There are many obstacles when being a teen mom. Unfortunately as you and your child get older, it is still a never ending obstacle course. Being in the “Mom’s with Tots” program it was a little easier to make connections with the young moms, but as I left high school and went into the “real world” it was a difficult challenge relating to parents of kids the same age as my own because they were at about 10 years older and what society would say well established. They owned homes, well out of college years and had a career. Basically on the outside looking in, I felt everyone had their ish together.
I am writing this blog to share how I adapted to connecting with parents while being a young parent. I feel like this is a topic no one really talks about and if you watch any of the Teen Mom series they never experience this because they live a totally different lifestyle of fame.
The glue to it all is your child, the pieces are what you are teaching your child. For us, we were big on manners, respect, morals and standards. Because we taught Adam these simple basics when we sent him off to school, these were instilled in him. Parents that were involved at school daily would approach me at assemblies and tell me how respectful and awesome Adam is. I’m sure when they met us they did not picture us as young parents. Because Adam represented himself so well, there was no judgment and it was easy for us to talk to those parents. They were open to play dates and hanging out.
Volunteering for school and sport activities was also a great way of getting to know and connecting with parents. I would make the time to volunteer for field trips, class parties and be the “team mom” or team treasurer. Anthony would always volunteer to be the coach for Adam’s teams when he was in football and rec level soccer. By volunteering our time and being very involved, I noticed there was no judgment because of our age and we were treated with respect by asserting ourselves in a leadership role.
Now I know this sounds like the basics of just being a person but first impressions are really everything when meeting other parents especially parents older in age. From my experience, your child is your first impression. How they socialize with other kids and them (the parents) will knock down that wall of judgment.
It took me awhile to talk to the other parents, but when I gained the confidence to do it, it became real easy. It may sound funny but I developed a little system. I always start with a compliment either with something they are wearing or how cute their kids are. Usually that is a great opener and leads to other conversations. Once I get to know the parents a little more, we talk about our kids personalities and little things our kids do to annoy us LOL. You will eventually find out you have more in common than you thought.