Friday, February 10, 2012
Polly received this letter from a young woman who was born as a result of a teen pregnancy - what do you think of what she has to say? Dear Polly, Grant and NHG: .
I really have something to say about such an old, yet trending topic. I would appreciate it if you could spread this message to other young girls whether it is on the radio, your Polly blog, or facebook - people need to know what happens after teen pregnancy.
There has been a lot of talk about teen pregnancy lately. With all of the reality shows like “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom”, it is hard not to notice. The other day I was looking on Facebook and a girl I went to school with posted a status that said something about how our high school should offer parenting classes. My high school has a reputation for its high pregnancy rates. If I tell people where I went to high school, they ask me how many kids I have. The girl posted it in a humorous light, but immediately after her status was posted, two girls who also attended said high school with us blew up. One of the girls had already had a baby and the other is expecting. They went on about how they wanted to start a family, that this girl was implying that everyone from that school is a bad mother, how having a child makes you grow up, and that taking a class, such as a health class or sex education class, clearly does not help. Yeah, I am sure that they think they will be fine, but guess what: your baby will not be. If you think you are the exception to all of this, that you and your baby will do so much better than all the other girls and their babies, you are sadly mistaken. I’m sorry, but unless you are marrying someone making at least four figures, working as a waitress or a fast food slave, just will not cut it.
I am a child of teen pregnancy. My mother was pregnant with me when she was 17 years old, right after high school, the same high school that I and these other girls attended. When a young girl becomes pregnant, everyone is worried about her emotional health, will she finish school, what will become of her, but no one takes a moment to think about the child. Because my mother had me so young, she missed out on a lot of opportunities, which in turn led me to miss out on opportunities as well. I am paying my own way through '______' [name of non university tertiary institution]; I do not receive any financial help from my mother whatsoever. Yes, I would love to study at a real uni, or go overseas, and take extra courses to get a really great education, but there is no way I can afford that all on my own. I did not get my driver’s license until I was 19 because we could not afford insurance for a our beat up car. I am not close with my mother. People make an assumption that the younger you have your kids, the better relationship and understanding of each other you will have. This is a complete myth. Since I left high school and moved out, I have not spent more than two hours with my mother at a time. I do not agree with her lifestyle choices, her financial decisions, and her pathetic priorities. When I do see my mother, it is like seeing a distant relative
To those young girls out there having babies right out of high school, before going to Uni and establishing a career: How dare you? How dare you bring a baby into this world when we are just babies ourselves? Please, take my life of a child of a teen pregnancy as an example. You can bet your ass that I am not fading back into the statistics and becoming a teen mother, and I suggest you do the same. Yes, accidents happen, condoms break, your oral contraceptive fails you, but have a backup plan. Be smart when you have sex. If you wait until you are old enough, ready enough, to have a baby, you will enhance this child’s life so much by providing a stable and loving home, rather than a run-down, broken one.
Thank you for taking the time to read this,
Amber, child of teen pregnancy
Dear Polly, Grant and NHG: