- Briana Dejesus, Cheyenne Floyd, and Leah Messer from "Teen Mom" discussed their journeys.
- They agreed that they needed to be more accepting of themselves.
- All three co-parent with their exes — and they shared tips on how to do so successfully.
"A roller coaster" is how Briana Dejesus, a star of "Teen Mom: The Next Chapter," described MTV's newest addition to the "Teen Mom" franchise.
Cheyenne Floyd and Leah Messer agreed with Dejesus' perspective on the new series, which follows them and their castmates from "Teen Mom OG" and "Teen Mom 2."
Dejesus, Floyd, and Messer sat down with Insider to talk about how they'd grown since the first season of their show and share their advice for navigating motherhood and co-parenting relationships.
Embrace change as a sign of growth
"There have been so many changes from becoming a mom at 17 to now being a mom at 30 to teenagers," Messer said.
She said it had been rewarding to see her 12-year-old twins, Ali and Aleeah, becoming young women and to have age-appropriate conversations with them about the pressures of being a teenager, including how to prevent teen pregnancy. Messer said she values open communication between parents and children and felt that this was missing when she was a teenager.
Reflecting on her evolution on the show, Floyd said, "I look back at my first season, and Ryder was so little — but then I look at myself and think, you were so little too." She said her biggest challenge right now is knowing where to draw the line between giving Ryder everything she wants and making sure she stays humble.
"I'm still changing and evolving," Floyd said. "It's a weird feeling, but it's great to see my growth and my daughter's growth."
Dejesus' advice is to appreciate the time you have with your kids. "I'm just trying to soak up what I can and live in the moment," she said, "because time flies by, and the next thing you know the kids are out the door."
Be yourself and have fun
The women said that while it can feel strange having the cameras around, the kids are a good reminder not to take themselves too seriously.
Messer said her 9-year-old daughter, Addie, enjoys filming. "She loves being funny and making everybody laugh," Messer said.
Floyd said Ryder loves being on camera too and recently discovered that not everyone grows up with film crews in their homes. "Ryder tells everybody she's on TV when she walks in the classroom," Floyd said. "I feel like she would be in this world whether or not it was because of me."
Dejesus said her 5-year-old daughter, Stella, is the same way, running over to the TV whenever she hears the promos for "Teen Mom." Meanwhile, Nova, Dejesus' 10-year-old daughter, "is like, I'm too bougie for this lifestyle," Dejesus said.
Give yourself some slack
The three moms reflected on the importance of being more accepting of themselves as they've gotten older.
Messer described acceptance as "being patient with yourself, knowing that you're not perfect and probably will make mistakes as a mom."
Dejesus said mistakes are part of learning. "You can push forward and realize that those mistakes also made you who you are today," she said.
For Floyd, it's about trying to instill discipline in her kids while recognizing that she's human and doesn't always make the right choices.
"I feel like my patience has grown for sure, and Ryder's of the age where she's trying me, so we're battling right now," Floyd said. "The best advice I've gotten recently is to give myself grace as I'm learning, changing, and growing up."
Let go of pride and communicate
The moms are no strangers to learning how to co-parent with an ex. Floyd said co-parenting had felt like having a full-time job, while Dejesus described it as an ongoing struggle for her family.
"Co-parenting takes so much work," Floyd said. "But if you're patient, learn how to communicate, and put your pride to the side, then you can make it happen. Keep the kids first."
Messer said her co-parenting relationship with her exes is "in such a great place today than it was eight years ago." She said that being willing to communicate and learn from each other and putting egos aside had allowed Messer and her kids' fathers to take a major step forward in their co-parenting relationships.
Find people who support you
From sharing the experience of being young moms to becoming part of the "Teen Mom" universe, the cast members' bond is undeniable. But the women said these relationships aren't always smooth sailing.
"Within any friendship there's conflict sometimes," Floyd said, "and it can be hard to navigate these dynamics."
But they said conflict shouldn't deter someone from reaching out for support, adding that having people who uplift you and understand what you're going through can help you feel less isolated as a parent.
"I love the way we've all connected and continued to grow," Messer said, "and that's why I'm excited for this next chapter."