I Joined the Military

 

women-in-the-military_editThis 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.

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.

Young Parents and Our Health

When I hear the word healthy three things show up in my head: physical health, mental health, and spiritual health. To me those three things are most important when it comes to health.  It’s a state of well being that needs our attentiveness at all times! Taking care of ourselves is very important and should always be made a priority.

When it comes to physical health some things that help in that area are exercising, getting 8 hours of well rested sleep, and eating the right kind of foods! Then there’s mental health, something we could all use a little help in! Some negative things that can effect your mental health are stress, depression, anger, sadness, etc…

We all struggle with some type of emotion that effects us in a bad way and there’s definitely ways to cope with this by finding an outlet, or some type of stress reliever. The last one out of the three is your spiritual health! Now this doesn’t just have to be religious it could mean being at peace within yourself and meditating off of that. For me my meditation is praying it helps me feel connected and at peace. In my life especially in the past couple of months I struggled with all of these. I have a whole new appreciation of being healthy, because it’s very important to take care of yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually.You only have one body so why not care for it and appreciate it!!! 🙂

I Decided to be Healthier

To me being healthy means, to walk without running out of breath, eating a salad rather then a cheese burger, being able to play with your children, eating with out a belly ach, and most importantly being around long enough to enjoy all your child millstones. I am not going to say I am healthy at all. all these thing I just named, is exactly me. And why know I am trying to change my habits, so I can always be around for all of Xavier’s millstones,

Being healthy is just not eating your veggies and fruits and exercising everyday, there a lot more to that. Its being over all good on health. On oral health, yearly physicals, eye health, up to date on shots, and anything else to insure a happy healthy life.

I use to think only eating one cheese burger or slice of pizza instead of two was healthy. Or eating the lean cuisines for every mean was healthy. These might be slightly more healthier then eating 3 slices of pizza, but nevertheless it is still un healthy. Or I use to think if I wasn’t sick, in pain, or coughing, I was healthy. And I soon realized that after I tried to play with my son and couldn’t even keep up with him, or had to keep stopping every 5 seconds cause I was out of breath.

I am not overweight, but my body is just not healthy and not wanting to work like it should. So I recently made a change in my life, my son’s life, and my family’s life, to be a lot more healthier. We decided to have veggies twice a day instead of twice a month, to have fruit instead of chips, be up to date with all medical thing, and to be more active as a family. So we all could be around for each others millstones in life.

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.

Depression

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There are many things in my life I feel I can’t control, one being depression. I remember it started when I was 13 years old. About once or twice a year I would get really sad for a few weeks. I wouldn’t get hungry I wouldn’t want to get out of bed I just wanted to be alone. I hated feeling that way because I couldn’t find a reason for me to be depressed.

I remember when I was 14, I missed school for a week. I was so far behind in school and my teachers didn’t know what was going on. They only gave me the work and told me to get it done if not I would have stayed back. This was very frustrating and made things worse for me.

My family doesn’t believe in psychology or therapy for depression. They believe that is an excuse to act up or to make people feel bad for you. It was hard because I had no one to talk to about it and that was hard.

When I was depressed I had to fake my happiness and since I didn’t live with my parents they didn’t notice when I missed school. They didn’t notice when I was depressed or in need of their help. Even though I went through all those things.

Dealing with it on my own did make me grow stronger and more independent. But I realized that even though I had to control over my depression I wasn’t going to allow it to control the way I lived life. I learned to live with it and for some reason I don’t even notice when it comes back. I feel fine now and now, more than ever, I have a reason to be ok. My little boy keeps me happy alive and helps me remember that I can have some control. I can choose how I live and how I love.

You Cannot Scare Me… I Have a Child

photo“You cannot scare me…I have a child.” My name is Tarialis Garcia. I am a full time student at UMass Boston, where I am a junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business management. I have a two year old daughter name Lily. I have two part time jobs. One of my part time jobs is an internship at State Street working in the pricing room. My other part time job is at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as a young parent ambassador. As a young parent ambassador I advocate for young parents, help create events for young parents, and try to find them resources. When I am not working or at school I am taking care of my daughter. If I am not doing either of those things I am resting, usually reading or catching up on a TV show. I like going out but I limit myself with the busy life that I carry. To keep myself sane from my busy life I like to go shopping or interacting with other people my age. I like having a busy life, although I feel that I need to include more time for myself.

With everything going on in my life I usually get asked, what keeps you going? The answer to this is that I want to live a different life than what my parents had. I want a better future for myself and my daughter. Some days seem harder than others and there are times where I feel stressed out or feel like giving up, but I always find a way to pull through those negatives situations or thoughts. I like succeeding; it’s something that I am familiar with and like doing. Therefore failure for me it’s not an option. I cannot see myself without my bachelor’s degree, dream job, or living in the same or worst situation than what I am now. I am a goal seeker and now with a child I am more determine to strive through. There are many challenges as a young mother but I have had two successful years.

