People Born To Teen Moms Explain How Their Life Is Different Than Other Folks

Teen mom with baby
Photo by Kyle Nieber on Unsplash

When people hear the term "teen mom," there are typically negative connotations that come to mind.

But in the Reddit community, all kinds of experiences have been had involving teen moms, both positive and negative.


Redditor eggyboi422 asked:

"Kids born to teen moms, how different is your life compared to other kids?"

A Couple of Teenagers

"I’m an early 2000s baby, and my mom really liked emo music when I was little, so I considered myself 'emo' at age six."

"I remember sitting in the backseat of my mom’s 4Runner and listening to Mindless Self Indulgence, MCR, Blink-182, American Football, Fall Out Boy, Taking Back Sunday, and all the late 90s-early 2000s emo music"

" I got to watch a lot of 90s cartoons along with 2000s stuff because it was what my mom watched, and we always had fun sitting on the couch watching TV."

"I had a really good childhood, my and my mom were always friends, she is a great mom, and I always look up to her for being a bada** young single mom who raised me alone."

- StarrAtlasAI

Experience Gifts

"My mom was 16 and my dad 19 when they had me. They took me to a lot of concerts and music festivals growing up."

"Starting around age nine, their go-to birthday present for me was concerts. The first couple of years it was stuff they liked. After I started developing my own tween/teen tastes, they'd give me three tickets so I could take a friend and my uncle as a chaperone."

- jinantonyx

Bonding at the Club

"I worked with a mother and daughter who were only 16ish years apart. They used to go clubbing together. I always thought that was kinda nice."

"And the daughter’s name was Stacy, so we always used to sing ‘Stacy's mom has got it going on.’ They were still enough of a daughter/mother relationship for that to wind Stacy up!"

- TannedCroissant

Money Troubles

"My mom and I are really close. She had me at 14."

"Growing up, I noticed a lot of my friends didn't get along with their moms. I always thought she was really relatable. We go eat, go shopping, get coffee, gossip, and just hang out."

"She worked a lot, sometimes multiple jobs at once, so I felt like I did fewer extracurriculars than my friends. But I was pretty happy growing up."

"She is always concerned with money. I'm starting to notice that she's not very good at saving money or planning retirement and whatnot."

"I once asked a family friend, 'Now that us kids are grown, how are my parents still living paycheck to paycheck?'"

"She explained that, in her opinion, my mom basically skipped learning how to take care of herself as an adult. Instead of learning how to effectively adult, she focused on taking care of her kids."

"I will forever be grateful for my mom and the hard work and sacrifices she endured to raise me and my siblings."

- i_prefer_naps

One-Sided Love

"Mom was 15 when she had me. Honestly, my life sucked. She used to say that she could have given me up for adoption and then decided not to because she realized that I would love her unconditionally, no matter what."

"Our relationship progressed pretty negatively because of that mindset of hers. Every negative thing I did was against what she thought motherhood would be like. I was something she could pick up and put down and leave behind at her leisure."

"There were a number of times she’d drop me off at a family member’s house and disappear. Once, I came home from kindergarten and no one was there (dad was in prison). The next morning, my uncle showed up. He had heard my mom left and had a gut feeling he needed to go to my house."

"There was no food and the heat had been turned off by the utility company. I don’t remember much about that time other than the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the demolition man movie."

"She had pretty bad trauma and never processed it properly, so when she got angry due to a trauma reminder, she got really angry."

"When she was good, boy, she was golden. She could be the most fun person you could ask for, but she wasn’t a mother. She never held and comforted, but she expected hugs and comfort. She was a kid and thought with a kid brain. When we had some spare change, she’d walk me to the ice cream place and she’d buy herself an ice cream and we’d go back home."

"As I got older, our already weird relationship became weirder. She told me she didn’t want people to know she was my mom and I could introduce her as my sister. She would tell people that she had three children (my siblings) and not claim me because people would do the math. She wanted to be friends with my friends. She wanted to hang around when they were there."

"What I know about having a teenage mom is this: I loved her with the kind of fanatical worship that messed me up for a long time. She could be funny and cruel at the same time. When she gave you attention, your world would be brighter, but when she was mad at you, the world would be dark."

"She never grew out of her teenage mindset, and I had to come to grips with that."

"I can’t say that every teenage mom is like mine, but mine was rough."

- loxley3993

Irresponsible Roommate

"My parents got married when they found out my mom was pregnant at 16 (she had me her senior year at 17), and both still managed to work their way through college with me in tow."

"It was honestly pretty annoying. They liked to party a lot with their friends, which got annoying quickly having a bunch of 30-somethings getting drunk and listening to loud music when I had to be up early."

