I was a Teen Mom!

I was a Teen Mom!

I was a Teen Mom!

Many people look at me with a stunned look on their faces when I tell them I am a mother of 3 with my oldest child being 16 years old. The truth is…. I was a teen mom! I gave birth to my daughter just before I  turned 19, I was a senior in high school who played sports, had a love for dramatic arts and English and I was also a part of a dance group. When I turned 18 my mother’s worst nightmare came to pass, when I came back home pregnant. I had not completed high school and I had aspirations to be a successful strong Black Women in the Law field. Being a teen mom, no one could have prepared me for the twists and turns my life was about to take, sacrifices that needed to be made or the struggles and tears I was about to embark on, while preparing to bring a life into this world.

I know many are wondering as you read this post what part the biological father played in my teen mom journey so I will give you a bit of history to get that part over with. I met him when I was 17 and he was 21 ( yes I know so don’t bother with the gasps) looking back at it now he was really old! I lied just like every other teen girl “in love” does about where I had met him. My mother never approved of him but that didn’t stop me from being with him, in fact it only pushed me closer and harder at pursuing a relationship that later became abusive, dishonest, and dangerous. At that time when I met him, my mom had just packed us all up and moved us all out of the family home the day before from a similar environment I had put myself into. Looking back it was clear I was seeking the acceptance and love I never received from my father growing up.

When my mom found out I was pregnant of course I denied it at first, I wore pads to fake my period and went as far as putting red dye in pads before i threw them in the trash to cover my “no i’m not pregnant” story. But a mother knows everything and she quickly called my bluff. The cat was out the bag and her teenage daughter was now going to be a mother. During my pregnancy I still attended my Catholic high school however no one knew I was expecting. At 7 months after a pregnancy related scare and bedrest, I withdrew from high school and enrolled into a school specifically for pregnant teens until the end of my pregnancy.

It was mainly my mom that looked after my every need I had during my 9 months of pregnancy, from doctors appointments right down to getting on her hands and knees over the bath tub to bathe me, her 18 year old daughter who was carrying a daughter of her own. I knew all along that this wasn’t what my mom envisioned for her teenage daughter but it was done, the baby was coming and my mom was my biggest support system I had.

I was a Teen Mom!

After giving birth on January 3 2000, I was living with my mom until KJ was about 2 years old. I still had not finished high school, I wasn’t employed and I had a kid to look after with no reliable help from the biological father. I had to make a choice to go on government assistance to move into my own space and provide for the both of us.  It was a rough couple years of mother hood, I struggled financially and fell behind on bills and rent, ended up getting evicted from my apartment because the money I would get monthly from the government was not nearly enough to pay rent, utilities, buy food, and pay for bus fare, during that time I quickly learned how to be selfless, sometimes when I didn’t have enough to eat and my pride and fear of going to my mom to ask for help I decided to put my pride aside and go to food banks for help. My mom did help in anyway she could and without her it would have been alot tougher than it was.

Being a teen mom I did not let that stigma keep me back from doing things I needed to do to make a better life for the both of us. I went back to school to obtain my high school diploma, I found a job that paid enough to meet all the needs of myself and KJ to live comfortably which got me off of government assistance. That was the biggest accomplishment for me I can remember when I received my first pay cheque and bills were paid and up to date I bought myself my first tv with my own pay cheque. Over the next few years I worked hard to get ahead. I relocated to Toronto leaving KJ behind with my mom while she completed school so I could get myself situated and stable. That was the hardest thing for me to do in my life because I left KJ at a time where she needed her mommy the most, I missed alot of milestones that I will never get back. To this day I still beat myself over it but I know and I knew deep down it was the best decision I made.

I met my husband when KJ was 3 turning 4 from day one I knew he was a blessing to the both of us. At that point her dad was out of her life more than he was in it, I resented him alot for his lack of responsibility but he knew no better himself. He made me feel used when all I wanted was love, he abandoned KJ when all I wanted was for her to feel safe. My husband who was then just a friend I “liked” repaired my broken heart and trust issues, he demonstrated what a real man and true father was suppose to be. He was there to dry KJ’s tears when she was down, spent time with her and although she was not biologically his, he treated her like she was his flesh.

Being a teen mom taught me alot, it molded me into the woman I am today. I know what struggle is, I know what having no money feels like, and I know how to work hard for what I need. Being a teen mom didn’t mean I was lazy and didn’t want better for myself, it didn’t mean I was promiscuous and it certainly didn’t warrant for the stares, comments and rude thoughts people had about me. Being a teen mom didn’t mean I was raised badly either all of these stigmas are still present among our teen moms today. Now that I have 3 kids 2 of them being girls I always teach them the importance of getting an education first before committing to a serious relationship, I teach them how to value and respect themselves and most importantly the struggle and fears I had being a teen mom.

