Although shows like MTV’s Teen Mom and 16 & Pregnant have only become popular in the last decade or so, young moms have always been a point of interest to people. Maybe it’s because of the struggles they face that make for plenty of drama, or maybe it’s because in between the tough-to-watch moments, there’s a whole lot of heartwarming things happening, too.
After all, just because Catelynn and Tyler Baltierra weren’t yet ready to parent their daughter Carly when she was born in 2009, that doesn’t mean they’re not great parents to their daughter Novalee. The couple is also expecting a third daughter in spring 2019. In that same vein, Farrah Abraham has had one of the most unpredictable teen mom experiences, starting with the passing of her daughter’s father before Sophia was even born.
Despite both families’ struggles, however, each mom found her own groove as a parent, even with the roadblocks along the way. Today, Catelynn and Tyler are working through their marital issues together, while Farrah is flying solo and focusing on her business ventures.
While Novalee is at home with her mom or dad most of the time, Sophia apparently owns her own business and is often seen showcasing products on social media. Clearly, the two former teen moms raise their daughters differently—here are some examples!
20 Catelynn: Under The Radar (To A Point)
When Catelynn and Tyler’s first daughter, Carly, was born in 2009, social media wasn’t as huge as it is now. That meant the couple started out not saying a whole lot about their journey with adoption and the after effects their family felt. While the MTV show gave them a platform to speak out, they still couldn’t say a whole lot—but when they both became active on social media, more details came out about their relationship with their first daughter. Namely, that the adoptive family wasn’t too keen on Carly becoming a household name. This led the Baltierras to living a bit more under the radar in the hopes that the family would let them maintain a relationship with Carly.
19 Farrah: Often On The Red Carpet
In contrast with Catelynn’s parenting practices, Farrah is a lot more “in your face.” Sophia is seen everywhere—she’s her mom’s little tagalong—and that means she’s in the spotlight way more than Tyler and Cate’s little girl Nova is. Of course, because Farrah is a single mom, she gets to make the decisions when it comes to her daughter. And that includes letting her attend events other kids may not be allowed to, or just events that don’t offer entertainment or accommodations for kids. Basically, most fans have never seen Sophia really be a child. Instead, she follows (closely) in her mama’s footsteps.
18 Catelynn: Kiddie Fashion Forward
Although Catelynn and Tyler Baltierra don’t often bring their daughter Novalee along to red carpet events, that doesn’t mean the family isn’t involved in other pursuits outside of Teen Mom fame. The couple started their own clothing line, Tierra Reign, which sells items for kids. The couple sources the fabrics and patterns for the clothing, and they also source the materials. Of course, Nova models many of the clothing items, too, although she tends not to do it in front of doting fans. Mostly she pops up on her mom and dad’s social media accounts—and in some of the clothing ads on Tierra Reign’s website!
17 Farrah: Personal Stylist Status
Although Farrah claims that Sophia owns her own company—the children’s clothing boutique called Sophia Laurent has since closed—it’s also been said that Sophia has a personal stylist. Either way, the kiddo wears tons of top-fashion items, and they’re probably not cheap. In a departure from Catelynn’s perspective on kids’ clothes—they should be comfy and cute, hence the Tierra Reign line—Farrah seems to let Sophia wear miniature versions of adult clothing items. Sophia also stars in her own fashion photo shoots, something Farrah has come under fire for in previous years, especially when critics thought that Sophia’s looks were too “grown-up.”
16 Catelynn: Doting Dad Helping Out
Another difference between Catelynn and Farrah’s parenting is the way they do it. Catelynn and her husband Tyler have been together since they were teens, when they welcomed and then placed for adoption their first daughter Carly. After they had daughter Novalee in 2015, the couple got married and has been together ever since. While recent social media details suggest the couple is currently living apart to work out some marital problems, they’re also expecting their third kiddo together. And while they’re separated, Catelynn still gets help from Tyler when it comes to raising their daughter. He’s also gone it alone while Catelynn is out of town for her mental health, too.
