Or at least they’re trying. I just finished watching another episode of one of my weekly shows, and was relieved to see that, for the most part, the mamas are taking strides in the right direction. I watch this show each week, and while I may not be able to directly relate to the girls, I feel as though each one of them has a certain characteristic that exemplifies something I have been through (to the tenth degree). You often hear the saying, “babies having babies”–a reality that is much too common. Which made me think. Every parent, at some point or another, grows as a human being after having a child (or being on either end of an adoption). I don’t care what anyone says, there is no way to have a “seamless” transition into becoming a parent. Not that the growth has to be extreme, but we have all had our own realizations, transitions, and adjustments both big and small. And each of us has had moments of weakness, insecurity, or even helplessness at some point of being a mother. I imagine that many of these moments come at 4am during feeding number three for the night as we fight back those tears welling up in the corners of our eyes.
I think I have had about three of those nights over the course of the past year, where I am sitting up in the bed, three days in, with only 12 of the last 36 hours consisting of actual sleep. And as I sit there in the bed, in the dark, nursing my baby girl, my eyes start to burn and I have to fight back those tears. Tears of the overwhelming lack of sleep. I think of these moments, and I look at these “teen moms” and I see four very strong women. I know they can think of one moment that they had this feeling. As for Catelynn, I may not be able to relate to a specific situation for her, but I know her heart aches for little Carly, and even though she didn’t experience the adjustment of fighting exhaustion of the late-night feedings, her tears are that of a mom, whether in a physical or emotional sense.
My point is that while these ladies may seem to be struggling at times, they are moms just like the rest of us. And each week, they grow by leaps and bounds. I had my daughter relatively young as well (21) and had to grow up a lot faster than many of my friends. And it wasn’t always easy–especially considering I lived my first year as a mother in Beppu, Japan where very few people spoke English, I had no help, no break, no American baby products. May sound like a breeze, but it was no easy task trying to expedite my level of maturity and raising a baby at the same time. So maybe it is because of this that I have a certain level of respect for these Teen Moms. Now please don’t think that I agree with everything they do/say, or that I in any way think having children so young is OK, but I do feel for them, and I applaud the progress they are making.
I recently reviewed some of the forums for the show, to get viewer feedback for this series, and I was so disappointed. It saddens me when I look at some of these forums and see what people are saying. I can’t imagine how some of the “haters” would do if they were thrown into such a life-altering experience. Especially poor Farrah, geeze, give the girl a break! Yes, I understand each of these couples made their beds and now the have to lay in it (obviously they did a little too much of that to begin with), but what’s done is done, and they are doing what they can with the cards they were dealt. I look forward to seeing the growth in these moms in the upcoming months, as they have no choice but to move forward and become better parents. If interested in reading some of the outrageous comments, or checking out some more info about the show and the girls being featured, you can check out Teen Mom’s Main Page on MTV.