Category Archives: Loving Your Child

Missing The Father of My Child As A Teen Mom

It was the winter of 1995. I was 15 years old and due to have my first baby that summer. Terrified to my core, I knew I had no real relationship with the man who had got me pregnant. I was facing the total upheaval of my life without a partner or even a responsible party. I was deeply ashamed. Everyone seem to be involved in my personal life and the drastic situation I found myself in. As the truth came out about my pregnancy, so the relentless questions followed. Mostly, all had one primary concern:

“Who is the father?”

It was known to most that I wasn’t involved with anyone. It was known to me that the last few months had consisted of a some scattered interactions with men that could basically be summed up in the term One Night Stand. I was enjoying many aspects of being in high school, but finding a serious relationship among my peers, in a town that I was not from, didn’t work out for me. Similar was the occasion when I met the father of my first child. We hit it off right away, but it wasn’t a relationship I was able to mentally maintain. He was a young man juggling college and fraternities. Our worlds were separated. He called for months after our meeting, I never returned one call.

My life from that time went on, slowly but surely. I adjusted. My mom and I moved back to our hometown area only weeks after finding out I was expecting. Just like that, I had a clean start. My mother handled much of our care. She was the real backbone for my son and I those first few years. While I am grateful, I still struggled. I knew I didn’t have what most couples did when they fell in love, got married and started a family; I didn’t expect that. I just desperately wanted the father of my child in our lives, regardless of where that would lead for me romantically. The birth of my son made everything new in a way that went beyond dating and being in love, I was now part of a family. It was a family that felt so very incomplete without the support of a co-parent. Many times over the next decade of my life I wondered and thought about this missing man. After things settled I considered trying to find him, but it was too late. I knew too little about him and we no longer had mutual relationships. I stressed, I suffered, I wept – but I did all alone. I felt as though it was a load to heavy to bear. I hadn’t gotten pregnant by myself, so why was I solely responsible for my son’s needs? I got my first job at sixteen, graduated on time from high school and then college. We moved out of my parents home when I was 18 and my child was 2. We seemed to be coping, but there was always a hole, especially for my son.

The toughest part about being a teen mom was facing those questions. This was never more clearly covering over all my undertakings then on the days that those questions were asked by my child. To be alive and not know who you come from is an isolating pain that I can only imagine. I saw how my son longed to know his dad. My answers to his inquiries were too brief and empty. I could not explain to the heart of this little boy why every else had a dad, but he did not. I could only offer him my faith in God. I could only answer with utter certainty that I knew everything would work out for the best in the end. That God had intended for me to be his mother and we could trust Him for our future. My son is grown now, and I have never once regretted my choice to give him life. I do know now from experience that the role of a father in a child’s life is invaluable and cannot simply be replaced or over looked. No matter how little the involvement, we must instill in our youth the immeasurable value each of us play as responsible adults and parents. We are needed.  It’s time to rethink manhood and what that means coming of age in America. We need to place a higher value on the stability of the family and the integrity of a gentlemen. Sexual liberation in our day in age is costing us something: The emotional wholeness of our children and subsequently the moral stability of our nation. Fatherhood is that profound! With communication and unity we can make that difference.

Author Bio

 My name is Jennifer Hoge. I am a woman of God, the wife of a fearless American and a homeschooling mom to seven. I blog to encourage teen moms and change the negative statistics surrounding teen parenthood. I self publish to fund my adventures, 3rd book due out summer 2016. #Amazon

Working Moms vs Stay-at-home Moms

This is the battle, who is right and who is better? There is a range of emotion that follows this topic and it is no wonder why. Is there a more tender place in the heart of a woman then that space reserved for her own baby? I’ve known some pretty selfish people in my life and even they were moved to tears at the first time of having to leave their baby behind to return to work. I have had the privilege of living both situations, and because this is such an unrelenting topic, I would really like to address it for young mothers. Most young mothers are single moms because we know that 76% of teen pregnancy is unplanned. Since these teen moms are not married, a lot of the time they carry the financial burden of their child alone. It was like this for me. The father of my son was never involved, even during the pregnancy. I did have my parent’s support, but I felt obligated right away to earn some kind of money for myself and my son. I got a retail job at sixteen when my 1st was only a few months old. I went back to high school full-time 5 weeks after giving birth and on top of that I was working a part-time job at the mall. I woke up at 6 am 5 days a week and my son went with me to school. The majority of people have enough sense to agree that at this stage of my mothering experience, it was no good for me to be a stay- at-home mom. I never read the negative stats on teen moms, but I knew it would only make things worse on my son for his mother to be a drop out. NO WAY was I taking that crap from a society that had already betrayed me. I stayed in school and I kept working. My son was in daycare, a lot. I had my parents to help out with childcare in the evenings and weekends, but they both worked full-time and had lives of their own. It didn’t last long, they became fed up and insisted my son and I move out. There I was, 18, single, with a 2-year-old. Not too many would be confused why I was a working mother for those early years. Like many, I had no choice.

