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.


7 comments:

Twingle Mommy said...

I've never thought of someone being 18+ as a teen mom before. Once you're old enough to enlist in the Army, you shouldn't be considered a teen in my opinion. I wish the media would quit glamorizing it as well. While teen moms shouldn't be shamed, they shouldn't be glamorized either.

Shell said...

I'm with TwingleMommy, I guess I never thought about it as 18+ counting as teen moms, even though technically that's still a teen.

That stat of 1 in 3 is scary.

The Dose of Reality said...

I didn't know it was strictly if you had a baby and you were 19 or younger. That makes sense, I guess!

I agree with Twingle Mommy, too. Teen moms shouldn't be shammed, nor should they be glamorized. Being a mom is HARD...and I think it's even harder when you still have a lot of growing to do as well. It makes you have to grow up fast.

Kirsten Jill Robbins said...

Agree that we need to stop glamorizing teen pregnancy. My daughter is 22 and had pregnant girls in her classes all 4 years of HS. She though it was "so cool".

I definitely don't think teen moms should be shamed but we need to stop romanticsizing it, too.
Jill
http://www.rippedjeansandbifocals.com

Kirsten Jill Robbins said...

Agree that we need to stop glamorizing teen pregnancy. My daughter is 22 and had pregnant girls in her classes all 4 years of HS. She though it was "so cool".

I definitely don't think teen moms should be shamed but we need to stop romanticsizing it, too.
Jill
http://www.rippedjeansandbifocals.com

Jennifer Hall said...

My mom had me when she was 16. She married my dad, but they ended up divorced. My mom had an uphill battle, but she did it and she's a good mom.

Branson said...

How funny that the post I read right before this was a post about being an "old" mom ;) I think you are right about not making it glamorous, but I have also known some mamas who were "ready" for kids at 18/19 (as if any of us are really every ready! ha!)