Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Teen Parenting. It's The In Thing.

Before I forget- GIVEAWAY ends tonight, bitches. Tomorrow's post will have the winner up so yah. Enter or forever be a loser.

Now I am pretty sure that 90% of the population has seen at least one episode of the hilarity and sadness that is the MTV reality show lineup. This lineup mainly consists of teen parents and the adventures into the real world. When I first saw the show "16 and Pregnant" I honestly thought this was some kind of joke. I realize that there are a lot of teen parents out there, considering I graduated with a few and I don't live in a Mormon commune and I have cable tv. I mean, I've seen the Maury Povich show. What I love about these shows is that these girls bitch about pregnancy the entire time. Bitch that their parents are making them get jobs (HORROR!), bitch that their parents don't want to pay for and/or raise the baby (WHAT? I'm going to miss prom-- my mom is such a bitch!), or they bitch about their boyfriends dumping them. DUH. Obviously he's going to dump you. A boy between the ages of birth to MAYBE 25 is not capable of making commitments like this. They think they are but once you throw them in? Forget it. They simply aren't wired for it. I also love when in a good situation one parent has a job and then the other one is PISSED that that other parent is working all the time. Um...somebody has to pay for diapers.

And while I'm not surprised that the girls who get pregnant have unrealistic visions of Baby Gap shopping sprees and Prada diaper bags, I AM surprised at how many are getting pregnant. Seriously- why is nobody using condoms? And if you don't like the feel of a condom why aren't you on birth control? My mom put me on birth control the day I told her I had a serious boyfriend. My mama wasn't messin around. And the thought of me coming home at 16 to tell my parents I was pregnant? My mom would have BEAT MY ASS. And even when I told her I was pregnant with Olivia at age 22 and MARRIED I was terrified. Absolutely terrified that she'd be mad. She wasn't obviously. Disappointed because she didn't think I was ready? Maybe.

And she was right. Even at 22 and married I wasn't ready. I had never held an infant in my life before Olivia. I babysat and it went horribly- I actually don't like other people's kids for the most part. Which is kind of fun when I take my kids to play groups and I have to fake interest in the bug some other kid dug up. If that were Jackson? I'd be all into it.


But I would like to be one of those people who teach parenting classes to kids before they have their babies. Or before they get pregnant. Like a Parent Boot Camp of sorts. Not only would I rock the outfit, but I'd like to have one of those police batons to complete the outfit. Obvi.

And I wouldn't sugar coat anything. Although I love my kids and would never trade what I have for the world- I'm going to be honest. It sucks most of the time. And that sounds harsh, but it's reality. Let's be real:
  • No more showers alone. The bathroom door is always open to hear of toddler brutality or the smoke alarms when they set something on fire.
  • No more peeing/shitting alone. Not only are kids fascinated by you using the potty but again, you have to know where they are at all times.
  • Sleeping in? What is that even like?
  • Going to bed in a timely manner? *snicker* Bitch please, after you race towards bedtime and have that 3 second taste of freedom you suddenly remember you have dishes, laundry, cleaning, and prep for tomorrow. Goodbye, reasonable bedtime.
  • Friends- it was nice having you. If you have friends who don't have kids or not in the market for them anytime soon they don't socialize with you much anymore. It's not because they don't like you, it's because they can't empathize with you. The friends who do have kids are too busy with their own lives- so getting together is rare. And if you are one of the moms who gets to go out with friends frequently? I question that. Because I work and I feel like I hardly see my kids even though I'm with them for a big chunk of the day.
  • Sitting down is not an option. I long for the days where I could just take a Saturday and watch trash television for the entire day while eating my favorite assortment of candies and junk food. And still stay skinny. That doesn't happen. The minute I sit down all hell is breaking loose in the dining room over one of the six blue markers we own because they both MUST HAVE THAT EXACT marker at that very moment.
  • Your personal items? Are now toys. All of my shoes, purses, jewelry have become toys to them. Nothing is off limits because short of locking them up into a safe I don't have they just take them from wherever I put them. I can no longer own anything nice. It's either ruined or broken within days.
  • What used to be a 20 minute errand, running to Target for a few essentials, has now turned into a one hour extravaganza once you get everybody dressed, your purse/coupons ready, everybody out to the van, buckled in, get yourself in the van, get to Target, get everybody out of the van into a shopping cart, convince the one that's crying that it's fun to be in a cart while convincing the other one she's too cool to ride in the cart like a baby, buy your goods, get everybody out to the van, out of the cart, buckled, your bags into the van, get home, get everybody out of the van, your bags out, into the house, shoes off and bags unpacked. THAT? Is enough to drive anyone to drink and I don't care how good your kids are in a store.
  • You no longer know what fashion is. The fact that I have been known to wear Crocs outside of my house says it all.
  • When you have a baby you no longer have control over your body. Your boobs will leak for no reason. You will no longer feel "fresh". The pads you put in your bra? Will start to smell and/or stick to your nipple. Pumping milk will make you want to join a Cow's Rights group. It is excruciating and I don't care if you have the nipple cream or not. Having both of your nipples sucked into a plastic cone by a device plugged into a wall for MAYBE an ounce of milk hurts. And god forbid you let your milk dry up. Having both of your breasts turn into two gigantic ROCKS that sporadically shoot milk while you are trying to sleep is painful. For a man I suppose it would be like having an erection at full salute and trying to sleep on your stomach.
  • Also, you never really gain control over your bladder. Pre baby you could say...walk, run, job, jump rope, jump, or laugh without an issue. Do this post baby and you are wetting your pants a little. Even if you do your Kegel exercises three times a day it never really goes back to normal.
  • You will get excited over baby socks and anything little. For no reason. You know you can't have anymore but the fact that they are so incredibly tiny and adorable will send your uterus into overdrive and make you do irrational things. Like have sex with your husband.

