Life with kids, even with a partner that helps in their upbringing, can be difficult. But facing the same reality as a single, teenage mother who never thought that it would happen to her can be a situation that is truly complicated and stressful. The young mother will be prematurely thrust into life as an adult without being prepared physically, emotionally, and intellectually.
The pregnancy usually takes them by surprise and they don’t know what to do, who to turn to, and above all, why this is happening to them and that they’ve compromised their youth and future plans. It can be very painful and scary at times, she collapses, no way out. Without the help of anyone else, using her own means to get by or, with the conditional support or rejection from her parents, she finds herself one day after another confronting life alone with a human being that will soon accompany her and fill her with responsibilities, never stopping from overwhelming her full of emotions that this event will bring.
The reasons why this is happening more frequently every day are different, but include principally naïveté — many teenage girls think that it won’t/can’t happen to them. While others have unrealistic fantasies thinking that if it did happen to them, their partners would take responsibility for the baby. This is a result of complete ignorance of the consequences of having sex too early.
What awaits these children? It’s easy to criticize, condemn, or devalue an expectant mother and the reasons why they became pregnant. Something that I’m sure of though, is that behind each one is a scared young girl, worried and stressed about how she’ll handle the situation and about what the future holds for and her child.
Preparing teenagers for the future and for the outside world gets more complicated with each passing day. The solution to unwanted pregnancies is prevention, but when that is impossible and pregnancy is unavoidable, the young mother must be prepared for the new role she will undertake and the responsibilities it entails.
We can’t cut off the adolescents that this happens to, much less stigmatize them. We should instead give them the opportunity to learn from this difficult lesson. We should teach them how to repair their lives and how to prevent their offspring from falling into the same cycle and making the same mistake. Instead of condemning them, we should contribute to them becoming young adults and help them keep this from happening again.
It’s been shown that many of the kids born into these types of conditions are obligated to develop their own abilities and confront the adverse circumstances in the right way, becoming successful adults, who recognize and appreciate the strength of their own mothers, as long as she has overcome and tackled the responsibility in a dignified manner.
[Photo By jessiejacobson]