Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My Thoughts on Teen/Single Moms

Remember that one time before Alexa (I barely do sometimes...) that I was working? Well, I was, and I worked for this non-profit in Denver that helped run an alternative high school for teen moms. Maybe you've heard of it: Florence Crittenton High School? Ring any bells?

Well, if it does ring any bells, it might be because that high school is now the subject of the new TLC show High School Moms. I haven't been able to watch any episodes yet, but I've seen clips and interviews and mostly the school looks just as incredible on TV as it does in real life.

While I was working there, seeing all these pregnant or parenting teen moms, and at that time very much wanting my own children in my family, the question I got most often was "Is it really hard working there?"

I don't know this student, but I know the nurse and she is one of the most fabulous people ever met!

I must admit that some days/situations were harder to bare than others, but mostly I found so much unexpected love, admiration, respect, and joy for those moms and their children! I was planning on going in there, doing my data analysis work, and going home. The problem with that plan was that as I spoke with the students and learned of their love and dedication to their children and families that it was so easy to fall in love with them and their children! My whole experience there made it possible for me to let go of my jealousy and envy and anger towards single moms who choose to parent and embrace them as loving mothers, just like me.

My sister was a teen mom and parented her daughter (Abby), and is now a wonderful mother to her three children. She is married to her children's father, and they have created a wonderful family together of which I admire and strive to emulate on a regular basis.

 Me, my niece Abby, and my Sister Cindy after a trip to the mall.

I hold no resentment towards teen moms or single moms, like Hayley, who choose to parent their children instead of placing them for adoption. They're not preventing me from parenting my own children, they're just loving theirs. How can I be angry when their biggest crime is that they love their children too much to let them go? My only hope is that I can help them through their challenges as a mother, as I hope they can also help me through mine. Lord knows my life has been immeasurably blessed by teen/single moms, and I am so grateful for those moms who have shown me so much of what being a loving mom is all about.

***Disclaimer: Alexa's birthmom does not fit that single or teen mom description at all, so I maintain that my admiration for teen/single mom's is unbiased and extremely reliable. I have not been compensated for this post, nor will I be because, honestly, no one is willing to pay me for it.*** 


Jill Elizabeth said...

Thank you so much for writing this! It seems like it's a little too easy for those with an adoption connection to unfairly judge teen mothers. Do you mind if I share this post on my blog's Facebook page and maybe my blog? I think more people need to read this.

Thank you for being so awesome :)

Rachel said...

Share away, Jill! And thanks so much!