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.