Ten Young Women

Ten young women, diverse races, backgrounds, qualities, personalities, traditions, and experiences. Ten young women, diverse opinions, advice, perspectives, wants, and needs. Ten females, diverse goals, hopes, and dreams. Ten young women, one room, one space to share, one space to confide. Just one space for ten females.

Take ten young women and put them all in one room, it can be everything you ever wanted, but maybe even your worst nightmare. The 16 month long ambassador program had its ups and downs, but it is an experience that I will never forget or regret!

We started off as strangers, soon becoming acquaintances, shortly exchanging numbers and becoming friends. And did you think we would just become friends? Of course not! We were freaking YMBFFL’s (young mom best friends for life).

But wait, everything was changing. We were exchanging texts every now and then, a hi and bye conversation. We definitely didn’t go back to being strangers again, but we weren’t as close as before. Life lessons learned in the ambassador program. Completely grateful. Not only life lessons, but skills developed, things learned, and meeting wonderful young women!

I once read a quote: “It’s not about the destination; it’s about the ride there.” Future ambassadors: don’t try to paint the final picture, let the art happen in the process and see what the final picture becomes. Take from it, learn from it, remember it, and reflect on it. Have fun and enjoy the ride!

 

Mommies Night Out!

photoAs we all know by now having a kid can get quite stressful, and that’s why we mothers have a stress getaway called “mommies night out”! As I have always said since the beginning of my journey being a mom, wanting a break and time away from reality is always okay and no mother should feel as if they were a bad mom if they wanted it.

Some of the YPA’s and I recently had a mommies’ night out. It was so much fun. Not because we were out and relaxing, but because we all had in common the fact of going back home to our babies. It’s great to go out and spend time with other mothers. We can talk about common stresses and find out new things about each other.

After a night of excitement and joy going back to your child is such a wonderful feeling and that is key. Having a night out doesn’t only give you a break from reality but also a chance to miss your child and gives a special excitement to seeing them again.

We all came to an agreement that we will definitely be doing these outings at least once a month. I am more and more grateful everyday to be able to share experiences like these with whom I consider my sisters.

I also think personally these outings are important because it’s one of the few ways that a young parent can balance being young and a mom, in my case having time to be a teenager because at the end of the day I am a teenager and having a kid doesn’t change that fact.

The Holidays Can Be Very Stressful for Young Moms

As the holidays are here and going by, there is definitely an emotional roller coaster going on in my system. Thanksgiving has passed and it was my second one as a mom. Everyone knows you expect to have the greatest time with whomever you will spend it with and eat lots of food and really think about what you are grateful for, although it should be done every day of the year. Overall, in my eyes thanksgiving is suppose to be great and I expected it to be so, considering last year Jayden was so small he didn’t interact with my family but now that has 1, walking, talking, and eating on his own he would have a good time and so would I.

Unfortunately I put my hopes up a little too high and it turning out to be not so well made me crash into this emotional sadness hole that has lasted and makes me not want to celebrate anything else this year. My son was really sick and teething. It made him extra attached to me and being around so many people he probably didn’t recognize made it worse. His crying made me very aggravated but not as much as how my family’s comments did. all I heard the whole night was “well you decided to have a kid so young right, so carry him because he’s not going to stop crying ad he’s your responsibility” and “you have to deal with things your cousins don’t have to deal with” and “you can’t go black Friday shopping because you can’t take him out in the cold” and “oh maybe he’s hungry feed him, get him milk, why isn’t he drinking milk, you don’t take care of him right…” etc, etc.

They don’t realize that being a young parent I face enough shame as it is, and that at least this one day of the year they should be considerate and not throw things in my face. They don’t know my life and the struggles I face, why bring it to the table on a day that family is supposing loving towards one another. As a result of this night, I’d rather spend my holidays alone with my son and/or with those who can sit down with me and relate to my life. Maybe it’s that I am still stuck on how things were every year and got use to it, it made my holiday so horrible. It’s up to me to make myself happy around these times of year and be there for myself because expecting others to be there for you will make you feel bad in the end when there aren’t results you were looking for.

