Yesterday, I realized that I listen to the “2000” decade station on my sirius, which are now considered as “oldies”. Secondly, I realized that I might do more laundry than put out for my husband (that was actually today’s realization)…and it was then I decided that holy shit, I too, am a Teen Mom story. This is my life.
After spending my weekly ritual of MTV’s Teen Mom Tuesdays two nights ago, where I am usually poking fun or shaking my head with a…”if my daughter ever….(you fill in the blank)”, I got mad. Like really mad, and in a few short seconds, I was able to visualize which character I was in the past ten years. The year that I became pregnant with my first child at 24, clearly I was Jenelle (Teen Mom 2). Where, I did not participate in heroin, or drug arrests, but was drawn to adventure and a bad boy was a perfect catalyst. Like her, repeating mistakes over and and over again by doing the same thing and getting the same result, leaving everyone in my family frustrated. Graduate to age 27 with my second child, and I became Amber (Teen Mom 1), everyday bottling up so much anger from living with a “teen dad,” if you will, that resulted in angry outbursts and out of body explosions that no one could make sense of. Now, at my current age, I am living as Kaelin (Teen Mom 2) who is expecting her second child (her not me) with her husband, while her first child’s father respects nothing about her new family. Which, in turn, leaves me dealing with my ex “Adam” who likes to live life on the edge and “Joe” who cannot live up to his expectations, but requires me to go above and beyond regardless of his poor decisions.
…and then I realized that I am not the only one. Anyone…parents who had children before they were financially stable, single parents, blended families, parents who are trying to raise children, while going to get a masters, while being a housewife, while having a part time job, full time job., and being resentful, parents who did the “biblical” way….ANYONE who haven’t changed their thinking. If we live in a “teen mom” world, even in our thirties, the story will never change either.
So the issue that I see here that you cannot overcome a “teen mom” life until both parties have resolved themselves of it. It cannot work if the father is playing “teen dad” going out for McDonald’s at 2am for a cheeseburger and a blow job. It cannot work if mom is throwing a fit over not being able to purchase the most expensive pair of jeans in the store because she needs to buy diapers that week, while the father is working 3 jobs to buy those diapers. You will be stuck in the teen mom cycle. Here’s what else you will be caught up with.
Being more concerned about the new girlfriend, calling her a whore even though she is extremely nice to your child and picks her up from school when you are stuck at work. But you hate her because she is five years younger and 10 inches skinnier.
You will fight with your ex over anything just to prove that you are right, just because.
You will still rely on your parents to fix your problems or get mad when they can’t babysit so that you can go get your nails done.
You will get mad that you cannot just go away on vacation whenever you want because your child has school Monday through Friday.
You will wear shorts that your butt cheeks hang out in (still working on this at times)
You will expect money to fall off of a tree, instead of working for it and can’t understand why you are still on state health insurance.
You get excited when your tax refund hits the max return of $8,000 because you are poor and have 2 kids, but now you think that you are rich.
You will hate being a single parent because you have to do everything, but no one knows what your child needs more than you, but you complain that no one offers to help, then yell at them when they do.
You go and get a tribal tattoo or a tramp stamp or…… perhaps a chinese symbol that you think means “courage but, but means “man.
You cannot wake up for school again, even if you aren’t going to school, but your kid still has to go.
In here lies, the reasons why teen parents account for:
a. “1 percent of those will earn a college degree before they turn 30.”
b. “Two-thirds of families begun by a young unmarried mother are poor. More than half of all mothers on welfare had their first child as a teenager.”
c. “Eight out of ten fathers in cases of teen pregnancy don’t marry the mother of their child.”
…no matter at what age….you conceived….
But…it’s not always about the NUMBER…but about something else. Listen, my tactics as a 24- year- old parent, were nothing close to skilled, regardless of the fact that I was now considered a full blown adult. When I told the pediatrician that I was waking my 3 month old infant up at midnight to feed her, so that I could sleep, he said that explains the 17 fat rolls going down each of her arms….and never to do that ever again. And certainly, thinking that a fork can be used to pull out a piece of toast at 32 could may, in fact, kill you, I’ve learned in the past years to try to escape the drama. The issue is that my ex has not, which still keeps me in it (at least part time).
I had no idea what I was doing, and perhaps still struggle, but what is the difference between then and now for me? The key is emotional maturity. This will happen (correction: SHOULD happen) as we get older. And, as we become more established in our thinking, we should become more established financially as well, resulting in less resentment and more proactive measures to do what’s necessary, instead of what we missed out on.
Let’s focus on not becoming the statistic and be the parent that we always wanted our parents to be. High school was 17 years ago, if not more. Its’ never too late to follow your dreams, and yes, we may miss out on things because we CHOSE to be parents, but pushing through is what will show our kids that a good parent can be a good parent at any age, as long as we fight for that title.