"My mom enjoyed the attention of being mistaken for my sister, but it felt gross because she was the 'hot mom' to all my guy friends growing up and I never heard the end of it."

"My dad wasn’t really interested in doing 'dad' things until they had my sister in their mid-twenties."

"I found out a year ago thanks to 23andMe that my dad’s not my biological father. Apparently, my mom slept around a lot in high school. I found my bio dad, which uncovered a huge conspiracy of lies and bats**t insanity that honestly deserves its own post. Teenagers are f**king stupid."

- writingaboutrain

Poor Care

My partner and I (gay couple) raised his niece's son from age six months to 18 years."

"She was so immature when she had him at 16. She decided to feed him less so he would not use up so many diapers. Bad move."

"He calls us Dad and Poppa, and he calls his mom Kathy. He is now 26. We love him dearly."

- carlodealo

World Lessons

"I was born to a teen mom and a single one at that. I definitely had a lot more freedom and less supervision as a child since both of her parents (my grandparents obviously) passed away soon after I was born, so there weren't many options for babysitters."

"Since she worked two jobs I would often be on my own after school until about 8 o'clock or 9 o'clock at night, sometimes later."

"She definitely struggled to hold down jobs due to not having an education and the overall grind would eventually get to her. At one point she was walking 11 miles a day to and from work because we didn't have a vehicle. Eventually, we lost our home and we remained in and out of shelters until I was about 12."

"I learned ALOT about the world in those days. At the time I hated it and was jealous of other kids having normal lives. Now that I'm older, I wouldn't trade it for the world. It gave me every bit of motivation I have, it gave me better social skills (gotta learn to make friends quickly when you move frequently), and most importantly it taught me to be humble and never view less fortunate people as beneath me."

"She was diagnosed with cancer when I was 13 and died when I was 15 which sucks because in my opinion, I grew up to be a good person and a good father. I would love to have her around to see it."

- KushKapn1991

Fewer Opportunities

"I’ve noticed that I didn’t have the same opportunities as other kids because being a teen mom can lead you down a road of struggle and poverty if you don’t have help from family."

"I’ve always wanted to play sports, but she could never afford the equipment needed at school to be a part of it. Mentally, I had to mature faster at a young age because she was still a kid herself. It’s unnerving to think teachers would tell me I seemed older than my age at ten years old."

- Ainika

The Free Teen

"My mother resented me and the freedom I had as a teen and young adult. I got to do and experience so many things she didn't get to, by choice."

"On her side, I come from a long line of teen moms, but I didn't make that mistake. I was 27 when my daughter was born. And my daughter is almost 22 with no kids yet, so the cycle is broken on our branch at least."

- lisasimpsonfan

Priorities

"My mom thought I spent too much of my late teens and early twenties at home with my boyfriend (now husband over ten years later) instead of going out drinking and clubbing every weekend like young people are 'supposed' to do."

- bryonia_alba

Guilt Trip

"When I started to look at colleges, my mom would snidely say, 'I would have gone to college if I didn't have you.'"

"It f**ked me up pretty badly. I lost all excitement to graduate and move into the next phase of my life."

- booboocanoeshoe

Standing in the Way

"I'm the first in my family to go to college, and I’m finishing my Ph.D. One time while visiting home, my mom went off on me that I think I’m better than everyone there and act uppity."

"It’s really stuck with me, and I’m not entirely comfortable at home or in academia where I feel like a complete outsider."

- quenual

Personal Growth

"Parents still trying to grow up and learn life lessons ten years later because they never really had the chance to while raising you, it’s kinda cool though because then If you’re aware enough, you also pick up on it."

"This happened with my dad too. He was in his twenties for me and my first brother and wasn't ready, but then my youngest brother came 14 years later and I always felt like my dad 'made up' for how he was with us by having a fantastic relationship with the youngest. I don't resent him for it, I get it."

- Leela_bring_fire

Breaking the Cycle

"My fiancé is a child born of a teen mom and she herself was a teen mom. She told me stories of her mom being abusive and tormenting her. A true narcissist."

"She, in turn, parents with tough love, but there’s no tormenting, just keeping a high level of accountability on her daughter. She doesn’t want her to go through what she went through raising a kid as a teen and wants the best for her daughter without resentment."

"My fiancé’s daughter is almost 18 and in college and not wanting kids ANY time soon. Fiancé also went from nothing to nurse graduating summa cum laude, shattering the 'teen mom' stigma people have on teen moms."

- jchetra83

While there are many ideas and stereotypes for what it means for a young woman to become a teen mom, it's clear from the subReddit that these experiences are much more mixed. Some are as negative as society might expect, but others are genuinely worthy of being praised.

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