Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young MomLife Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom
Tricia Goyer
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One day you're a typical student. You're working part-time at McDonald's to pay for your clothes and car. The next day, you're a mother-to-be. You're confused and scared. Emotional and standoffish. You feel like a kid, but now with a huge responsibility. How could your life change so fast? Your youth wasn't supposed to be packed with worries and obligations, Lamaze classes and daycare choices-and you've still got work and school to deal with. Whatever happened to fun, friendships and dating? You'd do anything for your baby-but what about you? What about your needs? Sharing stories from her own experience as a teenage mom and from other young mothers, Tricia Goyer explains the nine basic needs that all young moms have and how they can be met. Needs such as the need to be appreciated, the need to know your life is not at a dead end, and the need to be loved.

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1. Life Interrupted is a book for teen moms, written by a former teen mom. You also interviewed young moms all over the country. Why was capturing the heart of young mothers important for you? Why did you want to write a book just for them?

As a former teen mom, and someone who works with them on a weekly basis, I know how hard it is to find parenting material that meets the unique needs of young mothers. Parenting is hard enough, but it's even harder when you have to worry about school, minimum wage jobs, and being parented yourself!
It was important to me that I interviewed teen moms all over the US (and internationally!) to get their input. It's been a few years since I had my son, so I wanted to make sure that my message would still meet a young mom's unique needs.
During my interviews, I discovered the issues these moms face are the same ones I struggled with at age seventeen. There's the feeling that life is over, the questions of what to do now, and the heartbreak of seeing those looks of condemnation in the grocery store. I wanted to write a book that provided encouragement, inspiration, and hope for the future.

2. What are some of a teen mom's greatest needs, and how does Life Interrupted help with these?
Teen moms need to know they're important. They need to growth and Discover who they are. They need to get a new perspective on mother. And, like all mothers, they need to know that it's okay to take a break once in a while and have fun. These are all needs that I talk about in the book, and a few more.

But in the end of the book, the greatest need that I emphasize is the young mom's need for hope. Hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ.

3. In Life Interrupted you share your experience as a teen mother, what were some of the hardest things you faced?
The hardest thing is the overnight lifestyle change. I went from being An honor roll student and cheerleader, to a mom who had to worry about things like colic, immunizations, and diaper rash.

I also had inner struggles, feeling as if I'd let everyone down. And the thing about being a young mom is that your "sin" sticks out in front of you wherever you go. I wanted to escape into my bedroom and hide forever! Of course I couldn't, but, thankfully, the pain and shame is what led me to Jesus. When I got as low as I could go, I offered my life to God, hoping that He could do better. He has!

4. When did you get involved in working with young moms in your community?

In 1999, I helped launch a Crisis Pregnancy Center here in Kalispell. Immediately the abortion rate dropped, which was great! Still, my heart went out to the young women who I met through the center. We were enouraging them them to carry their babies, and I felt the next step was to help them be the best parents they could. That's when I discovered Teen MOPS, which is part of the Mothers of Preschoolers Organization. Teen MOPS is a wonderful support group for young moms. It provides a place just for them. It also connects them with loving mentors who encourage them in their role as mom.

5. What changes have you seen in the young moms you work with?

I can't say that all of the moms have gone through these major transformations (I wish!). . . but some have blossomed into wonderful mothers and godly young women. We've seen young moms finish high school or get their GED. Some have started college and have their own apartments. But the best changes are the internal ones. We've seen softened hearts, better attitudes, and many have accepted Jesus as their Savior. There is no better reward than that!

6. There is a lot of talk about the problem of teenage motherhood in our country. Just how many young mothers are out there?

According to there are 800,000 births to teen mothers every year. That's a lot of young women! Another statistic states that one in four young women will get pregnant before she's the age of 20. There's a big need out there to minister to these young moms!

7. This book is endorsed by MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International. What work are you doing with MOPS to reach young moms?

One of my speaking events this fall is providing a workshop at the MOPS Internation Convention. My goal is to get others interested in starting groups specifically for teen moms. Whether they are a crisis pregnancy center, church, or other MOPS group, I'd like to see Teen MOPS groups pop up all around the country, and I'm thankful for MOPS commitment to see the same thing!

8. If you could choose one truth that young moms come away with after reading Life Interrupted, what would it be?

It's the truth these young women were created for a love relationship with Jesus Christ. He is the Prince Charming they've been looking for. So many young women get pregnant because they're looking for love and intimacy. I'd like them to walk away from the book knowing that what they seek is only found in Jesus Christ. I found it, and so can they!

9. Besides teen moms, who else will benefit from reading Life Interrupted?

Parents, pastors, youth leaders, crisis pregnancy center workers . . . anyone who deals with young mothers. The thing is, I believe each of us can think of one young woman who can benefit from this book. I also believe that if these influential people read the book themselves they will receive insight into the hearts and minds of young mothers.

10. Do you have any new projects on the way-books, speaking engagements, or other, that we can look forward to?
This is a very exciting year for me! In addition to "Life Interrupted" I have two other books that will hit the stands. "Night Song" (Moody) is my second novel. Set in WWII, it centers around four people unexpectedly tied together and the fight over a priceless violin.
The other book is a children's book, "10 Minutes to Showtime" (Tommy Nelson). This is a Christmas story that I wrote when my children were toddlers. The story revolves around angels getting ready to announce the birth of Christ. It's fun and the illustrations are amazing. Both books will be out by October!

In addition to that, I travel and speak a half-dozen times a year. This fall I'm looking forward to speaking at the International MOPS convention, a women's retreat, and a writer's workshop. Since writing is such solitary work, it's great fun to get out and connect with readers!