Almost twelve years ago I found out I was going to be a mom. I was 15 years old and had an idea of what my future milestones would be. Being a teen mother wasn’t one of them.
Milestones are different things to people. I celebrate each of my accomplishments as a milestone and give myself a pat on the back for every new goal achieved. I don’t think I’m wrong when I say that as teen parents and young parents, we’re under a different set of expectations to fail. Milestones for us are celebrated as: not dropping out of school during the pregnancy, not having another child within the first two years of the first pregnancy, and graduating high school. Other milestones that people seem to think aren’t attainable include going to college and getting an advance degree. Why can’t people hype those up more? You assume we’re not going to college, why is it so hard to assume the opposite?
This year has been amazing for my family and me. As a single mother I’ve celebrated many milestones. I was accepted into my first choice Master’s Program for Public Administration at the University of Baltimore, I landed two scholarships, and I finished my first semester with my first A. As the summer is winding down and we’re starting school again, I was again faced with a whole new set of milestones to celebrate: my daughter started middle school and we found out she was placed in all advanced classes. She is also attending a magnet school for the performing arts. My son was able to finally transition to a new classroom with a much more challenging curriculum and is doing wonderfully. And me, I will start my second semester at school and after the Holiday I will also start the job that will complement my degree – I’ll be working for the local City government, doing what I’ve always wanted to do Help my community access services needed to attain self-sufficiency.
As a former teen mom of two I have learned to celebrate all my accomplishments and that of my children. I set my own goals and know that with support I can get there. Having been there done that, I urge you to support the young parents in your community. There will be so many impressive milestones to celebrate if you give them the chance. We can go far.