Sunday, February 12, 2012
Polly got a letter from Amber, who was a child of a teen pregnancy, on Friday - you can read it HERE
Dear Polly and ZM team,
I just read the letter that a girl named Amber asked you to post on Facebook and your blog about children of teen parents, and I have to say that I have quite a strong opinion about it, and I would ask you kindly to please do the same for this letter.
First of all, I realise that Amber has come from a practically loveless family (from what I gather from her letter, anyway), one that was not finacially successful, with a mother that did not quite think through her decisions. And it is just horrible to see that yet again it is not in another persons strand of DNA to make connections with the overwhelming NEED to put your child first and protect it to whatever extent. It is just sad. I feel for her in that aspect.
However, this being said, I have to say that a person definitely does make their own life. Someone may have not had a great start, but they do what they can (if they are not mentally incapable of this) and set their goals and do it. And before people go an rant about how she was not just talking about teen parents, but all parents, should read her letter again, because it clearly does show a preference to dogging in the teen parents. But this is actually a good point. The things that Amber is saying about her mother and all other teen parents is something that is very much the same as parents in an older age. As an example (but not as a rule), if you think of the children that come up in the media and news that have been abused and murdered by their parents, you would notice that... not many... if any are teen parents, but, in fact, parents of an older age.
This is what I HATE. The fact that teen parents are automatically said to be terrible parents, only thinking of themselves, by a lot of people. When really, there are many teen parents (and trust me, I know PLENTY) who are the most FANTASTIC mums, better than a heck load of older mums that I know. I mean, I know that their brains don't actually become fully developed until far after the teen years, but then why are all the teen parents I know such great decision makers and mothers? But in saying this, I do know the exception to this rule, and I will not deny that. But I will NOT say that everyone makes this judgement because I am not writing a sob story; I know that there is a huge amount of people that are so understanding and kind, and personally I think that judgement about teen parents is just thrown way out of proportion!
The thing that was said about not having children until you are married to someone earning a good salary was a real bubble burster to not only teen parents but also WOMEN! Why do we have to rely on others? We shouldn't. Which is what you seem to have been doing, while making excuses for yourself, Amber. Your mum is not a piggy bank. Get a job. Hard advice, I know, but you know what, so is telling teen parents that they shouldn't DARE bring a child into this world.
And now, to tie myself into this:
My name is Sasha and I am 18 with an almost 4 year old daughter. Who I love to bits. And I can also tell you that I have had a job since I was 14 and I did not drop out of school, and I do not neglect my daughter. Shocking, I know. I go to a fantastic place, along with some fantastic people, that provides a school for teen mothers with the responsibilty of a child. There we get to finish our schooling off while our children attend a childcare--a very, very good childcare. And I am on my way to achieving my goal of becoming a barrister. And might I add that it has all actually fit quite perfectly together and timing just happened to factor in--I will be starting my first year of University when she starts her first year at school! And this is what happens for many teen parents.
I love my daughter so much, that I would do anything and everything to protect her, and I know, for a fact (she told me ;) ) that she loves me too. And I will continue to make sure that this stays the same for the rest of her life and mine.
I know that the world is full of judgement, but I am hoping that this letter will help at least a few people be a little more open-minded to some things, and not just teen pregnancy and parenting. I am not trying to attack anyone, as I feel that there is not just one right way to how old you should be, but I really do want to add perspective. I am frequently judged, but being so young with a child, but what strangers, and even some of my friends, don't know, is that when I was 13 I was date raped and we did not find out I was pregnant until I was 6 months along, because of a completely flat stomach, NOT oblivion. Has this changed anyones mind about judging? I hope it has.
Please, please, help great teen parents be the RULE, and bad parenting be the exception. This is the way the world should be.
Thank you for reading and taking time to contemplate.
Sasha, a teen parent