This post is made possible with support from the Mission List. All opinions are my own.

I look at my life now and can’t help but be so incredibly proud of how far my husband and I have come. We have an amazing life with our three healthy children and simply  living the American dream! Some days I find it hard to fathom that we were once two scared teenagers with a baby… how did we do it? The road here has defiantly not been easy and we have overcome some incredible difficult obstacles. Being a teen mom is not something I would wish upon anyone, but is something that I would not change nor regret for a single moment. I believe that everything happens for a reason and my circumstances made me the strong and successful person I am today.

My journey started about 12 years ago, I was only 18 years old and had just graduated high school. A very late period and positive home pregnancy test led me to the front doors of Planned Parenthood one morning. I still remember how scared I was walking into that place, unsure of how I would be treated. All these years later and I can still remember sitting in the exam room waiting for the results. What I expected to come through those doors was someone ready to scorn me for being so stupid. Instead I was embraced by a very kind older women that delivered the news with so much compassion. She had an overwhelming amount of knowledge and support and graciously provided me with the many resources available to me. In her eyes I wasn’t an immature teenager that was stupid for getting pregnant so young… instead I was treated like a new mom that had some big decisions to make and she informed me that I did not have to do it alone.

I like to believe that the services I received that day at Planned Parenthood paved the way for my success in life as a teen mom. I was immediately put in the mind set that while this was going to be scary and far from easy, there was no reason to believe I couldn’t do it. I can’t imagine how different things could have gone had they not been the place I turned to that day. I actually keep all of the papers I received at Planned Parenthood that day in my oldest daughter’s baby book.

So you can imagine how upset I am to learn about the possible defunding of Planned Parenthood! This new bill would block people enrolled in Medicaid from accessing the services they rely on at Planned Parenthood health centers. Shutting down Planned Parenthood health centers would leave 2.5 million patients without a place to go for needed care. I can’t imagine, or even want to think about all of the horrible scenarios that will come of this!

         

Did you know that every year, 2.5 million women, men, and young people rely on Planned Parenthood for essential health care services, like birth control and lifesaving cancer screenings. Can you imagine this being your only resource for healthcare taken away? Many of these people )especially those living in rural areas and medically underserved areas) will have nowhere else to turn to for care if Planned Parenthood health centers are forced to close their doors. Community health centers simply cannot absorb Planned Parenthood’s patients. We are seeing proof of this in states like Texas and Wisconsin, whom have suffered serious public health consequences when communities lost access to Planned Parenthood. Here is how you can help:

So what lessons did I learn being a teen mom?

People will judge. I spent so much time and unnecessary effort into proving what a good mom I was because I knew people judged me for my age. I was an amazing mom and I wish someone had told me that I didn’t need any validation. The truth is… people will judge you as a mom no matter what age you are, so don’t let it get to you. As long as you know that you are a good mom, that’s all that really matters! Making friends is hard. After becoming a mom I tried really hard to stay friends with everyone from school… it didn’t go well. We were at completely different stages in life, they couldn’t begin to imagine the responsibility of being a mother! Looking back at it now I wish I had spent more time trying to find mom friends. I always felt awkward and uncertain of myself trying to fit in with other moms because I was so young. I spent so much time being insecure and assuming they would judge me, that I never even gave them a chance. Things will get easier. Quite possibly the biggest cliche ever but I am reminded of this all of the time. No matter how far you fall and how difficult life may seem at that particular moment… just remember, it will get easier. Don’t let bad circumstances hold you back or determine your fate. Hard work and determination, never give up and believe that you can make something of your life!

If you are a teen mom that is feeling alone, need advice or someone to talk to, please feel free to reach out to me! MsFrugalMommy@hotmail.com

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