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Private Confessions of Teen Moms; Exploited by Buzzfeed

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I came across this video on my Facebook wall.  I don’t know how to feel about it.  My first reaction was positive, that quickly turned to anger.

First – these were anonymous confessions posted to an app called Whisper that have been exploited by Buzzfeed.  The dramatic music, the pathetic actors, the shaky voices of people reading someone else’s confession.  It’s just too much.  So over the top.

SUCH BULLSHIT!

I would love to hear confessions of ANY mom. The issues are all the same.  Teen or not.  Women go through the same thoughts, feelings, anxieties about motherhood regardless of age.  Let’s get that straight Buzzfeed!

The confessions aren’t shocking because they come from teen moms.  And they aren’t really shocking at all.  They are heartfelt truths that can be applied to any mom.  These confessions are feelings expressed in a single moment of time.  It does not represent teen moms in general or even mothers in general.

Stick to videos that will put a smile on someone’s face.  Like that fat guy bitching about shit and drinking wine.  Quit exploiting people’s darkest, deepest confessions just to make you feel good about your crappy life.

And here is the video.

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My review of Confess, by Colleen Hoover

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My review of Confess, by Colleen Hoover

I’m posting my Good Reads review here because this book, in a way, is about teen motherhood. The challenges and choices made by a young woman struggling to do what’s right for her child.  This book shows that the decisions we make as teens, effect our lives, and the people we will love, forever.

Confess, by Colleen Hoover

So many reasons why I love this book. First, it’s by the most amazing author ever. But let’s put all prejudice aside. I hate spoilers in reviews so I won’t give away too much.

Confess is a gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, beautifully written/painted work of art. Owen and Auburn are fated to meet after tragedy in both of their lives, links them in a way that only Owen knows. CoHo masterfully manipulates the story to keep you guessing whether they should even be together. One minute you’re laughing and cheering, the next you’re crying so hard you can’t see the page and it’s AWESOME. You root for them to be together, you understand what drives them apart. You will stay up all night reading to find out how it ends.

Unlike some of her other work (Slammed, Point of Retreat) the story content leans more to the adult than young adult. It touches on addiction, teen motherhood, binge drinking, abuse. Not sure if a 14 year old will enjoy this as much as Slammed. But who cares about 14 year olds!

One confession I have about the book: Ok, yeah, I was waiting for the love/sex scene and feeling a little disappointed that there may not be one. And then there it was in all its heavy breathing, heart pounding glory. (Not that I live for that kind of thing.) The story is moving and touching without any actual moving or touching. But you know, a little sex never hurt anybody. 🙂

If you love Colleen Hoover, you will love this book.
If you love air and coffee and margaritas, you will love this book.
If you have a soul, you will love this book.

Check out more books on on my read shelf:
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More Valuable than Gold

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The following was a post I saw on Facebook.  It was written by young mom, ok, a teen mom, but really she’s just a freaking mom!   It’s an inspiring story of how she, like a lot of young women, fell for the guy, fell for the line, fell into a situation that turns your world inside out.

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By Karina F.

Had my son a little early, all because I thought I loved his daddy prematurely.

Nothing’s gonna happen baby? What are the odds?
Looking deep in his eyes my mind became fogged.

Waking up feeling funny, something’s wrong with my tummy.

Baby, something ain’t right.
But all he wanna do is fight.
Little plus sign on a test. This is a big mess.

Telling him I knew we shouldn’t have.
This is a huge mistake.
Looked me in my eyes.
Said maybe we should take a break.

Weeks going by my stomachs growing fast.
I’m blowing up his phone, can’t get a text back.

That baby ain’t mine bitch. You know you a hoe!
How could you do this to me?  I thought you loved me though.

Surprise, it’s a boy.
I hope he ain’t like his father.
Every time I try to talk to him he acts like it’s a bother.

I just want a family is that too much to ask?

What happened to the boy I loved?
I guess it was a mask.

October 9th, 2010. 
My world became a little brighter as we welcomed my son.

I forgot all about his weak ass daddy.
He doesn’t need him as long as he has me.

My son is almost five now and he’s my whole life.

Moral of the story. This is a cruel world.
Don’t let these boys talk you into something.

At the end of the day they will leave you with nothing.

But what he doesn’t know, is he left me with something more valuable than gold.

That’s the little boy in the story I just told.