Honestly? I wish teenage girls, and boys for that matter, actually used their brains. You can make babies. Pulling out doesn't work. Having sex can have consequences. No matter what your religion is, no matter how good you think you've raised your kids to make good choices, you cannot be naive to the fact that in the heat of the moment they won't toss it all out the window. Because the boy "loves" them. Because the girl is willing. Kids do stupid things- because they are kids. They haven't grown up to the point where they really get that choices have consequences. I am lucky that my parents have always been open to talking about anything/everything. I got my sex talk when I was 8 and I remember it. I was terrified and grossed out, but we talked about it all of the time since I was 8. It wasn't a one time thing.

I think parents need to educate their kids about sex and EVERYTHING that can come out of it. Not just babies, but diseases as well. If you don't think you are going to be able to have that kind of talk with your kid- don't have kids. You aren't doing anybody any favors. While I think staying pure until you're married is an admirable thing and is a great goal- I don't think it's very realistic. Anybody who's been to college can attest to this. Actually- anybody who's ever been drunk and found the fat girl/boy in the corner attractive can attest to this. Just because you want them to wait until their married doesn't mean they will. Educate them anyways. It's an awkward conversation but you have to have it. It'll only hurt them in the long run if you don't have it.

I had sex ed in seventh grade. And it scared the shit out of me. We learned about everything- every male/female part, what sex is, what anal sex is, what diseases there are, what those looked like and the symptoms/treatments for each, what pregnancy is and what happens to your body, we put condoms on bananas, etc. Which was pretty progressive for a small town in Minnesota back oh.. 15 years or so ago. Nothing was off limits and the students asked a lot of questions. But I also talked to my parents about stuff. Anything I didn't want to ask in school I asked them and got straight answers.

My mom used to say- if you are too embarrassed to buy condoms, ask for birth control, or use either- you are not mature enough to have sex. Period. And that's the truth.

So what do you think? Do you think schools should be doing sex ed? Should it be parents only?


Ann said...

Your mom is a freaking genius...that advice is perfect and should be told to every kid on the planet. Yes, sex ed should be taught in health class, but parents should be talking to their kids, too. And WTF is wrong with those morons on MTV? Who doesn't use a condom these days? Hello...STD's, anyone?

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who HATED babysitting. I remember CRYING when I was babysitting a baby and the baby wouldn't stop crying. It was AWFUL.

So here's something funny - this dumb girl I know whose... gosh, she must be like 24... accidentally got pregnant. Accidentally. At 24. How does that happen? And she has no idea who the baby daddy is. What an IDIOT. And the best part: I'm not one bit surprised. Shows how dumb she is.