I don’t have regrets because I learned alot and I love KJ with my whole life. However If I had the chance to wait till I was older and more aware of life and what it entailed I would. I was a teen mom! 

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  • Reply Millie

    A very touching story! You’re such a positive woman x

    xo Millie

    30/03/2016 at 11:30 am
    • Reply Ma Belle Vie

      Thank you Millie!

      01/04/2016 at 10:07 am
  • Reply Chels (@Inspire_Indulge)

    Thank you for sharing your story and for being vulnerable with us. I can’t imagine the fear of being a teen mom; I’m 23 and still am scared to death to get pregnant even though I now have a loving fiancé and know that we would be wonderful parents. I commend you for not giving in to the rude stares and for being brave!! xo

    30/03/2016 at 11:48 am
    • Reply Ma Belle Vie

      Yeah its scary but as long as you have a strong support system it turns out ok

      01/04/2016 at 10:08 am
  • Reply Kailei

    Your thoughts are beautiful. Thank you for being open and vulnerable. I am sure that your words will help many. I am so glad that you continued to work hard and that you had such a great support from your mom.

    30/03/2016 at 11:49 am
    • Reply Ma Belle Vie

      Thank you for reading. I hope that my words help someone or they see it just for extra support. Women need it

      01/04/2016 at 10:09 am
  • Reply lisa

    What a beautiful story. Thank you for writing this beautiful, real and raw story.

    30/03/2016 at 11:56 am
    • Reply Ma Belle Vie

      Thank you for reading Lisa

      01/04/2016 at 10:09 am
  • Reply Joan Harrington (@joantruesuccess)

    Hi Janella 🙂
    What an awesome post and share! Really enjoyed reading your story and how far you have come since becoming a teen mom 🙂 You are truly an inspiration! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    30/03/2016 at 12:45 pm
    • Reply Ma Belle Vie

      Thank you Joan for your kind words! I am glad I can be an inspiration to others!

      01/04/2016 at 10:05 am
  • Reply Shann Eva

    Thank you for such an honest post. It’s refreshing to hear the struggles that go along with being a teen mom, instead of just seeing the show on TV. It sounds that even though it was hard, you did your best for you and your daughter. You made a great life for both of you.

    30/03/2016 at 1:46 pm
  • Reply diyjahn

    Wow, this is so heartfelt and raw. I really appreciate you sharing this with us. You did what was best and what needed to be done.

    30/03/2016 at 3:02 pm
    • Reply Ma Belle Vie

      Thank you for reading, it was hard for me to write but it had to be done.

      01/04/2016 at 10:06 am
  • Reply Sandy Mangis

    What a wonderful story. My mother in law had my husband when she was 17. remarried three times, never went back to school, and became a hair dresser. I never really understood every thing she must have gone through. Thank you for sharing this for us to read.

    30/03/2016 at 6:49 pm
    • Reply Ma Belle Vie

      Thank you for taking the time to read. Its alot to go through

      01/04/2016 at 10:07 am
  • Reply Rachel G

    Thanks for sharing your story! It sounds like your mom especially was a great support system at that time, and your daughter is blessed to have a mom like you and a grandma like your own mom! My husband’s mom was almost 16 when he was born. I know that it wasn’t easy for her, either, in the beginning, but I’m proud of his parents for raising such an awesome son, and he has a great relationship with his mom and dad–it just started younger than most!

    30/03/2016 at 8:05 pm
    • Reply Ma Belle Vie

      Thank you for reading! My mom was an enormous help for me. its not easy but it made me strong

      01/04/2016 at 9:55 am
  • Reply Alexandria

    I really connected with this post. I, too, have a blended family, and my husband and son are like peas in a pod. It was a rough start, but I wouldn’t change a thing about my life today.

    30/03/2016 at 11:43 pm
    • Reply Ma Belle Vie

      Yes a blended family, which i will post about soon is hard, its still hard sometimes, now that she is older

      01/04/2016 at 9:55 am
  • Reply Kimberley McClintock

    Thank you for sharing. Although it was hard, it is awesome to see how you got through it and are now thriving on the other side of trials.

    31/03/2016 at 2:47 am
    • Reply Ma Belle Vie

      Thank you for reading it means alot!

      01/04/2016 at 9:56 am
  • Reply tp keaen

    I’m a mother of two boys and even with a husband and a house and everything else that goes along with it, i still found it so hard. Kudos to you for doing it without dad and finding that strength.

    31/03/2016 at 10:15 am
    • Reply Ma Belle Vie

      It is hard and even when you have support there are still rough times that you go through thanks for reading.

