In less than a week, my oldest will turn 13. Being 30, it’s a little daunting to know that one of my offspring is almost half as old as I am. Each time her birthday rolls around, I’m reminded of how I became a mom. At 17, I found out I was pregnant.
How do you balance tests, friends, and a growing belly? With shows like The Secret Life of the American Teenager and MTV’s Teen Mom, teens are desensitized to the realities of sex. I know I was. It seemed like everyone around me was doing it. And I LOVED my boyfriend, so why not?
Most books I’ve seen on the market deal with the emotions and the details during pregnancy. To me the pregnancy was the easiest part; it was after that no one prepared me for! Have you been there? Suddenly you go from being a teen, worried about what to wear to school, flipping burgers at McD’s, and now you wonder when you’ll get any sleep as your new baby fusses half the night?
I’ve been there. I promise it gets better. Your baby WILL sleep through the night. Relationships will get better or new ones will emerge and you do have a future–I promise. God has done SO much for me since I was 17.
So where do you go from here? How to you deal with a life unplanned? It’s time to embrace a new direction. Here are a few things you can focus on now that you have a life with baby.
What’s Your Point Of View
Grandscape: Shelly Radic, author of the MOPS book: Momology combines the words “grand” and “scape” defining the word as:
The broadest view of life–those things seen and unseen; the past, present and future; both cosmic and earthly, mortal and immortal, infinite and enduring for all time.
I know its hard, I KNOW! What got my through sleepless nights, money troubles and dealing with my parents was looking at the bigger picture. It is SO easy to focus on the here and now, but if you can picture yourself and your child 3, 5, and even 10 years down the road, it makes those fussy nights so much easier to deal with. It won’t last forever, I promise.
Think about what YOU want to do with your life. What steps are you taking now to reach them? Getting the grades required to pass your high school or college classes is important. When you look at the bigger picture, it isn’t as overwhelming. Soon you will be out of school, your child will sleep through the night, and yes–each time you get up to tend to her cries is building a great relationship with her.
How To Deal with Unwanted Advice
Now that your child is here, chances are you’ve gotten so much unwanted advice, your ears hurt. Cheyenne wasn’t even a week old when I was sick of all the advice. As she grew so did the opinions and tips from others; I then deemed it Drive By Parenting–others telling me how I should raise my child.
I would try bottle feeding because my chest hurt so much, only to be scared into trying to nurse again. Here’s the scoop: God created you with just what you need to mother your child. No one else can mother your child the way you can, meaning you have what it takes to soothe your child, and you have what it takes to know what cry means what. It may seem daunting but it’s all about embracing your new self as a mother.
Here are some responses for you to try that worked well for me–and still do!
Thank you. I’ll keep that in mind the next time I need to try something different.
I appreciate your advice but I’m her mom and know what is best for her.
Thank you for telling me that but this is the way I prefer to do it.
The key is to be respectful and confident in your abilities when you respond.
As a teen mom, what advice are you looking for? What are your needs now? I would love to hear from you and chat.
Learn more about the author Heather Riggleman
Want more of Heather? Check out A Different Way To Spin Through Life
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