It’s no secret that I’m a young mom.
I’m always the youngest mom in the playgroup, youngest mom at the preschool, and the youngest of pretty much all of the mom-friends I’ve made since moving here. Now that I have a ring on my finger most assume that I’m older, and many are shocked when I tell them I’m just twenty-three. I can see them doing the mental math looking between my almost four year old and myself, and when they finish that math I can see the “ohhhhh” look spread across their faces as they realize how young I am now and how young I was when I had Aiden. Usually, they just brush it off or rapidly change the subject. Every once in a while, they say what they really think and it’s often pretty dang hurtful.
I’ve made a list of my “favorite” things that people have said to me in the over four years since I got pregnant with Aiden. Yes, these were actually said by REAL PEOPLE to ME!
1) Was he PLANNED? (Yes. By God.)
2) Do you know who the Father is? (Apparently being a young mom makes me a slut by default. I usually respond with, “well I have it narrowed down to three.” -Sorry Mom-)
3) Wow, your life ended before it really began. (Yeah, it’s hard sometimes, but I get to play with toys, go to playgrounds, and have an excuse to eat ice cream everyday. Not to mention, when he’s eighteen, I’ll be thirty-seven. Boom.)
4) There are much easier ways to “play house.” (So, first it was so hard, and now I’m just “playing house?”)
5) You’re just another statistic. (Don’t even have words for this one.)
6) Why didn’t you just get an abortion? (Why don’t you just get a hysterectomy BEFORE you accidentally reproduce. Thanks.)
7) Should have kept your knees together. (And you should keep your lips together.)
8) You’re such a great big sister to take your little brother everywhere! (I still get this one now, at 23. This week actually! Thanks to that lady for inspiring this post!)
9) Of course you’re stressed, you deserve it after the choices you’ve made. (……)
10) No one will ever marry a girl with this much BAGGAGE. (Whoops, guess Andrew missed that memo.)
11) It must be nice to just live off of child support. (HAHAHAHA!)
12) Guess you can audition for Teen Mom now. (No thanks.)
13) I’m sure your Mom will do most of the work for you. (She’s always been there for me, if that’s what you mean…let’s pretend it is.)
14) Girls like you are why our economy is failing. (I can see the headlines now: TEEN MOMS SINGLEHANDEDLY BRING DOWN THE U.S. ECONOMY.)
and last but not least…
15) You’re just setting your child up for a lifetime full of failure. There is no way you can provide everything he needs by yourself. You’re just a kid.
Why is it that in a country where teen pregnancy is so common, people tear these girls down instead of building them up? The odds and statistics are already stacked against them, so why make them feel worse? For me, my biggest motivation was when someone would tell me that I couldn’t do it. Not everyone reacts that way though.
Yes, some of them “brought it on themselves” because they wanted to “make him stay,” or audition for 16 & Pregnant. But more often than not, pregnancies at this age are an accident. Caused by failing birth control, breaking condoms, or a lack of KNOWLEDGE about birth control options. I don’t see anyone personally attacking the schools for not providing sex ed courses, or the parents of the girl for not having open communication with their daughter, or maybe the father of the child for being too embarrassed to buy condoms. My point is…
THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK.
That girl that you are about to share your opinion with? She’s going to have it hard enough without you sharing your two cents with her, so if you don’t have something nice to say, do everyone a favor and just keep your mouth shut.
My PSA moment: TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT SEX AND BIRTH CONTROL. Chances are, they’re going to “do it” whether YOU are ready or not. But make sure that THEY are. Check out http://thenationalcampaign.org/ for some information about talking to your kids. The National Day to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies is May 7th!
Are you or were you a young mom? What was the most unbelievable comment you received from a friend, family member, or a stranger?