Since the premiere of MTV’s new reality show, 16 and Pregnant, I have been completely sucked in. I don’t know if it is the journey through young pregnancy I’m draw to or just my desire to drown myself in anything pregnancy related. Either way, I’ve watched every episode.
What has bugged me about this show though, is that I felt like the purpose of it should show how truly difficult it is to be a teen parent. Instead I felt like they almost glamorized it. None of these kids ended up living in big houses with white picket fences and drove a Mercedes, but for all of them it all worked out. It had that theme of, things are hard but we work through them and it all works out in the end. Giving the message of yea, it would be hard but its not like I couldn’t do it.
All of the aspects that would probably intrigue a teen are there. Get your own apartment? Check. Drop out of HS and finish up online? Check. Or drop out of HS and do nothing, just hang around the house? Check. Get engaged? Check. So let me get it straight… if I don’t get pregnant I stay in school and go to college (which I know to some sounds like perfection). OR, I can get pregnant and get to quit school and have my family support me? To many girls that sounds like a plan.
All of the episodes, in my opinion were this way. Until Thursday night. Thursday’s episode followed the first couple out of 6 that decided on adoption. Did anyone see this episode? It was a young couple, the mother was 16 and I’m not sure of the father’s age. They lived in a little town and both had rough childhoods including a father in and out of prison. They had no money, no jobs and most importantly no family support.
These kids were wise beyond their years. They knew that the best life for their child would definitely not come in the household they were currently in. They knew their child would suffer, be tied down, be unhappy. So they met with an adoption agency, chose a wonderful family and made their decision. Their family however, was furious with the decision. I couldn’t imagine a good mother watching her daughter go through this and not support her with everything she has. They made statements referring to them not stepping up and doing the right thing or that all a baby needs is love. They even started buying baby clothes and furniture to help lure them away from adoption. It was absolutely insane to me. Here are these 16 year old kids trying to convince old, warn down grandparents the reasons for not bringing that baby into their unstable household.
It was a very emotional episode and I cried on more than one occasion, full on crocodile tears. I think if a teen is going to watch another teen go through pregnancy it’s this that she should be watching, not the ones that get cute apartments with brand new furniture.
Sher Bailey is a writer in the Midwest who believes the power of humor, Mod Podge, and grandkids can fix most problems in life. You can find her at SherBailey.com.