A Different Perspective

In September of 2012, senior Ryan Anderson found out something that would alter not only his life, but also his girlfriend’s, senior Kayla Albertson’s life forever; they were going to be parents. On May 9, 2013, at 10:24 p.m., weighing in at 7 pounds 15 oz. and 20 inches long, Sophia May Rose Anderson was born.

“I was surprised. I wasn’t scared or nervous until it was time for Sophia to be here, and then I got real nervous,” said Anderson.

Having a child at a young age can be a daily challenge. Going out with friends, having free time and dealing with the challenges of being a young parent can make it a really tough experience. It’s also no secret that raising a baby is expensive.

“I spend a lot of time working,” said Anderson. “I don’t have a lot of time to spare for myself and friends anymore. I have to work to make sure we have diapers, wipes, formula and water.”

Having a baby is one of the biggest life changing events someone can experience. This can mean having to change your entire routine and schedule for the benefit of the baby.

“A lot has changed. We have to make sure Sophia is ready before we can go anywhere. She comes first before anything,” said Anderson.

On top of dealing with a new baby and working, school is still a part of Anderson’s life.

“Kayla and I go first through fourth. We have to get Sophia ready every morning so she can go to her nana’s house while Kayla and I are at school. After school we have to pick her up and take her home before I go to work,” said Anderson.

School can be a rough place; especially for teen mothers. But do teen fathers receive the same ridicule that often gets dished out to the mothers?

“No one really bullied me but lots of people asked me questions like: Are you ready to be a father? Are you scared? What do your parents think,” said Anderson.

Having a baby at a young age can be a lot to handle – emotionally and physically. The way parents react to a surprise like teen pregnancy can also affect the way the parents handle the journey.

“My mom cried a lot; she was upset. My dad was disappointed in me. Kayla’s parents were upset but they were also happy. They were all supportive of us even though they were pretty upset,” said Anderson.

Sometimes the slightest amount of support can lighten the load of being a teen parent.

“I received support from Josh Lundergan and Kayla received support from Kiersten Apple. We both received support from Mrs. Street,” said Anderson.

Anderson says that even though Sophia has drastically altered his life, his plans for the future are still the same.

“My plans are still the same, to work at Liberty Tire and be a great father to Sophia,” said Anderson.

Story By Brooklyn Dotts