Is being a teen mom hard?

Full disclosure: I was not even close to being a teen mom. My first child was born when I was 28 and had been married for a couple of years. So I cannot say that I have personal experience. However, when I was pregnant with my youngest, there was a teen mom who was due around the same time as me, and I'd see her at the doctor's office frequently. We got to chatting, and I was impressed by her level of commitment to her impending new role, as well as the involvement of her boyfriend and her boyfriend's mom, who came to a lot of the appointments.

That being said, I have to be honest and say that I think it is not ideal by any means to have a baby when you are not that far from being a baby yourself! In many situations, the mother is just not ready or mature enough for the responsibilities and decisions that come with having a child. It doesn't mean she doesn't love and adore her child, but unfortunately love isn't enough. Also, in many of these situations, the father of the child is not involved (men at that age are normally even less mature), so you have a child that will grow up without a father. There's also a big difference between young teen (like 13-16) vs an older teen (like 18-19). I don't have as much of an issue with the latter, although it's not something I would personally want.

I also think that shows like Teen Mom (or whatever it's called) inappropriately glamorize teen motherhood and do not accurately reflect all of the challenges. When you are 16, school, sports and friends are naturally a key focus of your life. Having a baby changes that, and not always for the better. Plus, expecting your parents to raise a child with you when they are middle aged is also not what they bargained for and not fair.

I realize that others may not agree with what I've said here, and I am not here to make decisions for the lives of others. I would be EXTREMELY horrified if my daughter were a teen mom and frankly would not encourage her to keep the child (i.e., give up for adoption). But hopefully, I will never have to face that situation! If I do, I would of course try to help her in whatever way she needed.

In summary, I believe every teen (and any age) mother loves her child and wants to do what's best for him/her. And I believe if you find yourself in that situation, there are absolutely key success factors, like support from the father and both your families, continuing in school, etc.). But I would think long and hard before getting yourself into that situation. If you are a teen, ask yourself if you would want the same thing for your own daughter. It's okay to live your own life first and then have children.

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4Rina
Moms Expertise
04/03/14
4Rina
True, but the level of support you need as a teenager is far greater!! Let's not sugar-coat that.
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    04/03/14
    I think that to generalize is a mistake.. I think being a teen mom is NOT the best.. and I agree that the show, though Iv'e seen it maybe twice.. with my nieces.. is terrible .. I don't know how it glamorizes it though.. considering.. aren't they all in jail or addicts?

    Anyway.. I think it royally would suck to be a teen mom and to have a child that is a teen mom.. BUT like you said, there are girls that have the maturity to maybe not handle it, but have the humility to know that they can't and need help and made a mistake..
    1
    04/03/14
    4Rina
    Good point about the show, but I still think certain impressionable people think it's glamorous to be on TV!
    1
      04/03/14
      4Rina
      Absolutely agree with you n giving up childhood. Really, what is the rush?

      As to if my daughter (God forbid) were to become pregnant as a teen, I am not sure what I'd do. I think I would encourage her to give it up for adoption rather than keep it, but I would actually be okay with abortion as well in this situation. If I had gotten pregnant and 16 (I mean, I couldn't have done so as I wasn't having sex at 16, but still..), I would probably have had an abortion. But, anyway, the purpose of this post isn't abortion vs. adoption. It's that you should avoid the issue in the first place by not getting pregnant at that age. I realize that "accidents" do happen, but one way to avoid them is to not have sex in high school. Not a common view, I will admit, but one that I personally would encourage for my children. Like I said, 18 is a big difference from 14 or 16...

      Also, none of this is meant to apply to situations of rape, where the woman had no choice in the matter.
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      About Rina
      Birth: September 08
      On Moms.com since: Dec 16, 2013
      I'm a working mom of 4. My husband, kids and I live in Toronto, Canada. I love to read pretty much anything I can get my hands on, am addicted to chocolate and kissing my kids' necks (they all still let me do it!) and am a bit of a political junkie.