Becoming a Mama at Age 18

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One year ago today…

I went into labor with our third baby, our first son. As I reflect on that day, I also think back to the past two times I had a baby. The sweetness, the pain, the joy, the complete lifestyle change, the love, the adoration. When I first became a mama, eight years ago, I never in a million years thought that I would have the joy of being a stay at home mama to three beautiful children and the wife to their amazing, handsome daddy. See, I became a mama at the age of 18.

Baby Cadee and I
Baby Cadee and I

The Unknown

Becoming a mama while you are barely an adult yourself is scary. There are so many unknowns at that time in your life. Where will I go to college? What do I want to do with my life? Where are my friends going? Who do I want to be? Who is most important in my life? Add a baby to those questions, and it is a whole different world. Now, not only did I question myself as a young adult, I also questioned myself as a mother. What is best for this baby? What doctor do I choose for her? How am I going to pay for diapers? Childcare? And, at the time, I questioned if her daddy loved me.

The Hormones

It’s my first pregnancy, mind you. I am still a teenager, mind you. My hormones are ridiculous! No wonder my “baby daddy” wasn’t ready to commit during my pregnancy and right after baby came! There is a physical reason most teenagers should not get married or reproduce. Their hormones are too unstable to trust their own emotions. Add to that a pregnancy and you are crazy! Literally crazy! I hope to relay this to my children so they know exactly why they should wait until they are older to marry and have kids.

The Calling

Early 20s are a time of defining who you are. I feel my identity was defined the moment that precious little girl took her first breath. In that second, I became Cadence’s mom. Everything else in my life, would wait. College, marriage, my friends. All of that, would take a backseat to this precious little life that God trusted me with. Those things fit into my life somehow later on, but in that moment in time, all I could think of was that little girl. It is amazing to me the overwhelming feeling of commitment and unconditional love that first breath brings.

The Challenge

There have been many challenges along the way. From the moment I had to tell my dad, to the time her dad and I were not together, to right now – today. I am a 26 year old raising an 8 year old. It is a struggle for me to step up to the leadership role and out of the friend zone with her. She has been my best friend since the day she was born. I always had her with me. I told her about everything (at least until she started to understand or repeat it). She was my comfort. My drive. My joy. We were inseparable. I still struggle to be her mom and not her best friend. There will come a day when I can be her best friend again.

Me and my Cadee Grace, age 8
Me and my Cadee Grace, age 8

As I think back on the first time I became a mom, I am overcome with emotion. To think that at that time, I was dead set on college, career, then family. To think that without the right people in my life, I could not have kept my sweet baby girl. To think that just eight years ago,  I was given my greatest gift. The gift of motherhood. As I celebrate Baby Boy’s life tomorrow, I celebrate another little person that will forever call me “mom”. What an honor!

I love the story God has written for my life thus far. Yes, it has been hard. No, I don’t encourage others to try it. But I could not imagine my life any other way. My children were not mistakes. God entrusted them to me. He has used them as a way to shape and mold me. For that, and for them, I am eternally grateful.

If you want to read more about my story, head over to my blog where I share all about what being a teen mom taught me.

I would love to hear about your journey as a first time mom! The struggles, the joy, the lessons learned. Feel free to share in the comments below!

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Rachel is the wife to an accountant, the mom to a sweetheart, Cadence (Dec. 2004), a sass-a-frass, Liliana (April 2007), a smiley little guy, Drake (May 2012) and a precious baby sister, Sophia (October 2015). She enjoys her days at home taking care of her babies, setting up play dates, being active in her girls' classrooms, blogging, baking and praying. Check her out at myspoonfulofsugar-rv.blogspot.com and desmoinesmomsblog.com.

7 COMMENTS

  1. I was a young mama too! I was blessed with my first daughter at 19. It was bittersweet. I was still trying to find out who I was and where I was going in life. The moment I found out I was going to be a mommy I was overwhelmed with joy and worry! I wouldn’t change a thing. I have a beautiful samart 8 year old. I also have a 7 yr old and 1 yr old daughters. Very blessed! Thanks for sharing your story. Finally someone I could relate to 😉

    • Dana, I am honored to share my story! I feel the same way- my kids are blessings and I don’t think I would change a thing!

    • Katie, yes He did! Wish I could have trusted that truth 8 years ago! Would have made my life a whole lot easier. 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing your story, Rachel. Becoming a mom was difficult for me as a married 22-year-old, so I can only imagine the challenges you faced as a teen mom. The beautiful thing is that you’ve lived through it and learned from it and can now minister to others who are in a similar situation! God bless you and your family!

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