15 Things to Never Say to a Young Mom.

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It’s no secret that I’m a young mom.

I’m always the youngest mom in the playgroup, youngest mom at the preschool, and the youngest of pretty much all of the mom-friends I’ve made since moving here. Now that I have a ring on my finger most assume that I’m older, and many are shocked when I tell them I’m just twenty-three. I can see them doing the mental math looking between my almost four year old and myself, and when they finish that math I can see the “ohhhhh” look spread across their faces as they realize how young I am now and how young I was when I had Aiden. Usually, they just brush it off or rapidly change the subject. Every once in a while, they say what they really think and it’s often pretty dang hurtful.

I’ve made a list of my “favorite” things that people have said to me in the over four years since I got pregnant with Aiden. Yes, these were actually said by REAL PEOPLE to ME!

1) Was he PLANNED? (Yes. By God.)

2) Do you know who the Father is? (Apparently being a young mom makes me a slut by default. I usually respond with, “well I have it narrowed down to three.” -Sorry Mom-)

3) Wow, your life ended before it really began. (Yeah, it’s hard sometimes, but I get to play with toys, go to playgrounds, and have an excuse to eat ice cream everyday. Not to mention, when he’s eighteen, I’ll be thirty-seven. Boom.)

4) There are much easier ways to “play house.” (So, first it was so hard, and now I’m just “playing house?”)

5) You’re just another statistic. (Don’t even have words for this one.)

6) Why didn’t you just get an abortion? (Why don’t you just get a hysterectomy BEFORE you accidentally reproduce. Thanks.)

7) Should have kept your knees together. (And you should keep your lips together.)

8) You’re such a great big sister to take your little brother everywhere! (I still get this one now, at 23. This week actually! Thanks to that lady for inspiring this post!)

9) Of course you’re stressed, you deserve it after the choices you’ve made. (……)

10) No one will ever marry a girl with this much BAGGAGE. (Whoops, guess Andrew missed that memo.)

11) It must be nice to just live off of child support. (HAHAHAHA!)

12) Guess you can audition for Teen Mom now. (No thanks.)

13) I’m sure your Mom will do most of the work for you. (She’s always been there for me, if that’s what you mean…let’s pretend it is.)

14) Girls like you are why our economy is failing. (I can see the headlines now: TEEN MOMS SINGLEHANDEDLY BRING DOWN THE U.S. ECONOMY.)

 

and last but not least…

 

15) You’re just setting your child up for a lifetime full of failure. There is no way you can provide everything he needs by yourself. You’re just a kid.

 

Why is it that in a country where teen pregnancy is so common, people tear these girls down instead of building them up? The odds and statistics are already stacked against them, so why make them feel worse? For me, my biggest motivation was when someone would tell me that I couldn’t do it. Not everyone reacts that way though.

Yes, some of them “brought it on themselves” because they wanted to “make him stay,” or audition for 16 & Pregnant. But more often than not, pregnancies at this age are an accident. Caused by failing birth control, breaking condoms, or a lack of KNOWLEDGE about birth control options. I don’t see anyone personally attacking the schools for not providing sex ed courses, or the parents of the girl for not having open communication with their daughter, or maybe the father of the child for being too embarrassed to buy condoms. My point is…

 

THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK. 

That girl that you are about to share your opinion with? She’s going to have it hard enough without you sharing your two cents with her, so if you don’t have something nice to say, do everyone a favor and just keep your mouth shut.

 

 

My PSA moment: TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT SEX AND BIRTH CONTROL. Chances are, they’re going to “do it” whether YOU are ready or not. But make sure that THEY are. Check out http://thenationalcampaign.org/ for some information about talking to your kids. The National Day to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies is May 7th!

 

 

Are you or were you a young mom? What was the most unbelievable comment you received from a friend, family member, or a stranger?

 

Getting to Know Me.

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Since I’ve recently gained so many followers (YAY!), I figured it was time for a “getting to know you” type of post. Here are some things you may or may not know about me:

1) I believe in God. I have a great relationship with Him, but didn’t really establish that relationship until after Aiden was born. I don’t, however, attend a church regularly. I wouldn’t be opposed to it if I found the right fit.

2) Aiden saved my life. I was partying hard and making stupid choices when I learned I was pregnant. I stopped doing everything that I shouldn’t have been doing the moment that pee-stick said “positive” and never looked back.

3) I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Yeah, I know what I said. I’m almost 24 years old, and I still waver between two career options. Right now, my plans are to go back to school and get my CNA/Doula certifications, and then go back to work doing that once Aiden starts kindergarten a little over a year from now. I’ve also considered both teaching and writing.

4) I’m writing a book. But I’ve changed the subject three times, and will probably change it at least once more.

