Teen Parents?

Sarah - posted on 06/18/2010 ( 169 moms have responded )

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How do you feel about teen parents? Do you think that teenagers are prepared for the realities & responsibilities of parrenthood? Do you think that parenthood is idealized by teens? Do you think most teen parents are doing a good job?
http://ezinearticles.com/?A-Look-at-Teen...

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Krista - posted on 06/21/2010

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I think that teenagers can make excellent mothers or horrible mothers -- it all depends on the individual.

I DO get a little sad when I see a teenage mother, though. But it's for a different reason.

It is only now, as I hit my mid-thirties, that I realize that there are certain things that I am highly unlikely to do. I have chosen my path in life, and as I proceed along that path, other paths recede farther and farther into the distance.

When you are a teenager, you are completely unencumbered. You have every single choice in the world available to you. You could go study marine life in New Zealand. You could take off on a whim and live in New York for a year, or become an au pair in Paris. You are accountable to nobody but yourself, and hence, have every single path in the world laid out before you.

And then you have a child. And immediately, you are accountable to and responsible for that child. And your options have just narrowed...drastically. There are now many things that you will not be able to do, because you have that other person to think about now.

Life is unrelenting, and time does not move backwards, and with every single choice that we make, other choices become closed off to us.

So it frustrates me and makes me sad to see someone SO young cutting off her choices like that, before she'd even really come to appreciate the fact that the world WAS her oyster and she could explore any kind of life she wanted.

Charlie - posted on 07/04/2010

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Actually Caitlin i know quiet a few teen mums personally .

one of them we will call teen mum 1 ? TM1 - doesnt know who the father is , could be one of three , lives off her mother she is 16

TM2 - brags about using her benefits to buy tattoos , i - phones , clothes and weed .
TM3- had a baby 3 weeks ago , brags about how much pumpkin soup he eats and how she is going out to the clubs on the weekend 17.
TM4 - updates her status every weekend with " going to get pissed 2nyte" and uploads her photos of her blind drunk regularly .16 years old

None of them finished school or have jobs , they all live at home with their parents , only one of them is still with their partner .

i also know two other teen mums one is 17 the other is 18 , AMAZING mothers , some of the best mums i know , they support their kids , they put their kids first , one of them is finishing school with their parents help looking after their child while they study , these two are amazing , hardworking mums who stepped up and took responsibility , unfortunately they are the minority , those teen statistics everyone speaks about are laid out in real life people here in my town , they show exactly what the statistics show , teen pregnancy is rife where i live , i see a lot of very confused little girls who are still unsure about what role they are in teen girl or mother , it doesnt help that their parents enable them to continue to behave like they did before kids .

Do i think teen mums can be good mums ? of course i do , YES !
But the odds are stacked against you , if you are a teen mum who is making it work then congratulations that is fantastic , really .

Although i do find it funny that the only people who bring up teens being bad mums or judged are in fact the teen mums themselves , i never hear older mums bring it up but once its open to discussion ( by the teen mums ) i find they get offended when people offer their opinion , for or against , is it validation your after or a real discussion ?

[deleted account]

I've known plenty of teenage parents (mothers mostly) that were excellent parents. I've known some that weren't. I've know lots of adult parents that are excellent & some that are not.... It all depends on the person more than the age. Age plays a factor but it's not the only or most important one..

Rosie - posted on 07/09/2010

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here's my 2 cents :)

i was a younger mother and felt the wrath of people judging me without knowing me, or my situation. just walking down the street i would get comments-and i was 21!!! after experiencing that, it is hard to listen to people look down on younger mothers. i think that is why some of the ladies here have been misunderstanding what is going on, they've experienced what i have, and it kindof puts you on the defense. does that make sense? lol!

all that said, i agree with the sentiment of the thread. i wish i would've waited to have my children until i was older AND married, cause looking around right now, i can't seem to find his deadbeat ass. maybe he's hiding behind the couch and has been for 10 years.....nope not back there either. as muc as i love my child and wouldn't change my situation because it made me who i am today, my child doesn't have his biological father in his life. he has his step dad who just adopted him last year, but i went through the same thing, and i just am left wondering what was wrong with me that my dad didn't want me? my son will have to endure the same.
my now husband and i have never experienced each other without a child present. i long for carefree young days where we can do whatever we want whenever we wanted to. i didn't get a honeymoon until 6 years after the fact because i had a child and couldn't get anybody to watch him for a while, plus money.

but hey i look at it this way, my kids will be out of the house a lot faster, and then i'll get to be left with my husband enough to get sick of him!! i can't wait, lol!!!!

