As a Teen Mom I Had to Advocate for My Education

People are Rude To Young Moms

Have you ever walked down the street and all people doing is staring and whispering about you? That’s what I have to deal with as young mother when I’m out with my children. One thing I have learned as a young mom is that I am capable of anything because I’m a young mom.

I dislike when I hear or see bad comments about young moms.  The comments are always something like,

“you’re too young to have a baby”
“you’re a baby yourself”
“she’s not going to finish high school or make it to college”

Being young and pregnant and hearing all these things at first made me feel horrible and down all the time. “Am I a failure? Where did I go wrong? Should I have aborted?” I’d ask myself. I felt this way because all people did was doubt me.

Navigating Life as a New Young Mom Was Overwhelming

After giving birth to my beautiful baby girl Kiley there was a change. I stared into her light brown eyes and told her, “I’m going to be the best mommy ever and give you the world.” In that moment I knew I had to do everything and anything to give my daughter the best life possible. Two weeks after giving birth I decided to go back to high school.

Being in high school, coming home to do homework, and taking care of my daughter was a challenge. Sometimes I would be up all night trying to get all my work done. My grades started dropping as a result of oversleeping and missing school. One day I went to school and was told if I missed anymore days they would have to call ACS. I went to my guidance counselor to speak about the issue. I was then told that I wouldn’t receive any credits at the end of that semester because I don’t have enough seat time for classes.

The guidance counselor explained to me although I completed all the work that I missed that I can’t receive credit for it because I wasn’t in class. All of this would result in me graduating late.

After finding out I rushed home crying. I couldn’t stop thinking “what am I going to do?”

My Education Was Only Going to Happen if I Made It Happen

When I got home and started to look up some credit recovery schools. I started to calling and asking if the schools had any spaces left for students. After calling about ten schools one school finally said yes. I went in two days later and took a test. Then I sat with a counselor and went over my graduation plan. If I took nine classes in school and one online class a semester I would still be able to graduate on time! Finally, some relief! I knew I had to work extra hard no matter what.

I started attending my new school the next day and it was okay.

What I liked was that I didn’t know anybody so there was no distractions and nobody knew my situation from my old school or my life outside of school. It was like a clean slate for me. At this school there were less students, the teachers really cared and made sure you understood the work, and last but not least the school had a daycare. At first I didn’t decide to put Kiley there because my mom took care of her for me. Until one day I found out the day care program in the school will work with me through everything, including my taking time to finish homework and classwork outside of class, which was good.

I Needed Support From My Family, Just Like All Parents

I had my mom’s support but only while I was at school. When I got home from school it was like, “okay you’re home, Kiley’s your responsibility now.” I totally understood because my mother had taken care of Kiley all day while I was in school and now she’s tired and have to do other things but it didn’t give me homework time. As a result I decided to sign up for the daycare in my school because I felt like it was the best option to me. The school’s daycare would keep her if I needed time to finish any work after school, make up work, or sit with a teacher. I needed this. Although it was hard carrying a one year old at the time through rain, snow, the cold, and heat but I knew it was the only way I could finish school.

Graduating High School as A Young Mom

All the tough times and decisions I had to make as a young mom paid off in the end. I was able to graduate on time Class Of 2016 !! This was the best proud and emotional day of my life. I did it although there were many who thought I couldn’t. I’m a proud young mom of two beautiful kids now, currently in college, and working part time.

Moral of the story you can never give up as a young mom no matter what! All you have to do is find answers to your problems, take care of your kids, and prove to everyone – including yourself – you’re not what society thinks or what statistics think they can prove.

I just there were positive statistics that show there’s always a positive outcome of being a young mom. I will never regret becoming a mom at a young age because my kids are the best thing that’s ever happened to me. They only push me to strive for nothing but excellence.

Nylija Causwell is a young mama who lives in New York City with her two beautiful children.