TMoM Interview with Guest Blogger Lauren Falber
No one will argue the fact that being a mom is a tough job. But for most of us, motherhood is, and has been, a joyous time – a rite of passage. Most of us couldn’t wait to tell others we were expecting. Basics like a steady income, food on the table and a place to live were things we really didn’t stress about. Our greatest concerns, instead, focused on whether or not our babies were reaching their milestones on time.
But not all moms start out in such a secure place. Take Lindsay, for instance. Lindsay is a local teen mom who has bravely agreed to share an interview with us on Triad Moms on Main. Her journey is humbling and makes us all stop and think. Yet she couldn’t be a happier – and more confident – mom to her son, Aiden, age three.
When did you find out you were pregnant?
I was seventeen when I stared missing my periods, but I thought I would end up getting it the next month or the next one. It really started hitting me when I would start having morning sickness or in my case “every single moment” sickness.
What did you think?
Honestly, I didn’t know what to think! I was emotionally drained and I did everything I could to avoid the growing situation. I was in denial!
How did you tell your parents?
I actually did not tell them, I was way too scared. I hid my pregnancy for five months from everyone! They had no idea I was getting sick all the time. My son’s father ended up telling his mom. His mom ended up telling mine, and that always hurt my feelings because if there was anyone I wanted to tell it to first, it would have been my own mom.
How was it going to school with a baby bump?
It was so tough going to school. Teachers, classmates, and friends made me feel so awkward. People were saying that I was lying about being pregnant because I just wanted attention. I knew girls who were involved with my son’s father who would tell people it wasn’t his and that I was keeping him from all of his dreams because I didn’t know who the father was. It was a lot of drama that I did not need.
Was there anything that you had to give up because you were having a baby?
I was always good in school. So I decided before I was pregnant that I would graduate early, which ended up being perfect timing since the baby’s due date was December 26, 2007. Sometimes I wish I didn’t graduate early that way. I could have been more involved with my friends. I also had to quit running cross country which had always been a passion of mine.
Did you have a good support system?
I did have a great support system. My family ended up being AMAZING about the whole situation and everyone started to be excited. My mom was always there for me while I was pregnant. She even took Lamaze classes with me and was the only person I wanted in the delivery room. My church, friends, family, job all supported me and it helped to have everyone care about me.
What would you say to young girls?
I would tell them that high school is about learning about yourself and hanging with friends, not about raising a baby. They really should consider not having sex, or at least being extra careful by using birth control and condoms. I thought I was in love with the daddy and he used that against me because I always went back to him. I had sex way too early and I wish I wouldn’t have. I have to work so much harder now to provide for my son. I have two jobs and had to put school on hold until he is out of daycare. Everything is so hard now. Raising a child is expensive and I try to save money for when unexpected surprises happen, for instance, my car breaking down. But it’s still tough to balance everything.
What has been the most difficult thing about raising a child?
Patience. My son is three and is WILD. He doesn’t like to listen all the time. When we go out it’s a constant battle of him not getting into everything. I had to potty train him and that took a long time. He will always test my patience and it’s something I am trying to work on, but he definitely doesn’t make it easy.
I now know what honest unconditional love is. I love him more than anything, and when I had him, I realized that I had never truly loved anyone like I did him. It really opened my eyes to what was fake and what was real. He is amazing, and so intelligent. He will always be my life.
What do you want to let people know?
I want people in general to know that being a “teen mom” doesn’t mean that I am a horrible person. I was young when I had him, but that doesn’t mean I am a horrible mom. I give him everything and will always continue to provide for him. Everything I do is for him, everything I work at, is to better his life. I wish people wouldn’t judge me for being so young and not being married. I love my son and that should be what matters. He will always have me in his life and I will always be a person who he can talk to.
Lindsay, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Powerful stuff. Makes us realize how much we take for granted. Your will to succeed and your love for your son are most admirable. Aiden is lucky to have you as his mother. Best of luck!
Please offer words of encouragement to Lindsay, or feel free to ask her a question. She’ll do her best to get back to you soon! (Remember, she’s pretty busy!!)