DIARY OF A TEEN MOM
Interview with EMILY FORMBY, 20
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I had my son Graecyn in December of 2012, about three months after my 18th birthday. Graceyn, now two and a half, is my world and he always will be. I’m now married and we live in Georgia. I’m a stay at home mom and have an online job to help bring in more money.
Did it ever occur to you that you might become pregnant as a teen?
No. I was always saying I was going to wait until I was married to have sex. Even when I had sex I never thought I would get pregnant. I was very shocked.
How did your friends and family react when they found out about your pregnancy?
Everyone was shocked that I got pregnant because no one thought that I would be having sex. As shocked as they were, they were also supportive and helpful. My dad, on the other hand, hinted at me being a slut and disowned me. He hasn't seen me in about two and a half years and has never met Graecyn.
How is teen parenthood different than you thought it would be?
It's hard, stressful, and draining, both mentally and physically. You no longer have time for things like you used to. It's hard to date when you have a baby. You have no more privacy and you have to learn to multitask. I thought that as Graecyn got older, it would get a lot easier, but it's getting harder.
How has your life changed since your pregnancy?
It's no longer about me and my needs and wants. It's all about what Graecyn needs and wants. I can't stay up late anymore because I can't sleep in anymore. I can't go off with my friends like I used to. I can no longer do the things I did before I got pregnant with my son. I had to grow up at 17 years old. It's hard to have alone time with my husband. If I want to go out, I have to find a babysitter. If I can't find one, I can't go out, even if I really want to. My life is filled with drama because of my son’s dad, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
What do you wish you knew before you got pregnant?
I wish I knew that Graecyn’s dad and I weren't going to always be together, and that he would constantly try to cause stress, anxiety, and drama in my life.
Why do you want to share your story with other teens?
I see a lot of teens pregnant, or going down the path to pregnancy, and even the ones you would never think would get pregnant (like me) still can (I did). I don't want that for them! They're young and their life hasn't even really begun. They need to learn who they are and grow up slowly in their own time. I can't stress how much I wish I had done things differently, but I didn't, and I'm making the best out of the situation. I love my son more than anything in this world and nothing will ever change that, but that doesn't mean I don't wish I had waited to become a parent.
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)?
I see positives and negatives. The positive is that viewers can see the struggles of being a teen parent. The negative is that some teens may want to get pregnant so they can be like the girls on MTV, or be on TV themselves.