I got pregnant at:
20 years old.
I am now:
22 years old.
My initial reaction was:
People in my life reacted:
My biggest challenge has been:
leaving my daughter's abusive father and standing my ground against the stigmas and stereotypes.
My biggest accomplishment has been:
going back to school.
I love being a young mom because:
It connects me with my truest self.
I struggle with:
loneliness, utter exhaustion, and comparison.
I wish all young moms knew:
there is absolutely nothing we can't do.
Acacia has more of her story to share with us:
"When I got pregnant, I was still young enough to cling steadfastly to the idea of a fairytale ending. Even though my ex was emotionally and physically abusive, I'd been fed the same story as so many other young women: that it was my job and DUTY to nurture and support him through "difficult times." That it was wrong to walk away.
By the time I chose to have my daughter, I had no hope of leaving and had resigned myself to making the most of the situation I was in. Thankfully I did leave, even though it meant walking right out of the cultural narrative and into a swamp of stigmas and stereotypes. I was the "bitter jealous bitch" when I finally went to the police to protect ourselves from him.
The thing that bothers me is when people say, "Wow, I never thought you were the kind of person who...(was abused/would get pregnant, etc.)." Ummm, the kind of person? Of course I am. The people who get pregnant, who can have X, Y, and Z happen to them, tend to have some things in common: They breathe air, they are made of flesh, they are human. Because these thing could happen to any of us, to all of us. And the suggestion that there is a demographic, a "type," is damaging and fear-based.
So that's the dark part. But there is hope. I am now studying at University, and I recently began my honors thesis in environmental biology. I'll be applying to a Master's program in the next few weeks and I'm aiming for a PhD. My daughter, now almost 2, and I live in family housing through the university. I have so much hope for the life that we are building. We are happy, we are strong and we are amazing. There is no stereotype, no label, that could possibly contain us. I know I'm not the only single, scientist young mum out there."
Thank you so much Acacia, this is an incredible and important perspective. I wish you all the best! You sound like one strong, smart mama.
Do YOU have a story to share? Add your voice.