Here's the thing; if you, as a person on MDC, see a teen pregnant or know someone who is, and you act like they are diseased or get all negative, they arnt going to WANT to talk to you. At all. YOU as non-mainstream people have an opportunity to help a not so great situation become much better. Instead of being negative or freaky about it, ask how they are, talk to them, become their friend, even if its only for a few minutes. Ask if they are planning on breastfeeding, ask if they know about cosleeping, midwives, all those things the people on this wonderful forum are lucky enough to have learned all about. It doesnt mean they *will* listen, but hearing it may be enough for them to look into it further. Tbh, I really wish someone would've said something about circumcision to me, about babywearing, about vaccines. I had already planned on breastfeeding as well as cosleeping, but beyond that I really didnt know. Oh if I had known that homebirth was an option! Granted some of this stuff isnt something you'd bring up to someone in passing, but still....take it as opportunity!
I am working on becoming a speaker in the teen parenting classes in my school district for EXACTLY this reason. I took a teen parenting class in high school while I was pregnant and while breastfeeding was encouraged, cosleeping was NOT at ALL. If it hadnt already been a part of my family (and btw-I myself was raised by a single mom on $600 of social security a month; it sucked being broke but I'd take that over an abusive 2 parent family ANYDAY!) I would've been scared to cosleep. Instead, I was made to feel like a bad parent and was told I could get a crib for free since I couldnt afford it. I could afford it, I just didnt WANT one. And this goes with what someone else was saying-if a teen doesnt get every little bit of baby stuff they can, the attitude is that oh, see, this is what happens when you have a baby as a teen, you cant buy anything. I had what I wanted and felt that I needed. Other things were not talked about in that class; when my ds was born I hadnt even thought about circing, I didnt know what a sling was or about vaccine concerns until I somehow, by accident, came accross a mothering mag. TY for that mothering!
I also VERY much disagree that the ideal family is a 2 parent one. How many 2 parent families have an abusive parent? How many kids listen to constant arguing and bickering between their parents? How many of these 2 parent families end in divorce and even more strain for the kids, being bounced back and forth, possibly having at least one parent mad at the other and saying stuff about them? Yeah, that doesnt sound ideal to me. Yes, some 2 parent families are great, on the same hand, there are plenty of single parent families that are great as well. And that doesnt mean all teen parents ARE single parents or will remain single. I know 2 of the 6 teen parents in my class stayed with the guys they got pregnant with and are still together (we had a reunion
); 3 of us are now married to other guys and only 1 is still single. Regardless, my point is, not all 2 parent households are fine and dandy; in my experience its been quite the opposite. I feel lucky in that my dh is my best friend, we never argue, my kids would probably have a break down if we did
but many families are not this lucky.
All I can say is, even as a teen, I was a better parent than half the parents I know in real life. Yes, I am full of myself, but I dont care. Its true. Especially from the standpoint of MDC. That 14 year old that I talked about in my earlier post was a hell of a lot stronger than many adults-she left her only support system when her dad (who was an abusive, pompous a$$ if I ever saw one) slapped her ds. Now think of how many adults wont leave their husbands when they beat them-or their children. Teenagers are NOT children. Period. They are simply under the age number we as a society picked to count them as adults. Some 13 year olds are more mature than some 30 year olds. Dont dismiss a teen as being an immature child incapable of taking care of their own child before you know that teen and give them a chance. I have 2 daughters and a son of my own and while I will certainly discourage them from becoming pregnant as a teen, I will at the same time completely support them and whatever decision they make. And yes, I WILL congratulate them if they are happy about it.
Everyone deserves a little love.