The title might sound a little harsh, but for good reason. Teen pregnancy rates have dropped 8% since 2014 according to http://www.cdc.gov. This is great but….I have a huge issue with this. Back before birth control was readily available to women in the United States, I could see how unwanted pregnancy might be an issue. But today, now that schools are required to teach sex ed, and every child over the age of 6 has an iphone, and anyone who has an IQ of 90 knows exactly how to prevent unwanted pregnancies, that statistic should be…..ZERO!…………….Unless……..these “accidents“…..aren’t really…..”accidents“.
Yes, I said it. There should be NO such thing as having an “accident” any more. Ask any high school student how to prevent an unwanted pregnancy and I promise they will inform you that you must wear a condom, or be on birth control, or even better, both. We need to stop pretending like accidental pregnancy is a real thing anymore. Accidents, no, stupidity and carelessness, yes! This goes for the adults who also pretend they “accidentally” got pregnant. Everyone and their mother knows how these little “accidents” happen. Nobody is carrying baby Jesus in their womb, and nobody gets pregnant after using birth control AND wearing a condom (even though I have literally heard that excuse before).
The even more startling fact is that 25% of teen moms get pregnant with their SECOND child only two years after they have their first baby according to dosomething.org. So not only are they “accidentally” getting pregnant once but they have a 25% chance of doing it AGAIN! So even if you still think “accidents” happen once, do you still believe they happen twice?
Statistics say that children who are born to unwed parents have a high risk of living in poverty. This is exactly why I felt the need to write about this topic in the first place. The children. You can be angry or baffled by the parents all you want but the children are the ones who suffer. There are teen parents and young adult parents out there who are fantastic, probably better parents than the people who waited to be parents, but wouldn’t they have been just as good if not better if they too would have waited? I think teens either get so in the moment that they just say ” fu#k it“, and they believe they won’t get pregnant for some reason, or, they know exactly what can happen and do it anyways. Same goes for young adults. But the consequences of doing this is a life long commitment to a child. A child! An entire human being that you will be responsible for for the next 18 years. And everything you do to raise this child will affect them for the rest of their lives. You mold this little, innocent, child into whatever it becomes.
I grew up in a small town with a very small school. Surprisingly, the first girl in my class to get pregnant was only in 8th grade. Eighth grade. Only 12-13 years old, and she was fully responsible to take care of her body before she had the baby, and then for the rest of that babies life once she had it. At this age, your brain is underdeveloped. You can’t even comprehend half of the things that are going on in the world and now you have to raise a child. A child. The girl who had her baby in 8th grade was not the last to get pregnant in my grade alone. We had well over ten girls get pregnant before graduation. We graduated with less than 300 students. Every one of those girls knew exactly how to prevent it. Our school taught sex ed in 8th grade and 9th grade.
I’m not just blaming the girls either. The boys should be held just as responsible. And I know most of you probably think, a baby is a baby, it deserves to be born and live. But when it’s born to parents who are immature enough to get pregnant with them in the first place, their chance of a good or even normal upbringing is slim to none. So let’s say they are born to under aged parents, then two years later they get a sibling. The focus now goes from them to the new baby, and the under aged parents now have two children to take care of. Two children to pay for, two children to raise, two children to focus on. And this whole time, the parents aren’t even old enough to drink yet. At such a young age, none of us are selfless enough to be raising two children. Babies require 24 hour attention. Can you imagine, at 17 years old, having to think about anyone other than yourself. I sure couldn’t. Even at 20 years old, it’s difficult. So often, I think people think babies are just these cute, little, accessories. I see young parents in grocery stores with all this stress and not one, but two kids they have to deal with, and none of them are happy. The kids are the ones who feel the stress too, not just the parents.
Maybe besides sex ed, schools should show kids, before high school even, how stressful being a parent is. Screw the fake baby kids carry around for a week or two, have kids do community service at a daycare. Pre-teens and teens need to know exactly what it takes to care for a baby. Even if it’s once, or twice a week, or even for one semester, I think it would truly help. I just don’t think the reality is there. I know at least 4 of the 10 girls who got pregnant before graduation now either have two, or three kids, and none of us are 21 yet.
Having a child when you aren’t ready for one is selfish. There are steps you can take to prevent it and even IF you get pregnant after this, there are plenty of steps you can take afterwards that will take the baby out of the equation. Whether that be the Plan B pill, abortion, adoption, whatever. You don’t ever have to be a parent to an unplanned child. Even if you simply aren’t ready for a child, you don’t have to have one.
I am so excited to have kids some day. I could easily get pregnant right now, force my boyfriend to get a good paying job he hates to support our family, force my parents to partially support us in the hospital bills, and we would probably make alright parents but it would be very, very hard. Financially, we are no where near ready for kids. Emotionally, it would be difficult. We could do it, but why would we? Just because I want kids and would love to be a mom doesn’t mean I’m going to do it right now. I love my kids so much that I’m waiting until I’m ready to have them. I want them to have everything they deserve and then some. I want them to have two stable parents, I want them to live in a nice house, in a nice area, and I just want them to be able to be carefree kids.
Parenting is a huge job. Just because you want to be a parent doesn’t mean you are ready to be a parent. If you aren’t financially stable, and you don’t have a healthy relationship with your significant other, then you are not ready to bring a child into this world. Children deserve to be children and nothing more. I think now a days, everything is so available to us, we confuse our wants with needs. If you have baby fever, do not have a baby! Go work at a daycare, or babysit for a few weeks, that baby fever will most likely go far away. If you are ready for kids, plan as much as you can for them. Take your time. When the time is right the time is right. Babies are so much more fun when you are ready to have them. So if you really love your kids, you will have them when you are ready for them. I promise they will thank you for it later.