You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family. And you DEFINITELY can’t pick who your mom is. Because, yanno, that’s just not how all of that works.
And sometimes your mom is a teenager who got a little frisky perhaps a bit too early… and now you’re here! Congrats! You’re alive.
But it does make for some interesting situations when a LITERAL child is raising another child.
Somebody in reddit asked what it’s like to be raised by a teen mom and boy did people answer…
Let’s take a look!
1. Got to do WHATEVER you want.
I was born to a teen mom, and a single one at that. I definitely had a lot more freedom and less supervision as a child since both of her parents (my grandparents obviously) passed away soon after I was born, so there weren’t many options for babysitters. Since she worked two jobs I would often be on my own after school until about 8 or 9 at night, sometimes later.
She definitely struggled to hold down jobs due to not having an education and the overall grind would eventually get to her. At one point she was walking 11 miles a day to and from work because we didn’t have a vehicle. Eventually, we lost our home and we remained in and out of shelters until I was about 12.
I learned ALOT about the world in those days. At the time I hated it and was jealous of other kids having normal lives. Now that I’m older, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It gave me every bit of motivation I have, it gave me better social skills (gotta learn to make friends quick when you move frequently), and most importantly it taught me to be humble and never view less fortunate people as beneath me.she was diagnosed with cancer when I was 13 and died when I was 15 which sucks, cuz IMO I grew up to be a good person and good father. Would love to have her around to see it.
2. It can be quite difficult
I’ve noticed that I didn’t have the same opportunities as other kids because being a teen mom can lead you down a road of struggle and poverty if you don’t have help from family.
I’ve always wanted to play sports, but she could never afford the equipment needed at school to be apart of it. Mentally, I’ve had to mature faster at a young age because she was still a kid herself. It’s unnerving to think teachers would tell me I seemed older than my age at 10 years old.
3. Money is an issue.
My mom was 19 when she had me (she was from a third world country on top of it). There was a year i stopped playing soccer because there wasn’t enough money. There was also the year i asked for a sega genesis from santa (a couple of years earlier) and didn’t get it and my mom made up some excuse about how it came but it was missing a part. That was the year i realized a) santa wasn’t real and b) anything i asked for from santa was coming out of her pocket.
I was six that year, i tried to pretend i believed her but i think she knew i knew she was lying you know, me being six and all and not all that great at acting. I never really asked anything expensive of santa again and only got chocolate from Santa in the following years a tradition that continues whenever I’m home for christmas even now when I’m in my late 30s i still get a stocking full of chocolate from “Santa”. It’s a beautiful little silent tradition we don’t talk about that’s like a reminder for when times were tough.
But i know my mom carries a lot of guilt about the things she couldn’t give me as a kid that she was able to give my younger brother and sister because their financial situation got much better right around the time my younger sister was born.
I try to tell her that she shouldn’t, and highlight all the things i loved about my childhood, and the intangible things i was given because i was able to see how she was struggling and how hard she was trying, and then got to see how her trying paid off at a young age. Those were gifts my brother and sister didn’t get to have, and they’re much more valuable than a season of soccer, a sega genesis, or whatever else i could have asked for. I hope your daughter can see it that way too.
4. Daddy issues…
I was born in 1964 when my mother was 16. Grandparents adopted me so I’d have a “name”. Father’s family paid for the hospital bills and that was it because they didn’t want to ruin his chances to go to VMI. Mother had three other kids from at least two other men and tried to treat me like a little sister although a girl in 3rd grade decided it was her duty to tell me I didn’t really have a daddy.
Three bedroom country farm with four kids, grandparents and mother with her pedo husband was a constant fight complete with fists and screaming almost daily. At least we could go outside….Lost a brother to a gunshot when stepfather cheated on mother and left gun down while he was leaving, other brother accidentally shot him.
Mother continued to treat me like a sister until she decided she wanted to be a mother. My grandmother was the one who raised me and the one I consider my true mother. When she died, she left me the land with her house on it and my mother tricked me into signing it over to her (I was very naive). She accused my straight-edge goth-y kids (in their 30s now) of being on drugs because they wore black and has held a remark I made about moving away when I was 16 against me to this day.
My father sent me $50 when I graduated and $100 when I got married the first time. And I had no idea he was even my father until I was 23.
I would have liked to have had a different childhood.
5. That’s not my sister…
When friends would come over for the first time growing up, I’d get a lot of, “I didn’t know you had an older sister!”
I don’t. That’s my mother.
