I’m a 19-year-old pregnant college student. Something keeps telling me to keep this child. The only problem is I work minimum wage and I’ve been threatened to get kicked out of the house if I have it. I honestly don’t have the means to take care of a baby and I’m freaking out because I don’t know what to do. I would also need to relocate closer to my boyfriend’s college in order for him to help me with the babysitting situation. He graduates college in one year and I’m currently a freshman in college. What should I do?
First let me say that we have to learn to trust our instincts, our inner voice, and follow what feels right. Despite the opposition you think or know you will face, you have to do what is right for you so listen to your heart. Second, I have been where you are and have overcome a teenage pregnancy. I found myself in a similar situation when I was a junior in high school. I went to the doctor and found out that I was already 16 weeks pregnant! I was a straight-A student and had dreams of going to college. I had no idea how I was going to follow my dreams, be a good parent, and make enough money to take care of a child. I too was told that I would get kicked out of the house if I bought home a baby. I was fearful and afraid of “what could happen.” Then something happened within me and I started figuring out how to make it despite the fact that I was having a baby. I refused to become a teenage pregnancy statistic! I was able to graduate top of my class, go to college, and even took my daughter with me. Was it easy, NO, but it was doable. Did I get kicked out of the house, NO, that was fear coming from my mother that I would make the same mistakes she did and get pregnant at a young age. She thought that by threatening me, that would keep me from making the same mistake. After I told my mother, she left the house and went for a drive. Then she came back and said “so I guess I’m gonna be a grandma.” And from that moment on she was my biggest supporter. To this day she and my oldest daughter have such a special relationship.
I am sharing all of this to say that you CAN do anything that you set your mind to. This may sound like a cliché, but it is the truth! Set some goals, develop a plan and start making moves (taking action)! Will you have everything figured out? Will things always go as planned? The answer to both of these is NO, but preparation, optimism, and intention go a long way in creating the situation you want in life. Though we make mistakes, these mistakes can turn into lessons and beautiful blessings. We often never experience the worse-case scenarios created in our minds.
Now is the time to lean on your support system. Don’t shut everyone out and try to do everything on your own. Talk with your boyfriend and even talk with your family to help you figure out your options. And if you decide that it is not the right time or that you are not ready to raise a child, there are certainly loving people and couples in the world who are ready. Don’t be afraid to explore all of your options. And don’t be afraid to share your true feelings and the fact that you are feeling scared and unsure. Acknowledge all of your feelings and do your best to make the best decision. Then stand firm and confident that you made the right decision for you and your child.
Tamara Hartley is Your Advice Guru and the author of Stop Wasting Your Time Blaming Others for Your Life, REAL Advice from REAL Experience: Advice, Tips and Strategies for Your Life Relationships, and Career and the Been There Done That Wrote a Book About It! book series. She uses her personal life experiences and lessons learned to give others a different perspective and help them make critical decisions in their life, relationships and careers. Read advice archives at www.YourAdviceGuru.com. Email questions to advice@YourAdviceGuru.com or on Twitter @DrTamaraHartley using the hashtag #AskTamara.
Tamara is also a personal success and “How-To” coach and helps individuals figure out the “how” so that they can make their dreams a reality. Learn more about her coaching programs at www.YourPersonalSuccessCoach.com.