***Disclaimer: To be honest I have been trying to avoid this topic, but it has been staring me in the face for the past few weeks and then I saw the picture above. It must have been an omen saying, “go ahead, just spill your guts… some may appreciate it.” Well as a minor note before I get into it, I want to say that I understand unexpected things happen. I also understand that there can be some very, very mature young people out there. However, I also understand and strongly believe that part of the reason why our country has some of the issues that it has is because the young people of our era are plagued with growing up too fast and not getting to have a childhood. ***
If some of you do not know, I work in property management. To be more specific, I help manage and rent out apartment communities. As a part of my job I advertise, me with, and lease apartments to people interested in finding a home. I love meeting with people. The highlight of my job is leasing and moving people into an apartment home that they love. Something about seeing the look on their face when they are mentally arranging furniture.
Well, over the past few weeks I have encountered a number of young people looking for apartments. Some of these couples are married, more of them just dating or in a relationship. But, I would say that at least half of them are pregnant. Now these young people are either under the age of 18 or just recently celebrating an 18th birthday. Instead of being excited to see these couples mentally arrange furniture, I am almost sad for these couples.
I hate to see that young lives are now to soon be filled with the responsibility of caring for another life. A number of these couples are working part time jobs or barely making ends meet as it is. They are either high school drop outs or with crisp diplomas in hand with no intention of going to college. These couples are at the best naive. They go in with their big eyes hoping and planning for the best. The hard part for me is trying to avoid asking what they are planning to do later… after baby.
These couples or kids, are supposed to be enjoying going out, going to school/college, voting, legally drinking in a few years, etc. Instead they are budgeting for a crib and getting government assistance to help pay for labor costs. It is quite a culture shock from when I was younger. I got to go to my high school prom and have girls nights. I was able to work two jobs and still be my yearbook head editor-in-chief. My biggest worry was if Mom and Dad would catch me getting in past curfew or how I would pay for my senior all night party. Even in college I was able to enjoy my freedom of going out to the occasional toga party or hitting the movies at 11:00pm. These kids aren’t even getting an opportunity to embark on that part of their lives.
When I think about this, I would never suggest to any mother, no matter what the age, to terminate their child. I would never do it and it would be impossible for me to put my child up for adoption too. So ultimately if I were ever to have been in their situation, I would probably do the same thing that they are doing. The big difference for me I guess would be that I was in a was selfish. I didn’t want anything hindering my freedom, even that of a baby. I wanted to be able to do what I wanted, when I wanted, how I wanted, and I didn’t want to have to think about the other responsibilities.
It would be so hard for me to have given up my childhood (even if it is the tail end of it) to have a baby. I do admire the couples who are able to make it work, and I honestly applaud them. I see what they have to sacrifice and what they are avoiding. It just makes me wonder… did they even try protection? Obviously they didn’t try abstinence. With sex plastered all over the place, I think abstinence is just torture… but, protection is almost a requirement. So it just makes me wonder with all of the condoms and birth control in the world, how did they avoid getting something?!?!
Well, I suppose that is despite the point… I just feel like these couples are robbed of the fun years. The years before real responsibility hits and all the fun can take place. These are the years when you can still do stupid stuff and get away with it without having huge consequences. A baby is big consequences, and it’s permanent.
I know I am not in the best position to say that I am “oh, so responsible,” because I am not… but I feel that I am more prepared than someone at the age of 17. I have a supportive husband, we are blessed to be gainfully employed, we have a loving family, and we are slowly gathering our finances for our future. I just thank god for our blessings and the support we have and being able to do it to some degree on our own.
I just wish that some of these kids were able to enjoy that part of their lives, have the wedding they wanted, the relationship instead of the one night stand, etc. I know it’s a hard reality, but its the reality I wish for, for my children. It’s a reality filled with kids arguing with their parents over chores and homework. With seeing these couples I just have to wish them the best and hope that my children get to enjoy their childhood and get to live their young lives before being thrust before the courts of reality and responsibility.
What are your thoughts on young people having children? Did you get to enjoy your childhood like you wanted to? How would you feel if your child was pregnant or expecting?
***To those single mothers or young mothers who have been able to make the sacrifices and the adjustments to their own lives so that their children can have the best… I applaud you! You are by far the most admirable people in the world. I wish you and your beautiful babies nothing but the best. I hope that you can raise your children to be as strong and disciplined as you are.***