Teenage motherhood isn’t always a failure


By Jamie Coulson | gargoyle@flagler.edu

Other than not being successful, having a child before I am financially and emotionally ready is my biggest fear.

In fact, as someone who questions ever having children, seeing my Facebook friends announce their pregnancy  makes me reflect on my own feelings towards teen pregnancy.

Despite the perceptions of teen pregnancy, however, there are success stories, and they aren’t as unbelievable as you would think.

Alyssa Fisher and her long-term boyfriend had their daughter in October 2009, when they were both freshmen in high school.

At 14, Fisher had to become an adult.

“I was constantly getting told of how my life would be. I was told I wouldn’t even finish high school because I’d have to be home with the baby. Forget college, it wasn’t possible, better hope I get a job that’s understanding of my situation,”  Fisher said.

Fisher had food thrown at her in the cafeteria and had to deal with hurtful comments from people who she thought were her friends. Now 19, she still has to contend with negative outlooks on having a baby so young.

“People would look at me, pitiful, then they would look at my mom like it was her fault that this happened to me,” Fisher said.

Young mothers are frequently looked at as though they are irresponsible and uncareful. Words like “whore” and “slut” are thrown around in sequence with a judgment about the mother. Throw in religion and even more hurtful statements ensue.

Worse yet, due to shows like MTV’s “16 and pregnant,” teen pregnancy has become glorified by the media. While many young girls wanted to become pregnant in hopes of becoming famous, this wasn’t the case for Fisher.

While her pregnancy was unplanned, she now says that it was the best thing to happen to her.

“There were a lot of unkind words from people who said how horrible of a life my daughter was going to have and how badly my life was going to be now,” Fisher said. “I knew I wasn’t going to end up like the typical teen mom.”

While Fisher may not be the only successful teen mom, she stands out among the rest, graduating from high school and taking college classes. She also holds down a job as her daughter’s day care teacher.

Fisher has proved that she can be successful regardless of what others think of her – not for herself, but for her daughter.

“When I run into people who were doubtful of us, it gives me satisfaction to be able to tell them we graduated, we have good paying jobs, that I’m in college and we have our own place,” Fisher said. “Although I never have, and probably never will get an actual apology, it’s enough for me and I’m able to find forgiveness for them and peace within myself.”

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