Friday, November 22, 2013

Shame From All Over for Pregnant and Parenting Teens

Last night I found a professor of Social Work who believes (teaches) denying services to pregnant and parenting teens and making ALL children and families in the United States sign a FEDERALLY MANDATED morality clause before being able to participate in school activities will reduce teen pregnancy rates. My latest on RH Reality Check couldn't be more timely. Mind you she's teaching illegal and unethical practices.

Head over to RH Reality Check for my latest on shame from all over the political arena for pregnant and parenting teens. Here. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

This Semester Can NOT End Any Sooner

I have 9-10 days left of the fall semester. I  CAN NOT WAIT!

This semester started off horribly with Leilani having school troubles, us having baby sitter problems, and my having to miss a bunch of school. As much as I hoped that the beginning of the semester wasn't indicative of what the semester was going to be it was. It really has been just a drag! 

My stats class is a JOKE! 
My psych capstone class is... strange to say the least. In one class he began talking about how a female's mortal vagina may not be able to with stand the power with which a god like Zeus or a superhero like Superman may have when making love to her. I mean... really? Did I mention the midterms are all based off of our notes.
Spanish is spanish and my social welfare course is good but the truth of the matter is I didn't really start the semester with a strong school mindset. 
Seniorites is kicking in and I just wanna graduate! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Student Parents Problems

Yesterday I was going to meet up with a friend on campus to discuss an assignment we had to do for a class. The problems I faced were several.
  • My campus has a no child on campus policy
  • I couldn't secure a sitter
  • My computer (which I am desperately needing to replace) can't even open the assignment 
First, why does it seem colleges are so unprepared to address and meet the needs of parenting students given that a LARGE demographic of college students ARE parents. The amazing Tara Jefferson, founder of The Young Mommy Life has a great piece about this. I can't tell you how many times I have had to pay a sitter just to go on campus and do something very quickly but couldn't bring Leilani with me. In fact I had a HORRIBLE run in with one of the security guards during which he asked me "If I was even in the right place" just because I am a young mom with a child on a college campus. 

Even though I have a team of sitters I was unable to secure one, which is kind of upsetting but honestly  I don't feel I should HAVE to get a sitter to go onto MY college campus to meet with someone to discuss an assignment. 

As far as the computer situation I can not WAIT until I can change it and thank goodness for the public library. 

Being a student parent ain't no joke man. It's tough to get everything done when some things out of your control limit your ability to get things done. 

Do you have any #studentparentproblems? Let me in the comments on Facebook or Twitter by using #studentparentproblems.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Why Does the Phrase Teen Mom Even Exist?

I am someone who at 23 years old still identifies as a teen mom so when I saw a teen mom on Tumblr ask:

Why are teen moms called teen moms? It's not like old moms are called "old moms" so why are we called teen moms, aren't we MOMS too?

I couldn't help but to think she had a good point.
Why are we the only moms that have to have another title proceed our titles as mom? Is it to continue the thoughts that teen moms are "less," "different," or more teens than "actual moms?"
At the end of the day we are moms just like any other moms so we must we have the title teen mom when no other age demographic of mothers is identified as the age at which they had their child.

What do you think?

Was this (teen) mom over reacting? Does she have a good point?

Let me know below in the comments.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Baby Tigger and Tiger Play at the Zoo

Sometimes the zoo is fun and you get to see tons of great animals, then sometimes you're literally looking at the animal's back or just leafs and grass wondering where they are hiding.

However, this family found a great way to interact with an adorable tiger cub at the zoo in an equal parts adorable and feel good video.

Have you ever seen anything so adorable or had an animal interact with you like this at the zoo? Let me know below in the comments.

Single Young Mom Pays Bill for Federal Employees

Remember when the government shut down happen?
Well many military and other federal employes still had to report to work knowing they wouldn't be paid on not sure when they would. When two women from the National Guard walked into a Ruby Tuesdays they were worried about the cost of their lunch a very selfless server took it upon herself to pay the bill for them and left a note.

Turns out the woman was a single young mom of an 18 month old baby who lives at home with her mother. Ellen Degeneres had her on her show a little while after to thank her and pay her back in a HUGE way.

Young moms are amazing! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Silencing Teen Moms Hurts Us

It seems all mother, that are not teenage mothers, can talk about how being a parent is difficult without being attacked. However, when a teen mothers do it we are told to "stop complaining", "this is the life you chose", "no one told you to get pregnant", "life is hard", or let you know they don't care either through their actions or bluntly telling you "I don't care."

As much as society tells us we can't be happy during our pregnancy they also tell us to stop "complaining" when things get difficult and we try to speak about it. Between being unable to speak about our challenges without "proving" being a teen mom is "horrible" or conveying happiness because we will be "glorifying" teenage pregnancy, teenage parents are in an emotional limbo.
A limbo that I am no longer wanting to be a part of. 

Truth is being a parent is hard! Sometimes it's full of wonderful and positive days and some days it's full of stress and can be overwhelming. Sometimes I struggle to have enough money for a metro card for school, sometimes I want to be able to buy myself a drink at a bar with friends without feeling guilt, sometimes I feel like a bad mom because I can't spend as much time as I want with Leilani, sometimes I just want to lay in bed all day and not have to "come here" every time she calls, sometimes I feel like work, school, life, parenting, and trying to figure out our life after graduation is overwhelming and damn hard, sometimes I'm happy and proud of myself and the mother and woman I am.

