Xiomara La Paz, seventeen, with her son Edwin.
Xiomara My name is Xiomara Lisette La Paz. I’m 17 years old and Edwin Alexander La Paz, he’s 18 months.
Amanda When you first found out that you were pregnant do you remember how you felt?
Xiomara Yes, my mom told me that she never want a grandson, so I felt so bad. So the first person that I told that I was pregnant was my aunt Rosa. She said, don’t tell her. I feel so sad.
Amanda How long did you wait to actually tell your mom?
Xiomara I was like three months I think that’s when she knew.
Amanda And how did she react when you told her?
Xiomara First she cried and then she was like, “Get out of my house.” So she was mad too. She was mad with my boyfriend and mad at my aunt because she was the first person who knows that I was pregnant. And then she changed. Then like she was happy. She was telling everybody that she was going to have a grandson.
Amanda Do you remember what it was like being pregnant in school with your friends?
Xiomara It was like easy, easy for me. But now, it’s really hard. I think because I didn’t have no baby. I went to the mall so that’s all.
Being a young mom is really hard. It’s really hard. Maybe because you don’t know about life. Or you are starting to know about life. You think it’ll be really easy but it’s not.
Amanda Do you want to talk about his dad? It’s up to you. Ok, so what happened when you told him you were pregnant?
Xiomara He didn’t say nothing. He was like this (just stares) like no words.
Amanda Does he have a good relationship with Edwin?
Xiomara Yeah. Not with me, but with Edwin. I don’t know. We don’t have no relationship cause he’s in gang and he stays more with his friends than me. He work at five am to sometimes like ten pm.
Amanda Are you involved in gang activities at all?
Xiomara No. I have friends that they are in the gang but not me. Lot of friends, and I say why you guys do that, that’s stupid but they say “oh to have fun.” You know they tell me that too.
Amanda What have been the most fun and the most difficult parts of being a mom?
Xiomara The most difficult parts were when he was a newborn.
Amanda And what have been the most fun parts?
Xiomara Right now. Right now because I can play with him. He walks and he’s almost two.
Amanda Where do you see yourself in five years?
Xiomara I’m planning to go to college I think. If I apply.
Amanda Where did you grow up.
Xiomara El Salvador until I was nine or ten. I didn’t know no English.
Amanda Was your childhood different then Edwin’s?
Xiomara It’s really different. I don’t know, because like you know when you do a bad thing they hit you. I don’t know. They punish a lot in El Salvador.
Amanda And how about with Edwin, do you punish him?
Xiomara No, I can’t say never cause we don’t know but maybe time out. Right now he’s too young. But I’m not going to do that to him like they do that to me so.
Amanda Is there anything else you want to say about being a young mom?
Xiomara Being a young mom is really hard. It’s really hard. Maybe because you don’t know about life. Or you are starting to know about life. You think it’ll be really easy but it’s not.