Here I am at 9:22 PM, sitting on the couch in the living room of my mothers house writing this blog post of my thoughts. I arrived home from work about an hour and a half ago. When I made it home, Leia was cranky. After an eight hour shift at the credit union, all I had time to do was feed Leia, bathe her, and put her to bed.
Nights like this occur often. Recently, I moved back into my parents house to get ahead on saving some money for a car and a better place. How unfortunate that I just found out that Leia and I have to be out within the next thirty days. Back to the drawing board.
As most of you know, I recently posted the article “Inside the Mind of a 20-Year-Old Mother” to my blog. It received a lot of attention. Most of the attention it got was positive, but a few people felt as though the article was a “glamorization” of what it’s like to be a mother at twenty years old. That conclusion is false. In no way, shape or form, did I intend to glamorize being a mother at my age.
As I stated in my previous article, since I’ve become a mother my life has turned a full 360 degrees. I’ve had many positive changes occur in my life since I’ve had my daughter but that is not to say that I have not struggled. At nineteen years old and seven months pregnant, I had to move out of my parents house and move into my own place with the father of my child. This was a conscious decision we both made and our parents helped us get to where we needed to be.
Although we had helping hands from friends and family, we still struggled often to make ends meet every month. I remember taking the train and commuting two hours to and from work every single day at seven and eight months pregnant. There were times when it was very close to the end of the month, and I had no idea how we’d pay our rent. But by the Grace of God, something always came through and we’d make it.
There is nothing glorious about having a child before you’re ready. In the past nine months that I’ve had Leia, I have been through more than you’ll ever know. One thing that I’d say about parenthood is to expect the unexpected. Nothing about my experience as a parent has been what I expected it to be.
Who knew that my body would have to go through such a traumatic birth with a c-section? Who knew that my baby would have colic as an infant and wake up religiously every two hours and cry without any known reason? Who knew that me and the father of my child’s relationship would not work out and that our engagement would be broken off after nearly two years?
Who knew that the cost of having a baby can be as much as $335 a week? Who knew that after applying for nearly over one hundred jobs, I’d finally land a stable one only to make about three dollars over the minimum wage? Who knew that even with that income, I still can’t really afford a place of my own and am sleeping on my parents couch?
Many people choose to keep their private life private and that is something that I have always chosen to respect. But me, I am a journalist. I am a writer. It is my purpose to share stories with people. If I choose to be open about what goes on in my life, I expect people to respect that decision just as much as I respect theirs to be private. I share my thoughts and experiences because I know there’s someone out there reading that can relate. So, there’s another peek inside my mind (a 20-year-old mother).