      01/04/2016 at 9:57 am
  • Reply Lily @

    What a beautiful post, thank you for sharing your teen mom experience. I am sure it was hard and such a struggle at the time but you did a wonderful job raising your daughter and I am happy that you also went back to complete high school and focused on furthering yourself. Well done!

    31/03/2016 at 11:06 am
    • Reply Ma Belle Vie

      Thank you for reading and thank you for your positive words

      01/04/2016 at 9:57 am
  • Reply thewordhermit

    Thanks for sharing your story. An amazing struggle that made you a better person. I give you much credit for sharing this with the world. Your family sounds beautiful.

    31/03/2016 at 11:24 am
    • Reply Ma Belle Vie

      Thank you my family is beautiful! and the struggle made me who I am!

      01/04/2016 at 9:57 am
  • Reply Anamika Ojha

    I feel sorry for your struggles which you had faced in your teens. It’s a very brave decision to be a mom when you’re in your teens. You have crafted your story so beautifully in this post and I liked the way you are teaching your kids the importance of education. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    31/03/2016 at 1:57 pm
  • Reply Adina M

    Great post. Inspiring story of strength, love and perseverance. I am sure all of your 3 children are such a blessing.

    31/03/2016 at 3:40 pm
    • Reply Ma Belle Vie

      My kids are a blessing and so was this experience! Thanks for reading

      01/04/2016 at 9:58 am
  • Reply Classy On The Run

    Thanks for sharing your story!

    31/03/2016 at 4:15 pm
  • Reply Tescha

    Such a beautiful and inspiring story. You’re brave and your struggle made you stronger and confident. This is such a positive story to teenage girls and single parents

    31/03/2016 at 4:23 pm
  • Reply Kerry O'Byrne

    Very inspiring post! People are quick to comment when they don’t know the struggles others go through. Your very admirable, your children have a fab mum 🙂

    31/03/2016 at 5:40 pm
    • Reply Ma Belle Vie

      No one knows the struggle! Thanks for your kind words

      01/04/2016 at 9:59 am
  • Reply Laura Hartley (@WhatsHotBlog)

    What an inspirational story! Sounds like you handled the situation quite well and made some good decisions – not all teen mums can say that!

    31/03/2016 at 6:44 pm
    • Reply Ma Belle Vie

      Thank you I think I did okay for what I was faced with, Thanks for reading

      01/04/2016 at 10:01 am
  • Reply kenia

    Your story was truly touching, I wholeheartedly admire your strength <3

    31/03/2016 at 8:50 pm
    • Reply Ma Belle Vie

      Thank you! that means alot

      01/04/2016 at 10:01 am
  • Reply GiGi Eats Celebrities

    I give you a TON of credit for being a teen mother. There are so manny stresses in life on a constant basis and things ALWAYS seem 10x worse when you’re younger! SO I commend you!

    31/03/2016 at 10:33 pm
    • Reply Ma Belle Vie

      Thank you! it was hard but as I grew I learned as well which was important

      01/04/2016 at 10:04 am
  • Reply Emmmmerz

    Way to go, owning our choices gives us power. ❤
    I am the first of several generations in my family *NOT* to have a teen pregnancy.
    Parenting is still tough even as an adult.

    31/03/2016 at 11:12 pm
    • Reply Ma Belle Vie

      it sure is tough! but I wouldn’t trade it! kudos to you for being the first in your family!

      01/04/2016 at 10:04 am
  • Reply mutange12

    Quite a moving story. It starts with acceptance that you made a mistake somewhere.

    01/04/2016 at 2:46 am
  • Reply Charlotte

    I am so incredibly inspired by your story–I can’t even begin to imagine the struggles you must have faced so early on but I’m glad you had the support of your mother <3

    I'm with Shann–you have created a wonderful life for KJ and you are a wonderful, amazing mommy. XOXO

    01/04/2016 at 2:58 pm
  • Reply Ana Fernandez

    Thnks for sharing this! It might be difficult to open your heart this way but hopefully many teens will learn from you

    01/04/2016 at 10:32 pm
  • Reply Laura x Loves

    I love your story! Could relate to so much of it!! (Teen mum too, pregnant at 17yrs- bubs born at 18yrs).. Its so hard at times right! Parenting in general has got to be the hardest job in the world – no matter what age you are… but also the most rewarding 🙂 Loved reading about where you’ve come from, what you went through and where you are now 🙂 Great job Mama! Lots of love xxx

    02/04/2016 at 9:33 am
  • Reply Courtney Connolly

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! You have such an incredible gift to give to others in that position! You are an incredible mother!

    02/04/2016 at 7:18 pm
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