Wow, I'm mean tonight. Must be leftover from yelling at the poor Wells Fargo guy =-)

Anonymous said...

Loved this post. Especially, the "truth about having kids." Every single one of them is SOOOO true.

deannaburasco said...

I think it should be taught in school but I also think the parents need to have realistic expectations and realize the limitations of a young person's judgement "in the heat of the moment" as you say. Parents also need to be answering their child's questions when they come up, not when the parents think it's time. I have already answered sex questions that my daughter started asking when she was four! (she was terrified she was going to get pregnant just because she's a girl and "girls are mommies). Wow, was that an interesting discussion :)

Tiffany said...

Between 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom and Dad Camp (VH1), I am just transfixed by the trainwreck that is the unprepared parents of reality tv. Sadly, I think the majority of parents are unprepared (teenaged or not). Like you mentioned, becoming a parent is a huge change that I don't think a lot of people consider prior to having a child.

Like you, I got the sex talk really, really early. My mom was graphic and frank during that talk. I knew all about AIDs, herpes and STDs before I knew what an orgasm was. I was TERRIFIED at the thought of having sex as a teenager because I was convinced that everyone had an STD or that I'd get immediate pregnant, protection or not.

As a result, I didn't have sex until I was 20. My first time was a mess and with the wrong person entirely, but I knew going in what the risks were. I think it is important to explain to children that sex between adults can be awesome but that sex carries health risks that can cost you your life.

Parents NEED to be talking to their kids about sex and it shouldn't fall to schools to educate kids. That education shouldn't be abstinence only education either because kids are curious and that just leaves them playing Russian Roulette with their bodies, their health and their future.

Sara said...

I love this post! Never seen any of those shows.

I too do not like other people's children. My SIL's want to crucify me because I don't. Thank you for making me feel less alone and not like a freak.

Sex ed was pretty graphic when at age 6 I saw my baby brother born. I knew where babies came from, how they got there and by golly I wasn't gonna have no babies until I was ready. Jon and I doubled up for 8 years on BC. I was that sure about not wanting a baby.

I wonder what gets into these girls heads and I swear I want to punch them when they say "I just want someone to love me forever and a baby will." *SMACK*

Gini said...

YES, there TOTALLY needs to be detailed and serious sex ed. I had "Health Class" in 7th grade earth science for a semester and while that covered STDs, it didn't cover the different forms of birth control much less WTF a condom was, alternatives to sex, how to handle a situation in which you might want to say no, or even HOW TO HAVE SEX. I honestly think I had the worst sex ed in the history of time, bc even mom's "sex talk" basically consisted of her smacking my leg and shaking her finger in my face, half-yelling "You do not have sex! You DO NOT have sex!" It was the day I got my period. And so because of that, I was afraid to ask her any questions because I knew she'd jump to conclusions and assume I was having sex with someone, even though I was flat as a board, gawky, ugly, and painfully shy. Yeah, someone's gonna have sex with that! And if she jumped to conclusions, I would be grounded FOREVER. So good thing I was fascinated with the subject and devoured books to educate myself, because I had SO much sex once I developed. And you know? IT WAS AWESOME. BECAUSE I WASN'T WORRYING ABOUT BABIES OR DISEASES. I was prepared to protect myself. But how many shitloads of kids hate reading and wouldn't touch a book on sex ed to save themselves? Plenty, obviously. They're just gonna wing it and figure it out along the way and have four freakin babies to show for it. Like a quarter of my graduating class.

Oh hey, that bitchy Farrah and her mom from 16 and Pregnant? They totally live right outside Omaha. Council Bluffs (Counciltucky) is like 15 minutes away. I saw Farrah on my college campus once and people were all like, "OMG, that's Farrah from that show! A real reality show!" Gag me. Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't really want any kind of fame for being a terrible person.

thotlady said...

I think parents should educate their children about sex.

Saying that...not all parents do. I believe schools should offer education purely on the anatomy of sex and it's inevitable consequences (i.e. STD, Aids, pregnancy).

Veronica M. D. said...

Oh lord, ABSOLUTELY school and parent combination. They need as much information as possible. I mean, your frontal lobe is not fully developed until you are 22, and that is the part of your brain you use for decision-making!

In seventh grade when you were getting all of the information, my school hosted a "Save Sex Til Marriage" group to come in. At the end they gave us a pledge card to sign that we wouldn't have sex until we were married. When I got in the van with my dad after, he asked me if I was going to sign it. I told him I wasn't sure I could do that, and he said he respected my honesty and hoped that I was educated enough to wait until I was REALLY ready. I told him I had been getting Seventeen magazine since I was 12, and he was like, alrighty then, but get ready for more talks from me and your mom.

My mom focused on the Catholic guilt thing, which I do NOT recommend. It didn't work for any of me and my siblings. The only reason I waited was because of my own personal realization that I would not achieve my goals if I had a baby when I was 16.

THEN, when my mom found out I had sex for the first time at *21* with the man I would later marry, she cried for days.

Veronica M. D. said...

Oh, and P.S. I need your address!

Jenn said...

If I had a kid, I would just splice together all of the birth scenes from MTV's 16 and Pregnant. THere was one girl who screamed so loud I think MY ovaries dried up. Those girls do not have easy deliveries, even if the biggest problem with their pregnancy was their washed-up, no-good, cheatin' boyfriend.

Either I'll show it, or the school can, don't really care, but watching people have difficult births is enough to make ANYone think twice.

Jaime Hungry said...

I 100% think that sex ed should be taught in school, because if they don't know by the time they are middle school, then some one HAS GOT to tell them. And if the parents don't like it then they can homeschool them, and most of the those weirdos never have sex anyways.

Jaime Hungry said...

Oh, and noooo thank you on the hubby and babies. I'm still learning how to take care of myself.

Jen said...

Hi Sara, been reading your blog for ages but this post- specifically the part about what having kids is REALLY like- just nailed it for me and I just have to say THANK YOU! My daughter turns five in a few weeks and I just relate to this so much! I went the other way to you- married late, *SURE* that love would make it all ok, (like that ever works, duh)divorced pretty quick, now living in Tasmania. Yep, that island shaped like a pair of knickers that Australia has just dropped. Like any sensible single parent, I decided that being a nurse sucked, and have gone back to university to struggle through an MBA (hang in there, I'm getting to the point)and right now am studying for exams. What do I turn to when its all too dull, and I've read all my hundreds of books and because I'm poor can't even buy second hand ones (oh, alright, sometimes I buy them but only if I'll DIE without them)? Your fabulous blog, is what!
There aren't many strangers in this world that I'd run up and hug (without 6 glasses of champagne- with is another story) but hugs to you girl, from the other side of the globe!
Jennifer (fb buzzbattlecat)

Chicken said...

Somehow this post made me want to have kids more. I've got baby fever and I fear there is no cure!

Julie H said...

I was flipping channels the other day and ended up watching one of the 16 and pregnant episodes. Jess (16) kept telling me to change it but I was like no way I want to watch!!

What really stayed with me was they had this drawing of all the things she had and wanted for the future and slowly each piece crumbled.

Having a baby is HARD. I can't imagine having a baby and trying to go to college. Of course she dropped out before long. I think I stayed up half the night and slept until noon on most days with the oldest.

If Jess ever gets in a serious relationship I'll be the first to take her down to get some birth control. I DO NOT want to be a grandma anytime soon.

Lady Grey said...

Awesome post... now we should circulate it to all teens... I think sex ed should be taught at schools, they don't listen to us because what do we know?! we only gave birth to them!! ;)

Another David said...

I remember one episode of 16 and preggers when a girl had a convo with her doctor that went something like this...

girl: i don't want to breast feed
doctor: ...why? it's been proven time and time again that it's better than bottle formula.
girl: i don't want it to mess up my boobs.
doctor: yeah, well, it's actually the pregnancy that's going to change your boobs, not the breast feeding.


Unknown said...

Wow! That was dead on, every single part. I especially like the fighting over the one marker that you have six of. I feel like the school should be involved as long as its not absitinence only bs, but the job lies with the parents. Period. And your mom is so right. If your too embarrased to talk about protection and sex then your not ready!