Lessons & Thoughts From a Former Teen Mom
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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 definitely not been easy and we have overcome some incredibly difficult obstacles. Being a teen mom is not something I would wish upon any one, but is something in my life 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. Ironically enough, my daughter is celebrating her 12th birthday this week… she has grown into such a beautiful young lady!
My journey started about 13 years ago, I was just 18 years old and had recently graduated from high school. A late period and positive home pregnancy test completely turned my life upside down. While all of my friends were experiencing college and their first year away from home… I was being forced to grow up extremely fast in a very short period of time. 9 months is not very long when you are trying to figure out where you are going to live, how you are going to pay for things and how are you going to handle having a baby so young? I like to think my husband and I handled it very well and that jump start in life allowed us to create a more successful life much earlier on than other people our age.
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 I could go back and tell young 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. 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!
It is so incredibly difficult to wrap up the past 12 years of life in a short article… but I can honestly say that it was one difficult journey! We caught a lot of breaks and my husband and I are both very hard working and determined people. Not everyone is ready for that major shift in life and not everyone has the means to welcome a baby into a world unexpectedly. I have always been an advocate for all of the choices woman have when it comes to pregnancy prevention. What has always bothered me is that there is such a huge misperception about the people that use Plan B One-Step. The first image that pops into most people’s heads are irresponsible young girls that are out partying and having unprotected sex. But did you know that half the women that use Plan B One-Step are 25 years and older?
The message I want to emphasize is that there is no specific “type” of women who uses emergency contraception. Emergency contraception is an important option for all women and their family planning efforts. I don’t believe anyone should feel embarrassed or ashamed if they decide to use this product, nor do I feel they need to explain their reasons!
I also want to educate you more about what Plan B actually is, because I know that many women believe it to be something it is actually not. Plan B One-Step is not an ‘abortion pill’ and it will not affect an existing pregnancy. The pill works mainly by delaying or preventing ovulation, so it is helping prevent pregnancy BEFORE it begins. I bet you didn’t know this… the active ingredient found in this product (levonorgestrel) is the same ingredient that is found in many common birth control pills… it is just at a higher, single dose. I believe if more people understood what Plan B actually was, there would be less stigma and judgement. Just a few things to remember when taking Plan B: it must be taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex or birth control failure (some sources say you can take it up to 5 days. That is NOT what the packaging says; you are encouraged to take it as soon as possible) and it should always be used as directed.
What is great about Plan B One-Step is that it is available at most stores, I found the product on the shelf at my local Target. There is also a $10 off coupon for the product available right now.
If you are looking for the product and can’t locate it within the store, you can always ask the pharmacist and they will be able to help you find it without any questions asked!
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and leave knowing more about the choices you have when it comes to women’s health and pregnancy!