We recently shared a former teenage mom's wise words on how society should be treating our teen mothers. It really hit home for one Parent24 reader, who shares her experience as a teen mom below.
I just read the story about the teenage mom and her rejection and felt so sad for her. I fell pregnant when I was 18 but had the support of my then boyfriend and soon after husband. In my matric year, can you imagine?
This clever girl who was the pride of the family for she would live the dreams her parents could not.
I had all the opportunities they did not and would be the first in the family to make it to university. Even though my boyfriend and I already had plans to get married, it was not going to be the same year as my matric exams.
We secretly got engaged (I can still remember him using a pom-pom, as we call it and the two of us laughing about it). You see, the thing was that I had the opportunity to go overseas and wanted to take it.
He wanted the confirmation that we would wait for each other and make the super long-distance thing work.
Well, after the baby that did not happen. I just have to add that I was a very naive teenager raised very conservatively. What a dangerous combination if you meet the wrong person. Luckily for me, I did not. Today my husband and I have been together for 16 years and married for 13 going on 14.
I am so grateful for him being in my life as he never stopped supporting me and my dreams. I went on to study the next year after becoming a wife and mother for the first time.
There was a lot of firsts in that year for me — wife, mother, university student with a bursary to name a few. Oh yes, I passed my matric exams with a distinction and the only one for the school that year. I felt super blessed.
It was not easy
A lot of hard work went into it. My mother lived with us to help take care of the baby so that I could focus on my studies.
May God bless her soul, she passed on two months ago. She was my rock and motivated me when I wanted to give up.
I went to her for everything because my husband already had enough on his plate, trying to provide for his new family.
She would listen and encourage. She never once made me feel like my child was a mistake, and consequently, the two of them shared such a unique grandmother and granddaughter bond like I have never seen before.
We women were born strong, and we always pull through
Being Women's month and all, I need to salute her as a woman and mother who did not have it easy raising her kids.
If it was not for her, I would not be who I am and would not have survived my moment in the limelight of the community. I think I gave other moms hope that their daughters could still be whoever they chose regardless of being a teenage mom.
Life does not stop, in fact, that is where your true purpose begins. You are now responsible for another life. How amazing. Luckily for me, my story turned out well, but I could have been just as unlucky as many girls in our society. We women were born strong, and we always pull through.
To each woman out there, no matter your circumstances, I salute you and your struggles in this world.
Thank you for giving me the chance to write to you.
Share your story with us, and we could publish your mail. Anonymous contributions are welcome.