Monday, January 20, 2014

Life Lessons from a Macanista: The Real on Being a Teenage Mother

Congratulations! You're going to be a mommy! It sounds so exciting and sweet, doesn't it? Or maybe it doesn't when you're still in high school, or just started college, you either don't have a job or the one you have only pays for your weave, your club entrance fees and your bi-weekly outfit that's on sale at Rainbow. Now some of you may say ouch Tasha Mac, why are you going in like that with this blog? That's because it's time that someone broke down the real deal when it comes to being a teenage mother. Yes, babies are sweet, innocent, precious and they are gifts from God. I truly believe all that. However, babies aren't an ornament that you get to look at and admire, leave on the shelf and say I may buy it later. Babies are living, breathing, human beings that require a lot of financial resources, time and parents who are physically, mentally and emotionally stable to meet their needs 24 hours a day. If you haven't picked it up by now, I know a thing or two, or three when it comes to teenage pregnancy. I am a byproduct and a recipient of it. And if that doesn't convince you that I know something about it, my 19 year old daughter will be giving birth to her daughter any day now. I'm not writing this blog to air my dirty laundry, embarrass my daughter or look for sympathy. What's done is done. However, it's time out for sugar coating, and for girls believing that it can't happen to them and/or their boyfriends love them so well and will stick by their side when the bun starts rising in the oven. I'm not boy-bashing with this blog either. I want young ladies to be quick to open their eyes instead of their legs.

You're pregnant now. What is your plan? Yes, I said your plan. Please don't start off by thinking.... "we're going to get an apartment, I'm going to finish school and get a job." And my personal favorite, we're getting married after high school. It all sounds so laughable to me. Those words flew out of my mouth and so many others' mouths that I know. Like it's just that simple. Let me tell you what's really going to happen...

First of all you are going to be an EMOTIONAL WRECK. You are too young to fully comprehend and process what has happened. What you have allowed yourself to get into. Your mind will flip-flop and you will not make any sound decisions. Trust me I know. If you are with the guy, you will be more concerned about the effects this pregnancy will have on your so-called relationship than what effects it will have on your life, the unborn child or your family who will ultimately be the ones emotionally, mentally and most of all financially supporting you and your child. I know you have heard many success stories about teenage mothers who "made it." Those who "rose above the adversity" went on to earn four degrees, rescued orphans in Haiti, taught a village how to read and write and made pancake breakfasts for underprivileged children on the weekends. And believe me, I'm not discounting anyone's personal triumphs or achievements. The truth of the matter is, I've earned a college degree, have a great job and I'm working on my Master's degree. However, where is the in between in these stories. People talk about the glory without giving you the WHOLE story. No one talks about what all they went through before they got to the promised land of teenage parent after life. And let me give you some more harsh reality. The life of being a teenage mother has a lot of life-long, lingering emotional effects on the teen mother and her children. While you may one day be financially stable, emotional scars are a lot harder to hide and sometimes take even longer to heal.

Single mothers, especially teenage single mothers have to deal with disappointment from family members and often times themselves. And that load can be heavier to carry than the baby growing inside of them. Teenage mothers often don't have money. Especially during the pregnancy, so they constantly have to ask or hope someone has pity on them to give them something or buy them food to satisfy those pregnancy cravings. Meanwhile, oh yes, where is Mr. Loverman, the baby's daddy himself? One day he's with you, the next day he's wishing you would have had that abortion. Because he isn't ready for this life-altering reality. But you're thinking, he's a good guy, he comes from a good home, or he didn't have a father so he wouldn't do that to our child. Honey, if I had a nickel for every time I've heard it or even said it myself, I promise I wouldn't be ironing clothes for work tomorrow. I'd be telling my driver what time to pick me up to drop me off at my yacht. The hard truth is, he isn't carrying the kid, he will not be there for the every two hour feedings, he will not make the decision between shoes for the baby or buying toothpaste for the house. And what about the strain this will have on your family. Even if your family can financially support you and the baby with ease, their life is altered as well. All of a sudden a baby is coming into the home. You have to get to your doctor's appointments, you need care and support. And they are your family so no matter how they feel about what you've done they will be there. But is that fair? No, but we all know life isn't fair. Families do what they must to take care of their own. But trust me, you won't feel good about it. You know you need them and what you've done has not only affected you but them also.