I did go on with my education and graduate college in five years. I worked as a waitress for consistent cash in my pocket and lived off of loans to get by with my books and bills. I got a good job right after graduating and within two years I was married and ready to focus on starting my family. Finally, I would get to be a stay-at-home mom! That is what I did and I dived into it with all my being! Those first years of getting pregnant with my next few children were precious, but there was a new element of hard, no money. No money of my own that is. I was to be submissive and embrace humility and service, all with a willing heart. I began to take on this attitude of feeling bad that I hadn’t been home with my oldest as a teen mom. Maybe, I thought, I was wrong to stay in school and focus on my education at the cost of those invaluable years with him? This was an emotional time filled with many unanswered questions about the role of mothers in modern society. I remember reading Titus chapter 2 for the first time and being enraged. THIS had never been taught to me as a young female. Today, when I question so-called experts in the church on woman’s issues, not one will answer me, all run for cover (cowards). Read it for yourself:

Titus 2:3-5 KJV

The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Throughout bible, blaspheming the Word of God is only mentioned this one time. That if Christian women are not discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, the word of God can be blasphemed.

What!?

Why don’t they talk about this in church? I mean, seems like some strong words being used here and NO ONE, not one person in the church or in my family or community can explain this to me? Why? What does this mean?

This verse became the spark of an unquenchable fire. The emotions of money and babies and my own mother leaving me at daycare to pursue her financial stability were all-consuming. What would I do with my life? Like most mothers that are madly in love with their babies and husband, I really wanted to get this right. I read the verses over and over. I looked into the past. In my grandmother’s day most women lived the Titus 2 life. I studied feminism and I thought I had found my answer. Angry bitter women must have been to blame. It was them that stole the housewives of America and pushed women to abandon their God ordained position! Now I was angry. Angry for being lied to by my teachers who had brainwashed my mind from my earliest of memories,

What are you going to be when you grow up?” and “A woman can do ANY job a man can do.”

Their voices stern with authority standing over my 5-year-old mind. Career day was serious and expectations were laid out.  “Keeper at home” was never an option for myself or the millions of other girls in my time. Had I ever said stay-at-home mom for what I wanted to be, that would have been unacceptable and I knew it.

So there I was. Privileged with the ability to not serve another master apart for my lord and husband. Safe, blooming in motherhood, and confused as can be. After all I did complete my education. I had been conditioned my whole life to compete with my male peers as an equal, but now in my christian married life the rules were much different. My life completely changed. I had baby after baby. I shopped the clearance racks and clipped coupons. I gave up so much of the life I had been used to and I did it willingly. I was reduced to it and it was not easy to transition out of who I was made to be, but I did it because I believed in it. I took the scorning looks and words from family and friends. I took the sleepless nights and the never getting a break. The more babies I had the worse the criticism and isolation became. Now the mom support I use to receive turned into bitter jealousy from peers. My family, friends, community and society, all looked down on me and the respect I once held as an educated working woman just disappeared. I was now not myself. I was defined by my choice, Stay-At-Home Mom. Not worthy of a break or a friend or help. People I needed just mocked my choice to have children and they wanted me to pay. Eventually it was too much and I wanted out.  Now you can think I am exaggerating, but walk a mile in my shoes. Go through 8 pregnancies & care for babies with no income (earned for your labor) for over ten years and then we will talk.

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I can only relate what my experience has been and while I will never regret staying home to invest in my husband and children, I can also tell you trying to raise a family in poverty is a nightmare. With the recession our country has recently faced, making enough money is a challenge for most Americans. The best part of my struggle is my journey has eliminated my anger and hate towards other moms. I no longer blame feminism or my government education and brainwashing that molded my “I can do any job a man can do” core programming.

I have made peace with who I am.

I currently work from home as a writer. I  juggle the childcare and homeschooling with my husband. We are making plans to hire help to come into our home so I can work more hours and make more money. My husband and I have battled it out and we are finding what works for us, to care for our large family. I do not want to think about what life would be had I dropped out all those years ago. I am so glad I followed my gut! Otherwise, I’d really be in trouble.