15 Farrah: Single Mom Going It Alone
Though most single moms would probably appreciate some help raising their kids, Farrah seems to be just fine with doing things herself. Although in the early days on the MTV show, she relied on her mom a lot for childcare, these days, Farrah and Sophia are pretty close-knit. In interviews, Farrah explains that she and her daughter go everywhere together, so it’s apparent that Farrah holds it all together on her own. These days, of course, she can probably hire help if she needs it—but Sophia is also getting older and becoming more independent, so there’s a lot less work involved to “care” for her.
14 Catelynn: Family Ties Are Important
With Catelynn and Tyler’s family dynamic, there’s always been lots of drama. From one parent who disagreed with the couple’s decision to place Carly for adoption (Catelynn’s mom), to their own parents being married to one another at one point (Catelynn’s mom and Tyler’s dad were together and also split multiple times during filming of the original Teen Mom), the expecting parents are no strangers to turmoil in the family. Still, they always try to maintain healthy contact with their families, as well as with Carly, and encourage relationships—within limits—with their parents and siblings. After all, family is important to this pair.
13 Farrah: Family Means Me & You
Although Farrah depended on her mom a lot when Sophia was a baby, even going away to college for a while and leaving her preschooler with her mom, Farrah has now made it clear that she is her daughter’s caregiver, and that’s that. While tension has always been high with Farrah and her mom, they seem to have reconciled for the most part. But that doesn’t mean that Sophia is super close with her—Sophia even expressed on camera one time that she wasn’t a fan of grandma’s new man. And understandably, what’s most important to Farrah is her and her daughter’s relationship, not anyone else in the family.
12 Catelynn: Time Together Matters
Through most of the filming at Catelynn and Tyler’s house, the parents can be seen playing with or at least taking care of Novalee. While she’s not always on camera, it’s evident that the parents spend time together just chilling at home. Sure, they get out of the house and attend events and eat out every so often, but most of what MTV fans see is the couple chilling at home and talking about their lives and what’s happening. And while Catelynn was away and Tyler was holding down the fort, Nova really missed her mom, he has said, and it was tough for them to be apart for just a matter of a few weeks.
11 Farrah: Kids Do Their Own Thing
From the early days of Sophia’s life, Farrah always seemed—at least on camera—to be a bit flippant about her daughter’s upbringing. There were verbal arguments between her and her mom, Debra, and there was also some door slamming and other uncomfortable stuff for a toddler to witness. Then, Sophia surprised fans by planning to attend college in another state, leaving Sophia behind with her parents. Even then, with Sophia being a toddler, Farrah claimed that Sophia would, essentially, do her own thing. It seemed odd to most fans, since young kids usually want to be with their parents—and Farrah was the only one Sophia had.
10 Catelynn: Not Ready As A Teen
Although her then-partner Tyler helped with the decision-making process, Catelynn ultimately agreed that placing their baby for adoption was the best course of action. After all, the couple was in their teens and not only didn’t have a place to live together but hadn’t finished school yet either. Add to that the fact that none of their parents could help them and were struggling with taking care of themselves to begin with. In the end, Catelynn said that the couple made the best decision of their lives when placing Carly for adoption, and they were better prepared to parent by the time they welcomed Novalee into their lives.
9 Farrah: Took It All On Too Soon
Farrah would probably be the first to admit she wasn’t ready to be a teen mom, and the situation was even more complicated because her “one true love,” boyfriend Derek Underwood, had passed away before Sophia’s birth. And without Derek’s support, it would have been understandable had Farrah made an entirely different decision about having her baby. But she did take on teen motherhood, and clearly wasn’t ready—as evidenced by her struggles in Sophia’s early years, including estrangement from her parents and even some jail time. And now, she’s considerably better off in terms of finances, but back then, Farrah relied on her parents for everything, too.
8 Catelynn: Taking Care Of Mental Health
From the time they placed Carly for adoption, Catelynn and Tyler Baltierra have been very open about their struggles with mental health and with coping with that sense of loss. Even though the pair are able to maintain a relationship with Carly, they realized that it’s not the same as parenting her the way they do Nova. And both halves of the couple have admitted their shortcomings and gone to counseling, while Catelynn has gone away a couple of times to work on her struggles on her own. Still, the two publicly address and tackle their mental health—no stigma attached.
