Tips to stay strong from teen moms

Emeline Root

She couldn’t look at it without getting that queasy feeling deep in her gut. When she first saw the positive symbol, it took her breath away. She nearly went into shock as anxiety and fear took over her. She was only a teenager, and she tested positive on her pregnancy test. She knew her life was going to change, but little did she realize how drastically. Situations like these are not uncommon. Girls can find solace, though, with the help of experienced teen moms. Current teen mothers show how being a teen mom seems less impossible when following these simple tips.

  1. Regardless of how hard balancing school work and motherhood is, it’s important to stay in school. Sixty-two percent of girls under the age of 18 who become teen moms do not earn a high school diploma. But getting a diploma is a crucial step in providing for a family because it can allow for a better income. Alyssa Chea, a former West Ottawa student, dropped out of high school after she had her first child. But reflecting over that decision, she realized that an education is one of the most important things she can do for herself and her children. Chea ended up doing online schooling, which was convenient because she could stay home and watch her children at the same time. “Education is more important than ever. Dropping out will hurt you in the long run,” Chea said. Education is not only important for getting a more reliable job, it is important in order to be a good example for the children. “I didn’t want my kids to grow up and ask why I didn’t graduate or why did I drop out?” Chea said. 
  2. Each teen mom has different circumstances, so not every teen mom can ensure that she will stay in school, but one thing that will significantly help is planning. While a teen is  pregnant, it’s essential to plan for her to plan when for when her child is born. “Lack of child care is one of the main reasons why teen mom’s drop out of school, so it is very important to have child care figured out before the baby is born,” Sr. Gabriella Riquelme said. By not planning ahead, a teen mom puts herself in a very difficult situation. Although an in school education is more desirable, a teen mom’s first priority is her child. If it’s absolutely necessary to drop out, a teen mom would ideally follow through with her education through online courses. But if a teen mom has a plan for when her child is born, it will be much easier for her to follow through with school.
  3. Find a system to balance responsibilities.The hardest part about keeping on top of school work and entering motherhood is finding the time to get everything done. How can it be done? “People have different ways with balancing them, but I have managed to figure it out as time passed. I try to get as much school work done as I can while I’m still at school, so when I come home I can spend the majority of my time with my child,” said Riquelme. She found her balance through trial and error in her experiences. By doing this, Riquelme could experiment to find what schedule was best for her.

Being a teen mom is one of the most demanding jobs. It’s hard to find motivation and to balance school work and motherhood. But through these tips of perseverance, planning, and hard work, being a teen mom can be much more rewarding.