Amber - posted on 07/07/2010

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Haha....you guys are cracking me up. I must say, that at first I felt picked on in this conversation. But after you guys explained it, I understood what you were saying.
To the other teen moms~ I don't think that they ever said "Hey, you suck" And if you read what they said, I really don't feel like they are trying to pick on anybody. They are trying to understand why it seems intriguing to teens to become parents and why it happens so often.
I'm happy that other young moms are doing as well as I am. But even I have seen my fair share of bad young mothers. It was something that worked out for us, but it doesn't for everybody....in fact, it doesn't for most. That is their point. And even though it sucks, and as young moms we DO feel defensive, a lot of what they said is true.
So, relax a little bit. They're happy that we are all doing really well in our lives; they are only saying that it's not the norm.

*And a side note to the older moms~ As a young mom, I know how often we get slammed. So, a nice pat on the back every once in a while would be amazing :) Everybody expects older moms to be great. But a lot of people are a-holes to us with no reason."

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169 Comments

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Mae - posted on 07/19/2010

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It is my opinion that most teen parents have a harder time with parenthood than do parents that waited until they were adults, however, This is for many reasons only one being their age. As a teen you are still kinda living in an idealized world and reality hasn't fully set in yet especially about what things cost. I also think that it depends on what type of parent the teen has as role models, this doesn't seem to effect moms as much as dads if the father had a stand up dad himself then it has been the experience of most of my friends that the father will be a stand up guy too. I feel that teen parents are disadvantaged compared to some one who waited until they were an adult financially because most teen make minimum wage due to lack of experience and/ or education, plus when most young people are able to build their savings most teen parents cannot due to the responsibility of a child. Despite all of the disadvantages that teen parents face, I don't think that it is fair to say that they will automatically be bad parents, because I have known both types. I do think that you should wait until adulthood and that you should be in a committed relationship though because it's so much nicer to share the joys and responsibilies of parenthood with someone else. Oh and a side point many 25 year olds have a hard time being good parents

[deleted account]

OMG looks like i missed some of the fun..... Oh well thats what happes when you get induced.......I think i might need to send some strong painkillers to some of you mothers......That or you beat the brick wall?????

[deleted account]

Thanks, Allie....I'm sure none of us really wanna make enemies on here! It's much more fun having ALLIES! ;) lmao. bad joke....sorry! Hope I cheered you up!? Take care everyone!

Allie - posted on 07/09/2010

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Ok i just wanted to tell everyone that i am sorry how i came out and just started assuming everything. I was just in a bad mood and then i came across the teen parent thing and that just made me say something. I'm really sorry. I am way more mature than i sounded. Just wanted to say sorry to everyone for being snappy.

Charlie - posted on 07/09/2010

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*Hands everyone a gold medal * congratulations were all awesome mothers :D

[deleted account]

Allie, you didn't JUST "tell everyone how you felt".....you came in gunz blazin'....attitude at your side! Jaime-Leigh is right. Why couldn't you just offer your opinion WITHOUT the chip on your shoulder?

There are other young moms participating in this conversation and while I'm sure they don't necessarily agree with everything we're saying they're not bitter and cranky! You're just showing all of us WHY we think the way we do....you don't sound very mature!

Jaime - posted on 07/09/2010

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"if you want to tell me i am a bad parent because i receive government assistance then go ahead i dont care. I dont see how people are so quick to judge teen parents. I know yall will probably tell me the same thing yall told Megan that i just came into the conversation and that i have a chip on my shoulder but oh well"

This statement isn't exactly making your case about telling us how you feel. You are assuming that there is judgment where in fact, there is none! Get passed it and join the conversation or find somene else to cry to. Offer up a constructive opinion that lends merit to this discussion and perhaps you'll gain some perspective on the issue. Keep that chip on your shoulder and you won't gain any kind of ground on the argument for responsible teen parenting.