Titus chapter 2 is still my pillar. It is still that grounding I need to remind me the importance God places on the woman’s role in the home. Ultimately, my God and my man come first. My first place of concern has to be my husband and children. If that is not right, the money won’t create the full life I deserve. I have learned to trust my heart. I have learned that people are cruel and are not going to carry your responsibilities for you, even when you really need that support, so why listen to them? Everyone told me not to have more babies, EVERYONE. But guess what, my children love me more than anyone ever has. My children bless me non-stop! They have educated and enlightened my life and soul!

What’s right for you won’t be right for another mom, so what’s this war between us moms really about? Competition? Our own past hurts? Jealousy? Time to drop it ladies. Let’s just love our God and men and children like crazy. Let us just be so driven to love our own families. And if your eye happens to catch a glimpse of another mom’s life, and you feel that awkward cringe of judgment for be a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, smile inside and think of me! I give you permission to be you! #TEENMOMSUCCESS

 

May I Have A Word? Encouragement For New Moms

Motherhood. It is a word that can bring lots of images and thoughts to mind. It is a beautiful experience and one that softens a women in a way nothing else can. The cry of a baby, so tugs at the mother’s heart that she must respond. The beauty is so real and raw, the stress and sacrifice also as consuming to a new mother. As a Teen Mom I really lacked patience. I was pretty selfish still, totally normal for a sixteen year old girl who’s only previous responsibilities failed in comparison to caring for a newborn. I also lacked parenting skills in general. We all have instinct as moms, it is a great thing. But the question I have to address is more about influence than instinct, more to do with lies than truth.

Why Do We As Moms Become Harsh and Impatient With Our Children? What Causes Us to Lose our Loving Nature and Become Annoyed With the Responsibility and Demands of Motherhood?

Now I know I am going to have to explain my way through this, but bear with me, I have a valid case. I was a short-tempered, stressed out Teen Mom. It was a common place occurrence in my younger parenting years. I actually developed this insane idea. I had a son and his father was never involved. I told myself I had to be both a stern disciplinary and a mother. If I did not raise my son harshly as a man would, I thought in my young ways, I would be failing him as a boy/man. It makes me shake my head just thinking about it, but this was the reality of an inexperienced mind. I know from my own situation that I was uneducated on parenting stragegies and outcomes. Most of my ideas had come from other people’s opinions which were also ignorant.

A child should be seen and not heard

A child should listen the first time they are Instructed to complete a task

If a child misbehaves, they must be punished

A child should have manners

A child should not run or be a nuisance in public

Certain places, like restaurants and movie theaters, should ban children because they are unwanted by adults trying to relax

There arewp-1456254468885.jpg so many false mindsets in society. I know that rules and discipline are important, but let’s call this training. Training a child is a lifelong commitment. It takes lots of love and endurance to see it through to adulthood. Let’s replace these former ideas with some truth.

We were all children at one time

Children are pure and innocent, unaware and in need of guidance

Children are sponges, soaking up everything new in a beautiful world

Ages 0-5 are the most influential years of a human being’s life

Children thrive in loving environments where they are respected and educated

I am all for a world of sweet, well-mannered children. To have well-behaved children, someone has to invest in them. Someone has to provide the skill sets needed to walk in obedience and respect. Children must be shown the way to go, not simply told. This takes time and hard work, which brings me to my next question:

Where do our expectations for our own parenting experiences come from?

Are we all caught up in images? Is it the fairy tale dream? Happy family, all dressed in coordinating outfits, smiling and healthy? (I love those kind of pics, don’t get me wrong) Do we only see the fun, the bliss and not the hours of hard work needed to be invested in parenting?

I couldn’t really prepare for the amount of hard work I was facing because I had no prior experience. Becoming a teen mom was scary for me. I was dealing with an internal war, one of survival. It was hard to focus on being a good mother, especially a single mom. I was in the dark, grasping for what I could to do my best. Of course I wanted to be a good parent for my son. Does anyone give birth and want to do wrong by their child? Young moms try to embrace your time with your child. Always yield to love, whenever you can. Know that discipline is something you teach your children only through a commitment and passion to see them succeed. Ignore the cold glances and criticism that tell you to toughen up on your little ones. Ignore the sarcasm you hear from other moms that tell you to be impatient with your child’s neediness and how burdensome it is.

I have done some research over the past ten years and have made a point to ask older women I come into contact with in the community, “What is your best piece of advice for a younger mom like me?” Hands down it is always the same answer,

“Enjoy your time with your children, it goes by too fast.”

Never once has a kind old lady who came to coo at one of my babies over the years said, “Hire a babysitter more” or “make sure you discipline them with punishments” or “Make sure you get enough you time”. It just doesn’t happen. They have all encouraged me to embrace motherhood, to give it my all, to ENJOY IT! Stay in love, you were made for this role teen mom. #PleasingAbba