young-pregnancy

When Peggy Young, a delivery driver for UPS, found out she was pregnant, her midwife recommended she avoid lifting more than 20 pounds. But UPS refused her request — even though the company provided accommodations to people with disabilities or on-the-job injuries. They even accommodated people who lose their license because of drunk driving. But Peggy got put on unpaid leave and lost her paycheck and health coverage when she needed it most. She sued and her case is going all the way to the Supreme Court. We’re standing with Peggy – will you join us? http://bit.ly/14H8hPX

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?

To all the young mamas-to-be, the poor mamas-to-be, the single or unmarried mamas-to-be, and all of the pregnant girls and women who chose to continue their pregnancies and don’t fit the narrative of “acceptable” motherhood: Congratulations! Not enough people tell you that. You are allowed to be excited to meet your babies. You are allowed to be happy. You are not a waste of space or resources or any of the things people will try to convince you that you are. You are not a bad example. You are not a disappointment or a failure. You deserve the same rights to your own body as any other woman, and the same respect. I’m really happy for you ❤

YOU KNOW WHAT WOULD BE COOL

IF THE GOAL OF BEING PRO-LIFE WASNT TO MAKE IT SO NO ONE CAN GET AN ABORTION

BUT SO THAT NO ONE WOULD EVER NEED AN ABORTION

THAT WOULD BE COOL

To young moms: I am so sorry for the way people treat you. I am so sorry for how your parents reacted, your school, your partner, your job, your friends. I’m so sorry if you’ve been abandoned, I’m so sorry if you’ve been mocked or harassed or bullied. I’m so sorry if you’ve had others take a claim to your body. I’m so sorry for your losses. I’m so sorry the places we try to connect with one another for support are constantly tainted by people reminding us how worthless they think we are. You know you, you know your child, you know what you need. Fuck everyone else.

Being a young mom just means that we met a little early. But it also means, I get to love you a little longer. Some people say that I’m ruining my life that they are disappointed and even that my life is ruined..But what people don’t seem to realize, it’s that it’s just begun. This has helped me grown up & focus on my future. Its the beginning of a new chapter in my life that I’m willing to take on. You didn’t take away from my future. You gave me a new one. <3