Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Being a Teen Mom?
Teen mom. Unfortunately it's a term we hear a lot about these days. When I was in high school, I knew very few teen moms. I could, literally, count them on one hand. I think back when I was in school, everyone pretty much accepted teen pregnancy as a pregnancy in any female of teen years still in school. But, then when I looked at the real definition of teenage, or adolescent, pregnancy I learned that simply it is a pregnancy in any female aged 19 or under.
I was 18 when I got pregnant the first time. My pregnancy lasted barely 10 weeks and resulted in a miscarriage. No one considered me a mom after that, much less a teen mom. I had just turned 19 when I got pregnant the second time. I had my daughter two months before my 20th birthday. By definition I was a teen mom, even though it was a brief time.
When I had my daughter, I never thought of myself as a teen mom. I guess it was because the misconception I had of the term eliminated me from it. But, in reality, I was a teen mom. My life wasn't as glamorous as that seen on television. In fact, I lived with my boyfriend. I may have been lucky in the fact that he didn't leave me and is in fact my husband now. But, I didn't have built in babysitters. I didn't have family that let me live with them. I had my own bills that I was responsible for. We had to work to support ourselves.
It wasn't easy. I don't regret my daughter, but I wish I hadn't been just 19 when I had her. I wish I had finished college and had a career. It would have made things a little easier. Being a teen mom isn't all it's cracked up to be, at least by some. I found nothing glamorous about it.
Society needs to stop glamorizing teen pregnancy. Even those teens on 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom get paid to be on the show. Of course, they can provide nice things for their kids. They are making more than some parents in their 20s and 30s. How is that showing the reality of teen pregnancy? Sure, some of the situations (single parenting, co-parenting,finishing school) are real but how can someone who works part time as a waitress afford rent, bills, and providing necessities and extras for a child? I couldn't and I was a full time waitress and the father was working construction.
Glamorizing teen pregnancy just adds fuel to the ever-growing epidemic.