I don’t know what to do! I’m 14-years-old and I have always wanted a child of my own. A couple of months ago, I heard that if you babysit, it will make you not really want a kid as much, while still keeping you involved with babies. At first it worked, but lately it hasn’t. I just want to “magically” get pregnant and start a life with the baby I have always wanted. Of course it’s not as simple as that because I know if I told my parents I was pregnant they wouldn’t be proud of me, but I know they would help me with him/her.
I know I’m young and I don’t have a boyfriend at the moment. But there’s this one boy I’ve been talking to for almost a year now, and we want to meet up to have sex. I asked him what he would do if I got pregnant and he told me he’d be there for me and look after the baby while I go to school as he would be finished by the time I’d have the baby (he’s older than me). Everyone would work out, but my age is stopping me. I just want to be a mother. Should I have a baby?
There are a lot of things to address here, and to be honest, I’m not sure where to start. But let’s begin with your feeling of wanting to have a baby. While this emotion isn’t something every young woman feels, it’s also not unheard of. I myself have received a lot of emails from girls your age saying the same thing – they want a baby. And I get it! Babies are adorable and they smell good and they love you no matter what. The idea of starting your own family like a little Lorelai and Rory Gilmore certainly has a bit of a romantic appeal to it. Unfortunately, in real life, it is not romantic or fun or easy. Getting pregnant as a teen girl is incredibly difficult. It will change your entire life. It is not a decision that should ever be taken lightly.
Do I think you should have a baby right now? No, absolutely not.
This is not to say I have anything against young mothers. I don’t! There are a lot of teens who get pregnant and have their babies, and they do everything they can to secure a good life for them and their baby. I commend all of their hard work and am in awe of them. While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting pregnant accidentally and then deciding to keep the baby, I do think there’s something wrong (or, not wrong, but bad) about actively trying to get pregnant when you’re 14-years-old and not in a relationship.
Reason number one: you are way too young for this. I know that is the most annoying statement in the history of the world, but it’s true. You have so much to get through and having a baby is going to make it SO hard. You should finish high school and focus on yourself. You should hang out with friends and binge watch Netflix and nap for hours and do nothing all day on a Saturday. Having a baby might sound nice, but babies are so tough, man. They require constant attention, not to mention constant money. They might be worth it, but nothing about taking care of a baby is easy.
Reason number two: This guy is not going to magically make this better. He might be telling you he’ll take care of the baby while you’re at school, but how do you know he will? How do you know he won’t get bored and decide to leave you and the baby? How do you know he won’t find something else to do with his time? There is zero commitment here. It’s a terrible idea. You haven’t even hooked up with him yet! You don’t know him NEARLY as much as you should to have a baby with him. This dude will be a part of your life forever. It is NOT something you want to mess with.
Reason number three: Babysitting is not the same as having a baby. Maybe you babysit a cute kid who is very behaved and you want one just like that. Babies aren’t a toy you get to pick and choose. You get what you get! On top of that, you get to go home after babysitting. You don’t get to go home when you have a kid. The kid is your home. You will never have time to yourself again, or at least for a very long time.
Reason number four: Your parents might say they’ll help you, and I’m sure they actually would. But that doesn’t mean it’s a reason for you to do it. They would support you because they have to as your parents, but that doesn’t mean it won’t affect their lives as well. Do you think they want another child to take care of? No!
There are so many other reasons I could get into here: the fact that pregnancy can make you feel sick and shitty, the fact that you could easily change your mind in a year but if a baby is already around you’re screwed, the fact that you are still probably going through puberty. I can’t write everything here, but I really want to urge you not to go through with this. One day you will be responsible enough for a baby, but today is not that day. Please, please hold out for the moment that’s more right than right now. Use protection if you have sex. Go out and do things and put a baby out of your mind. Dream about the day you have one, but enjoy your time now. Trust me.
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org