Being an activist for young parents is not something you can do from a text book. You have to be able to connect or relate to other young parents. Also to understand the foot steps we take on a daily basis and the obstacles we endure. It’s hard for young parents to take advice and encouragement from someone who cannot connect or understand. Criticism or judgement does nothing but push us away.
I found that sharing my own story can motivate other young parents, who may be going through the same or similar struggles that I am. I still endure the daily trials but I am also progressing in my parenting journey to provide a stable life for my son. My story is not one of success. This means that I can be an inspiration and give advice as to what I am CURRENTLY doing to make better choices to achieve my personal goals.
When I hear stories from others who have been through or are going through the same tribulations I’m currently facing, it makes me feel as if I’m not alone in my battle. This pushes me to continue making positive and beneficial moves for my family.
To My Dear Ambassadors and Three Great Supervisors,
I am so grateful to have met you all. Even though I am leaving or gone by now just know that I already miss you all. Its weird how we all got so close this past couple of months I feel like I know each one of you so personally. We are like a family we have the crazy one you know who you are the mom the funny one the shy one and so on and that’s what makes us so fun and unique.
More than anything we are all young mothers and we understand each other’s struggles and achievements we pick each other up when we fall . We laugh and cry together. I just want to let you all know that I’m so proud of all of you and I hope I will make you proud if me. You are all wonderful moms and great friends. I will be thinking of you guys when I’m scared or when I feel like given up because you all strengthen me. I love you all and God bless you and your families.
As 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.
About a couple of months ago I met young mothers from the YPA program who were my age and who loved and cared for their children but who also struggled just like me. I never thought I would get to know and love them as much as I do now. We have all seen each other at our highs and at our lows. Being able to share with them the good and the bad has allowed me to be more comfortable with them. At the beginning of the program I had just broken up with my sons father and I was feeling crappy. I was known to go back to him many times but these ladies indirectly made me feel worthy and they taught me to have self respect and to walk away from the very man who was still upset at the fact I had his child. Being part of this group helped me to love my decision of becoming a mother even if that meant no one else did. It took a couple of months for me to stand up to everyone and let them know that i loved my child regardless of our situation. I no longer felt bad for having a child or being a single mother.I learned to embrace and love the life i am living.
I have a group of powerful strong minded women who encourage me to stand up for my son and I. These women have also made me realize the meaning of true friends. Most of my friends dumped me after having a child but these ladies have shown so much love that I stopped caring for my old friends. I have enjoyed laughing with them and I’m glad i have people I can talk to all day about baby poop and little baby attitudes. I especially love when our kids get together because it reminds me that our kids are what brought us together in the first place. I will admit that I push all of them away at times but deep down I care so much for these women who have given me so much hope that I never got from everyone. They are my support system and I honestly don’t know where I would be mentally and emotionally if it wasn’t for them.
This past summer I made a big decision that would impact my son’s life and my life. It was very important to me and it was also tough. I decided to join the military with the support of my sons father.
This decision was hard because it meant that I would be apart from my son a little while. At the same time being a young mother didn’t mean my life stopped it just meant that I had one more person to live for. I am very proud to be part of something so much bigger than me. I pray and hope that in time my son will be proud of me.
I am nervous about leaving in January but I feel ready. My point with this is to let every young mom like me know that everything you want is still possible. Remember that you are still someone you’re not just a mom a wife a worker or a student you are you, and you need goals and dreams like anyone else. I feel like as long as you are there for your child love your baby care for him/her and make sure to make decisions according to what’s best for the both of you that you’ll be happy and at peace with your decisions.
First of all, plan ahead and think about what you want and take it one step at a time don’t rush or make decisions without considering your child. Make a reachable goal and follow through before you know it you’ll be we’re you dream of being. One thing that i learned is that when you have a child your dreams and aspirations change. Don’t get stuck to one dream explore your options and just be happy where you are for the moment.
Hey mom and dad, remember me? Your little girl. I am still your little girl, right?
Well, I’m still in school and my teachers, the students, and even the people I thought that was my friends say my race is why I became pregnant at the age I did.
People say my race is fast, hard-headed, or even have no “home training” but I know you brought me up right. I mean, can’t this easily happen to anyone no matter what race? So why point fingers at me why pick me out the punch.
I’m 22 now and your grandchild is 5 years old. I’m doing great and I proven a lot of people wrong because many said I’m just a baby.
I wouldn’t want to anything that not only because I’m a young parent but my race are success rate is low
Well… I like where I am. I finished school, I have a great job, I own my own place and my child is happy. Each day I am learning how to better myself for not just me but for my child and others the same race as me… to show them that what people say don’t matter and that it’s the choices you make in life that determines where you will go or be.
