them that if you wanna lose a boyfriend just tell him you're pregnant Lol! Don't believe me? Look it up 87% of teenagers with babies DON'T GET MARRIED and if you are lucky enough to be in the 13% go for it! I did and now I'm a single mom.
Teen moms - I got one thing to say "nobody said it would be easy, but it will be worth it' stay strong <3

We are all cheering you on here at Teen Mom NYC. Have a great first day of school and work! Be sure to let us know how it goes!

If you would like to contribute to the site or know someone that would send us an e-mail.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Were did appreciation go?

Constant gift giving, traveling, vacationing and down right getting whatever she has wanted this summer has changed my daughter. Unfortunately not for the better. The only family we have in New York City is my father so whenever we go visit one of my many sisters or mom and step dad my daughter gets too spoiled.

They will say things like "We don't see her that often." "Come on don't be such a joy kill." or the one that I despise the most but doesn't come that often "Don't worry what your mommy says I'm your__ and you can listen to me."
I don't mind my daughter getting things but I don't like her being showered with material possessions because they are just that material things that she will out grow and lose interest in once something else comes along.

While in Michigan my daughter got a toy EVERYDAY! Ice cream and sweets copious amounts of times and got to stay up late all the time. All things that are HUGE no no's for me but I let them slide because "We don't see her that often."

What a mistake!
Now my daughter has lost the characteristic of appreciation, the one thing I worked SO HARD to get her to understand. Now as you all know its back to school season and that means new clothes, new shoes, new craft supplies and in some cases fast food pit stops. Coming home from a SPOILcation and then being, in her eyes, spoiled all over again because of back to school shopping has only made the problem worse. I have also given her the talk about how important it is to give back and how so many people have little or less then we do and it is our personal responsibility to give and appreciate what we have. However, it seems that these talks have fallen on closed ears and while I give her these talks I can see it in her eyes that shes not listening and simply thinking of the next thing she can acquire.

Today I was literally just sorting through a pile of give away clothing when I had to stop and write this post out of sheer frustration! As I was sorting my daughter saw a winter shirt that I plan on giving away and said she wanted it, I stop and consider keeping it because it looks like it can still fit her this coming winter. THEN she says I want it because I have .... No clothes. My brain went ARE YOU #*@$! KIDDING ME?! But instead I said well what about all the new clothes you got yesterday? Her reply : what clothes? WHAT!?!?! I shouted and grabbed her shirts she wanted to keep and I even considered keeping and threw them back into the bag.

Now I know that I am also to blame for letting this GETTING FIASCO get out of hand and that's why I am going to check myself twice before agreeing or buying anything else.

She is now on, what I will call, Operation Get Absolutely Nothing. Every bed time story she gets will be about getting too much, appreciation and giving. I will not have my daughter be some spoiled child that doesn't understand the basic act of appreciation and how much work goes into being able to provide these nice things for her and the overwhelming amount of children that have absolutely nothing.

I have been wanting to take her to a homeless shelter to help volunteer and to see first hand the importance of giving back, appreciation and the reality that many children and families face of having nothing or just enough. I think now is the perfect time.
Good Will or Salvation Army are honestly not the first choice that comes to mind when it comes to giving because they still sell the clothing and the reality is that many people can't even afford the prices sometimes. So I would rather give the items personally to those in need.
Now don't let me confuse you I LOVE these stores and give to them all the time. I also believe that they do wonderful work for the needy, the planet and families at large. As a child this is where I got my Christmas, Thanksgiving and back to school clothes from. However, nothing compares to seeing the look of appreciation on a families face when you personally give to them.

Now I will go back to putting together my donation pile and stop being so stingy myself and give a LOT MORE of my own things away. Lead by example!
Now one of my many task to achieve is instilling appreciation back into my daughter.
I will be sure to let you all know how it goes.
Thank you for reading :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Stress leads to REST

I know it has been a LONG time but I have been under a lot of stress since getting back from my vacations.
First off I start classes the 29 of this month!!!! I can't believe it and I don't feel ready at all!
My big girl and I at Coney Island
Due to... LIFE I had to take a year off of school which really helped and placed me a much better place then where I was before, both mentally and physically.
Leilani starts school, for the FIRST time, on September 8th and that is really taking an emotional toll on me.
Then the lack of steady income.
Lack of insurance
Lack of knowing what SCHOOL shes going to be attending, are just a few of the other things on my mind.
One thing about me is I carry all my emotions in my stomach. So on top of all this my stomach is a mess, my room is a mess and so is my brain which leads to me not getting a restful sleep. All of these things have turned me into a MAD women! I've had a short temper and shorter patience level which means I haven't been as nice as I should be to Leilani. Sorry dear.
So this is what I have had to do. Being that I start classes before Leilani I had to find a place for her to go until she starts school. Thankfully Baruch College, my school... I love saying that :), has an on site daycare that agreed to keep her for the few days that are in between. I went to the daycare spoke to the staff and the one BIG thing keeping her "out" is the lack of a physical. Now neither one of us have insurance and getting any sort of medical attention with out a form of insurance is both almost impossible and VERY EXPENSIVE. If I don't get her this physical it means NO school for me!
After calling literally 20 clinics I found one that would do it for a nominal fee. Check one thing off my list! :)
Coney Island at night
BUT I need my school ID to sign up. Which I didn't have so I had to go to my school get the ID and a shot in order to attend class, take the medical form to the admissions office then be on my way to the clinic. When I get there the staff was very nice and it didn't take long to sign up at all.
The only thing is that I need to return VERY early in the morning in order to insure that she gets one. Another thing is that its the same day as Baruch's transfer welcome party, which I really want to go to AND I have no baby sitter so I don't have the slightest clue how I'm going to pull this one off. However, like I always have to tell myself: I'm awesome and I can do it.
Corny I know but it works!
The other good thing that came out of all of this is that I now know that both Leilani and myself are eligible for FREE health insurance! So I am in the process of getting all the paper work together for that.
I also had to go back to school shopping done for Leilani, which is a reminder of the fact that I have no steady income, that my daughter is growing...fast and that I get too emotional in the middle of these department stores...lol.
I am happy to say that her father came through with child support and my sisters help(ed) me too, so we got ALL, well mostly all, of our shopping DONE TODAY!
The steady income thing is factor that I know I only have to power to change. I also know that I am MY OWN BIGGEST OBSTACLE and need to remove myself from myself in order to get ahead.
I set out to do the bulk of my "To do list" this week and even though it was tough I'm glad to say I did it!

As stressful as this week has been it has also been very encouraging, enlightening and reflective. I see myself letting myself get "comfortable" and not pushing myself as much as I should so I've decided to light the fire under my own ASS and get on my goals and dreams, NOW!
My week ended on a wonderful note though I went to Coney Island with Leilani and watched the AWESOME firework display and even got on a few rides!

Perfect Picture. no?


Beautiful moon!


Okay I'm almost done :)
I want to let you all know that I'm going to be making some changes to the blog and the first one is already underway. Interviews with other teen moms which I will post right here along with some other new and exciting things. As my readers I want to ask you what YOU would like to see, hear and read to make your experience on this blog better and more enjoyable.
Your feedback is greatly appreciated! :) you can email me at gmalone410@gmail.com or just leave a comment.
If you are a teen parent or know one that would be a great candidate for an interview send them my way as well.
Thank you all very much for reading. Time for bed time stories:)