I should start off by saying that I am not trying to ‘praise’ young people having children but I am saying that if and when it happens. The teens should not be shunned or made to feel any less than.
My name is Caysey Petty and I am a 20 year old newly-graduated college student. It was the summer going into my junior year of high school when I delivered my first born alone in my bedroom- crazy sounding I know but that story is for another day- I had zero experience in raising a child and I had didn’t even know where to begin with the whole parenting thing but that didn’t make me any less of a parent.
I was lucky enough to have my child the day after school let out which gave me the whole summer to bond with my new baby as well as give me time to adjust my future journey with a little one in my passenger seat; it also gave me time to develop a lot of thoughts about what everyone was going to think and by everyone I meant my extended family, my church family, and my peers especially. My social anxiety went through the roof. I even thought about not going back to school because I felt like I couldn’t handle what everyone was going to say when I got back or what everyone was going to think. For a while I even kept my daughter off of social media because I did not want anyone to even know. I was so terrified of the thought of someone looking at me different or treating me different, just like they did with everyone else when you heard someone was pregnant. I did not let it stop me from going to school though and doing what I can to be successful for not only myself but my daughter as well. I stopped thinking about myself and how others perceived me and started thinking about what I needed to do to become the best version of myself for her.
“Most importantly I would like to state that my daughter is the most influential person in my life to this day. She gives me more purpose than I ever thought possible. My life didn’t “end” when I had her but instead it flourished. She pushed my growth spiritually and emotionally and sparked my new drive to continue my educational journey”
As I looked at my daughter, I could not fathom why anyone would look at having a child as a negative thing. Over the years I heard things such as “doesn’t having a child basically mean your life is over?” or “I would hate to be stuck in (this little town) for the rest of my life” Which let me begin with, mainly when I was sixteen my life consisted of school, sports, church working out and occasionally spending time with friends. I was never one of those kids who partied or drank or got high-thankfully since I didn’t know i was pregnant- so there was nothing I did before that I couldn’t do with a child. Most importantly I would like to state that my daughter is the most influential person in my life to this day. She gives me more purpose than I ever thought possible. My life didn’t “end” when I had her but instead it flourished. She pushed my growth spiritually and emotionally and sparked my new drive to continue my educational journey. Just because I have a child doesn’t mean I’m “stuck” anywhere, I am able to go and take her with me wherever I choose to go. She is not a burden. She is the biggest blessing I have ever received. People need to think before they judge someone for having a child because they are not only affecting that person but they’re affecting that child and the way he or she is raised. Having a child is miracle in itself, it requires a lot of strength and courage, for you are not just raising a child, you are raising a whole human being and to carry that sense of responsibility at a young age it is vital that the parent has a good support system. Parents do not have time for people who are just there to shoot negative comments and try to tear them down at no remorse.
In conclusion, I believe that having a child at a young age is not a bad thing and should not be treated as such. I know some statistics read otherwise but statistics should not define who a person is and just because a person is young does not make them any less of a parent. People can accomplish great things with or without a child. If you are a young parent, do not let anyone discourage you, be a good parent to that child and show the world that you will accomplish great things with your little sidekick by your side.