The Life Of A Teenage Father


Emily Brull

“It’s crazy.” Gabriel Betts said to me in reference to his two year old daughter, Paisley. Gabriel, now 17, was only 15 years of age when his daughter came into his world. “I will admit, Paisley was not planned. When we found out Paisley’s Mom was pregnant, we were surprised but determined to be good parents. The thought of abortion was never an idea either of us had and I thank God for that.” Gabriel was glad he had been given Paisley. Before her birth, Gabriel was in a dark and horrible place. “I was on so many drugs and I felt like a needed a way out. I never knew the way out would be a child.” Gabriel claimed that Paisley had saved his life by inspiring him to go clean. He knew if he wanted to be a good father, he would have to sober up. “That’s when I started making music. I had to get myself together and try to find a career. Without cash, there’s no way to raise a child in today’s society.”

Emily Brull (Gaberiel’s Girlfriend)

Gabriel has been extremely motivated in supporting his child. “I used to work two jobs and a third on the weekend. Raising money for Paisley was hard work but necessary. Luckily, I can get by with just working one job now.” Gabriel currently works at the Macaroni Grill, and while the pay is low, Emily would picked up a job as well. “School is honestly a low focus for me. Education is important, but my child needs me more than I need schooling. I still go to school, but I’ll leave early on most days. That’s why I quit my other job, school started and I had no time.”

Music is one of Gabriel’s biggest passions. Paisley has inspired a great amount of his songs and gave him stories to tell inside of them. “I don’t think I’m ready to make it in the [music] industry yet. There’s so many other artists that have my style and do it better. The only thing that pushes me to continue is that I don’t want a crappy job I hate that still can’t pay the bills. If I make it in music, I can guarantee a good life for my wife and daughter. That’s all I want.”

Emily Brull

The typical day for Gabe consists of getting a baby-sitter, going to school, working, then coming home to Paisley. “Every day is stressful. I’m juggling so many different activities in a day. Free-time is almost non-existent in a normal day.” The weekends are the only bit of time Gabe can have to himself. Even on some weekends, Gabe puts his time into Paisley. “She loves McDonalds and the park near our house more than anything. Whenever I have a chance to take her to get an ice cream from McDonalds or go down the slide, I will take her.” Overall, being a teenage father is a stressful experience. Constant work is put into your child and free-time is rare. “I don’t recommend being a teenage father. Not to anyone. While I am glad I had a child, I really wish we would’ve waited.”