‘There’s no way she’s your baby. Didn’t your parents teach you about protection?’ I was raising a baby, just a young kid myself.’: Teen mom urges ‘you were always meant to be my baby girl’

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“To the daughter I had before I was ready to be a mother,

I had just graduated high school when those two little pink lines popped up on the test. Sitting on my bed, not knowing what to do.

I remember going to the doctor’s and being told I had options. But I knew, even then, the only option I would consider was keeping you.

When you were born, I was still trying to figure out who I was. It was hard, raising a baby, when you are still just a young kid yourself.

And for this, I am sorry. You missed out on a lot because I was so afraid of leaving the house somedays.

‘That’s your sister, right?’

‘There’s no way she’s your baby. Didn’t your parents teach you about protection?’

‘You know, if you don’t get married soon, it will say bastard of her birth certificate!’

I was scared.

Ashamed, even.

And for this, I am sorry.

As the years went by, you got older, and so did I.

The shame and embarrassment I had once felt slowly dwindled away. The little human you were now becoming made me so proud.

And looking back at your first few years of life with me, well, it made me sad.

I was always so caught up in what others thought, I even believed I was too young to be a good mom.

We stayed home a lot.

Mommy would lie about her age.

Mommy would say, ‘Sure, she’s my sister,’ just to stop the conversation that was always bound to happen from a stranger.

And for this, I am sorry.

As you got even older and I looked back at our earlier years, I felt regret.

Sadness.

Anger.

I blamed myself a lot.

‘Well, I was young. All those people were right. I just wasn’t ready to be a mother.’

And it wasn’t until last year, when I was looking back at old photos of us, I noticed it.

Your smile.

In every photo.

You were always smiling.

From a baby, to now.

You were happy.

Loved.

Content.

And even though you had a teen mom raising you, your smile shined so brightly I could feel the happiness through the old photos.

It was in this moment I realized I was always ready to be your mom.

And you, my sweet girl, you always knew it.

You were so patient with me, always.

You were growing up, as I grew up also.

We grew up together, and I think this is something really special.

As I sat there and looked back on the old photos we have taken together, I thought to myself…

Maybe, just maybe, I was always ready to be your mother.

Because despite growing up with all those negative comments thrown at us, we look pretty d*mn happy.

Looking back at those old photos, I’m positive, my love, I was always ready to be your mother.

And you were always meant to be my baby girl.

Love,

Your mom.”

Teen mom with tattoos embraces daughter in green shorts
Courtesy of Caitlin Fladager

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Caitlin Fladager. You can follow her journey on Facebook and InstagramSubmit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more from Caitlin:

‘I will never stop kissing your boo-boos. I will never stop wiping your tears and admiring you as you sleep. You will forever be my little boy.’: Mom urges ‘soak up these moments, you are their world right now’

‘My kids are not being ‘watched.’ They are spending quality time with grandma and papa. It takes a village to raise children.’: Mom admits ‘my parents teach my kids things I can’t yet’

‘Go to bed mad sometimes. It WILL get boring. But continue to fight for each other.’: Woman pens list of important things to remember when you are married, ‘Love is never easy, but damn is it worth it’

‘You have your nails and hair done, you can’t possibly be suicidal,’ is what I was told. A lot.’: Woman urges ‘mental illness does not look the same on everyone’

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