When babies start having babies the world becomes one big nursery in which it remains unclear who is responsible for taking care of whom, who makes the rules, and who lives with the repercussions. We’ve watched Jamie Lynn, Bristol, and plenty of others as their bellies grew rounder and rounder, finally resulting in an actual living and breathing child: a child with a name, a personality, and a future. It seems completely unfair to these children that they should be raised by other children, people who have yet to grow up, experience life, make mistakes and learn. Even if this young mother can miraculously afford thousands of diapers, expensive medical costs, and countless other necessities that accompany the responsibility of a baby, the possibility that this mother is emotionally ready and mature enough to guide another life seems absolutely preposterous.
I know that I have been called out on my beliefs on teen pregnancy before. I never mean to disrespect anyone nor would I ever deliberately judge another person. The last thing I want to provoke is a personal attack on any person or her choices, which are completely individual and legitimate.
However, from my point of view, I see absolutely no value to teenage motherhood. Would you rather spend your twenties changing poopy diapers and responding to screams for breastfeeding in the middle of the night or spend time with your friends, enjoying the freedom in your life, still growing and learning about the world before bringing another life into it? And once the baby is grown up, then what? Can you really enjoy your twenties in your forties or fifties? Go to college parties, clubs, stay out all night? I think not. You can never regain your youth, and I find it almost heartbreaking that so many young girls are willing to throw it away so quickly.
Sure, we all make mistakes, some with more drastic consequences than others. And there are ways to fix most mistakes, some more extreme than others. I respect a woman’s right to refuse an abortion and I can only imagine how difficult it is to give up your own child, yet the incredibly selfless act could considerably improve a child’s life, merely by having her raised by someone qualified to parent.
In the most diplomatic way possible, I do not mean to bash teen mothers. Everyone has a right to her own decision yet it terrifies me that new generations are growing up under the care of such thoughtless young adults. It seems utterly selfish and impractical to introduce another life into society when you have much to learn about yourself and your surroundings.
When a girl adds a rainbow tint through Photoshop to sonograms of the fetus inside her belly, names the frog-sized being and then posts the images on Facebook, bragging to all her 14219 friends about the pride and joy in her life (which still has another 8 months living off an umbilical cord), I question her ability to raise this child in a morally ethical manner.
We are never done learning and growing, even the greatest of parents continue to learn from their children everyday, yet there is so much value in age and patience and merely waiting for the right time to make dire life alterations. And who am I to say what is right? With each individual being truly unique, I have absolutely no business telling her what is right from wrong, bad from good, honorable from disgraceful. I watch people make, in my opinion, poor decisions everyday, yet I keep my mouth shut because they are entitled to their own paths. (This is false, I never keep my mouth shut, but for argument’s sake…)
But when another life is involved, I suddenly feel a more personal connection, knowing that we have absolutely no control over the circumstances into which we are born. It is completely unfair for a child to grow up in a family who cannot provide adequate care, whether that be emotionally or financially. When I look and see the destroyed potential of these insanely young mothers I am truly distraught, upset to know that while I believe in their true, deep love for their child, they failed to see other options, other opportunities, and a gain a greater sense of perspective.
Age is much more than a number; it is a sense of being. I encourage anyone who is remotely thinking of bringing another child into a world plagued with so many problems to question her ability to not just love the child unconditionally but to provide her with lifelong inspiration and ambition, exceeding all her needs, and tending to her every problem, and never feeling like the child made her miss out on any part of life.