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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Comments

Casey

"aborting her own motherhood"

Wow. I am immediately adding this phrase to my list of Things To Say to Crazy Prolifers Who Push Relinquishment as a "Life-Affirming" Alternative to Abortion.

You are an amazing writer, Kateri.

Amie

Thank you for this...I think teen pregnancy can be a wonderful thing...unfortunately there aren't many out there like me.

I was 17, and it was chanted at me every day that I was too young. I didn't give my baby up but I don't have the bond I think I would have had with him if I'd just had some positive reinforcement rather than negative comments along with people "taking over" care of him.

I hope our society can change so that sons and daughters can create that special bond with their moms without all the backlash!

jesspond

I think that if there was more support and less stereotype, things would be a lot better.

That said, while teenagers CAN and sometimes DO (The godfather of my children, actually, had a baby at 16 and is a wonderful father) make awesome parents and should be encouraged to make their decisions based on THEIR OWN FEELINGS and thoughts....sometimes it really isn't possible for a teen to raise a baby. If our friend hadn't had the support of friends and family, he likely couldn't have done it.

Of course, that's what needs to change. Although with society the way it is, it's best for teens just to NOT get pregnant, though as you said...it WILL happen. For sure.

I think that like with everything, people need to remember that there are no absolutes. EVERY teen shoudln't parent and EVERY teen shouldn't choose adoption.

Boy, though...looking back I'm sort of happy that our birthfamily was a couple of adults (older than us) who were less likely to fall prey to suggestions that they couldn't and intead be thinking with their own hearts and minds.

Somtimes adoption can be good...but it's not the choice for everyone with an unplanned pregnancy. It would do everyone on all sides good to just have a little more compassion.

Lilian

Excellent post, I'm glad to hear about this book! I second what Casey said.

heather

Thanks for this, Kateri.
I was a pregnant teenager, though I didn't quite fit the mold. As least I has finished high school, some college, and I was already married. that didn't mean that the process wasn't devastating or humiliating. I was a teenager who finished my first two years of college by 17, what was aI thinking getting married...then, gasp, getting pregnant.
I had a nurse prationer, one who had heard my whole story of no sex before marriage, he's the only one, oops, we're pregnant, question the paternity of the baby, in fron tof my husband, when explaining RH negative blod types to us. Would she have done that if I wasn't under 20 years old? Never. I had people give us ugly stares walking down the street. I had people make "under their rbeath" comments about pregnant kids, when I was in the grocery store. When I wasn't with my husband, I had a little old man tell me " oh, where's the father? He's probably ashamed. I got a girl pregnant when I was 16, and I wouldn't be seen with her because I was ashamed." N oone would ever say that to someone that they say worthy of respect. As a "child" I wasn't worthy of respect.
Despite how much I knew I wanted to raise that child, how much I had always wanted to raise a child, and how loving my husband was ( still is), there were moments when all of the things people said made me sure that the best solution was to place that baby up for adoption. Thank God I never discussed it with anyone else. Thank God, ti was something that I dealt with, alone, on all of those eleepless, pregnant night. Despite the fact that I had every potential to be an excellent mother, i am confident that had I ever made it as far as to an adoption couselor, I wouldn't have my little boy.
So, yeah, I was a teenaged mom. Yeah, everyone thought I was ruining my life. But you know what... I am damn good at this, and it has taken me a lot to admit that.
I still feel that pressure to go above and beyond to prove the sterotypes wrong, but maybe that is a benefit, too.
Thank you so much for bringing attentio nto this. It is helping me to recognize my responsibility to other young moms.

abby

Why is the word "crisis" always paired with "teenage pregnancy"? It just sets them up for failure. Before a young girl can even decide how she feels about the situation the whole world is already labeling the situation as a crisis. It's not a crisis. It changes your life, yes, but not always (and not often) for the worst. A crisis pregnancy is one that is life-threatening - an etopic (sp?) pregnancy is a crisis. A mother going into labor 3 months early is a crisis.

A young girl, who wants her baby, is capable of caring for it and has support is not a crisis.

Lisa V

I asked Mallory the other day how many girls were pregnant in her high school. Back in the early 80's, there were at least 6 I can name my senior year alone.

She thought there was one girl, a senior, who she didn't know. There are 1600 students in her school. I couldn't believe there weren't more visibly pregnant students. It turns out that most of them choose to go the alternate program for pregnant or parenting teens. They aren't required, but most go. I think it's great that girls have a resource like that, but I wonder if it sends a message to the teens in the regular high school that pregnancy is bad, and you should be hidden, and your regular life is over.

I'm not saying that I don't acknowledge that in many ways your regular life drastically changes. I don't think being a teen mother is the optimum experience of either motherhood or being a teenager. But I do think it can be managed for many girls and boys, and we shouldn't paint it black or white.

HeatherRainbow

yey for empowerment and villages!!

Sam

It reminds me of not teaching about using condoms or other birth control and preaching abstinence instead. So the person that has sex doesn't have the knowledge they need to make good decisions.

Leta

"It is irresponsible for us as a society to dismiss and shame teenage mothers."

Hear, hear! This is something I have felt for a very long time, but you were able to put it succinctly, and I thank you.

My mom was a teenager when I was born, my husband was a teenager when my stepson was born, and my "dirty little secret" is that I wish I would have been YOUNGER, yes younger, when my daughter was born. I was 27.

Teenagers can, and very frequently do, make wonderful parents.

Most of the arguments against teenage parenthood are economic ones, and the notion that only rich people deserve children is one that I, and probably most people, find offensive in the extreme.

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