May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. This is a time when many pregnant and parenting teens are inundated with shameful advertisements that try to place them inside a box and make them feel as though their lives are destined for failure the moment they receive that positive pregnancy test. These advertisements contain very derogatory and shameful statements, such as the following from The Candies Foundation:

“Get pregnant, and you won’t be moving out of your parents house anytime soon.”

“You think being in school sucks? You know what sucks a whole lot more? A baby – almost every two hours for feeding time. Guess school doesn’t suck that badly, huh?”

“…but you got pregnant, and now you’re stuck pushing a stroller around while your friends are kickin’ it without you.”

Yes, parenting is extremely challenging. It is ideal to become a parent when you are financially and emotionally stable, which isn’t typically during your teenage years. It truly is the most difficult job in the entire world, and it is hard for anyone to grasp this concept until they are actually living it. Then again, an unplanned pregnancy shouldn’t sentence you to a life of shame. Those of us who have selflessly chosen to raise our children shouldn’t be punished and made to feel like failures. We should be uplifted, supported, and pushed to succeed for the sake of our children and ourselves.

Shaming isn’t the answer. Inspired by Boston activist and former teen parent Natasha Vianna, my nine-year-old daughter, Hayley, and I are ready to speak out. Hayley might be young, but she isn’t immune to the shaming and stigma that come along with having such a young mom. She has been told more times than she can count that I look far too young to be her mother. It doesn’t matter that I’m now 27, a college graduate, married, and financially stable. The shaming never ends. When she sees these ads and realizes that she, a beautiful and thriving young girl, is the “problem” they are trying to “solve,” it is hurtful. She isn’t a problem; she is a human child.

Becoming a teen parent doesn’t seal your fate. If I had listened to The Candies Foundation when I was a teen parent, I might not be where I am today. You aren’t destined to a life of poverty and shame. We all have the power to work hard and better ourselves, parenting or not. The Candies Foundation says, “We should be changing the world, not changing diapers.”

I say: why can’t we do both?

People who shame young mothers suck. Just because YOU at 20 don’t want to give up partying and your ‘life’ doesn’t mean every other 20 year old wants to be a drunk with no meaning to their life. Get over your fucking self. My child didn’t ruin my life, she gave it meaning.

5

I haven’t posted much about this, but my cousin, Holly, is currently battling for her life. At the age of 23, three weeks after the birth of her second son, Holly suffered a heart attack. 

She has been diagnosed with Peripartum cardiomyopathy and has been in the hospital for congestive heart failure twice since then. Her father, who is a RN, left his job at the hospital to care for his daughter full time. 

Holly is currently out of the hospital, but is too weak to care for her children. Life doesn’t stop, as we all know, and things are getting tough for this family. I’m asking you guys to please help share and support this wonderful, caring family in this challenging time. 

Here is her GoFundMe page

destroy the idea that having a child ruins a marriage

destroy the idea that having a child ruins your career

destroy the idea that having a child ruins your life

it doesn’t have to be this way and there are options and support available

also stop anyone who judges or discriminates against mothers and fathers

especially young mothers and fathers who just need to support their family

having a baby isn’t always easy and raising a child isn’t necessarily a walk in the park but it doesn’t have to get in the way of your dreams

7

I have been blessed enough to have the most amazing best friend anyone can ask for.

Thank you for being there to convince me to go to college and get back into soccer post-Jaycee.


Thank you for coming to every doctor’s appointment and staying up and crying with me when it all seemed like too much to handle.

Thank you for making that drugstore run and rushing to my side at 12 in the morning.


Thank you for finding out with me that late night and helping me build up the courage to tell David and my parents; I don’t think I could have done it without you.

Thank you for coming to the potty with me the last time I used the restroom before I gave birth after you scared me by saying that if I pushed too hard Jaycee would come out and fall into the toilet.

And most importantly, thank you for loving Jaycee as much as I do. She couldn’t have a better third godmother lol.

You’ll always be my number one bitch. <3