5) I’m extremely indecisive. Whether it’s a blog topic, career choices, or just what to eat for dinner, chances are that I changed my mind multiple times before making a decision.

6) Moving to Cary was the most difficult decision I’ve ever made. And despite things rarely going as I plan, I would make the same choice again if given the chance.

7) I am addicted to espresso. It’s hard not to be after working in a cafe for almost five years.

8) My heart lies with working close to special needs children/adults. Spending three summers volunteering at Camp Barnabas taught me so much about life, and things about my relationship with God that I can’t even find the right words for.

9) I desperately want to travel to Africa. I was going to go in Summer 2010 to intern at an orphanage in Uganda, but those plans changed when I learned I was pregnant.

10) I want to be a foster parent/adopt older children…eventually. It doesn’t matter their background, ethnicity, or age. It’s just something I’ve always felt led to do. But that’s wayyyyy in the future, at least in my plans.

11) Some of my favorites are…Color: Teal, Food: Popcorn, Book: Harry Potter Series, Movie: TOO MANY, TV Show: Grey’s Anatomy..since 2004, Holiday: Christmas.I have two color-coded calendars, one planner and one dry erase, and compulsively make lists for everything from spring cleaning to groceries. My closet is also (usually) arranged by color. No shame. 

So, there are some things about me! Any questions? Comment below!

Don’t forget to subscribe via email or follow NJATM on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/notjustanotherteenmom ).

For more frequent Aidenisms, follow me on Instagram @taydellac

DIY Melted Crayon Valentines

This year was my first attempt at making Valentines for Aiden’s class, something I’ve looked forward to since he started preschool!

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Not bad for my first try! 🙂

 

 

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11 Things Moms Should NEVER Say.

I have a million things going through my head this week and feel like I may EXPLODE if I don’t do some blog-venting.

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In the three and a half short (long) years that I have been known as “Mommy,” my role has changed about five times.

First, I was a teen mom. (Not to be confused with one of those girls on MTV.)

Second, I was a kinda-sorta-stay-at-home-mom-full-time-student. (Yeah, it was as exhausting as it sounds.)

Third, I became a single-working-full-time-student-Mom. (Also exhausting.)

Fourth, I became a non-single-almost-married-full-time-working-mom. (Still exhausting, but what part of parenting isn’t? It’s all worth it.)

Now, I’m a stay-at-home-Mom-and-wife. (And I am soooo thankful that I’m able to do so.)

I’ve been pretty much every type of mom there is at least once, so maybe that’s why I really, REALLY hate the so-called “Mommy-Wars” that exist between all of the “sides.”

There shouldn’t even be “sides.” Just Moms.

The SAHMs think the working moms choose to be away from their kids, the working moms think the SAHMs are lazy and sit around eating bonbons and watching shows on Netflix all day.

The crunchy moms think the silky moms are killing their children slowly with cow’s milk and crying it out, and the silky moms think the crunchy moms are just a bunch of hippies who walk around with their amber necklaces and milk-filled breasts preaching about knowing better and doing better.

Moms with more than one child think that moms with only one have it so easy, and moms with one think the moms with many are being overly dramatic because it can’t possibly be that hard, right? The Duggar’s have 19. They survived.

Me? I float around somewhere in the middle of each of these. I cannot stand to see a mom put another mom down because she is choosing to parent a different way.

Here are eleven Mommy-War comments that I’ve personally heard a mom say to another mom, and sometimes to me!

1) You’re not breastfeeding? You know how bad formula is, right? (Breast is best, sure. But it’s not always the BEST option for every mom.)

2) He sleeps in your bed? How do you and your Husband/Partner ever have sex?! (None of your damn business, that’s how.)

3) You circumcised him? How could you mutilate your perfect little boy like that? (Again, it’s not your business, so don’t ask.)

4) You DIDN’T circumcise him? Imagine how he’s going to feel in that locker room in fifteen years! (See number 3.)

5) You let her cry it out? Do you know how emotionally abusive that is to your baby? How will she know you love her? (CIO, when done the right way, helps some moms/babies establish a normal sleeping pattern. It’s not for everyone, and it’s not your business.)

6) You’re going back to work? Do you WANT to miss all of her biggest milestones? (Thanks for the salt in the wound.)

7) You’re a stay-at-home Mom? So what do you do all day? (Let me stop doing what I do for a week and show you.)

8) You’re a single mom? Why did you even have kids of you weren’t going to stay married/together? (Yes, someone really asked me that. Because clearly I PLANNED on becoming a single mom at 20.)

9) You’re a silky mom? So you knowingly let your kid(s) have cow’s milk/fruit juice/produce from WAL-MART? (God forbid he have those Walmart-apples.)

