Babies are pretty cool. They’re usually happy to see you, they’ll always love you, and they’re super cute! But that doesn’t mean having a baby right now is a good idea. In fact, as a teen, it’s normally a pretty bad idea.
First off, babies are freakin’ expensive. We’re gonna throw some numbers at you: 80 percent of unwed teen mothers have to go on welfare to support themselves and their babies. Having a baby makes going to school and/or work a lot tougher. Plus, it’s harder to get a good job considering only one-third of teen moms get a high school diploma. And with the economy being so rough that people with college degrees often work minimum wage jobs, you can’t even imagine how hard it’d be to get work with limited availability and limited education. And continuing on with your education is tough too–only 1.5% of teen moms go on to get a college degree. It’s a pretty vicious cycle, and it’s one best avoided completely.
Then there’s the emotional toll having a baby will take on you. You can pretty much say “peace out” to hanging out with your friends, going to the movies on a whim, or taking a spontaneous weekend road trip with your girls, because you’re going to need to hire a sitter–which usually costs money that most teen parents don’t have. It may be harder for you and your friends to relate to one another, because when they’re talking about who’s wearing what dress to prom, you’ll likely be stressing about onesies and Desitin.
And don’t even think that having a baby will keep your boyfriend around. In fact, stats show that he’ll probably bounce–8 out of 10 guys who get a teen girl preggers don’t marry her.
Additionally, you can bet having a kid–or even just announcing that you’re pregnant–will cause a big strain on your relationship with your parents. Your having a kid likely isn’t their fault–but it will inevitably become, at least in part, their problem. And that’s not really fair.
Oh, and dude, let’s not even get started on how gross diapers are. Do you really want to be responsible for something that poops up its own back? I sure don’t…yet!
Don’t believe us? Well, you can take a dry run at parenthood and see for yourself. You and your pals can test out DoSomething.org’s The Pregnancy Text for a day and see how having a rugrat of your own affects you. You’ll get text messages throughout the day that mimic taking care of a kid. It’s a wake up call for sure–and it’s only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the drama a real baby would bring you. What we love about this program is that it’s geared to girls and guys. So many teen pregnancy campaigns only target girls and we all know, boys make babies happen just as much as girls do. In addition to a hard taste of parenthood, participating will enter you to win a $2,000 scholarship to college. Teen pregnancy awareness and money for school, thanks DoSomething.org!
Having a kid when you’re still one yourself limits so many fun and exciting opportunities that you’d otherwise have. You have your whole life to get pregnant and start a family. It’s worth the wait to enjoy your youth while you can–and thankfully, a lot of teens are catching on, because the U.S. pregnancy rate is the lowest it’s been since 1940!
If you’re looking for someone who will always be happy to see you and drool on you (and that won’t talk back in its teenage years), your best bet now is to get a puppy–and use protection.
Have you ever thought about having a baby? Would you want to be a teen mom despite all the risks and hardships? Tell us in the comments!