“I didn’t care if there was a stigma around teen pregnancy. You have to decide whether other people are going to control your life or if you’re going to.”
In an article for the Daily Telegraph, Marcia Hines, frankly and with great warmth, shared her experience of being a teen mum. The singer, actress and television personality fell pregnant with her daughter Deni when she was 17 years old and already forging a path into what would be a very successful singing career.
When she discovered that she was pregnant in 1970, she took control.
“At a very early age, I controlled my own life,” she said.
“I was always brought up knowing there are consequences to the things you do.”
Hines was by then living in Australia but notes that her mother, Esmerelda Hines, was a significant influence and support.
“My mother was the only person I cared about and she accepted it. When I told my mum, she said, ‘Do what you can and if you can’t cope, bring the baby home [to Boston] and I’ll help you out.'”
Eventually Esmerelda came to live with her.
“Motherhood taught me selflessness. You could be dressed to the nines, ready to go out and they would vomit all over you. It teaches you so much more about yourself than you’d ever know. Those women who want to have children should go and do it. And those women who don’t want to? That’s fine, too.”
Deni has followed her mother into the music industry and Hines recalls with fondness how music was an “integral” part of their home life. She doesn’t deny that raising a child, particularly through the teen years, was tough. But she is exceptionally proud of who Deni is and the relationship they have.
“I’ve always loved children, so for me it was easy [but] I do not condone teenage pregnancy – when you become a mother, you are no longer a teenager…
“Having Deni made me grow up quickly. I think all of the above is why I am the way I am. I couldn’t change it for the world. I’ve only had one child, and I’m really glad that I did.”
Watch Nikki’s story – another courageous teen mum who chose life for her daughter, Nahla.