With the Mtv hit show “Teen Mom” and just issues in my own life, something crossed my mind. Something I need my kids to know, and every kid to know. To be aware of.
I am guilty of watching the show Teen mom. I don’t know why. Maybe that old saying about a train wreck no one wants to see but can’t stop watching? Maybe it’s because it shows young moms can still be good moms, good moms can still have moments of poor judgement. Emotions can get the best of us all.
I think it’s great how Dr Drew points out the reality’s that teen parents struggle with. But truthfully….all parents struggle with most of the same issues. I think the issue that needs to be focused on is when your a young mom or dad, you are growing up with your child…and they are watching it all.
I was 18 when I got pregnant, with twins. I had them at 19. To say my life was stable and structured, prepared even, is false. I had the same boyfriend for over 3 years. He was a great guy (3 years older than I) but had started a secret life involving drugs. We lived on our own, he was buying the home we lived in. He worked full time. I worked 2 part time jobs and had just started college. I had graduated high school a year early and earned a nearly full ride scholarship for college. Then I got pregnant….with twins…did I mention I was only 18? 🙂 My mom was in her mid-life crisis, my dad was dying of cancer, and my boyfriend decided he couldn’t handle the situation. He called my parents one night, locked himself in the bathroom and told my parents to come get me. We had lived together for over 2 years so this was all a shock.
Looking back now at 35, I see things so different than I did at 18. What kids need to realize is parents are expected to be perfect…but they can’t be. No one can. Kids look to their parents to always be strong. Always have the answers. Always do the right thing. Always have the finances to say yes. And when the parent isn’t strong, doesn’t have the answer, your kid will never forget about it. Just think of your parents. Everyone has several stories about something their parent did that traumatized their childhood. But parents aren’t always perfect. I believe even the good ones screw up sometimes. Parents can’t be perfect. Life isn’t a movie. It takes it’s toll to always put others first. Sometimes you feel like you’re forgotten. You feel unappreciated, disrespected, exhausted and ask yourself “what about my feelings?”. But you are the parent…is it selfish to feel these things? You are human too!
I gave birth to two beautiful healthy twin girls at just 19. The problem with the show Teen Mom, the focus is put on being just that. A teen mom. Would one year have made a difference for me? If I had waited just one year I would have been 20. No longer a teen mom. But one year? Hell no! 5 years? Hell no! I think 10 years would have made a world of difference. And not because I regret that I had to sacrifice and struggle to raise kids when I wasn’t ready. It’s because my kids wouldn’t have had to grow up watching me grow up. With a 10 year delay hopefully I would have been more aware on how to ensure my kids grow up in one home vs two allowing my kids to grow up without splitting holidays and birthdays, missing out on family outings because it’s the other parents scheduled time. Even if you get along with the other parent, it’s hard. Whether your 16 or 20, your not ready. That doesn’t mean you won’t be a good parent. It just means your kids will grow up watching you make the mistakes it takes in life to learn how to be a good person. Those will be the stories they share with others and the memories they have.
Life is hard, parenting is hard, single parenting is very hard. What I wish I knew 20 years ago? Parents mess up, even good ones. The weight on our shoulders can become to much to bare sometimes and even parents will fall. It takes alot out of you to always be the rock. Always trying to make the right decisions and the stress over it. And when you get past one hurdle there’s a couple more to jump out at you, testing your skills and your limits. And sometimes you won’t handle situations perfect, sometimes emotions get the best of you, even parents. Especially the good ones.