User post: Please Don't Judge This Teen Mom Anymore

I am a nineteen year old woman with a daughter who is about to turn four. In that time, I've been given plenty of heat for having a child so young. I've heard things said to me and about me that range from annoying to ignorant to downright hurtful. I've decided to share the things I've heard, and why I call BS on these accusations.

1. You must be a whore. This one possibly hurts the most because people say this without knowing the facts. My daughter's father raped me. I told him no many times and fought until he showed me his knife. I was a virgin at the time and the last thing on my mind was sex. But it happened, and I got pregnant. The circumstances gave me too much stress to make a choice like abortion or adoption. Unknowing people took it upon themselves (and still do) to question my morals for having a baby at 15. Even now, the only other person I've had sex with is my husband. So a whore, I am not.

2. You must be lazy.
I don't know where this one comes from, being a mom is hard work for anybody. I start my second year of college in two weeks, and will be working (school or job) seven days a week to help my husband with our home and bills. If you come to my house and you see me sitting down in my cozy chair in my tornado of a house, it's not because I'm lazy, it's because I'm tired.

3. You're a bad mom.
This accusation came most recently after someone in the grocery store saw my daughter eating crackers while I did my shopping. They said that I was a bad mom for spoiling her, giving into her tantrums, and for letting her think that it's okay to eat food that hasn't been paid for. I bought the crackers first, and I was shopping during her lunchtime, so I knew she was hungry. I don't believe in giving into tantrums, but I wasn't going to let her fuss because she was hungry. That would've made me a bad mom too!

4. You suck for not letting her know her father. Referring back to #1, really? I am? I have a restraining order against him for a good reason. I don't even ask for any child support from him because I don't think it's fair to do that when she can't see him. My husband is fantastic to her, and in addition to my grandfather and my father-in-law, she certainly isn't lacking good male role models.

I realize that my case of motherhood is certainly different than most teens in my situation. I'm glad that I have thicker skin now than I did four years ago, but it's still hurtful to have to hear these things in addition to dealing with the other realities of being a teen mom. I don't have friends my own age, I don't have disposable income, date nights and girl's nights are few and far between, I only get new clothes and shoes for my birthday or Christmas, and I rarely get any quality family time because of school and work. I have enough hurdles to jump, please cut me a little slack with the stereotypes and accusations?