Honestly, I don’t know how many people can relate to situations like these but my overall message to other young parents is that no matter what you, deserve to have a great times just as anyone else and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise just because you have a kid.

A Different Teenage Life

Six months ago, it was April. So much has happened that it becomes overwhelming to write about. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot to change in my life but it is definitely full of surprises and that’s why now I know to take day by day as it comes and not plan ahead too much. These changes that happened were good for the most part. Some weren’t good but we never know why things happen.

On a personal note I have been through several obstacles that have emotionally wrecked me but made me stronger. I realize that what I am living now, parent-wise and all, life will be hard and it is up to you to make it the best you can. As a young parent ambassador, I have grown in the last six months as a friend and as a parent. That is because I have grown close relationships with the people I work with and we help each other with the resources we can and support each other as we all go through similar things. Being around other young parents I have concluded that we go through relationship problems, co-parenting situation that end up not as easy as we think, housing, childcare, trying to balance school or work with parenting, it’s a wide variety of things. We can all get through these situations with the help of those whom believe in us.

As I have changed a lot in six months, there will always be space for growing up, maturing and learning new things. I personally know that I have a lot if growing up to do but I do not feel the rush to do so because I have a kid. It is important to stat youthful because you do not want to get to your 30’s and say “I didn’t have a normal teenage life because of my kid.” I would rather say, “I experienced a different teenage life but it was never ruined and I never felt the need to grow out of it quickly.”

As young parents we will grow with our children. At points, I feel like my son and I bond like brother and sister, and that’s absolutely fine with me. Couldn’t have asked for it differently because we share a bond no one else does.

Parenting does make you change a lot, at the end of the day I am a teen, and step by step I will continue to grow as I have these past six months.

Teething Baby!

As it’s been a while let me once again introduce myself. My name is Ciara and I have a son who is now 1. For the most part I have had it all under control for the past 12 months, but the new challenge I have recently faced was teething!

Most babies will have teeth by the time they are 9 months, but not Jayden. He just started teething and has two teeth, which aren’t full out yet. I don’t know if it’s because he’s older but when a tooth is about to come out he is the most miserable child. He gets extremely high fevers, loss of appetite, extreme cases of crankiness, horrible diarrhea that causes rashes and he’s a whole new child.

From these two past experiences I have learned that there is really nothing I can do besides try to ease his pain and give him a lot of comfort. While it’s very hard to see our children in pain, it is also a fun experience just to see that they are growing up and experiencing new things themselves. The cutest thing in the world is to see your baby smile and see a little tooth. 🙂

Being a Teen Mom Did Not End My Life

CiaraHellooo! My name is Ciara, I am 17 years old, and I am a Leo. I am not shy at all and I love attending events that include some type of young parent support. It is a great feeling to be around people who go through or have similar situations as your own.

I got pregnant at the age of 16. I was a junior in high school. After taking 3 pregnancy tests (first one was at McDonalds, lol). I was still in denial about being pregnant but I knew from the start that I was keepin my baby. A lot of people (family and friends) doubted I would stay in school. I would miss a day and the rumors would go around that I dropped out. I knew that having a baby would require me to make sacrifices but I never said it would end my life because I knew it was not true! I had a healthy pregnancy overall and a pretty cool birth experience. I loved the hospital!!! My son’s name is Jayden Alexander and he was born on June 29th. He is my trikitiki de mami! 🙂

I am a busy person for the most part. I am currently a senior and ready for graduation coming up on June 9th!! Although I work and go to school, I still manage to have my breaks and fun/alone time. Wanting a break does not mean your a bad parent ! It may be hard sometimes but always know you are not going through it alone, believe me. As a Young Parent Ambassador I am here to support you and available to any type of venting you may need.

Ciara is a participant of the Young Parent Ambassador Program at the Center for Community Health and Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.