Being a single mom can be a rewarding experience for some mothers. For me, it was not. I did not have as good of a support system as I thought when I decided to become a mother. My boyfriend and I had been dating for a year and I believed he was going to be around forever. I also had tons of friends and my family that all said they were going to be there to help me. So, when I was pregnant, I was not worried very much about how hard it was going to be, being a teenage mother.
My boyfriend was around during the pregnancy, but said that doctors freaked him out so he didn’t go to the appointments with me. When I went into labor, my mom was there for the whole thing, but no one else showed up. The next day, my mom had to go back to work and I was lying in my hospital bed holding my new baby. It was the scariest moment of my life. I had no one!
My boyfriend slipped out of my life slowly. He still offered to buy diapers and formula occasionally. I was able to live with my parents, but my mom and dad were busy with their own lives. They helped out when they could, but I was my daughter’s parent and she was my responsibility.
Because of my parents, I was able to finish my high school degree and work part time in the evenings. If they were not around to help me financially, there is no way I could have finished high school. My part time job barely paid for my daughter’s necessities, so I was never able to go out and do anything.
Emotionally, I was always exhausted. I had to manage my parents constantly telling me how to parent, my ex-boyfriend who never wanted to be a dad, my schoolwork, and my job. My parents both worked, so I had to get up with the baby every night and that made me sleep deprived and cranky.
It took me 5 years to finally be able to move out of my parent’s house. I got a job as a receptionist at a local dentist’s office and found a small apartment nearby. Now my daughter has to go to daycare before and after kindergarten and I work from 7am until 4pm, Monday thru Friday. I have to pay so many bills that I still can barely afford to put gas in my car, let alone go see a movie or go out to dinner.
The last time I saw my ex-boyfriend, he was walking with his new girlfriend who looked like she was about 6 months pregnant. I sometime wish that someone would have told me how hard being a mom was really going to be. Everyone kept saying how it was going to be great and I had nothing to worry about.
But, here I am 5 years later and I am still struggling every single day just to make the ends meet. I just wish I would have heard a story like mine, and then maybe I would have thought through some of my options a little more clearly. There are so many families out there just waiting to have a baby, I think I might have looking into that as an option for me.