Teen mothers face obstacles, overcome them


Senior Carli Tiffany holds her one year old son, Finn.

Lola Jecevicus, Reporter

To most, the idea of having a baby as a teenager is looked down upon. People often think that their futures are ruined and their lives are over. Beginning motherhood as a 15-year-old compared to being a 20 or 30 years old makes a huge difference and it can affect all women differently. Many children have mothers who did indeed have their children as a teen. According to cdc.gov the rates in Wisconsin went from 30.3 in 2005 to 12.5 in 2019, this being the number of births per 1,000 females aged 15–19. However, two women representing two different generations say they feel their lives have been saved by this life-changing experience.

“For me, there was no other option. My girls were exactly what I needed to find a better path in life,” Doctor Ashlee Hanford-Longsine (junior Skylar Longsine’s mother) said. “They gave me purpose in this life and made my number one goal in life to be a better mother than mine ever was and to break the generational cycles which preceded me.”

When Hanford-Longsine had become pregnant with her first child she was just 15 years old. With a hard home life, this situation forced her to grow up faster. 

“My mother struggled to provide us with the basic necessities,” Hanford-Longsine said. “Her rights were terminated when I was 16 years old, just after she signed for me to get married and all of my siblings were placed into the foster care system.”

Hanford-Longsine has already created her life and overcome all of the challenges that came with having a child at a young age. 

Senior Carli Tiffany was also 15 years old when she found out she was pregnant. For Tiffany, she says her life is better now with her son. 

“People always talk about how teen pregnancy ruins your life and makes it go downhill. For me, my life is just going uphill. I’m graduating finally, I have a job and I am living pretty good,” Tiffany said. 

Junior Dominik Wright, father of the child (Finn), says he feels similar to Tiffany about parenthood.

“It was a source of happiness for us both,” Wright said.

For both of the parents, having the child young was only an obstacle that they were determined to overcome. 

After having a child and being pushed down several times by her peers, Hanford-Longsine was determined to do something great for herself and for her family. She began at Fox Valley Technical College for nursing, then transferred to UW-Oshkosh, graduating in 2011 with her Bachelors of Science in Nursing.  

Returning to school in 2013 at UW-Oshkosh to obtain her doctorate of nursing, as she continued to work as an ER registered nurse. She graduated in 2018 and now works as a nurse practitioner in the emergency department. 

Hanford-Longsine has some advice for other generations.

“Everything will work out as it should. Remember people come and go. Some come in for a reason and others come for the season, but no matter what always surround yourself with those that believe in you and bring out the best in you,”Hanford-Longsine said. 

Tiffany wanted to offer a bit of advice of her own.

“There are ways to get help. If you find out you don’t want to go through with it there are other options. Find someone you can confide in. There will be people that stick by your side,” Tiffany said.