When people ask where you’re from, chances are there’s a very rehearsed and generic answer. What really matters though is the specific — it’s part of who you are.
For the record,
In the picture above I was 18 on the left and right, now I am 19. Not 15.
I was not raped.
The dress was stretchy, that’s how it fit before and after.
I took the picture on the left in April 2013 and the picture on the right May 2013.
I graduated long before I got pregnant. Having a baby doesn’t mean my education won’t go on.
I never got pregnant to be “cute”. Since when is that even a thing?
I never posted the picture for likes and attention. It was a selfie for friends and family. Someone took it from my page, used it on their page, and lied about my age.
No, it isn’t my mother in the picture. How would my mother have had an Android? That makes no sense.
For a job, I have never had a problem finding one. I have gotten every job I have interviewed for. And I get job offers often.
What worries me most is how much hate is shown because people think I was 15. I am not encouraging teens to go have sex and get pregnant. I am encouraging teens who are already pregnant to keep the baby, and take on the responsibility. Age does not define a good mother.
People comment that I won’t be a good mother because I am young and I wonder…what if I had been 30, a crack head, no job, no education, and married, but not to the father. Would that have been better? Would that be all okay since hypothetically I’m 30? But no, I am 19. I do not do drugs. I have en education and I am getting it even further. And, I am the best mother I can be to my beautiful daughter.
People say I should have lived my life and traveled and enjoyed being young. But for the month that I was eighteen, that I wasn’t pregnant, all I did was work. I have never been a party girl, or a drinker, or someone who does drugs every day of their life. I have always been a very solitary, kept to myself person. So if I didn’t have a baby, I’d probably just be working. I have never wanted to travel anyway. I was and still am too paranoid and neurotic for that. It never interested me. I lived my life plenty, and now I live and enjoy it with the most precious angel by my side.
I don’t feel I made a mistake, ruined my life or that I should have gotten an abortion. This little angel next to me, she is definitely not a mistake, that’s who made me who I am. And I LOVE the person I am, thanks to her.
Mentally and physically, it did no harm. I am NOT scarred from having a child young, and my body is NOT damaged from giving birth. I was out and about right after I got out of the hospital.
Let me clarify that just because I took a picture of me alone does not make me selfish or neglectful to my child. That’s a stretch. It was a picture for FRIENDS and FAMILY to see how I was doing. Since all I had done since getting out of the hospital was post about Minerva and Alex. There is nothing wrong with me taking a picture by myself. It is possible to take pictures without your significant other or your child, without being full of yourself, or without them being irrelevant.
Keep in mind both my daughter’s father and I took and take full responsibility for the life WE created. That being said, the comments on how my baby would just end up being raised by her grandparents so I can have social life or because I’m not ready, is ridiculous. Social life? Ha! What social life? And who is ever really ready? Regardless of money or your age, you figure it out. You learn with your baby, and grow with your baby.
I take care of my daughter day and night. Being a mother is my full-time job. My daughter is the happiest, healthiest 9 month old. She has everything she needs and more. And guess what? I’M A TEEN. So please, tell me more on how I can’t possibly raise my child.
I shouldn’t have to defend myself, I did nothing wrong, but I am trying to make people open there minds a bit.
I support teen parents, not only because I am one, but because all families need support. Especially young families, who have a stigma attached to them.
My age does not make me less of a woman, and it sure as Hell does not make me less of a mother. I am not a statistic, I am a mom, and I am PROUD.
Facebook: facebook.com/tiffanyashleydelatorre Instagram: @tiffanyashleydelatorre