Thursday, May 14, 2009

Baby Buggy Bumpers

It seems no matter where I go in our fair little city these days, I see "Baby's" pushing baby strollers. And I'm not talking about the Sugar and Spice and everything nice, pig tailed little gems. I'm talking about the Tweeny Boppers who are 15 going on 30. One would think their biggest concerns should be centered around whether their wardrobe is stitched with acceptable labels. Or that their hair and make-up match their favourite 'Idol of the Week'. They should be worrying about whether their grades are good enough to graduate. Or even if they are going to have a date for the upcoming Proms. They shouldn't be worrying about feedings and formulas. Diapers and burping, baths and naps, fevers and teething and a host of other unknowns which they have absolutely no knowledge of. Yet, here they are, outwardly playing the role of 'Mother' when they should be really enjoying the brief pleasure of being a daughter.

These days, Celebrity Teen Moms, who shall remain nameless, make this appear as an accepted norm. The reality is, your average teen is not going to have the bank account or the entourage to care for the baby of the week. They do not realize that this is not a passing fancy and that their school friends are not going to be around forever. The cuteness will wear off and the reality of it all will smack them in the face like a three day binge. The sad part is that that little bundle of joy they are pushing around the neighbourhood, will probably being doing the same thing 15 years down the road.

When are kids going to realize that there is nothing wrong with being a kid full term. That life out there will not always be fair. That recess ends in grade school and two month summer vacations will become a long forgotten memory. Successful statistics are against them yet year after year this trend continues. And if they decide not to keep the child within, then the abortion rates increase. I don't know. If I keep shaking my head, it will probably fall off.

What's to be done? I'm sure responsible parents do what they can to educate their own flock. Schools, well, who knows what goes on with Sex Ed these days. It doesn't seem to be working all that well. And from what I read, the responsibility winds up on the female side of the spectrum. Sure, in some cases, the young lad valiantly stands up and takes responsibility but that is more the exception than the rule. As soon as the coast is clear, the young Romeo is off to discover new pastures. But will he have learned anything from his previous adventure? I doubt it. I'm finding it difficult to complete this the way I feel would be just. The reality of it is that too many people get hurt from this. Lives become disrupted, dreams unfulfilled and all society does is spin the bottle and take a chance.


Natalie said...

I am an aunty to this living hell. :(
Great post.

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

Like Natalie..........I too am an autie to this absurdity. Ype, 16 year old niece with a baby. WHAT??????? She doesn't even realize the ramifications of her poor decision making at this stage yet........

Steady On
Reggie Girl

Anonymous said...

Excellent post Bogey! I don't know what the answer is. But your post caused me to reflect on my own adolescence, and what I was experiencing at that time. I remember it as such an awkward time - not quite an adult, and no longer a child. I remember thinking that I was SOOO mature - oh, was I wrong - and I was quite determined to make my own decisions. I would assume that somehow these young people feel the same thing. The big difference is that they experienced a different outcome than I did. I wondered as I read your post what would have happened if I had been one of the children you speak of. I think that my parents would have encouraged me to go through with the pregnancy and to keep the baby, which they would help to raise.
Really interesting - dang Bogey...I am going to be thinking of this all weekend now! Oh well - I will think of it on the golf course, should we get decent golfing weather!
Have a good one my friend. And thank you for all of your postive, encouraging comments.

Ai Shiang said...

Oh Nooooo! these young kids, don't know what they are getting into.

Back home (in Malaysia), if a young girl is not married and got pregnant. Oh my god! You will hear her parents yell at her at the top of their lungs. It is considered as a shameful thing to their family , all the neighbours will have things to gossip about.

Do you know if a muslim girl got pregnant and unmarried, her parents will "literally" kill her? I'm sure you heard of this before, right?

But I see many single young moms in the western countries.

Expat From Hell said...

