The young mother stereotype, or better yet known as: the “teen mom.” The girls your friends talk about, your moms talk about, the media and the world for some reason talk about. And you begin to sense an enhanced sexual tension or ideal vibrating around these women -- these mothers -- as if they are sinners. Or worse, “bad examples.” I am not one to advocate kids raising kids, but I am one who understands the effects of human error and our own natural-born bodies. Our bodies are these crazy things which beg and plea for these weird desires, and sometimes when we have sex, no matter how much we try to avoid it as if it were the plague, as if being pregnant could be worse than getting cancer, sometimes: it happens. You know what’s weird? That’s how you, reading this, got here.
A teen mom should not be scrutinized in any other subcategory of mothers because these young women are no different than the fellow mothers of your children’s friends, and your friends who are mothers. Each of these women got pregnant the same way, I promise you. The only thing that should set a teen mom apart from other mothers in the eyes of society is the fact that she does double. We pin the teen mom model as our worst nightmare, when really, these girls are doing it all. They’re working twice as hard to maintain themselves, and the beautiful creation they have brought into the world. The love for their child is the same as any other. Maybe even more intense. Because sometimes, a baby can save a life. Some girls end up farther than they would have been if they hadn’t gotten pregnant, because they finally had something to motivate them, something bigger than themselves to worry about and provide for. I do not believe any blessing as fragile as life is to be frowned upon or viewed as sinful. Everything happens for a reason. Every baby is a blessing. Every person on this planet has a purpose; and that begins with a child.
I give tremendous credit and love to the girls I went to high school with who got pregnant, who showed up to school, belly and all. To all the moms taking pictures with their child in their cap and gown on graduation. Those are true achievements and life milestones. The act of having and raising a child, ask any mother, is selflessness. Your world is dramatically altered for somebody else’s comfort and dependence. My God, I could never imagine doing it, I can barely depend and comfort myself (or so says my older sister?). But these girls grow up overnight, sacrifice and make changes for themselves and their families. And you know what? These girls are lucky. They’re blessed with one of the most joyous gifts of life; just a bit earlier. That means they will grow to see their grandchildren grow old, they will have time and opportunities to do things others won’t. I give these young mothers credit. For putting on their big girl pants and setting a rocking example for women. To not let society define what lives are precious and which are stigmatized, to living happy and fulfilling lives. Giving birth, having children, creating life, it’s all natural. Nature’s course runs above us, always. But nobody should feel lesser for that. Especially not the bright, beautiful strong young mothers.