In a strange turn of events and circumstance—being pregnant at 15—I found I suddenly had my life in my own hands. Finally people wanted to know what I wanted. Four days before my sixteenth birthday I became a teen mom, by my own choice.
The media has recently latched on to the idea of the “teen mom,” elevating her to star status—both in dramas and on reality TV. These shows feature teen pregnancy, but they do so in an unrealistic way that fetishizes and glamorizes it. The stories of the girls I spoke with at The Care Center are much different from the ones shown in half-hour snippets on TV and splashed across tabloid magazines.
Mother’s Day always makes me think about the up and down journey motherhood has been for me and many of the women I know. I had my first child at nineteen and I still don’t know how I made it. I worked two jobs, with the first one starting at five in the morning and the second one finishing at nine at night. I couldn’t afford full-time childcare, so I moved my son Danny between two part-time centers that weren’t as good as I hoped for but better than I could afford.