Allie - posted on 07/09/2010

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Yea just so you know i know how to effing read and i do have my big girl panties on. I was just telling everyone how i feel isn't that what everyone else has been doing?

Jaime - posted on 07/09/2010

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Allie all I can say is it's a good thing you're going back to school...maybe you'll learn how to effing read! Yet another teen mom that strengthens my point! When you're finished with your pity party, maybe you can locate your big girl panties too...you'll need them when you start school for sure!

Allie - posted on 07/08/2010

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I am a teen mom. I got pregnant at 18 and had my son at 18. My fiance and I live with his parents, and i am starting back to school in the fall. I do not have a job but my son has everything and more that he needs. I am also on WIC, and if you want to tell me i am a bad parent because i receive government assistance then go ahead i dont care. I dont see how people are so quick to judge teen parents. I know yall will probably tell me the same thing yall told Megan that i just came into the conversation and that i have a chip on my shoulder but oh well, this is how i feel.

[deleted account]

Amber, aren't you a breath of fresh air?! WOW! NOW I really do sound old!

To all the young moms....Amber is one of you and she summed things up quite nicely!

Jaime - posted on 07/08/2010

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YES! Exactly what Amber said.



As for your side note, I don't ever slam moms in general...unless there is good reason to speak up and say something---doesn't matter if they are a teen or older mom. I just recently yelled at a douchebag of a mother when I saw her walking down the street with her older kids and a younger kid (about 2) in a stroller. The kid was screaming so much, his face was red (I think he wanted something that he was told he couldn't have). The mother knelt down and yelled in his face, but then she began walking and decided to squirt her kid in the face with water repeatedly...I'm sure it was an attempt to shock him and stop his tantrum, but it only made him gasp for air and cry louder. What upset me was the look of pure satisfaction on her face as she was squirting the water bottle at her child. I didn't hesitate to let her know what I thought of her stellar parenting skills. Oh, and she was my age! I have seen some incredible teen moms...one of my good friends in high school was pregnant and married at 16. I run into her every once in a while and she is doing so well. She is still married (12 years later) and she and her husband had another child a few years after her first. She has a house, a good job, great kids...happy and healthy...and I am a struggling, single mother of ONE living on welfare. Trust me when I say that I rarely have judgment of another mother, I am considerably empathetic to most situations given my own trials.

Jaime - posted on 07/07/2010

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LOL...codswallop is awesome! I am a fan of hogwash too...sweet, I have new no-bullshit words!

[deleted account]

LMAO codswallop must just be an English thing, just the same as saying a load of S*** =] Or maybe it's just something people in the North East of England say...I'm not sure!

[deleted account]

Yeah all you older mummy's stop picking on us..... :`( .... .... But i am going to go and have a cry now.... and hoepfully you will feel bad......jk.

[deleted account]

Lols since I was a teen mum you know everyones just been so mean abotu teen mums lmao jk....what a pile of codswallop!

[deleted account]

@Megan Green.....why are you upset and more importantly WHO are you upset with? You seem angry and I'm not sure why.....you've just joined the conversation with a chip on your shoulder and I'm just wondering who said something specifically that offended you? Who is judging? THis is a debate community so feel free to call someone out or quote them so at least we know what's got you so riled up?!!

Jaime - posted on 07/06/2010

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Most of the teen moms that have responded in the last day or two are only strengthening my point more and more....GAH!



Dear Megan, go back and get your big girl panties, put them on and then rejoin the discussion...thanks much!

[deleted account]

Lols I don't read this thread for one night and it seems even more people can't read properly! If anyone on here had said teen mums were shit mums surely every teen mum would be having a go.....bleh!

Charlie - posted on 07/06/2010

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Um Megan did you read any of the previous posts or are you after a pat on the back too .

Not one "older mum' has said any of the implied things you stated , in fact ONLY the teen mums have said those things , its pure speculation , honestly .................its like a broken record in here .

Megan - posted on 07/05/2010

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Wow..really? I am a teen mom. And you know what i am trying my damndest to do my best raising my daughter i love just LOVE how all you older moms down us teens yeah it was a mistake having children so young. And yes its hard. But you really don't give us enough credit. I live on my own have a job an am going to school part time im still in a relationship with her daddy and yeah its hard no one ever said parenting was easy BUT just because your older doesn't mean that older women make any better parents than we do. Some of the older women with kids are shitty so who be judgin?

