Motherhood in an early age is very difficult, due to many situations in which a young girl isn’t prepared to handle. Some of these girls haven’t finished their education and are becoming mothers in top of their careers as students; this upgrades the stress and challenges in their lives.
Over the passing of the years pregnancy on a short age is becoming more common than unusual. The statistics from 2010 of the Health Department of Puerto Rico states that the 68.6 percent of the births of that year were between the ages ten and nineteen.
Here are some helpful guidelines for helping you overcome the struggles of being a student and a mother at the same time; As we spoke with Daniela Mendoza, a 20 year old mother, student of the Interamerican University in the nursing department.
- Save. Daniela says that she and her boyfriend opened a saving account the day that they knew she was expecting. They both were working at the time and as the due date became closer she had to stop working. “The savings account really saved us” she added.
- Ask for help! We asked her parents about their daughter’s pregnancy and how they were able to help her. “We are very supporting of our daughter, even though she doesn’t like asking us for help” said her father. Daniela explained that she likes to feel like she can provide for her son, but admitted that her parents help is imperative.
- Patience and tolerance. “If its hard being a mom, it is harder raising a child and studying for classes at the same time” said Daniela. She was explaining that at times she thought that she wasn’t able to do it. “I always put my baby’s needs ahead of mine and that’s what kept me going” she added.
- Good support system. Daniela explained that for the one thing that she is grateful is with all of the support that she has had. Her parents, sister and boyfriend had been with her since the little boy was born. “My boyfriend works everyday to support us as a family” she said. Her sister Mariela moved to an apartment next door so she can babysit while Daniela is in school. “I don’t like the idea of a daycare, and we couldn’t afford it anyways” she added smiling.
- Government Help. There are some helps that the government have to help mothers and families of Puerto Rico. Daniela told us about the WIC program that helps with milk formula, dippers and other baby necessities; in addition, they do a monthly check-up on your baby’s health. Another help is the Family Department’s card. This card helps them with the food expenses, it works like a debit card and each month you have a due amount of money that you can spend only in food at the supermarket, she explained.
- Good Partner. The new to be mother needs the love, affection and full support of her partner. She said that her partner and father of her baby, worked all through her pregnancy to the present day. “Dealing with a hormonal woman and a screaming baby cant be pleasant with a 7:00am shift,” Daniela said. He’s income is what has kept them going and what has made possible that she continues her education instead of having to work herself, and for that she is grateful, added.
She insisted on the importance of love and commitment, not only for her son, but for her and her new family. Mauricio, her son, is a year old now and everything gets more complicated and more expensive. Daniela has a long way to finish her bachelor’s degree but with her determination and commitment she can achieve it. “Its all about the sacrifices! Both, motherhood and the student life” she concluded. After talking with Daniela and her family it is safe to say that bringing a child to the world while being a college student is hard work, it needs for a lot of sacrifices, love, determination, savings and a good support system to make it work. But at the end, when you are an educated, self-achieved mother it will all be worth the effort.