Jennifer Welch: My Teen Mom Story

I was a teen mom of two by the age of eighteen. I remember thinking that at least I’d be eighteen by the time my second child was born.

I was fifteen with my first child, but  I used to explain to people that I had my son the week of my sixteenth birthday, as if that sounded better.

Pregnant with RJ

I was interested in contributing in this article because I’ve always wanted to do something for teen moms or somehow give back, but I am really not sure what that looks like. I especially want to give back because I feel a sense gratitude towards those who have helped me.

I hit rock bottom as I stood on the porch of a church that I never attended. I was eighteen with two kids and I no longer had a home or a job. I gave up my job when I went on maternity leave as my goal was to attend the college that I received a scholarship from. That didn’t work out as my family left the state and the father of my kids kicked me out of his parent’s house. I had nobody or nowhere to turn to, therefore I thought a church would know what to do. I was correct in this case. They invited me in and took me to a shelter and supplied food for me and my babies.

I was so grateful and yet uncomfortable at the same time because I did not want to raise my kids this way. I was able to find work shortly after and the shelter helped me with daycare as that was the costliest expense. I believe that moment gave me the determination and drive to ensure that I  would no longer have my kids in a shelter or worry about how they were going to eat. That same year, I  made employee of the year. I’ve been promoted many times since that day.

All teen moms have different stories and some of them are inspiring while others are depressing, just like everyone else.

However, I do believe something sets us apart. We have a passion for being great moms because most of us probably faced criticism for being a young mom. We don’t want to prove society right. Being a great mom is something most of us teen moms have done. We have had successful children and many of us have worked unbelievably hard advancing in our careers. I do believe that I needed to work harder than most because I was a disadvantaged youth, but that’s exactly what got me to where I am today, 29 years later.

As a teen mom I worked near a restaurant and I often stared into the window from the outside. It had a candy shop in the front and was always filled with happy families. They would laugh and have fun and then later get into their cars (which probably didn’t die on them in the middle of the road like mine). I wanted that experience so badly. I wanted more than ever to have an amazing family and to be able to sit down and order food and eat candy and be able to pay the bill. I thought I was so far away from that dream when in reality I was not.

Many years later I went back to that restaurant and ate there with my kids and we laughed and ate candy and got in my reliable car and drove home. I must say that it’s an amazing feeling and accomplishment. I believe many teen moms turn out to be hard workers and we can and will make it and we will be extremely proud of ourselves.

I have a teenager now and he is always fascinated that I was around his age when I had his oldest brother. Honestly, I am too.

RJ at school with Mom

Teen moms, you are special and you are just as good of a mom as any other moms. (just ask your kids)

Jennifer Welch will never forget she’s a teen mom. She worked hard to prove all the doubters wrong. Her kids are amazing and they give her joy

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