[deleted account]

LOL, Well said Dana and Jodi.
Even i think i am missing something. I wish people could learn to read. { head, wall}

Jodi - posted on 07/05/2010

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You know what really annoys me? When people don't truly "read" what is being said......

I must have missed something else. Apparently someone is saying ALL teen parents can't cope. I didn't see anyone saying that. There must be gremlins in the thread deleting posts!!!

Amber - posted on 07/05/2010

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Haha...I wish I had all the time in the world for sex...but I would skip the diapers again if I could :) lol
I understand what you are saying though, and I can respect your ideas. I also agree that most aren't ready.

Jaime - posted on 07/05/2010

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Thanks D-Mak--you saved me from having to explain my stance yet again. GAH! I probably won't be around to see my great grandkids...by then I'll be tanning and roasting marshmallows with beelzebub...everyone's welcome to my party!

[deleted account]

Laura, don't hurt yourself patting yourself on the back...

No one is trying to take your accomplishments away from you but WHY do you feel that it's necessary to defend your situation? No one is personally attacking you! There are always exceptions to every rule, as Jaime-Leigh already explained, but we're entitled to our opinions and statistics have our back!

Laura - posted on 07/05/2010

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@jaime, whos to say that at 40 i would have been as good a mum as i consider myself now?
i know a few teenage parents and in my opinion they are all great parents, i think that the bad parents are the exeption to the rule.
why should we all be tarred with the same brush because some people fail as parents?
hopefully i will see my grandkids and if im really lucky, great grandkids. can you honestly say that as an older parent you have those hopes?
i look forward to many years with my child and her future children if that is the life path she chooses

Laura - posted on 07/05/2010

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i am so sick of people saying that all teen parents cant cope and dont have it in them to raise a child. no-one bitches about people waiting until after nature has said that they are past it and have ivf.... my child was concieved naturally, as nature intended. she is bright, funny and very loving. although i will admit she can be naughty at times, but so can all kids.
she was not planned and i would not change her for the world.
honestly i can admit that i havent worked since she has been born but that isnt for lack of trying, now she will be starting school in september and i have time to go to college and gain a career in midwifery, which is a skilled career that i wouldnt have set my sights on had i not had an awful experience with midwives, i want to make other peoples pregnancy and labour more enjoyable, not look down my nose at them because they are teenagers.
if i had not had my daughter i would be in the navy now, but although i would have a career, i wouldnt have half of the life experience i have now. i have the fact that i was a teen mum to thank for that. and im bloody proud of it too.

Jaime - posted on 07/05/2010

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I absolutely understand. I realize that there are exceptions to every 'rule' or generalization but I am speaking to the majority of teen parents. The majority of teen parents are not ready and shouldn't want to be parents. I know teen parents...I know good ones and I know some that could use an entire semester of parenting courses. But regardless, I still think that in either case, they should not have children or even want to have children. Not all teenagers will want to party or be uber social or travel or whatever, but that doesn't mean settle down and have a family. And no, I'm not suggesting that's how it went for you Amber, you've explained your situation and I respect your choice. It really has nothing to do with judgment for me...it's just my opinion that teenagers should want to be teenagers...and that means figuring out what being a teenager means for each person--not subscribing to the silly ideals or vehemently discarding them and opting to have a family instead. Don't tell me that the only thing teens have to do these days is have sex and change diapers...c'mon! LOL

Amber - posted on 07/05/2010

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Haha Jamie ;) I don't know that being a teenager is boring. But even as a teenager, I never felt like I wanted to be one. It seemed like all they wanted to do was party and be lazy. All I wanted to do was graduate with honors so I could get on with my real life.
And that's what I did. I've been with my partner since I was 18. He's several years older than me. We already had a house and he was finished with school. I didn't "feel" like a teenager.
I fully agree that most people are not in the same place I was. Emotionally or monetarily. So, do I believe that becoming a teen mom is. in general, a good idea? No. I would agree with you that it's not. But I do think that in some cases it really is just who you are.
At 19 (when I got pregnant) I was more ready for a child than many people are who are a decade older than me. It wasn't my plan (birth control failed), but I didn't feel as if there was a reason why I shouldn't be a mom.
Does that help you to understand at all?

