DIARY OF A TEEN MOM
Interview with ANGELA HAMBERGER, 21
My name is Angela, I have a 2 year old son named Aiden. I got pregnant when I was 19. When I found out I was pregnant, my mom gave me the silent treatment for a week, and my boyfriend (the baby daddy) and I were not allowed to see each other. It was rough being a single mother at first. The first month was a rocky start and later on I was kicked out of my house due to arguments from my mother about my parenting. I was later diagnosed for depression from all the frustration and stress I was put under. During the 2 years, I have moved 4 times and still have yet to find a stable home. Being a single mother is one of the most challenging things I have had to do. My son is happy and healthy but at 21 and 2 years later, I am constantly learning. A mother's job is never done.
Did it ever occur to you that you might become pregnant as a teen?
Definitely not. I was the "good girl" in my group of friends. It was crazy because my boyfriend was the only guy I had ever had sex with. All of my friends had kids, but I never expected it could happen to me. Not the "good girl".
How did your friends and family react when they found out about your pregnancy?
My mother gave me the silent treatment, I have never heard my dad curse so much in one sentence, and my friends just couldn't believe what they were hearing.
How is teen parenthood different than you thought it would be?
You see girls cooing over their kids and other people making such a fuss over how cute the babies are which is true. What people don't see is behind closed doors, which is the toughest. That's where the emotional and physical things kick in.
How has your life changed since your pregnancy?
I had to grow up REALLY fast. I have to act years beyond my age and now I have another life to take care of. It's not all about me anymore.
What do you wish you knew before you got pregnant?
I wish I knew the trials of being a parent: the stress, not knowing what to do when your baby is sick, etc.
Why do you want to share your story with other teens?
It's important for them to realize that it's not all about dressing up and play dates. It's everything in between.
Do you think the way teen pregnancy is presented in pop culture is positive or negative (i.e. MTV Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant)?
The reality shows don't show what's going on when the camera isn't rolling. Having a baby has its positives but there are a lot of negatives too. To all the teens out there: do your research and learn from the ones that have been through it.