Not Just Another Statistic

I know being a teenage mom is hard. Not only the emotional and physical challenges that come from rearing a baby, or in my daughter’s case, twin babies, but the stigma that surrounds the mothers. And I say “mothers” because usually the father is dealt little or no repercussions.

I know the case of Jamie Lynn Spears has been in the news a lot lately and many folks have trashed the media for “glamorizing” teen pregnancy. I may be looking at the situation in a more endearing light because we’ve experienced this and all I see are our two precious little girls but I don’t see them promoting teen pregnancy just by sharing Jamie Lynn’s experience. She’s someone who would draw media attention whether she had a baby or broke her big toe. And yes, maybe she shouldn’t have done the OK magazine photo shoot and interview but I think she’s trying to prove that she wants to be a good parent UNLIKE her older sister who has not been such a great example. Hopefully, Jamie Lynn can provide a normal, loving environment for her daughter.

By no means am I advocating teenage pregnancy nor do I wish for this to happen to anyone but when life deals you unexpected blows, you have to make the best of it. And my prayer is that if it does happen to a teenager, or anyone for that matter, that they do not choose abortion as an option.

My husband and I had centered our life around our daughter. For years we followed her to softball games, basketball games, football games while she cheered and competitive cheer competitions. I don’t know what we did before she came along and was old enough to play sports! We must have been two bored individuals. As she got closer to graduating high school I began to have early empty nest syndrome. I didn’t know what we’d do once she was grown and on her own. I was panicking. I thought the only way to fill the void was to have another child. No, I didn’t want to physically have one myself but I talked to my husband about adoption. He was not for it. I guess it’s a good thing because the Lord soon sent us two unexpected little blessings in the form of grandchildren. I can’t imagine life without our two girls now.

After the babies were born, my daughter sat out one semester to care for and bond with the babies. She struggled with whether or not to go back to school or to take her GED. She was worried about leaving the babies. Thank goodness, with our encouragement, she decided to go back to school. She had her best semester ever as far as grades and knew she had made the right decision. She made up her mind that she would not be just another statistic, another teenage mom who dropped out of school and depended on others, but she would make the best of her life so she could provide for herself and her children.

She struggles at times of course. Her life has had to change to include her daughters and there are times she’d like to just be a “normal” teenager. No one has been mean to her or downed her openly for what has happened (even though I’m sure many have behind our backs). Most people have been understanding and supportive. She totally depends on her dad and me. A 16 year old just doesn’t know much about rearing a child. Which she’s 17 now, will be starting her senior year, and has had her first summer job this year. We thought it would be a good idea for her to help out with expenses and get a little feel as to what she can expect of her future.

So even though she’s sure to face some criticism because of her poor choices and face some adversity, I think she’ll do just fine. As a parent and grandparent, I just want to protect her and my grandbabies from all hurt and harm but I know sooner or later I’ll have to let go and let my daughter be the parent.

The following is her intro for her myspace page:

Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so love the people who treat you right, forget about the ones who don't, and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance take it. If it changes your life, let it.Nobody said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.
I can sit here and try to wish all my problems away, but nothing is really going to change my life unless I change first. Even if that means letting go of certain people, that's just something I’ll have to do. I need to find what is best for me... and stop trying to please everyone else in my life. I know I am strong enough and will do whatever it takes to create a good life for my girls and me. So this is it... I am letting go and starting over! A whole new life and hopefully with a little faith, it will take me to where I need to be.
I've made mistakes in my life. I've let people take advantage of me and accepted way less then I deserve. But, I've learned from my bad choices and even though there are some things I can never get back and some people that will never be sorry I'll know better next time and won’t settle for anything less than I deserve.


~Brenda~ said...

I know ya'll have been through alot. I admire & respect you & your family. I wish your daughter the best with all that she does. We never know what life will deal us next, it's just how we handle it that counts! Take care of those beautiful grandbabies!

Jen said...

Wow, she sounds so mature. I know that being a young mother has a huge amount to do with that. I commend you for helping your daughter with the pregnancy & the babies.

One of my very best friends was a young mother & she was kicked to the curb. SHe made it but just barely. She is now the mother of 4, 2 biological children & 2 adopted.

Another friend was totally kicked to the curb and married the daddy, divorced him and remarried him later after finishing college, they now are on their 3rd child and doing wonderful.

Neither of these girls should have had to struggle and if I had gotten pregnant as a young teen, my parents would have done what you and your husband have done.

For that, I have the deepest respect. Like she said, you make a mistake, you have to learn from it. My parents always knew I would learn from my mistakes and I did.

She is a brave young woman and it makes my heart so happy to see that yall did not push her or talk her into an abortion, like one of my other friends' parents did to her. Abortion is NOT an option in my eyes.

God Bless you, your husband, your daughter and grand babies.