It wouldn’t be right for me to ask mothers and woman to share their stories without sharing mine, right? I’ve tried to write my story over and over. I can’t seem to paint the picture of what it was like or share everything everyone wants to know. But that’s what Sassy Mamaroo is about, right? Sharing my story in the hopes of helping others and inspiring them to share theirs, so here goes….
I was a teen mom. In May 2005, Tom came into my life. He was a few years older than me and had this bad boy vibe that made him so attractive. We started dating and a few months later I found out I was pregnant. I was terrified. I prayed to see one line on that test. I prayed to not be pregnant and have my life ruined. I prayed to not disappoint my family. I never wanted kids and there I was staring at this stick with two very clear lines. I’m 16, I’m still a baby. How am I going to do this? I went home and told Tom. I don’t remember who else I told or if I even did. About a month or so later my mom found out. I was crushed. More than anything I didn’t want to disappoint her. My mom was all I had. Now I was giving her her first grandchild when I was still a baby myself. I now know how hard everything was on her, she was a champ though. She never gave up on me and helped me through it.
As more and more people found out and my ever growing bump became more visible, people started to talk. I wasn’t expecting people to not notice or say things, I just wasn’t expecting people to be so obvious with their stares and whispers. Looking back, I get it. Walking down the hallway at school people would stare and the whispers would start – ‘what a whore, wonder if she even knows who the dad is, she just wants attention.’ The list goes on. Some of the teachers and staff talked too. Slowly as the time went on I began losing my friends too. That was the biggest surprise. Some people tried to be nice and ask how I was doing, when I was due, etc., but that was all a ruse. People would tell me my life was over or that I’d never finish high school. The school even tried to kick me out when I came back after my son was born. I spent many days crying and many days not wanting to go to school. I hated myself for what others were saying. Tom was gone for basic training for the National Guard, which made things even harder. Eventually it became “old news” and I submerged myself in school work. I was determined to do the best I could for myself and my baby. I wasn’t a whore, I knew who the dad was, and it wasn’t for attention. My grades improved and everything was back to ‘normal.’
March 2006 my son was born. I didn’t want to go back to school and leave him. I was afraid to go back to school. Would everything be the same? Would I suddenly have friends again? Going back to school went smoothly. I was able to catch up on homework, tests, and some of my teachers even excused me for homework. A few of the teachers were even so invested that they asked to see pictures of my son and asked how we were doing. Everything suddenly seemed right again. Balancing a newborn and high school was no walk in the park. After school I’d be trying to finish homework with a baby in my lap drinking his bottle. The sleepless nights made studying and school even harder. I was very lucky to have my mom, Tom, brother, and sister there. He was a very loved baby and they were all rooting for me and helped when they could. I managed to maintain my grades and finished my sophomore year with all A’s and B’s. Junior year was somewhat better. Finishing homework after school with a crawling, then walking baby getting into everything was no walk in the park. I finished my junior year with mostly A’s and B’s.
My senior year was a different story. I was lucky enough to have enough credits to get half days. It worked out great since I worked full time, but the school refused to let me walk with my class if I graduated after the second semester. I didn’t work my butt off to make it that far to not walk across that stage and prove everyone that said I couldn’t do it wrong and be proud of myself. I was stuck going all year. That year Tom, myself, and our son moved out and got our own place, so I was not only going to school part time, working full time, but I was maintaining a house and family. That year my car was stolen along with all my textbooks, purse, and everything in it. I had to pay for all my textbooks before I could graduate. A few months after we got my car back, it was totalled in an accident. Everything was working against me that year, but I did it. June 8, 2008 I walked across that stage with my class and received my diploma as my mom, aunt Connie, and son watched from the audience. I was the first in my family to receive a high school diploma. I’ve never been more proud of myself. I worked so hard to get there. Walking across that stage in a borrowed cap and gown from my cousin from the previous year, getting that diploma, and seeing my mom and how proud she was. Graduating was the one thing I wanted more than anything.
March 8, 2006 my life wasn’t ruined or over, it was just beginning. My life changed for the better. I was going down a bad road and who knows where I would’ve ended up. I wasn’t a bad kid, but what I thought was a bad situation saved my life. It made me a better person. It made me work harder. It made me who I am today and I’m pretty damn proud of her. He’s the reason I am who I am. He’s the reason I push myself everyday to do better and be better. We grew up together watching Toy Story, playing with Legos, and building snowmen. Today I have a smart, talented, nerdy, handsome 13 year old. The days of hugs and kisses, I love you’s, and snuggles have faded into a weird side hug before bed and ‘love you’ as he shuts the door to leave for school, but he’ll always be my baby boy.