Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Helping Teen Parents DOES NOT Encourage Teens to get pregnant

Anytime anything is done to help teen parents nay sayers love to say that helping teen parents encourages teenage pregnancy.

Nurses and doctors aren't told that they encourage the ill and hurt to stay sick and hurt by helping them.
Teachers who specifically work with 'troubled youth' aren't told that they encourage more youth to be 'troubled' as a result of their work. These people are praised for their work and they should be. But so should those that help pregnant and patenting teens. They are doing much needed, unglamorized and over looked work with little to no budget.

They are doing the unsexy work of trying to help a young parent who feels like giving up because everyone has told them to. A young parent who has yet to address why or what may have led to them becoming young parents. The people who work and advocate for young families do so much more than prescribe a solution. They work to identify and understand the who, what, where, why and when that has led the young parent to where they are now and seek to help young parents help THEMSELVES.

We have all heard the statistics that children born to teen patents have a high rate of becoming teenage parents themselves. Why? Possibly because their parents weren't helped to be able to stay in school, go on to compete higher education and were left by society to 'work harder' in a low wage job thus continuing the cycle of teenage pregnancy.

As a young parent and reproductive rights advocate I DO encourage things. Things like EQUITY, comprehensive SEX EDUCATION and policy change just name a few.

Friday, December 7, 2012

My Academic Advisor Made My Day!

"I'm glad you're looking into graduate school Gloria. You are graduate school material however-" I was nervous what is she going to say- "I think you should be looking to apply to schools like Princeton or Columbia, schools of that caliber."
I couldn't believe my ears.

"I don't know how you manage it all. Being one of our top performing students, all of the work you do with non profits and being a single mom. You have the profile these schools love. "

I still can't believe it. I can't believe that I was told I am Ivy Leauge school material by one of my academic advisors. She went on to tell me about grants and clubs I should be looking out for and promised to ask around about organizations that help student parents find housing.

To be honest I'm floored. Perhaps what makes this all the crazier to me is this morning my first thought upon waking up was I should apply to Harvard.
Could you imagine!! <3

What Happened to the Baby Sitter

Buh bye baby sitter!

After my constant ramblings and vents about my sitter I have finally "fired" her. I had to get rid of her because another kid she takes care of was making Leilani's life a living hell

At first when Leilani would complain I thought she was "being too sensitive," "just wanted me around," and as I said in my previous post being told and believing that, "oh well, tough luck, this is a sacrifice mommy had to make" was the only option for her, I didn't pursue getting a new sitter.

However, when I returned from the One Voice Summit in D. C I was told that Leilani came home crying the day before.
She was crying because that very same child was- yet again- being mean to her. Leilani tried to counter it by saying it was okay because it doesn't happen every day. Imagine how shitty I felt as a mother. I had been teaching my daughter unintentionally that dealing with shitty people and making excuses for them was okay. The former part of the last sentence is true. There are shitty people but making excuses for them is not okay.
Then Leilani told me that the child keeps talking about sex, dicks, and is overall just a super over sexed kid.
Oh. Hell. No.
No college course, hours at work or anything else are worth Leilani being in such an uncomfortable situation. None!
So I quit the sitter. Scaled back on work and I'm starting to realize that I need to take a more direct approach in creating the future we want and need.

Changes are already underway.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child and I'm Sick of Being a One PersonVillage

Let me preface this post with a few things:

  • I know my life is better than a lot have it. 
  • I do get help from people. 
  • My living situation isn't all that bad.
HOWEVER, THIS IS ME COMPLAINING, if you don't want to read about me complaining stop now.

I am sick and tired of being a one person village. While my blog/life may seem like I "have it all together" I don't. In fact i'm far from that. Yes, I have come a long way, further than society and statistics told tell me. But I have so much further that I want to go. 

This is my day:

  • Wake up at 6:30 am. 
  • Drop Leilani off to school at 8am
  • Get to subway to start my one hour commute to school
  • Arrive at 9am
  • Get out of class at 2
  • Rush home to get Leilani
  • Cook, help Leilani with homework, do dishes, spend time with her
  • Try to get her into bed by 8pm so I can pay attention to myself, my homework and the house. 
You tell me where I have time to: study or really do homework or go to the library or do research or work real hours to start saving up money or dedicate more time to writing and the advocacy work that I do?
I'm usually in bed by 10pm because i'm too tired for anything else. 
I have no one that picks her up from school for me, no one that helps clean the house, cook, organize, help her with her homework, help me with my homework NOTHING! 
Mind you I live with someone. 

I feel like I have to be the good mom, good daughter, cook, house cleaner, intern, employee. I feel like i'm having deja vu. 

If you read my last post, you know that although I do get help here and there it's not enough. It doesn't allow me to really delve into my school, work, projects or being a mother let alone that strange thing called paying attention to oneself. 

My bottom line is I want my own place. I can't have Leilani all the way uptown while i'm downtown and have my days end at 3pm and feel like i'm moving forward. 

I'm not sure if this post made much sense. 
All I know is I NEED my own place. I need a place to be able to be the mother, student, employee and PERSON I want to be. I want HELP. I want MY OWN STRESS and no one else's. I want to know that if I clean a house it will stay clean or dirty as long as I want it to. My life feels like it is in a constant state of stress and my living situation doesn't help. 

I WANT MY OWN LIFE with Leilani already! 

I want my own for the both of us

In an effort to try to not sound like a bratty 22 year old I'm going to say that last night I was screwed over.

Last night was the fifth year anniversary of the non profit I intern at. I had made plans to attend a while ago. I was excited! The founder personally asked me to attend because she "would love to have me there."
One problem. On the evening of the event, 30 minutes before the event the person that agreed to watch Leilani bailed. I was- still am- so upset, hurt, angry and most of all embaressesed! I told the founder I would be there, I was supposed to be there, I wanted to be there and here I was 30 minutes before going no where.

This really got me thinking about the different dimensions that can make a young mother look as unreliable and unaccountable as I felt at the very moment. I felt so small and yet so big at the same time, the latter I didn't understand at the time.

This morning I woke up and realized why I felt big at the moment when all I really wanted to do was break down and cry. I felt big because I had a great day until that person bailed on me. I felt capable because I knew that the emails, letters and energies I sent out that morning were positive and going to come back to me. I felt big because I realized I really need to get my own. I have always lived with someone. For the last 6 years I have lived with men. Men that feel they are doing the right thing but in reality are making my blood boil more often than not.

I need to and can change this if I make getting a place physically and emotionally of our own for Leilani and myself a priortity.