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Final Thoughts…

Karina took the best part of a bad situation and made it her world.  When life gives you lemons…sell those fuckers for limes!  Don’t settle.  At the end of day, you are the lucky one. You have a child that loves you.  Don’t fuck it up.

Prove them wrong everyday, by being the best mom you can be.

Always….Always….do what’s best for you.  Even if you think He’s what’s best….please…please be smart and responsible.

And remember, when it comes to sex…. the odds are ALWAYS against you.

Karina found out she was pregnant when she was a freshman in high school. Thanks to the support and love of her family and friends, she is a strong and confident young mom with a bright future.  Go Karina! Read the rest of this entry

You vs. Everyone

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You against your family.

Unlike some teen moms, I was lucky. My family was a cluster fuck. My parents were recently separated, my mother had just given birth to my brother, who was not my father’s child.   My parents were preoccupied with their own lives, drama, whatever, to really care about the status of my uterus. The thing that really softened the blow, had to be the fact that I wasn’t the first one in my family to get knocked up before I was legally able to drive. My cousin had a baby two years earlier. She was only 14, to be fair, she turned 15 a month later. So, being 15 and pregnant didn’t destroy any hopes or dreams on the part of my family. I was lucky, expectations were low.stock-photo-49277008-demonstration-fur-frieden-auf-der-welt-peace-movement

If you were lucky enough to be born into a family that cares about your future, that wants to see you succeed, then, my friend, you are not going to look into the face of your mother and see that, “It could be worse, she could be a crack head” look.

You may have seen disappointment, anger, and maybe, a little jealousy. I’m no expert on family therapy. All of my family’s problems begin and end with a drink. All I can say is, in the words of the late, great 2Pac – You gotta keep your head up.

Lesson #1: Stay Strong.   It may seem like forces of evil are trying to tear you apart. Don’t worry, it’s the pregnancy hormones. If you’re family loves you like I hope they do, then they will come around. Your mom, your grandma, your kooky aunt with the ugly feet, will all start to give you advice. They will eventually start to love your swollen belly as much as you do. Give them time, and by time, I mean a few weeks – a month maybe. Women bond over things like this. Really they do.  If you’re dad is still around, he will eventually stop scowling, stop pretending you don’t exist, and accept the fact that his little girl is a woman.  It’s the same reaction he would have had five years from now. No Dad likes to see his daughter grow up.

If your family sucks, like mine, you have to shake off all their bullshit and focus on yourself, your kid, and your future.  They don’t matter unless you want them to.



You against your friends.

Right now things could be going two ways. 1348330386802_636401

1. Your friends think knowing is the coolest thing ever!  There isn’t a faster way to popularity than knowing the girl that got knocked up.

2. Your friends have abandoned you, because your swollen belly and the fact that every one knows you’ve had sex, makes them look bad.

or 3. You have no friends.

I have one thing to say about friends.  Fuck them all.  You only need the ones that really care about you.  It’s up to you to figure out which ones these are. The process may hurt and your true friends might not be the ones you thought or even hoped for.  They don’t matter.  You’re new BFF is your kid, at least for the first two or three years.  I’m not saying you can’t have a social life, really I’m not.   You have to learn a balance.  Staying home Monday-Friday with your kid, then bailing on Saturday and Sunday to party – IS NOT A BALANCE.

Balance is going out once or twice a month without your child.  This doesn’t mean you can’t see your friends, you can, with your kid.  If they have an issue with you brining baby along on your trip to the mall, then they aren’t keepers.  Real friends love your kid.  Real friends call themselves auntie or uncle. Real friends always understand.

Lesson #2: Don’t Ditch Your Kid For Your Friends.  Soon enough, your kid will be ditching you for their own friends, it will suck.  The bright side is, then you get your life back, sort of.  At least you will get to spend more time socializing with people who don’t think Barney is cool.  Speaking from experience, the time you will miss the most out of your child’s life, is the first five or six years.  When you are their hero, when everything you say is law, when they still come to you to kiss their boo-boo.  When they start to lose their teeth, shit gets real.



You against the world.

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So, smart, sassy, reasonable teens give up their babies to lonely housewives with fucked up marriages. Cause, that’s way better.

The world really is conspiring against you. Televisions shows exploit you. Hollywood mocks you. I lived by this saying:  I will not be a statistic.  In reality, we all are (Thank you, Freakonomics).  But it’s up to you to determine which side of the chart you will fall into.  I didn’t want to be a stereotypical anything so, instead of beauty school, I went to nursing school.  I dropped out, but I did earn my certification, which made me totally qualified to give sponge baths and clean shit.  I realized midway through I could never be a nurse. But I’m glad I went for it. I looked at it as a what not to do.

