Baby Blues


    It seems like every single time I turn around I learn that one of my old students just had a baby.  Now, of course we all know that the birth of a baby is a joyous event that should be celebrated.  However, I can’t help thinking that these young girls have no idea what they are getting into.  Most of these girls are in their late teens or early twenties and I doubt that they are fully aware of how a woman’s life changes after she becomes a mother.

    I had my oldest son when I was 26 and I really thought that this was a perfect age to have a child and that I was fully prepared to be a parent both emotionally and financially.  Boy was I wrong!  A close friend of mine made a great point when she stated that nobody is ever really completely ready to have a child and that each person learns how to parent through trial and error.  This statement totally makes sense to me now as I reflect upon everything I have learned about motherhood.

    It also makes me sad that these young women feel that dropping out of school and having babies is their only option.  Doesn’t it seem ironic that we have come so far in the fight for women’s rights only to have our young women regress to a time when women could not pursue getting an education and were having children at such a young age?  This really makes me wonder about the messages that we are giving young women about their role in society.

    Let’s be realistic, being a parent is amazing and rewarding but it is damn hard and anyone who pretends that it isn’t is full of it.  It is demanding and exhausting and it totally takes over your life.  I think part of the problem is that television has romanticized the idea of having babies at a young age with popular shows about teenage mothers making it seem like everyone is doing it and it’s the cool thing to do.

    The sad part is that all of my old students come back to tell me how right I was and that having a baby is so hard.  Most of them end up raising these babies alone or with the help of their families when their children’s fathers leave or become incarcerated and it is devastating to see their dreams about living happily ever after go up in smoke. 

    Personally, I think the solution to this problem is to instill feelings of self-love and worthiness in our young people so they will put off bringing children into the world until they figure out who they are.  What do you think?

© 2012, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. So true that it’s so much harder than one thinks when having a kid…I didn’t have my first until my 30’s and it was still hard! I think sometimes teens or too young adults want a baby to have someone to love who will love you back, but that’s not the best (and only) reason to have one if the person is not mature enough to take care of the baby.

    • Maria, I think you hit the issue right on the head and it really does have a lot to do with these young people wanting someone to love them back.  This is definitely not a good reason to have a baby and these young people quickly realize that the whole situation is not ideal.

  2. Parenting is tough – to if’s and’s or but’s about it.  Yes, a rare few are able to have a career and go on to have the lives they want after becoming teenage parents, but it’s a rare few.  I can only hope my kids have a chance to figure out who THEY are before they start trying to raise children.   Your 20’s can be a fabulous time in your life – not responsible to anyone but yourself, able to try on different “hats” and see which ones fit, freedom to find your passion in life… but add children to the mix and your choices are no longer yours alone.  You are responsible to these little dependent people that will take all your focus for the next 18 to 20 years.   

    Solution?  In CO we have an outdoor lab for 6th graders when they spend a week at camp (sleep away) and learn about all kinds of outdoorsy stuff.  What about a camp for teens when they are thrown into the midst of life as an uneducated, young parent?  It definitely isn’t glamorous and maybe experiencing it directly will help show them? 

    • Daria, that sounds like a great idea!  They definitely are in for a rude awakening as to the realities of being a parent.  You are so right in saying that a person’s 20s should definitely be enjoyed and used as a time to define and “find” oneself.  Hopefully our children will savor every moment before they take the leap into a pit of responsibility.

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