What should you do? PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE. I know young people are going to have sex. I wish everyone would wait until they are married and able. However, I would be stupid and foolish to tell you to practice abstinence and be done with it. You won't have to worry about pregnancy or diseases if you just don't do it. Let's be real here. Your hormones are all over the place and the more your parents and pastors tell you not to do it the more you will. So with that being said, protect yourselves. Birth control, condoms, shots, whatever it takes for you not to have to put yourself through all of the drama I've been talking about. Birth control isn't hard to get. Educate yourself. Talk to someone. Listen this is 2014. We as adults know teenagers are having more sex than they do at the playboy mansion. Let someone know you are trying to be proactive when it comes to your sexual health before you are having a different conversation discussing your due date.

This blog is not intended to promote abortion or scare anyone into harming an unborn or living child in ANY WAY , SHAPE, FORM OR FASHION. This blog is only meant to educate and provide information based on my experiences. If  you or someone you know is pregnant, please do not resort to heinous, criminal and inhumane acts to undo a pregnancy. There are plenty of organizations that can and will provide guidance and direction if you are in need of help. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Reflection and Revelation: My 2013 Year in Review

I know I'm late with this blog post. I've been working on it for almost a week now. And while it's seven days into the new year, I'm still going to publish it. People all over the world couldn't wait for 2014 to make its debut. And I was one of them. Not because 2013 was a horrible year. ( That was 2012.) But because a new year for me brings new dreams, new goals and a hope that what didn't happen last year will definitely happen for me this year. 

 Let me back track and tell you what went on in 2013 and some of what I learned. The year 2013 didn't waste anytime bringing about changes in my life. On January 9, 2013 the company I worked for laid off all employees in the Jackson office. Here I was beginning the new year unemployed. I have to admit I was pissed off and angry at the company for doing what they had done to us all. However, something else happened that lifted the burden of being unemployed a little. Something totally unexpected yet very welcomed. One of my friends told me how he felt about me and asked to come out of the "friend zone." As soon as he got the words out of his mouth, I felt the chemistry and I told him I would like to see where it goes. This occurred the week after the lay off and I have to say we've been together and happy ever since. I know you're thinking it's wonderful that I'm dating a great guy but what about finding a job? I'm getting to that part. The company laying me off was probably the best thing that could have happened to me both personally and professionally. Personally because the guy I'm dating was not only a friend, but a former coworker at the same company I was laid off from. And maybe he would have never came out of the friend zone had we still been working together. Professionally, because I am now working for one of the top 50 Accounting and Business Advisory Firms in the country. Sometimes God will close a door and open a few more for you that you would have never thought possible. I am so happy with my new employer in my new position. The company is a great place to work and there is plenty of growth potential. And yes, my guy is employed too.

Last year I learned so many things with the changes that took place in my life. For one thing, always have a back up career plan. Even if it's no more than keeping your resume up to date. Always job search from time to time even if you're not looking. At least you'll know what jobs are in demand the most and what skills you may need to acquire or polish up. I learned how to be loved and how precious it really is. I say this because my guy loves me with such compassion and so genuinely. He is the most thoughtful person I've ever met. And I also say this because last year was a year of loss for many people. Many of my friends lost their best friends. I thought that was so odd that people were losing their best friends. I saw the pain and anguish they experienced first hand and it broke my heart. It made me wanna love more, forgive more, and live more. We always say life is too short. And now the kids are wearing out the term "YOLO" ( You Only Live Once).  And honestly, those are true statements. It's time out for people having a new lease on life in January and by March it's back to the same old ways, same old thinking. 

This blog post is a little different from what I've written before. I just felt the need to share some of my reflections with my readers. I also want you to know how much I appreciate your visits to my blog. And  I do plan on writing more this year because I have so much to share with you all. I want you all to really get to know me this year through my writing. I want you to feel me and understand me. I promise not to keep my distance this year. I hope that you will be along for the ride with the Tasha Mac Chronicles. Talk to you later.