Confessions of a Teen Mom With Two Kids By 20

I grew up without a mother. Well … let me rephrase that. I grew up without my mother. My dad married a total of six times and had plenty of girlfriends and mistresses in between and during his marriages, so there was never a shortage of mothers in my life. Yet, none of them were my mother. My mother was killed when I was only a year old. Consequently, I was left to be raised by my dad and a string of less-than-desirable mother figures. Through the years, I convinced myself that if my mom had been alive, my life would have been completely different. You see, no one else on earth loves you quite like your mom.

When I found myself pregnant at only 17 years old, I was determined to be a great mom. I had no idea what that looked like (or how I would do it), but my children would never have the hurt, lack and disappointment that I had experienced. I can’t even remember ever having held a baby before giving birth to my first-born. Twenty-one hours of labor and a few parenting books doesn’t quite prepare you for the challenges of parenthood, and certainly not single parenthood!

The next several years brought great struggle. I moved into government housing, worked a full-time job and attended college full-time at night. I added a second child to the mix (because I wasn’t busy or overwhelmed enough) and many nights, wondered how I would ever make it. The exhaustion, disappointment of a failed relationship and financial burden became too much to bear. At only four years old, I found myself slapping my sweet, innocent boy across his little face in a moment of parenting frustration.

It was in that moment that I realized almost everything I had vowed my children would never experience, I had duplicated in my home. They weren’t getting a great mom. They were getting an exhausted, overwhelmed, overworked, faithless mom who was struggling just to get up every morning. I made a decision that night that I had to fully surrender to the King of Kings and stop “dating” Him.

Jennifer Maggio
Jennifer Maggio
Jennifer Maggio is an author and speaker who is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on single parents and women’s issues. She is founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She is a regular on radio and television. For more information, visit

Related Posts


Recent Stories