Also: since my Mom and I are only 16 years apart, we ended up liking a lot of the same music. Which made going to concerts a lot easier, because we’d often wanna go to the same shows.
So, I’ve definitely seen a lot more bands than friends.
Mom was 15 when she had me. Honestly, my life sucked. She used to say that she could have given me up for adoption and then decided not to because she realized that I would love her unconditionally- no matter what. Our relationship progressed pretty negatively because of that mindset of hers. Every negative thing I did was against what she thought motherhood would be like. I was something she could pick up and put down and leave behind at her leisure. There were a number of times she’d drop me off at a family member’s house and disappear. Once, I came home from kindergarten and no one was there (dad was in prison). The next morning, my uncle showed up. He had heard my mom left and had a gut feeling he needed to go to my house.
There was no food and the heat had been turned off by the utility company. I don’t remember much about that time other than the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the demolition man movie.
She had she pretty bad trauma and never processed it properly, so when she got angry due to a trauma reminder, she got really angry.
When she was good – boy she was golden. She could be the most fun of a person you could ask for, but she wasn’t a mother. She never held and comforted, she expected hugs and comfort. She was a kid, and thought with a kid brain. When we had some spare change, she’d walk me to the ice cream place and she’d buy herself an ice cream and we’d go back home.
As I got older, our already weird relationship became weirder. She told me she didn’t want people to know she was my mom and I could introduce her as my sister. She would tell people that she had three children (my siblings) and not claim me because people would do the math. She wanted to be friends with my friends. She wanted to hang around when they were there.
What I know about having a teenage mom is this: I loved her with the kind of fanatical worship that messed me up for a long time. She could be funny and cruel at the same time. When she gave you attention, your world would be brighter but when she was mad at you, the world would be dark.
She never grew out of her teenage mindset, and I had to come to grips with that.
I can’t say that every teenage mom is like mine, but mine was rough.
7. Biologically speaking…
My parents got married when they found out my mom was pregnant at 16 (she had me her senior year at 17), and both still managed to work their way through college with me in tow. It was honestly pretty annoying. They liked to party a lot with their friends, which got annoying quick having a bunch of 30-somethings getting drunk and listening to loud music when I had to be up early. My mom enjoyed the attention of being mistaken for my sister, but it felt gross because she was the “hot mom” to all my guy friends growing up and I never heard the end of it. My dad wasn’t really interested in doing “dad” things until they had my sister in their mid-20s.
Found out a year ago thanks to 23andMe that my dad’s not my biological father. Apparently my mom slept around a lot in high school. Found my bio dad, which uncovered a huge conspiracy of lies and batshit insanity that honestly deserves its own post. Teenagers are fucking stupid.
8. Wow. That’s genuinely impressive!
I went to school with a girl who had her first child at 14.
She had 2 more before graduation.
At the age of 28 she became a grandmother.
The child born’s great great great grandmother was alive and only 82.
9. She worked REALLY hard.
My mom and I are really close. She had me at 14. Growing up, I noticed a lot of my friends didn’t get along with their moms. I always thought she was really relatable. We go eat, go shopping, get coffee, gossip, just hang out. She worked a lot, sometimes multiple jobs at once, so I felt like I did less extra curriculur than my friends. But I was pretty happy Growing up.
She is always concerned with money. I’m starting to notice that shes not very good at saving money, or planning retirement and what not. I once asked a family friend “now that us kids are grown, how are my parents still living paycheck to paycheck?”
She explained that, in her opinion, my mom basically skipped learning how to take care of herself as an adult. Instead of learning how to effectively adult, she focused on taking care of her kids.
I will forever be grateful for my mom and the hard work and sacrifices she endured to raise me and my siblings.
10. Step dad to the rescue!
My mom was 18. So my aunt and uncle are only 10 years older than me (my uncle is 6 years) so I got to do all kinda of rad stuff with my aunt and uncle like skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding.
They were and are more like a brother and sister.
Real dad is a pos. My mom fell in love at 20 with a 40 year old. They are still together 38 years later. Raised me like his own.
He had 5 other kids. So I had all kinds of brothers and sisters and tbh a better life than if my real dad stuck around.
11. Didn’t make the same mistake…
My Mother resented me and the freedom I had as a teen and young adult.
I got to do and experience so many things she didn’t get to by choice.
On her side, I come from a long line of teen moms but I didn’t make that mistake.
I was 27 when my daughter was born. And my daughter is almost 22 and no kids yet so the cycle is broken on our branch at least.
Some pretty amazing stories from these folks, right?
Do you have a story like this? Want to share it?
Do that in the comments!