It is the twentieth century and teen parenting has been existent since the beginning of our time. Thirty years ago marriage was encouraged at an earlier age, having children at twenty one was common, and 46% of couples had only one marriage and children from the same spouse. There is nothing wrong with being a single parent or separating from your spouse, you are encouraged to keep doing whatever you need to do! The essential question is, with the internet being such a mass source of information why isn’t there support for young parents?
We are in the age of “baby daddy” and “baby mama” drama. When i conceived my son at the age of nineteen my biggest fear was being the “typical baby mother stereotype”. I’ve been stereotyped as ghetto, unintelligent, and irresponsible for having a child at nineteen. Being a young parent and creating a community for women with similar backgrounds is the primary reason Hard Hustlin’ Honeys was created. Working on a relationship while raising a child may seem like a lot as a young parent, but it is possible! My boyfriend and I have gone through an endless amount of struggles from homelessness to pursuing our dreams. We are not perfect but for our age we are very successful and happy. Here are some priceless tips to being a young successful parent:
- Don’t Stop Making Goals for Yourself
I’ve heard so many discouraging comments from unsuccessful people who weren’t even parents. My favorite is, “your life is over, you have to focus on your kid now”. Not every dream you chase will be similar to the Pursuit of Happiness (Will Smith is a great example of a young dad, he was 18 when he had Jaden). Second, the idea of taking any job to support your family does not need to interfere with chasing your dreams. These two things should be mutually exclusive and you should be finding jobs that are close to your dream job.
- Closed Mouthes Don’t Get Fed
Going to work and school full time while “baby daddy” was going to work full time lead to many arguments. “Who is going to watch the baby” “You need to spend time with the baby” “You’re not helping enough” were things we argued about continuously. If you are going to let your partner know that there is an issue then you better have a solution with it. If YOU want something from your partner then you need to be clear. Like my boyfriend always says, “closed mouthes don’t get fed“.
- Watering Flowers
There is nothing more beautiful than watching your little human grow into a smart little being. Investing time into your family is just as important as going to work. Nowadays work ethics have been pushed upon us a lot more than family values. Your home and your family is the root to your success, issues at work or school can stem from the home. Delegating time to your family should be taken as serious as a shift at work. Watching a movie or playing a game with your child and partner is more important than vacuuming your hallway.
- Young is Wasted on the Youth
Take advantage of that sh#t. You have energy, your skin hasn’t wrinkled, you may have a few grey hairs, but you have your YOUTH! Being a young parent has it’s advantages, bloggers who say teen parenting is about wearing your kids clothes (kinda creepy) have no idea what being youthful and a parent is like. As young parents you have YEARS to keep working on yourself and still have the energy to be a good parent. Once you have a baby your brain does not stop growing, you can still learn and have tons of brain power to keep learning. Take advantage of your youth by using your energy and resources to be a smart mommy. (Since I am in school I qualify for free child care, also when I was pregnant I got to park in the staff lot.)
- Mommy & Daddy Friends
The best advice and comfort you will get is from making friends with other young parents. You will learn about local resources, have someone close with similar issues, and have a friend who has a friend for your child. It’s like knocking two birds with one stone except your doing it with your mommy or daddy friend.
*Even though you are a young parent you are not unsuccessful. You have a million advantages and there are millions of teen parents who feel the same way you feel! If you feel like you may need emotional support, counseling is also a great way to channeling some of your anxious and nervous energy.