Is everyone entitled to be a parent?

October 5th, 2010 | Posted in Parent, Pregnant Teen by

I was a teen parent myself. I was pregnant at 17 and I gave birth to my daughter 3 weeks after becoming an “adult” at eighteen. I married her father, I was lucky. I personally had a tremendous amount of support from his parents as well as my own mother. My little girl did not suffer from a lack of love or support. I have many to thank for this. I could not have done it on my own. However, not every teen parent is so lucky, and by all means, not every child born to a teen parent as privileged as my daughter was growing up. My mother and father-in- law stepped in big time. It wasn’t easy for me as a young woman to allow for their opinions or their rules at times. However, I knew it was in my daughter’s best interest. I knew it was right for her.  

I made mistakes, but the biggest one is how little time I actually spent with my little girl when she was a toddler. I was working, I was busy…blah, blah, blah…none of it really matters, what she needed was her mom. When I look back now especially after raising my granddaughter today, I try to remember the ‘ first times’ of my daughters. I didn’t get to see so many of them. My Mother-in-law did. I was so stressed about being appreciated at work, money and other nonsense that I didn’t understand how very important it is to be appreciated at home.

The repercussions show themselves today. It is too late to fix them. Now my daughter and I must move forward and accept the mistakes and honor each other from today forward. Kids need their parents to be both physically and emotionally present. If this is something you are unable to accomplish, think twice before getting pregnant or choosing to raise a child without recourses. There are many families out there desperate for a child to love and they have the recourses to contribute to their upbringing.  Consider the child, their loneliness and sense of where they fit in this world if you choose to raise a child without the nessessary funds and time to contribute to him/her. Family is a BIG word. It has real meaning. A family is not just the birthparents, but the individuals that care and love the child each and every moment of every day. It isn’t all about money. It is about contributing to the daily mentoring and raising of a little person. Including the scrapes, bruises AND the successes and cheers.

I see a lot of families struggling with the effects of unplanned pregnancies. What we must remember, is how will the baby make out? It is no longer us as the Parents that matter now. It is the unborn child. Will we be able to give this little one everything he/she deserves? This baby did not ask to be brought into a difficult situation.

Children need a lot of ‘things’, but what they need most is love, consistency and security. Many of our children today are living in “survival mode”. They live hand to mouth and rely on the school system for “meals”, which many of us know lack a great deal in themselves. Kids are not sure of tomorrow. They don’t know if they will have a home to go to at the end of every day. They consistently see struggle and fear in their parent’s eyes.

Parents spend so much time working, trying to find work, paying bills, looking for ways to keep lights on and food on the table, which the actual raising of their kids is on the back burner. This is leading to a legacy of hell for our children. They learn life lessons from TV, video games, MTV, the streets and other unfortunate kids. Their idea of exercise is Xbox. Kids are learning early that life is a struggle. Their mindset is on negativity and fear at such a young age, they don’t understand what it means to wake up peaceful and be grateful for the upcoming day, looking for ways to contribute to our society and their own self worth.

If we as parents keep allowing for this to happen, our future for our kids and ourselves is bleak. How would you like your future leaders to have had TeenMom and Lindsey Lohan as role models? (and they are on the upside). It is up to us. We must change our way of thinking in order to make a difference for our kids.

Before the American family became so fragmented our children had a sense of place. They knew what was expected of them. They understood right from wrong. It is time we get back to that.  We must start putting our children first.

Our mindset must change from that of lack, frustration and blame to a mindset of love, honor, courage and grace. We must realize that in order to make a change in our lives, we must be the change.

The time has come for all of us to step up and be the change we expect in everybody else. No more blame, no more negativity or finger pointing. Change yourself, your outlook, and your expectations.

Live in excellence, and let’s teach our children to expect nothing less.

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3 Responses to “Is everyone entitled to be a parent?”

  1. Margaret Mahon says:

    Blame and regret are easy places to land. What is more difficult (for me) is to truthfully examine what I have done, and what choices I make for my future. How does my behavior impact the children in my life (adult and toddler both)? I see my role as a parent to an adult child as still being the most difficult path. Saying too much, not saying enough, not being heard…very frustrating. There is a chasm with my son that I never thought possible. Do I reach out to him? What should I say? Always second guessing…

    With my granddaughter I can just love her without reservation and rejoice in her growing moments. The distance between us is difficult for me but I believe that as she grows, our relationship will grow as well, despite the distance and perhaps because of the many miles. She is a fortunate little one; I can only marvel at the end product and be thankful for those who protect and love her day to day.

  2. Lisa says:

    As I look back at my days with young children, I remember wondering if each stage would ever end. I was tired, sleepless, and at times, clueless. Now that they are 21 and 16, I can’t convey the height of my desire to go back there, if only for a moment. I want to touch my daughter’s face while she smiles and tells me a story. I want to see my son with bubbles piled high on his head in the bath tub. I want to pack a car with too many things, drive to someplace that might amuse them, and watch their faces as they see it for the first time, as I surround them with my world. Those days are gone, but they taught me something about today. My son and daughter are still experiencing things for the first time, they continue to be curious, and they still tell me stories. Now I’m amused. It’s my turn to enter their worlds and view it carefully through their eyes. I’ve learned to exhale and take a moment to appreciate this stage, and the next. Each of my kids is seeing life for the first time, experiencing things anew, and getting to know me as a fellow human being. It’s a beautiful gift of parenthood.

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