Conversations with Teen Mums


Pregnant at 16


This is my third rental house in just over a year. I wanted to move out on my own from mum’s because there wasn’t enough room for us. I’ve always wanted my own space. I hope we’re gonna be in here for longer than five, six months that we were in the last two houses cause I think my mind would just explode.

I had it planned in my head. But I have fallen behind in my work already so much. I didn’t expect that. New baby, new house, and all this other stuff on top. I thought everything would work out nicely but it’s so far been the total opposite.

I’m worried that I’ll run out of time. I’m worried that I won’t get all my work done in time to achieve University Entrance to be able to enrol in Uni next year. That’s my biggest thing right now. I’m trying. I dunno. Actually, I can’t say that, cause as soon as I’ve gotten everything done at home and I do have time to do my work, I go to bed. I just go straight to sleep because I’m tired. I used to push myself to do work even if I was tired. Now I just don’t push myself as hard anymore. Like I should. I need to start doing that again.

When I was in high school, we moved to Christchurch. I went to Hornby High. I never wagged a class, done all my work. I loved my high school in Christchurch. But then my parents decided to move back to Auckland and I ended up going to James Cook High School. Which I hated. I hated the teachers. I hated the students. Cause it was such a different school compared to Christchurch. My school in Christchurch must’ve had like only a couple hundred people and then coming to James Cook it’s kinda overwhelming. And then not being able to fit in. I didn’t know anyone from Auckland and had to make completely new friends.

I hated being the new kid. I’d already been to two primaries, then two intermediates and, you know, that was my second high school. I was just like, ‘I’m sick of being the new kid’. I hated school. Started hanging out with the wrong crowd.

I remember my first day. I was so nervous. I didn’t make any friends in my class. The first morning tea, I sat by myself next to the library on my phone. At lunchtime, because I was a smoker, a lot of the boys did that and we started hanging out. But then all of the girls in the class started — you know as girls do when one girl hangs out with the guys — teasing and being mean. I think I was only at James Cook for a term and a half or two terms. I wagged. I’d go to school, wag the first block and then just hang around the school all day, not go to any classes. Just wasted my day walking around the school for weeks on end until I left and moved in with my older sister. As soon as I turned 16 I signed out.

I was 16 when I first fell pregnant with my eldest son. I wasn’t really doing anything with myself because I’d dropped out of high school. I was just doing that typical teenage, going out drinking. I didn’t really care about much. And then people told me that I was pregnant but I didn’t believe them.

And then, I missed my period. So I went to the doctor’s and she asked me, ‘Are you going to be happy or sad?’ And I was just like, ‘I dunno’. And she was like, ‘Okay, you’re pregnant’. And I didn’t know what to say. I just looked at her. And I didn’t say nothing. I was in shock.

I walked home. And me and my cousin, we just talked about it and she was just saying to me, ‘Don’t keep it. Just forget about it’. Like, if I didn’t want it I could get rid of my baby and not tell anyone and then it would be kind of like nothing really happened and only me and her would have known.

When I got home I was like, ‘I need to tell you guys something’, and then my mum turned around and she was just, ‘Oh, don‘t tell me you‘re pregnant’. And then I was just like, ‘Yeah, I am’. And she, still laughing about it was, ‘Whatever’. And I was like, ‘I am’. And then she was like, ‘You better be joking’. And then I started crying and I think right then she knew that I wasn't. Straight away, ‘Who? Who to?’ And they told me to get rid of the baby. ‘Don’t keep him. Get rid of him’. And all this. My dad just sat there and said nothing. But I left, went into my room and my dad came in and he was just saying, ‘Don’t be so upset’, and that they’re still there for me.

I went to Christchurch, to my sister, cause she was the only person who didn’t care. She was the only person who was like, ‘Yay’, and gave me like a good response. So I went to her when I was maybe six weeks pregnant. And then my mum wanted me back in Auckland, so she flew me back. I must have been almost seven months. And then nothing changed. I came back to my mum and she still reminded me every day what a disappointment my pregnancy was to the family. I think right up until Boston came out she was not happy that I had him. And now, he’s like her love of her life. She loves Boston. Boston and my mum have a really close relationship. And she hates it cause sometimes when she makes me mad or something I’d remind her, ‘Do you remember when you didn’t even want me to have him?’ And she'll be like, ‘Oh shush’. She actually believes that she didn't say that but she did.

I love motherhood. It feels like I have a purpose cause I want to do the best I can so I can provide the best I can for them. I always say it’s the best thing in the world when all they do is wake up and as soon as they see your face they just smile cause they’re just so happy to see you. They don’t care about anything else, they just love you. Having kids taught me like little negative things don’t matter. Like a girl from school, they don’t like you, it don't really matter. Just ignore any bad kind of stuff. It’s not worth it.

Proving to my family that I didn’t turn out how they thought is, I think, one of my greatest achievements. Cause, yeah, just the thought of everyone saying, ‘You’re not going to become anything’, and all of this you know. And then to turn around today and say, ‘I’m in my fifth year of school. Uni next year. And I’ve got two kids now and a house’. That makes me proud of myself.

I don’t have any regrets. I’ve made mistakes but I don’t regret anything because I just think that whatever I did, it’s led me to here. They’ve all turned out to be something good. I think if I didn’t have Boston I wouldn’t be anywhere because before I fell pregnant with him I had already dropped out of school. My relationship with my family wasn’t that great. I just had no motivation at all. And I drunk whenever I could. Stole. Smoked. All that dumb stuff. So I think if I didn’t have my kids I wouldn’t have changed.

I hope my kids are all happy. I hope that I own a house and I hope when I’m an old nana I own a big house so all my grandkids can come. As long as we’re all together then it’s good.