Being a mom, student, employee, child to your parents, and person all at once while society and sometimes even family and "friends" tell you you can't is A LOT to handle.

I'm HUMAN and even though I am a teenage mother I should and CAN feel all sorts of emotions and experiences and not feel like I should be silenced by society or rude negative people while expressing them.

Being silenced by society and shame is what leads to higher rates of postpartum depression in teenage mothers, what caused me to stay in an abusive relationship much longer than I should have, and what keeps teen parent from finding one another and completely sharing our experiences with one another.

Lets STOP letting society and shame silence us! Not one of us is winning anything by being silenced, in fact it hurts us! 

If you are in an abusive relationship you don't NEED to stay because of shame (like I did), if you are struggling to put food on the table you don't need to feel ashamed (like I did), if you are a homeless teen mom you don't need to feel ashamed and remain silent. Truth is A LOT of people are experiencing these things. Story telling and sharing is powerful, helpful, and healthy.

No matter what you are going through whether it is good or bad you can and should speak about it! Don't let society silence you.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Everyone Should Enjoy Halloween Even Homeless People Mommy

It was Halloween evening and I was taking Leilani and her friend trick or treating. On the way back we walked past our train station where we saw a homeless man sitting by the stairs. He had an absent and deflated presence about him. "Look mommy he is homeless. Should I give him some candy?" Leilani asked.

Huh? "Uh... sure baby. Yeah that would be cool."

She reached down into her pumpkin and pulled out a piece of candy, "here sir... sir... excuse me." The man looked up dumbfounded. He looked at Leilani, looked at me, and then a huge smile stretched across his face. "WOOOWW! Thank you! I... I don't know... God bless you and her. She... God bless her. Thank you." he said with his hands on his heart and a smile on his face.

Why did you do that baby? I asked her. "Well everyone should have fun on Halloween even homeless people. It's not fair that only people with houses get to have fun."

I couldn't believe it. I was and still kind of am at a loss about how amazing and giving her little gesture was. While everyone else around him was smiling at children running around in their costumes he was there possibly feeling as if he had camouflaged into the wall but Leilani reminded him that he wasn't.

It's important to teach ourselves and our children that all people, especially those society says are "lost causes" are important.

Homelessness is a serious problem within the teen mom community. Many pregnant and parenting teens are kicked out of their families homes EVERYDAY. Please take a moment to learn more about homelessness amongst our peers by reading Diamond's interview, Precious's interview, and the blogs Youth Homelessness section. 

When was the last time your child surprised you by showing you they have retained a life lesson you have been trying to teach them? 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Are You Holding Your Children Back?

Are you holding your child back?
Your immediate response will most likely be "NO! Of course not," but really think about it. Today as Leilani and I walked into a new park and she saw all the basketball courts she immediately said she wanted to play but since she didn't have a ball-and most the other people on the court were older boys- she couldn't.

We made our way over to the jungle gym where she played for a few minutes all the while telling me she wanted to go on the court because "basketball is my favorite sport." Out of nowhere as if the universe heard her request a lone ball rolled over right onto her feet.

"MOMMY! I got a ball and it says 'girl's ball'. Lets play!" she excitedly proclaimed. We played on the side of the jungle gym for a moment and every so often she would say "I'm ready for the court" and I would give some answer as to how she wasn't.

After taking a short break I look up and see little miss Leilani on the basketball court, the ONLY girl on the basketball court, and the youngest one out there dribbling and trying to sink the ball into the basket.

At that moment I realized I was holding her back. I was scared some boy would accidently land on her, or take her ball, or make fun of her; I used these fears as a way to hold her back. Leilani wasn't scared or worried at all she was ready. I watched in amazement as the little pink dot weaved in and out of the "big boys" playing basketball, kept trying to get the ball into the hoop, and maintained a smile on her face while doing so.

As parents we want to protect our children and push our children to reach new goals but we must remember not to let our fears or pride interfere with their ability to push themselves and reach new goals on their own. It's nerve-wrecking but it's worth it.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I'm Joining #NaBloPoMo!

This month I will be joining NaBloPoMo. NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Posting Month and was inspired by NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. Both month long activities encourage people to write EVERYDAY and as a blogger you are to post everyday. 

Being that I am starting two days late-yes I am counting this as a post- I will finsih a bit later than those who started right on the first. 

While I think I have a pretty good momentum with my posting I can always stand to better myself right? Through writing everyday I hope to improve my writing, carve out some "me time," and just write my heart out. If you are a blogger and would like to join in on the action you can sign up on Blogher and or just post everyday and be sure to use the hashtag- #NaBloPoMo- to share your post with everyone! 

I must admit that being that this is the last full month of the semester and the second to the last month before the end of the year that I might get side tracked BUT I can't and I wont! I can do this, I want to do this, and I hope you all like what I share. 

Is there anything in particular you would like me to blog about? Comment below, on Facebook, or tweet me your ideas!