Being a teen mom can be very overwhelming. You're still in school, probably have to work a job, and take care of a baby.
With so much on their plate, teen moms don't get to experience everything a normal high schooler does. One teen mom named Melissa was determined to go to prom, even if that meant going against the norm.
Prom is a Milestone We'll Always Remember
For those of us who have already had prom, we remember the fun we had dancing and enjoying food.
It was probably the last time many of us celebrated with some of our high school classmates.
Probably the most stressful thing for many of us was waiting to be asked or asking someone to prom!
And it's definitely been more stressful for millennial and gen z students because we came up with "Promposals" - a marvelous way to ask someone to prom as if you were actually proposing to them.
Melissa McCabe Didn't Expect Anyone to Ask Her
High schooler Melissa McCabe had different feelings than most of her classmates when Prom season approached.
While her peers were celebrating their last years of being fun-loving students, Melissa had already made her way into adulthood.
She Was Blessed With a Baby at a Young Age
Melissa had an unexpected blessing when she learned that she was pregnant while still in high school.
But rather than show fear of becoming a mom at a young age, Melissa was excited to take on the challenge of motherhood.
A Happy Mom and High Schooler
By the time Melissa was getting ready to go to her prom, her son was a few months away from celebrating his second birthday.
Melissa was in full mom-mode while still finishing high school.
She Definitely Wasn't Going To Miss Out On Prom
Just like her classmates, Melissa was excited to attend the prom and get the full experience of the milestone event.
But just like everything else in her life, Melissa knew she was going to do prom differently than others.
Melissa Didn't Have a Date
Although Melissa settled into motherhood as a teen, her son's father wasn't ready to commit.
That meant Melissa would be bravely raising Arthur mostly on her own. With so much on her plate with school and being a mom, Melissa didn't have much time to date.
Most Guys Can't Relate To Her Mom Lifestyle
Not only is Melissa limited on time, but it's more difficult for teen moms to find someone their age that they can connect with.
Other teenagers don't understand the responsibilities that she has a mother.
High School Isn't Easy For Anyone...
Trying to be yourself while also fitting in and finding friends is tough for any high schooler, Melissa included.
But even though she didn't always enjoy high school, she knew that she didn't want to miss the prom.
No Date, and No Babysitter
But Melissa didn't have a date to prom. Not only that, but she also couldn't find a babysitter to watch her son.
It looked like she might not make it to the big event after all.
An Inspiring Solution
Being a teen mom is not easy!
And if Melissa could handle that, of course she could come up with a creative solution to get a date to prom and have someone available to watch Arthur.
She Knew Who She Wanted To Go With
Although no one asked Melissa to go to prom, she knew exactly who she wanted to go to prom with.
So, she bought a beautiful baby blue floor length gown, curled her hair and did her makeup.
She Was About To Surprise Everyone
With grace and courage, Melissa had made up her mind. She was dressed and ready to go to the prom.
She was about to surprise everyone with her prom date, not knowing how her classmates would react.
Melissa Made Other Plans
Well, Melissa McCabe didn't have to worry about a promposal or being asked to prom.
She had other plans for prom, and she already knew who her prom date was.
Melissa's Prom Date-- Arthur!
Melissa decided that she would bring her son as her prom date! Here we see Arthur, sporting a fashionable gray three-piece tux with black shoes! How adorable!
This kid is definitely excited to take his mom to prom!
She Would Make It To Prom Afterall
Melissa and Arthur did their prom photoshoot in the living room, and both of them were excited to go out for the big night.
Melissa was going to make it to prom after all. But how was everyone going to react?
Supportive School Community
At the prom, Melissa had a pleasant surprise! Many people in her school community came up to her and complimented her and her toddler.
Teachers were also coming up to her, saying they were proud of her!
Melissa's Viral TikTok Video
Melissa shared the night on her Instagram and TikTok. Her TikTok video, which went viral and has over 6 million views, has a photo that reads,
"Everyone going to prom with their boyfriends, whereas I took my biggest blessing."
The Supportive TikTok Community
People commented on her video, showering her with love and support, "That's one of the cutest videos I've ever seen, awh bless."
And, of course, complimenting Melissa and her son on their outfits, "you look beautiful & he's adorable."
She Brought Everyone to Tears
Melissa brought everyone to tears when she shared her prom photos with her son Arthur.
Rather than passing judgement, her friends and the TikTok community were incredibly moved by her choice.
Other Mom's Commented
Melissa also inspired other young moms with her prom photos.
In sharing her experience, this teen mom also found a community who supported her and others who can relate to what she's going through.
Melissa's Instagram followers also sent her love and support in the comments, "Gorgeous, he's your double."
They also couldn't help but love the pictures of her and her toddler, "stop, I adore this picture."
Single Teen Mother
Melissa, like many other teen moms, seems to receive a wide variety of comments on her situation. Some people are supportive and cooing over her baby.
Sometimes, other people's comments are the complete opposite and criticize moms for their choices.
Lee SmithBattle And Stereotypes
Professor Lee SmithBattle describes teen moms' struggles because of stereotypes that society projects onto them.
Teen moms are seen as unmotivated, irresponsible, and incompetent, despite efforts to get rid of the mentality.
Melissa has taken any negative remarks she's received and used them as motivation!
Melissa has successfully completed her GCSEs and will soon attend college and study Health and Social Care.
Melissa's Initial Thoughts
When Melissa first found out she was pregnant, she thought, "that was it... I wouldn't be able to go back to school."
"...but when I looked into it I realized there's ways that you can do it."
Melissa also wishes "that people would treat [us] teen moms the same as they would a parent who would have a baby a little bit later on."
"There is no 'right time' or 'wrong time' to have a baby, in my opinion. A baby will always stop your work when you go on maternity leave, so why should people's opinion change when it causes a gap in education?"
Teen moms, and moms in general, seem always to face some sort of scrutiny; either the kids are too hyper because their mom is too lenient, or those kids have no time for fun because their mom is too strict.
It's about time we as a society stop scrutinizing moms and instead try creating a supportive community.
Kyla Ellis-Sloan's Study
Kyla Ellis-Sloan, a professor at the University of Brighton, conducted a study that inquired into teen mom experiences. One mother's statement shows the dynamic that many teen moms face:
"Some treat you more older and respectful, and others just look at you like you're stupid and that you don't know what you're doing."
Isolated Teen Moms
Unfortunately, it is because of negative stereotypes that teen moms push people away and become isolated.
This isolation burdens their mental health and can take quite a toll on them.