I’m a young(er) mother. Most 26 year olds aren’t spending their days high fiving a 3 year old because she pooped on the potty, or their nights tending to a 6 month old who’s feeding on demand…but this is a choice I made. To be a younger momma who’s able to keep up with her kids and handle pregnancy with ease because biologically we are supposed to have our babes young, right? And we were finally secure enough for me to stay home, we had health insurance, family support and all that responsible, boring stuff. Because that “stuff” is important even if we all want to close our eyes and pretend that all you need is love.
And as a young(er) mom I sometimes find myself relating to the gals on teen mom. At 16 I would not have been prepared to raise a baby, and I hate the way MTV has glamorized teenage pregnancy. Yet (and I’ll admit I’m not too well versed on this) they started off with good intentions, no? To show the world how completely suck-ass it can be to raise a baby when you’re a baby yourself…instead the girls are paid decently (for 16 year olds from South Dakota anyway) and are interviewed in Star magazine. We can pity them from afar but the truth is that we FOLLOW them – we give the show good ratings, scoop the magazines up when we see another train wreck teen story on the cover…So whatever MTV’s good intentions were, they backfired. Leaving girls all over this country idealizing teen pregnancy, all while providing a huge TV network with awesome ratings.
As the mother of a girl, I feel nervous. I am pro-choice as they come, and we are raising our kids honestly in terms of sex but it gets tricky. Too open, or too reserved are both equally horrible, so where do we draw the line? I don’t agree with birth control and the hormones that go along with it (that will have a backlash on the fertility of woman of the future..) so do I preach about condoms? The pull out method? Both of which are hardly full proof? And what about just waiting..but waiting for what? The right guy? Marriage? There’s so many questions that I simply don’t have the answer to but after watching the season premiere of Teen Mom 2 I’m…terrified. For my daughter, for the girls on that show who are had babies for the wrong reasons. Maybe they thought they could keep their idiot boyfriends around and live out the dream of a picket fence, or maybe they were just religious and don’t believe in abortion. Either way, wow. WOW man, and the pregnancy pacts and high schools with dozens of girls being knocked up?
Teen pregnancy isn’t anything new, but shame on MTV for making it something to strive for.