Yes, “times are achangin” as they say, and yet that doesn’t necessarily mean that the changes are for the better. One such recent change has to do with the relatively blasé attitude of young men and women towards the birth of children. To be a little more specific…towards the birth of children to single mothers.
This is not a “holier than thou” post but rather one of concern and dismay, concern for the babies and their mamas and dismay that so many beautiful young women continue to find themselves in this situation. While I’m aware that unwedded pregnancies have occurred since the dawn of time, what makes today different is that people are well aware of exactly what causes pregnancy, and they are inundated with information on birth control.
Oh, and the dads aren’t going to get off the hook. I’m equally baffled at the frequency with which these deadbeat dads are so cavalier about their offspring and the women who give them birth. This week Senator Obama had a few choice words to say to these young men about taking their responsibilities more seriously. I mean, good grief, these are children, children who need plenty of TLC, not to mention milk, nourishing food, clothing, shelter…you know, the basics.
It’s heartbreaking to realize that one in six children lives in poverty. After all, what kinds of jobs are out there for women with little or no education, many of them teens? Even if Mama does find a job, who will watch the children while she’s out earning money for the basics? And then what happens when she gets sick, or worse, when the baby gets sick? Who will pay for the doctor visits and the medicine?
This topic is controversial and far too complex for someone like me to even begin to resolve. All I know is that babies need a love AND a whole lot more, and I’m not so sure that many young parents fully realize this. Nor do they realize the everlasting ramifications of having a baby. Even in the best of situations, raising children is taxing, extremely rewarding but also difficult. How can a young single uneducated mother do it alone?
You might be wondering what led to this scathing (?) post. Observation, reading, teaching, and a growing anxiety for the next generation are part of it. Senator Obama’s call to action let me know that I’m not the only person who sees and ponders this problem. And finally, there was this term from urbandictionary.com that I read the other day. The tone is lighthearted, but the truth behind it is piercingly painful.
The word for June 13 is baby mama
The mother of your child(ren), whom you did not marry and with whom you are not currently involved.
Oh her? She ain’t nothing to me now, girl, she just my baby mama. So, can I get your number?
Ladies, wake up. You and your children deserve the best that life and love have to offer.
10 thoughts on “Baby Mama”
Who will pay? You, me, taxpayers. The cavalier attitude drives me insane! In high school every corner you turn there is a pregnant girl, hopefully at least finishing high school…unfortunately the basics cost way more than minimum wage.
P.S. You subscribe to Urbandictionary too? I did so in attempt to keep up with the latest “slang”
Not that I am saying that there SHOULD be unwed mothers, but I just wanted to point something out. It is very hard to tell teens not to have premarital sex, when our culture – parents included – succumb to the need for instant gratification.
Putting sex off until you are married, or older, or whatever, has to do with whether you will deny yourself something that feels good for a future ‘nebulous’ good.
I think our country would be better in general if every stepped up and worked against succumbing to instant gratification. It just seems a little hypocritical to me to see parents who justify their slightest whims to tell their teens that they have to wait for something they want.
For better or worse, our culture is completely geared to instant gratification.
It is true the taxpayers will pay for these children and their mothers. I was the first woman in my family to make it to 18 and two things, single and not pregnant. It is a culture thing. I know a woman who both her daughters were unwed and pregnant by 16. She is raising her second daughters children while her daughter finds herself.
Connie, Not only does it (the attitude) drive me insane, but it also saddens me. What kind of future do these moms have? What are the fathers thinking? Are they thinking? A child’s heart…well, I won’t go overboard today.
Hayden, You’re so right! That’s one reason I mentioned that this issue was far greater than I could solve with a few simple guidelines. In just about everything, we Americans want what we want, and we want it NOW. Any suggestions on how to change things?
Britton, Yay! You’re a transitional person in your family, and you’re going to be a great role model for your little niece.
Ah, Barlow, what can I say?
I agree with Hayden, while trying to give our children a good life we have unknowingly created an impatient generation. I know I have as my son’s both think they can have things ‘now’, whereas in my day we only got things on birthdays or christmas.
Here in the UK, I overheard a conversation about someone who was going out with the intent to get herself pregnant just so she could get out of her family home and away from all the arguments. We give young mums nice furnished homes, and plenty of money to raise them.
It’s all wrong.
Gail, thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. My major concern is for the children without their parents, often living in poverty.
WOOH. A solution? Marlajayne, I though you knew I only CRITIQUE, lol.
Well, I am going to tel you something that may or may not surprise you. When I was ready to start having sex, at 17, I sat my father down and asked for permission. I also spoke to my minister about it.
I am sure you can imagine how absolutely flustered they both were.
Phil took me to the doctor for birth control and then, I think, tried to scrub the knowledge of it from his brain. (In retrospect, I do realize it was kind of an odd thing to throw on your parent.)
I think one solution would be to realize that your darling 13 year-old already knows people who have had sex or ‘done things’. Parents think they can wait until 14, 15, or 16 – but by then it is too late. From my brief stint in San Antonio, I knew more girls in middle school than high school who were pregnant.
Anyway, you can’t ignore it until your child presents you with a baby (or you read their diary).
Oh, and just to clarify, I do not regret starting at 17. It was one of the best decisions I ever made! However, I do happen to realize that I was unusually mature for my age.
P.S. CHURCH YOUTH RETREATS ARE A HOTBED FOR ILLICIT ACTIVITY. You’d be amazed at what people got up too at the back of the bus. Just thought I would let you know, seeing as many of your readers are all about the religiousness.
Hayden, Thanks for the enlightenment. Sadly, these are things that many parents choose to ignore because they want to believe that their little darlings are somehow different from other teens.
The impetus behind writing the post in the first place was a deep and abiding concern for the children living in stressful environments, often in poverty or with abusive or neglecting parents…or just one parent. I honestly do not think that most teens realize that these babies are real flesh and blood little people with hearts and minds and souls and tummies that need to be fed.