Luckily, I ended up pregnant a second time and my career plans were put on hold.

I was twenty by then and I thought “Hey, I’m an adult now!”  Yeah, no.  It didn’t matter. I still looked young, and I was toting around a 4-year-old. To the world I was still a teen mom.  At least I was out of high school. (Got my GED, rather than becoming a 5th year senior)  The question on everyone’s mind went from will you finish high school to:  “What are you going to do now?”

Why did they have to know?  Why was this important?  When did the world start to care?  If this were the 1950’s.  Being married (which I wasn’t) and having children were the life goals of women my age.  Now, a mere forty years later, being a mother of two at 20 was a tragedy. 

Teen Mom

Idiots, keep their babies, and end up on reality TV.

For some reason, the world believes they have a right to ask about our future plans, like they have a stake in the outcome.  I blame it on Maury, or Jenny Jones, or Sally Jesse Raphael.  Pretty much any and all talk shows of the 80’s and 90’s (and the reality TV of today) that exploited teen pregnancy.  That wrote off the teen moms as being welfare seekers with no goals, no dreams, no hope for their future or that of their child.  They threw out numbers, statistics, to the crowd. 

80% of teen moms are on welfare. 90% didn’t’ graduate high school. 

These are just numbers,  they are not you! 

Again, I was lucky.  I was in the right place, with the right person, that needed a receptionist, and I lucked in to the best job in the world.  I played office all day long and I got paid for it.  No flipping burgers for this girl, but I would have, if had to.

Lesson #3:  Don’t Be A Statistic.  If you didn’t have a plan for your life before you saw the little pink line turn blue, get one now.  It doesn’t have to be something spectacular, but you need to know what direction you want to go in.  Even if this changes twenty times over the next two years, it’s ok.  You need something to tell people when they ask how you’re going to support your baby.  Which drives me fucking crazy!  But, it will happen and you don’t want to give THEM any more ammunition against us.  This will also give you something to strive for, besides mastering the art of one-handed breastfeeding.



You against you.

You are your biggest asset.  You are also your biggest enemy.  You are the only thing that will hold you back or push you forward.  It was your choice to have this baby.  Make every decision from here on out with the same determination and confidence.  You made a huge commitment to keep your child. It took bravery and balls, keep the momentum going!GOAL

When school sucks and you don’t want to go, don’t look at the day ahead of you, think of the long-term goal.  This cold, crappy day, will propel you one step closer to your goal.  Graduation, winter break, the weekend.  Whatever.  Just get up and keep moving.

When you’re broke, out of gas, can’t afford to buy a Frappuccino, don’t be a whiner about the things you don’t have or can’t afford, you aren’t a baby anymore.  Think about why you have no money, and what you can do to make sure this doesn’t happen again or as often.  Do you work?  Budget better.  Can’t find a job?  There is one out there, even if you think it’s beneath you.  Do you need help?  Ask.  If you can’t get help from family or friends, get assistance from the county.  There is no shame in getting help.  Just don’t take advantage.  Take what need, when you need it, and that’s it.  General assistance is not a form of income, it’s a hand out, its help when you need it, and should only be used as a last resort, not your go-to option.

Lesson #4:  Be Your Biggest Asset.  Only you have the power to change your life.  Any help you receive, was given because you asked.  Don’t be afraid to ask.  When you think you can’t do something, try it anyway.  Whether it’s running a mile or baking a cake.  Test yourself.  Little accomplishments, reap huge rewards.  Nothing boosts your ego more than exceeding your own limits.



Homework

1. Listen to 2Pac:   2Pac – Keep Ya Head Up.

2. Listen to Pink: Pink – My Own Worst Enemy

3. Evaluate the people in your life. Dump the ones that cause drama, bring negativity, or hate your kid.

4. Buy this.  If you can afford it, buy this journal. 412ie85WvALIf you can’t afford it, make your own, or least push yourself when you have that “I can’t do it” moment.

5.  Teach your kid something new. A song, a dance, a word, how to eat with a spoon (good luck with that).  Play patty-cake, or itsty bitsy spider.  Enjoy this time, before they learn to talk back.

What does a Teen Mom look like?

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When someone says, “Teen Mom”, these are the images they have in their head.