People should just stop with the stereotypes because I am not just the color of my skin nor do I want to be seen as the color of my skin, I am more than that and I have the right to be seen for me.
Just remember this: If you feed off the lies that people say, you will go hungry.
Racial justice has never been more clear to me. Making efforts to make others around me aware of racial justice issues is the tough part. Some people like to avoid the truth of this issue. The fact is that it is a very real issue in our society today. I admit, it is a sensitive subject. This does not count as an excuse to ignore it, however.
Frustration is built up in my generation, for those who don’t understand why our society has been developed the way it is. I was raised color blind. My blood is mixed and it frustrates me when I am categorized as just one race. In today’s society, there are so many biracial families. What does it mean for the children of those families?? How will issues with racial justice today effect them in the future?? That’s what I ask myself when I face obstacles in my everyday life.
Racial just, for me, means not generally categorizing people and not judging them based of stereotypes of a race that society lists them under. People are still people regardless of the stock they’re made from.
Two weeks before I started my college semester I was a very excited yet afraid. I knew exactly what to expect… long nights, hundreds of vocabulary words to memorize, and stressful days. Despite all that I was excited and ready for it all. Each semester got me closer to my dreams of becoming a nurse.
Just when I had thought I had everything ready to begin my semester, the day care my son would attend still did not have the daycare voucher. After calling Boston Child Care Choices and after showing up many times to their office I finally had the voucher. A couple of days later i realized i only had 11 credits. I needed 12 credits to keep the day care voucher.
As the semester went on I found myself going crazy looking for some community service work so I could make up for that one credit I was missing. Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse my son got really sick. He was hospitalized and I spent most of my days staying at home and taking care of him. I missed a lot of classes and I fell behind on my school work. At that moment I questioned if going back to college was the right decision. I felt overwhelmed and felt guilty for my son being sick. I cried many many times because I wanted to do great in all my classes but every time I thought nothing more could go wrong, it did. I felt like I wasn’t emotionally ready to deal with everything that was being thrown at me and do excellent in school.
Even though I wanted to drop out I told myself to just finish the semester on a good note. If I still did not want to continue my college education after this semester, it was ok with me. As I attempted to catch up on all my work I found myself sleeping only 4 hrs each night and very stressed. I gave up a lot of my personal time so that I could study. I was really busy from then on and after 2 months of searching for community service I found an organization that allowed me to volunteer with them.
Thanks to them I was able to continue getting the child care voucher. Currently my days are usually stressful as I am studying for my last final and finishing a couple of projects. I was able to catch up and get excellent grades. As the end of the semester is approaching I am amazed at the strength I have to fight for my dreams even when there were so many obstacles I had to overcome. Despite the tears and all the stress I have decided to continue to further my education and I’m ready for whatever is left to come my way.
To me, being healthy means that every part of your body is functioning the way it is supposed to be. In order to do your part in keeping your body as healthy as it can be, you need to treat your body right and give it the nourishment it needs to function. Following your doctors orders can help you to do your best at maintaining your body’s good health so that in the future you wont suffer from any diseases that could have been prevented.
Being healthy also includes having a good and stable mental state. If a person suffers from any psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression, it can cause a person to not enjoy or live life the way others do. Some times psychological conditions can effect your body in many negative ways. My definition of being healthy has not changed but instead the knowledge that I have acquired has enhanced my understanding of what it means to be healthy.
Before, I thought being healthy only referred to the body being in good condition but I never considered the minds health. Now I know that being healthy takes a lot of work and that there is more to being healthy and its not just eating all your vegetables. I’ve learned that your lifestyle, the environment you live in, and the way you your mind functions has a major impact on your health. Some health conditions are out of your control but living a healthy life style and having a healthy mind set can enable you to deal with any conditions you may face.
Being a young parent has really empowered me. All of the statistics and stereotypes can really make a person inferior. We don’t finish high school or we just live off of government assistance. Going through everyday routines of having people stare at you as if you don’t have a right to be a parent. An older lady looks at me and says “I know that’s not your baby”.
Over the last six months I’ve reached some goals that at one point were impossible to me. I now have a steady job and still making money doing things I love to do. I now have the means to move out on my own and provide a home for my son. I feel as if I can be a role model to others and set an example for those who may feel as if things may never get better. I felt that I would never be able to crawl out of the barrel that I sat down in… without realizing that I may not have a way out. The support from my fellow ambassadors and other young parent advocates helped to push me to get up and change things for the better. With that being said, I’ve realized that every parent is different. The fact is that being young parents is our “normal”.
Being a woman of color on top of being a young parent makes life even tougher. I was born with a preconceived thought of what I would become. My mother was a teen parent and I’m a young parent. That’s why I’ve made it goal in life to educate young parents around the world. And we must stick together and fight this war and set an example for those who will inevitably come after us.