7 Farrah: Working Out Emotions Differently
After all the drama that went down between Farrah and her mom, the two had some sit-down talks on MTV’s set to try and hash things out. But beyond that, there wasn’t much talk about the family getting to therapy to work things over. Years later, though, Farrah did acknowledge attending therapy after her boyfriend passed away. She said that her family attended therapy together, but she’s also attended counseling on her own. At the same time, she hasn’t been very open about the process, and she and her mom go through periods of estrangement even now, so it’s questionable whether the family is really working things out.
6 Catelynn: Married To Dad
While Catelynn and Tyler have had their ups and downs in their relationship, the two did tie the know after having daughter Novalee. They also continue to work on their relationship, even though both of them have changed so much over the years, and were mature enough to recognize that they needed to live apart for a while. And all of this while waiting on their new daughter, apparently to be named Tezlee, to be born. Though it’s still tough on the couple to have placed Carly with another family, at least the two can talk about her and visit with her together—something many teen parents can’t say they get to do.
5 Farrah: Introducing The Newest Boo
At the time of Derek Underwood’s passing, it seemed like he and Farrah weren’t on the best terms. At least, according to some of the comments from Derek’s family when MTV first started rolling the cameras. I remember watching Farrah talking about doing a paternity test on Sophia, because Derek’s family didn’t believe the child was his. From that point on, it seemed like Farrah never had a healthy relationship—at least not when the cameras were on. She has introduced a few guys to Sophia over the years, but none has stuck around for long—and apparently, one guy was just someone who was paid to appear on a show with Farrah.
4 Catelynn: Time Apart To Heal
Though Catelynn and Tyler have both publicly explained that their marriage is just as strong as ever and they’re both committed to it, they still decided to spend time apart. But instead of divorcing, they’re working on making their relationship better and embarking on some self-improvement, too. Throughout their daughters’ lives, though, Cate and Tyler have been a united front, and there haven’t been any rumors or suggestions of problems between the two beyond what they’ve already told fans about. Surprisingly, the young parents are finding ways to help themselves without hurting each other, and that’s a pretty admirable thing.
3 Farrah: Alone Is The Best Way To Be
Farrah may not have intentionally chosen the path she’s on, but the fact remains that she’s gotten a lot done while being single. From raising her daughter to growing a few different business ventures, no one can say that Farrah hasn’t made a name for herself. It may not always be for the best reasons, but you know that she’s getting a paycheck regardless, and probably saving for Sophia’s college tuition, too. It might be a little lonely at the top, but it doesn’t seem like that’s bothering Farrah too much. Clearly, when the time is right for a relationship, both she and Sophia will find the right person to add to their family.
2 Catelynn: Childhood Is Sacred
Catelynn and her husband’s clothing brand came about because the pair wanted clothes that were fun and adventurous for their kid(s). To them, playing and being comfortable is clearly important, and you can tell from the way Nova behaves that she’s a kid who’s all about adventure. To that end, Catelynn and Tyler’s social media snaps of their daughter often feature her doing regular kid stuff like getting messy or playing with toys. Sometimes Catelynn comes under fire for showing images that critics say aren’t quite right for social media, but it just goes to show you that the mama sees her girl as being innocent and young—the way kids are supposed to be.
1 Farrah: Business Lady Making Moves
In contrast with the Baltierras, Farrah’s social media accounts are plastered with images of both her and Sophia, and they’re not pics of the child playing Barbies or coloring. And while most sources say Farrah runs Sophia’s social media accounts too, her IG account, at least, is written from the perspective of the girl herself. And among the photos of Sophia posing with her mom for selfies, there are also images of her vacationing in the Maldives, putting makeup on, and strutting her stuff in photo shoots and on mini runways. Clearly, business runs in the family—and it obviously started early with Sophia, too!