10) You’re home schooling? So you know your kid is going to be an introvert/weirdo right? (Or possibly brilliant from the one-on-one.)

11) PUBLIC SCHOOL? Do you want him to SURVIVE until eighteen? (I mean, algebra is hard…but not lethal.)

WHY do we as moms feel the need to belittle other moms for doing things differently? WHY is our way the only way?

WHY can’t we just end these Mommy-Wars and get back to raising all of our happy and healthy children?

Elves Like Chocolate Too.

Buddy got into Aiden’s advent calendar and chocolate stash this morning!

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But he saved today’s piece just for Aiden!

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And another passive aggressive “list” reminder for Mommy.

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Aiden’s reaction the Buddy eating his chocolate, summed up in a photo:

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Mean Mommy.

I was a mean Mommy today.

I was lacking sleep after patrolling for the boogeyman for a few hours in the middle of the night, lacking caffeine thanks to having not gone grocery shopping yet, and most of all lacking patience from all of the above.

My sweet little baby boy is growing into this sassy, opinionated, little man who is capable of thinking for himself and I’m just not ready for it. Every other word out of his mouth is now, “Why?” Somewhere around the 72nd time that word left his lips before 10:00am, this particular time as he followed me into the bathroom, “Mommy, why can’t I have some cookies for breakfast right NOW!?!” I snapped.

“ARRRGHGHHGHHHHHH, just go to your room and let Mommy have five minutes of PEACE!”

Of course, it was much louder and angrier than my writing portrays it. And, of course, it shocked him enough to make him retreat to his room, and to make me feel like the worst mother in the entire world. Instead of following him, and smothering him with hugs, love, and kisses like I wanted to, I sat in the bathroom for a few moments and cried while praying for someone up there to hand me some more patience.

Being a mom is overwhelming.

I was forced into teenage motherhood after a few stupid decisions I made at nineteen. I chose to keep the baby instantly (BEST decision I’ve ever made), and the moment the word “pregnant” popped up on that test, I became a mom. I loved the little life growing within me, even though at that moment, he was only the size of a tadpole.

That was the EASIEST decision I have had to make since then. Cloth diaper or disposable? Breastmilk or formula? Circumcision or intactivism? Spanking or time-outs? Or both? What if neither work? Stay with my five month old’s biological father, even though we detest one another? Or end it, and become a single mom at twenty? Start dating? What if he dumps me and Aiden gets hurt? Should I let him meet Aiden? When? Will this guy be a good stepdad? How can I be sure?

And every decision I have made has been scrutinized that much more BECAUSE I’m so young.

So, at first I was terrified to even write this post, because I’m sure it will be criticized. But for any moms out there who snap from time-to-time:

YOU. ARE. NOT. ALONE. 

I took a deep breath and walked to Aiden’s room, prepared to smother him in kisses, apologies, and cookies to hopefully make up for what I was sure to be the hot, emotional mess I had created with my momentary lack of control. He ran up to me and hugged me tight as I had to fight back those stupid tears again.

“MOOOOOMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYY, I MISSED YOU!!!!!!!! Is your pee-pee empty now?” 

Clearly, he was traumatized.

I told him Mommy was so sorry that she got frustrated, that I loved him very, VERY much. His response?

“But Mommy, why are you ‘fusrated’?” Oh, the irony.

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Elf Diary 3: Elf on the Swing?

Apparently Buddy got into my craft stash last night and made himself a swing using my ribbon, and a toilet paper roll!

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Buddy also wrote Aiden (who has been EXTRA…ummm…three-year-old-ish the last few days) a note reminding him to be NICE! And to make a Christmas list so that Santa’s helpers…aka the Grandparents… will leave Mommy alone! 😉


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By the way, if you decide to try this one, you need some weight inside the TP roll to counter the weight of the elf’s head. These seashells worked perfectly, and Aiden couldn’t see them from his angle.

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Elf Diaries: Day 2

I’m not sure if Aiden was more concerned about the fact that Buddy colored on his face, or the fact that Buddy was holding Mommy’s markers. (Aiden isn’t allowed to touch them after a certain hallway wall re-decorating fiasco.) Either way, day two was successful…so far!
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Elfin’ Around.

Our Elf on the Shelf “arrived” this morning. He brought candy, a letter from Santa, and a book to introduce himself!IMG_8239

SOOOO blurry, but I couldn’t help but post the reaction.

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Why yes, Santa-Mommy did make up this poem very quickly late last night. (It was a hit-Go me!)

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And, our elf FINALLY has a name. Buddy is officially a (creepy-ish) member of the family.

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I may not post every day in December, but I will post every day’s elf shenanigans. Not sure if Aiden is more excited, or if I am! 🙂