Jaime - posted on 07/05/2010

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I'm just going to throw this back into the conversation; I feel that teenagers are not ready to be parents, nor should they want to be parents. SOME teens can be good and successful parents, yes, I'm simply saying that they shouldn't be or shouldn't want to be. There is plenty of time for you to have a child when you become an adult. Teenagers should just be teenagers and do all of the crazy things that teenagers do...what really is so boring about being a teenager that would possess a teenager to want to become a parent? It's just baffling to me!

Sunny - posted on 07/05/2010

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I think any mother can be a wonderful mother. I had my son at 18. He is now 3 years old and my partner and i have been together for 7 years. We have worked very hard to have our own place, good jobs, a healthy family and to never accept handouts. I would never take back having our son. And although it has been very hard we still do better than older parents we know. Yes i think there are a lot of young parents out there who don't have the help or education that ALL parents no matter the age need but i also think there are a lot who do a wonderful job who are looked down upon and judged because of their age alone. I believe that as mothers we should be doing the best we can to help and support each other, after all motherhood is a tough gig wither your 18 or 40.

Wendy - posted on 07/04/2010

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I completely agree with you. Yes there is some teens that don't know what they are getting into and don't take the responbility but there are lots that do take the responbility. I have seen this for older people also, they don't step up..

[deleted account]

Lol I agree Dana what annoys me is the number of teen mums who give the minority of them a bad name. The ones who annoy me the most are the ones who play the you're being mean because I'm a teen mum...they need to grow-up and act their age! I'm 20 now like so not considered a teen mum now. I have nothing to complain about because Logan was what my husband and I wanted but we were one of the few ready for the responsiblity of a baby with our own home and my husband in a good job.

[deleted account]

EXACTLY! Perhaps it's not the age but the lack of maturity that gives it away? I've found a few threads (ironically started by young moms) where the person is complaining about something and the minute they don't get my support they jump down my throat, accusing me that it's because I'm "judging" them and calling them a bad mom.....I don't care how old you are....if I don't agree with you I'm going to say so! Just so happens it's the young moms complaining!



Perhaps it takes maturity to realize that in order to learn we need to hear all sides and get many different opinions?

Jodi - posted on 07/04/2010

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Quoting Loureen
"Although i do find it funny that the only people who bring up teens being bad mums or judged are in fact the teen mums themselves , i never hear older mums bring it up but once its open to discussion ( by the teen mums ) i find they get offended when people offer their opinion , for or against , is it validation your after or a real discussion ?"

Well Said, I couldn't have said it better myself.

I even remember when someone started a tirade that everyone just was against her because she was a teen mum, after she received some advice she didn't like (I can't remember the issue now), and she hadn't even MENTIONED how old she was in the thread and no-one had a clue that she was a teen mother.

[deleted account]

Caitlin, you said, " I'm 19 with a daughter, enrolled in college, with two jobs, I just got full custody of my daughter..."

While those are all wonderful accomplishments, I'm just wondering where you lived while all this was going on? I'm honesltly not trying to make you feel bad and maybe you're the exception but in my experience most teenage moms are living at home with their parents or are on government assistance.

There's nothing wrong with accepting help when you need it but you won't typically find a 30 year old mom living at home with her parents while she's pregnant and certainly not afterwards. A lot of teen parents obviously live with their parents during pregnancy and most likely afterwards which allows them the opportunity to work and go to school while also having help with their child.

Does any of that make you a bad mom? NO! But I find that is one of the main differences between young and older moms....unfortunately teen moms are more likely to need assistance!

[deleted account]

Fair enough Shannen =] I totally agree - there's no point in seeking someones approval because generally being a teen mum is thought of as a bad thing and surely just having your precious child should be approval enough?

[deleted account]

I am 20 years old now, was 18 when I became pregnant(planned) and 19 when I agve birth. Personally I don't need people to feel that being a teen mum was right or ok because at the end of the day we are happy - my son, husband and I =] That's what matters!

[deleted account]

No fair enough Jennifer i was generalising and it isn't just from this one there have been others on COM recently and all they are doing is whinging about how they are looked down on because of their age and its clearly been said thats not the what is happening. Its driving me banana's :s

BTW i am considered a Teen mum.

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