Yes, and I am an uncle to this insanity. Now that they are a part of this world, they are most welcome to be here. However, I would strongly support government's subsidy of universal vasectomies

Great post, as always.


smiles4u said...

I liked reading your thoughts on this and you bring up many good points. As a young mom myself at one time, I do understand how it must have appeared to those looking from the outside. And I do understand that it is hard for many people to understand us "young moms".

You are right, too many people get hurt from this. I married the father and that was not a good thing. I am thankful that I am no longer married to him. Sadly, he stopped having anything to do with his children many years ago.

There are a lot of reasons for why I made the choices that I did. I am not sure if you or others could understand. I also know that many people judged me and that didn't help me.

You are right, that often times, this baby, grows up and becomes a young parent herself. Even though I spent a lot of time teaching my children, I know that many will question my parenting and assume I taught them nothing. Regardless of what I taught my daughter still repeated my "mistake" and became a young parent herself.

The differences in our situations is that while I was kicked out of my family home and ostercised, I embraced my daughter and supported her. While I was made to hang my head in shame as I took my life sentence, I would not allow my duaghter to hang her head in shame.

Life did not stop there. Even though she gave birth at the end of her junior year, she graduated from high school at the top of her class. She went to college and did a 5 year program in 3 years and graduated at the top...all while being a good mom. She is in her 6th year of teaching 2nd grade and was awarded teacher of the year for her school. She has an amazing 10 year old daughter.

I know that too often dreams are not fullfilled...too often the girl believes too much of the bad to make something of her life. Too often the girl is left standing alone. I ran a daycare at a high school for 5 years and I seen pretty much every situation possible. I could write a book of all the success stories but I also could tell you some sad storys.

I have known some great young parents and I have known some that shouldn't be parents. Ever. My step daughter wasn't a teen mom but she surely wasn't capable of parenting either so here I am raising her kids.

I don't really know all the answers. I have a lot of thoughts and idea's but really what is the answer to this dilema?

Bogey said...

Natalie, and I know you are stepping to the front of the class trying to help out any and every way you can.

Reggie, when they are family, all we can do is help them make it thru.

Audrey, don't you think it is interesting to be able to go back in our minds to when we were that age and reflect on how and why we made certain decisions. I doubt it is ever easy.

As for golf, are you able to play right now? If so, have a great time. There is nothing wrong with having something to think about on the week end. It will exercise your brain.

Ai Shiang, sadly, throughout the world, this dilemma is dealt with in a miriad of ways. Regretably, not all cultures see girls/women as anything more than chattle and their lives hold little if any value.

EFH, what I was thinking last night, but did not say was, that the parents of the boy should be held financially responsible until he is of age to take care of the situation on his own. Fathers need to be more accountable for the actions of their sons.

Smiles4U, First let me thank you for sharing your story. You have a lot of courage and knowledge of this. Yes, I guess it is difficult for people to understand looking 'from across the street', so to speak. But I guess their initial thought is of the child. I guess it is just a natural reaction to think the worst.

Actually, I think I have some knowledge in why you would want to keep your child. And the fact that you did puts you in my 'Hero' category. The alternatives would have been less attractive for the child I'm sure.

Who knows why your daughter did not heed the lessons you were trying to convey to her. Unless it was falling on deaf ears, I'm sure she was aware of the consequences. Regardless, I think because of the traumatic experience you went thru with your own parents, you were mentally, and emotionally ready to support your daughter at all costs. Your love, support, experience and strengh helped to propel your daughter forward and the results are obvious. Too many parents in similar situations are only too ready to turn their back with a "You made your bed now lie in it" attitude. I guess it is easier for them to do that instead of looking in the mirror and accept their own parenting failures.

Are there any easy answers to this dilemma? I'm sure there are a millions opinions on this subject but unless we have open dialogue with todays generation these situations will only continue. Not everybody will blessed with a supportive Mom like you. Sad eh?

Thanks everybody for sharing. And as Tint put it, "Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about."