Your Stories

My life as a teenage mum

Read the story of Solange, how she refused to stay in an abusive relationship, caring for a child with special needs and getting through full time education.

21, an undergrad student at University working through the nights to get my work done, sleeping through lectures, drinking gallons of coffee to keep me awake throughout the day and stress levels running high as I receive, yet again, another project. The cycle starts all over again- but it doesn’t end.

I picked up my 4-year-old daughter from school, she refuses to eat her dinner, even though I spent two hours cooking this meal, chasing her around the house as I try to put her to bed and repeatedly asking me to read that same story book. Cleaning around the house, getting her school uniform ready for the next day and then finally, switching on my laptop, hoping to get some work done. Till I lay my head on the sofa, convincing myself that I’ll start on my work once I’ve rested a bit.  But I don’t wake up till 12pm and my daughter just woken up saying she’s had a bad dream. Sigh!!

I never knew having a child would change my life- But it did- dramatically. I had my daughter when I was 16. The year I found out I was pregnant with her, at 15, was the best but scariest moment in my life.

It changed so fast- I was no more the care-free teen I once was. I had to grow up very quickly and my only worry at that moment was this growing baby inside of me.

Since 15-17, I had already completed my GCSE’s, just finished my A-Levels and was on my way to start Uni at the age of 18. Educational wise, I was on track, since having my daughter, I’ve never taken a break from education- with the support from my family. Luckily, I also had good friends who stood by me when I was pregnant and after I had her. So I had a really good support network.

Though, the relationship between my daughter’s dad and I was dissolving rapidly fast. The “family unit” fairy tale that I hoped we would have wasn’t going to be. He was in and out of prison.  Domestic violence was going on since I had our daughter, the fights, the arguments it was hard, very hard.

It came to a point that I had to make a choice, I chose to bring my daughter in this world and I wasn’t going to let her be brought up in an environment when there’s domestic violence going on.  So I let go of that relationship. The dad currently has supervised contact with his daughter.

The most difficult aspect of my life, since having my daughter, was at the age of 19 when I found out my daughter wasn’t developing as well as other kids her age, and was classifies as being special needs and later being diagnosed with a learning disability.

I found that very hard to deal with. Not only was I a single, very young parent who recently just came out of a domestic violence relationship I had also found out my child will struggle potentially for the rest of her life, because of what she has. This was very hard to deal with as well. I was no longer just a young/teen mother, but I was young/teen mother who has a child with special needs. It was like a new part of a journey through my life that I’ve never experienced before.

I’m currently in the last year of my degree and hopefully in the next two years, I will apply for a Masters degree, in special education, so that I can become a special educational needs teacher. Looking back now at my life and the hard-ships I’ve been through, plus having my daughter, has shaped me as the woman-mother that I am today.

I cannot stress enough how being a young parent or a parent as a matter of fact, is stressful, and tiring. But having my daughter is also rewarding and precious.
Written by Solange from Ilford, Essex.

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