At State Street I am given a taste of what it is to have a real job. I am given many responsibilities that I have to handle. Being an intern at State Street you are not treated just like an intern but any other employee in the building. I like being able to explore and having a financial perspective at the age that I am in. I have learned a lot and grown as a person at State Street. Also in Brigham and Women’s Hospital I have had many opportunities to improve myself by interacting with others. I am learning to better my public speaking and improve my writing skills through many of the blog spot I have to do. I feel that both job opportunities have been beneficial to me.

I Am More Than a Statistic

I am only 20 years old with only a high school diploma, I have nothing else special and no one will take me serious. 6 months ago that is really all I thought about myself. I felt like I was just another teen parent statistic. But over the course of 6 months I began to realize that I am something bigger, I have a purpose, and I am someone. I am and my story is a lot bigger than just and education and some fancy title, and that makes me the person and mother I am today!

I felt like because I was young, only had a high school education, received government assistance, and because I had my son at a young age that no one would ever take me serious, just as other statistic. Because in most of society’s  eyes being a teen parent is probably the worse imaginable thing they would think of. In their eyes I ruined my life, will be a welfare queen, and will forever be a statistic. A picture that society has painted, not teen parents. Growing up I was always told how having a kid young would ruin your life, you wont be able to finish school, go to college, find a good man, get a good job, and will forever live off the government. I was told this so much that I truly believed it, especially when I found out I was pregnant and had my son, I really thought my life was over. It began to take the motivation that I have always had, that I would do anything that I set my mind too. I slowly began falling behind in school and not going. I was depressed and felt domed

It took me a awhile to see my purpose, and to find my own way to help other young parents.  And working with the Young Parent Ambassador Program really help me find that out. I realized my story and my struggles are going to help others in my position,  or for others to understand some of our positions. I found this out all through blogging, public speaking, networking, interviews, group meetings, etc.

As a young parent ambassador, I feel like I was given the tools to tell my story in a way to help others.  And now I never want to stop telling my story. It might not be the best story legislators, providers, youth, peers, etc., but it’s my story! And it’s who I am!

Young Parents: You’re Stronger Than You Think!

The last 6 months have been incredible! I’ve learned so many things about myself, and other people my age who are parents. I feel like I can say in confidence that age doesn’t make you a good parent, but love for your child does. When I started this adventure, of being a young parent ambassador, I was nervous about talking to people. I didn’t think my experience would make a difference and that no one would listen to what I had to say. It’s a taboo to have a child young, so all I could think was who is going to actually care about what I have to say.

I’ve come to realize that I am a stronger person than I give myself credit for. Before having my lovely daughter, I would just go to school and live a regular teenage life. I never really felt challenged and when I did it never felt really important. I didn’t know if I had the strength of character to deal with any “real” issues. Now I feel like I’m dealing with them every day, and each experience leaves me a little stronger and wiser.

I’ve also learned that other young parents feel the same way I do. It can be scary taking care of a baby! They rely on you for everything, and you love them so much that try you’re hardest. I feel like many young parents, also are stronger than they think. I know the media gives young parents a bad rep, and TV shows like “16 and Pregnant” do very little to offer what a real teenage mother has to go through daily. I feel like without real examples of what you parents have to deal with we don’t know really have an idea what we are capable of dealing with. I think we Young Ambassadors are possibly thing to a positive image for young parents. We are just like everyone else, and if we can do it, we can help others feel confident enough to do it too. Every day presents new challenges and I still struggle sometimes, but overall I am happy I have a community I can rely on. That’s what gets me through the tough times.

Space to Feel Welcome

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In the past six months as a young parent ambassador, I have grown as a person. I been able to understand and explain my limits throughout the activities the group has done. I’ve become more open towards what I am comfortable doing or saying. I have pushed myself through many limits that I had. I am no longer extremely shy, but I am in the process of becoming outgoing. In the past six months, I have improved my leadership skills. The program has made me focused on my past, present, and think about my future.

Every young parent ambassador has a different story and talking to each other about it has made us grow closer and learn about each other situation. Being around other young parents makes you realize that you are not alone. Before becoming part of the young parent ambassador program, being young and having a child seemed lonely. It was hard to find someone to connect and talk to.  Specially with the shaming that young parents face now a day.

This group has given me a space to not only feel welcome but also feel loved and cared for. Even though my group of young parent ambassadors is very diverse, we all want the same goal: to be treated with respect as an equal human beings and parents. We all want to stop the shaming of young parents and create a welcoming community for other young parents. By creating a welcoming community for young parents many young parents won’t feel alone. Young parents will have someone that they can talk to who will not judge them for having a child at the age they did.  The community of young parents will be more united and be able to help young parents in need.