As a mom of teenagers, I see my kids and think of what their lives would be if either of them were to have a baby. I have two boys ages 15 and 17, and my daughter is 19. None of them is mature enough to care for a child full time. They don’t have the patience, the responsibility, nor the capability to be a parent at this age. It makes me cringe just to think of them having to go through that difficult transition right now. They have enough issues with being teenagers, it would break them or make them grow up sooner than they should.
This makes me think of what my mother was thinking when she let me have my baby at 14. I was already a mess! We were basically homeless and broke. I guess she was happy because we were going through so much, a baby meant a huge blessing for us. Nothing else mattered. We would figure it out.
After getting pregnant, everyone started treating me like an adult. I knew that I was going to be a mother, but my brain couldn’t comprehend entirely what that meant. Brains don’t finish developing until after your 20’s and I think some even take longer than that! I was not even close to being an adult. Of course, with time I had to grow up and be an adult. But it was hard!! Harder than it should be.
I was still a child when I got pregnant. How was I going to take care of a newborn baby? That wasn’t the problem though. Everything would be fine because I had my mother. She would take care of us.
But everything was not fine. My mother was diagnosed with cancer soon after my baby girl was born. My aunt took care of all of us through my mother’s cancer journey. God knew we needed her, he gave her the strength and ability to overcome this difficult situation.
I was still being the selfish teenager that I was, I didn’t have to worry about taking care of my daughter full time, yet. I thought that by ignoring the fact that my mother was sick, everything would go back to normal. My mom would get better and I wouldn’t even remember her being sick. I didn’t like seeing her so weak, always in bed and worse when she lost her hair. She was so thin, it wasn’t her anymore. Now I regret every second I didn’t spend with her, wish I’d understood back then.
When my mother passed, everyone was there to tell me that if I ever needed something to just give them a call. Nobody stopped to realize that I was still a child with a child and another on the way. I did need them! I needed a home and adult supervision! Having a child does not mean you’re mature enough to go out there on your own. I was basically an orphan, but since I had a baby, I was considered an adult. I don’t know who comes up with these rules or beliefs, but I think it’s crazy. Who was going to take care of me taking care of two babies?
I was forced to move in with relatives after mom died. The only relatives that could take us in lived in Mexico. My aunts were great at taking care of the babies but didn’t know what to do with me. I was a handful or two! I ended up moving into my boyfriends’ parents house. There I had to grow up and be a wife. Being the “wife” basically meant being his maid. I learned how to clean and be obedient to my husband’s commands. Their belief was that a wife stays home taking care of the children, cleaning, and cooking, while the husband worked all day just to come home and rest. The problem was that my “husband” didn’t even work. He went out all day and night just to be with his friends, party and do drugs. I still had to be home with the kids. I was not allowed to visit or have visitors. I was not allowed to talk to my husbands’ brothers. I was not allowed to dress how I used to. I was not allowed to get upset because he wouldn’t come home.
But I was already an adult, right? Nobody was taking care of me, nobody cared how I was doing. Nobody called protective services when I had a black eye or bruises on my arms. I basically disappeared and nobody cared where I was. At 16 years old a child should be in school, being a kid. But I had made the choice of having a baby. I had to grow up and do it on my own.
Kids are always in a hurry to grow up. What’s the hurry? I didn’t even wait to actually transition into adulthood, I just went straight to it. I didn’t know any better. Adulting isn’t easy! Being a teenager with adult responsibilities is even harder.
Why are so many teenagers still having babies!!? I don’t get it. There are so many types of safe and free birth control and all this information on the internet, that it’s sad to see this is still happening. What’s even worse is that these teenagers are going straight to welfare. I would hate for my children to have to survive off any government help because I grew up like that. It’s not easy. I completely understand that things happen and sometimes we just have to deal with it however we can, but it’s completely preventable. We have to teach our children to be better than us. Break the cycle.