Published on Monday, May 19, 2014 by Mikey Wolff
A mother: a woman who loves unconditionally, putting her child’s needs before her own. In high school, most girls don’t understand that kind of love or selfishness. When faced with the challenge of becoming pregnant at such a young age and raising a child young mothers can either rise to the occasion or become another ‘bad’ teen mom statistic.
For 18 year old senior Gabriela Martinez, the only choice was to rise and conquer. Finding out you’re pregnant in high school is hard, finding out you’re pregnant at the age of 16 is indescribable.
Homecoming and prom should be the main priorities for any junior in high school, but for Martinez, walking the hallways with a baby bump and anxiety kept her mind from such activities. She felt the stares and judgement, and people thinking she still had the mindset of a child. Is now raising her daughter as a single mom while continuing to work hard academically. Martinez just worried about her own life, but that all changed and now she has to worry about somebody’s well being other than her own.
“It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had or will encounter,” Martinez said.
Martinez is proving to everyone that everything she’s been through in her life, has actually made her ready for the moment she became a mom, and that she was ready to have this huge responsibility in her life. When people found out that she was going to become a mom, she said that everyone began to treat her differently.
“People thought I was dumb and they would automatically assume I was a stupid person,” Martinez said. “[They all thought] I couldn’t handle myself, they didn’t look at my grades, they didn’t look at my personality, they just looked at my stomach and assumed I was stupid.”
Martinez felt ignored by the people she once called friends, and had to learn how to push through it, not only for herself, but for her daughter.
“I’ve had to mature a lot even though I’m only eighteen-years-old,” Martinez said. “I feel like I’d naturally have been in that more mature mind-set if I would have waited until I was a little bit older before having a child.”
Having to focus on school and her baby, which means having to pick up a part time job to support her new life, can be a bit stressful, but Martinez is doing her motherly duties to provide for herself, and her daughter.
During school hours she can’t bring her daughter with her, so she had to find a good babysitter within her budget.
“I guess they don’t build child care around a teen mom’s budgets because they don’t expect teen moms to bring their kids there,” Martinez said. “It’s extremely expensive, but with the help of CCMS
I’ve been able to pay for it.”
The future is always something to worry about. Where will you be? Will you be okay? What will happen next?
“I know now nothing in life is going to be easy so I plan to face obstacles,” Martinez said “as a teen mom, I take everything as a learning experience and will do so with the next storm coming”.
Martinez has to prepare for many things now. There will be many ‘I
hate yous’ that come my way said and, many tears shed, but also so much love. For now though she is just enjoying the little things from her baby girl.
“The first time she laughed, at four months old was a big moment for me.”
Definitely something that she will never forget, and always tell as a story to her daughter even if she is a grown woman, or to embarrass her in front of her friends as a teenager. Every child needs a good role model in their life. Martinez plans on finishing school and continuing her education.
“I want to go to college and get my BSN [a registered nurse with a bachelors degree], and hopefully specializing in oncology with kid,.” Martinez said.
Together, they are starting a new life and are setting out their future.
Being a mom is difficult, but being a first time mom when you’re still so young yourself is even more difficult. Martinez got the biggest dose of the real world, but through hard work and determination she is doing an amazing job.
“Grow back bone, and don’t listen to what anyone says, it doesn’t matter anymore.” Martinez said. “This was your choice, a consequence of your own actions. So you live up to the hard work, and it’s worth it in the end.”