Teen-Mom-2I don’t know about you, but I refuse to let these women represent who I am.  I refuse to let their success and failure determine whether or not the world thinks I’m a good mother…and neither should you.

WE CAN WIN THIS WAR! 

I started this blog to tell “them” they were wrong. The world needs to know that young mom’s can achieve success and happiness.  Now I want to empower those in the struggle. I want to help you find the same success in life that I had…even with a baby (or two) strapped to your side.

Let’s make it OUR goal to change the image of Teen Moms.



Here are a few lessons to get you started.

Math picLesson #1: Formulate a plan and stick to it Life will always get in the way, don’t be discouraged or think you’ve failed if things don’t go as planned.  Roll with it, find a way around, over, or out of the shit that you’re in.  Never lose sight of your goals.  If you don’t have a goal, then make a plan to get one. Whether it’s graduating from high school, getting your baby to sleep through the night, or passing gym. Having goals will keep you on track, motivate you to do better, work harder, or even just get up in the morning.

It’s ok if you’re lost. Just because you have a baby, doesn’t mean you have to have it all figured out.  Give yourself time to grow.  If you have to take a job serving fries to pay the bills DO IT!  But for the love of GOD don’t make it your career. 

Lesson #2: Test yourself. Get out of your comfort zone! Volunteer at an event, meet new people and talk to them!  Don’t let fear get in the way of your growth. The only way to know if you like, or hate, something is to try it.  Sitting on the sidelines will get you nowhere.

A brief word about Haters. There will be times when your friends and family will hold you back. DON’T LET THEM!  Whenever someone laughed, ridiculed, or just plain hated on me when I wanted to do something crazy like cut all my hair off, or train for a marathon. I’d always think about what I would tell my daughter if she were me. Would I tell her it was stupid or question her motives, or would I tell her to go for it. Asking yourself this will give you clarity and help you determine the kind of mother you will be.

Lesson #3: Build an army.  In this case, I did not practice what I’m preaching.  I didn’t have people in my life that understood what I was going through.  The struggle, the doubt, the fear.  I put on a strong (pretty) face and I fooled everyone around me into thinking I had my shit together.  I really wish I had people to tell me I was doing a good job, to cheer me on.  There were times I really needed someone to pat me on the back or kick me in the ass.  I don’t care how strong or independent you think you are, you need support. Having positive people around that support you is a huge advantage no matter how old you are.

Don’t be like me.  Start today. Start with this blog.  Write me, ask me questions, or just vent about your day. I don’t care. I will be a soldier in your army.

Lesson #4: Be Real. Nobody likes a fake, especially kids. There is nothing worse than growing up to find out your parents’ aren’t the people you thought they were.  Keep it real.  Don’t worry about stereotypes or image. Your kid doesn’t give a shit about your nails, hair or make-up. He/she just wants a mom.  Looking good is great, but being a good person is even better.  Lead by example.  Don’t tell your friends what kind of mother you are, SHOW THEM.  Remember, the only cool kid on this earth you need to impress is yours. Be someone your child will be proud of someday.



Homework. 

Some things to work on until next time.images454XS0VD

1. WRITE. IT. DOWN. Make a list of ALL THE things that you want to achieve. I don’t care if it’s watching last season’s Teen Wolf on Netflix or learning how to drive.  Writing it down makes it real.  Crossing it off after you’ve done it, makes you a success.

2. DO SOMETHING. Sign up for a fun run or volunteer at one, join a book club, go to a museum, attend an event of any kind.  Get out in the world and learn something new. Here’s an easy one.  Watch a cooking show and try the recipe or search for something you like to eat online, then make it.  You’re a mom, you have to learn to cook.  Making a meal is an easy way to make yourself feel accomplished.

3. GOOD FRIENDS ROCK. Start building relationships, whether in real life or online. Don’t get stuck in a crowd of negativity. There are good people out there, you just have to find them. There was no social media when I was in high school. (Cause I’m hella old) so I can’t relate to the horrors of Twitter wars and Facebook bullying. Block them, report them, ignore them. They are insignificant to your life, the life of your child, and your goals.  Use social media to your advantage. It is a great way to connect with good people.  Like me.

My first Teen Mom pic.

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Don’t judge to harsh, it was the 1988.

Me and my daughter.

Me and my daughter.

The way world sees us…

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An image search for teen pregnancy found this pic. Girl on a street corner. Nice.

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A search for a pregnant woman shows a tranquil background.

There are so many things wrong with the way the world classifies teen moms.