Posted by: dinainsuburbia | September 2, 2008

what is going on with all the teenage pregnancy….

I was briefly talking about this with my girlfriend Rachel last night before my dear darling husband rushed me off the phone to continue watching our Dexter Season 2 marathon.

But seriously- what’s with the teenage pregnancy lately?  I’ve heard of more 17-19 year olds pregnant lately than I ever had.  I know when I was growing up this was just not something that you dared to do!  Of course, I do know these things happen, and even if I didn’t “see” them- it was still going on… but I do have to think the more acceptable teenage pregnancy becomes and the more glamorous the Spears sister makes it out to be, the more girls will WANT to do it.  I’m not saying “opps accident” I’m saying that maybe girls will say, how bad can it be to have a baby, lets have a baby!

 

It’s alarming to me.  Being that I was raised by a hard-core feminist single-mother, I would NEVER want to be 17 and saddled with a baby.  I had the whole world in front of me and I needed it to be that way unencumbered.  I just KNEW that my job was to go to college and give myself a leg-up in the world.  Also, I knew that when I had a baby it had to be under the right circumstances for everyone- me, the father and most importantly the baby!

 

I guess I’m just ranting here…. all the “high profile” teenage mothers will get all the help they need… monetarily and time-wise.  But what of the 18 or 19 year old girl influenced by what she sees?  What will happen to her… I suppose she’s in for a rude awakening and only pray that she would have the family support structure necessary to raise a child.  

 

I also think, as the mother of a little girl, I have a few duties to her:

1) to make sure she knows she’s going to college- that she can always rely on herself… this will be so ingrained that by the time she is a senior in high school she’ll just do it without question.

2) to make it as difficult as possible for her to be alone with a boy (calling ahead, monitoring where she is, etc… and for the record- if I am ever blessed with a son- same rule applies)… oh and this also applies to drinking

3) make sure she understands her own reproductive system!

4) and to continue the legacy of my  mother- no members of the opposite sex in the bedroom!

 

So- bringing the Palin family into the discussion- did they do their job as parents?  They knew their daughter had a boyfriend. What did they think boyfriends and girlfriends do? Play scrabble?  I think it’s so naive to say, “not my kids”… I think to be a good parent you have to assume yes it is YOUR kid that’s doing it!  And… if Palin dropped the ball on her daughter… will she drop the ball on this country?  I’m not saying people have be perfect.. but it’s a big slip up!

 

But then there is another angle…. people say if Sarah Palin where a male, that the American public wouldn’t care if the daughter was pregnant at 17.  I know I would still care, but would the rest of America.  Maybe not.  There is still a double standard…. there is still that view that mothers are supposed to be there and raise the family and do a better job of it.   Of course, having a mother that did a damn good job with me, it’s hard not to speak from experience and think the same thing- that it is a mother’s job.  But I think it’s doubly so for a mother to make sure her daughter understands pregnancy, motherhood, and the difficult double standard all women face the minute they want to have a family and are stuck between motherhood and the career world.

 

I didn’t realize how difficult it was until after I had my daughter.  To keep your feet in both worlds and do them both perfectly is so hard;  it makes you feel guilty, crazy, sad, and angry.  That you want to, and think that you can, do both jobs perfectly.  I think when we start to feel this we feel so alone, but if we knew all women felt like this- maybe it wouldn’t be so bad?

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Responses

  1. You wanna know what’s going on with all this teenage pregnancy? Abstinence-based Sex Ed. Seriously, there are statistics to prove this, but I’m just too lazy to look them up right now.

    Guess who’s a proponent of Abstinence-based Sex Ed? Yup. Sarah Palin. Bristol probably thought that everything would be OK if she just jumped up and down afterward or douched with Pepsi :).

    What these right-wing idiots don’t get is that kids already know how to have sex by the time they get to Sex Ed class. Not teaching them how to do it will not keep them from doing it. Not teaching them how to do it safely will, however, keep them from doing it safely.

    In the end, all we can do is explain to our kids why we feel so strongly that they DON’T have teen sex, but educate them so that if they decide to go ahead with it (and they will–unless you lock them up or force them to wear chastity belts until their 18th bday), they at least no how to do it responibly.


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