Traditionally, people go to college, get a job, get married and then have kids. My parents practically went down the road less traveled. Well, not practically, they did.
My parents were 18 when they found out I was on the way. I’m not too sure what their initial feelings were considering I can’t hear through placenta walls, but I do know they were happy when I was born (I think? I hope? They better have been).
At the time my dad was only a bagger at a grocery store near my childhood home named Raley’s. He still tells me stories to this day about how he won some intense bagging competition that was held by his work. Obviously no 18 year old fresh-out-of-high-school guy who’s making minimum wage would be anything less than scared and nervous to hear such news. I’m positive it was both scary and intimidating to be young parents, but my parents seemed to have pulled it off…
The reason I’m telling this story in the first place is that the stigma behind teen parents bothers me immensely. I am the daughter of teen parents and I have turned out way more than okay. Of course there’s the show ’16 and Pregnant’ that kind of ruins it for young parents everywhere. The trashiness, ignorance, and trivial drama of some of these individuals makes it hard to see past it. Every situation is different and not all teen parents are irresponsible delinquents. My parents were wonderful parents and worked their asses off to provide for me (butts if you prefer, but the word ‘asses’ has a stronger connotation, alright). I don’t have to prove to anyone how awesome my childhood really was, but if you really care to know I made the featured image of my parents and I at Disneyland. Disneyland, yes. Even though they had bills to pay, school to go to, and a job to work. Basically, they had a whole lot of other things to worry about other than taking me to Disneyland, but they did anyway.
I believe parenting has to do with maturity, dedication, and willingness to compromise. An 18 year old parent is no less than a 30 year old parent in my eyes. As long as they know what it takes and what has to be done, that’s all that matters.
Age does not define maturity nor does it define how well of a parent you are.
There are some people in this world who are old enough, in terms to society, to be first time parents and let me just say, I really hope they never conceive a child lol (sadly Donald Trump already has, damn).
To my family members reading this, no this does not mean I’m going to go out and get pregnant at 18 as well. I’m just saying there’s nothing wrong with teen parents if they’re just as good as middle aged parents would be. With my parents being young, I have connected to them more. Instead of my parents trying too hard to relate to me like most parents in this day of age, my parents actually do naturally connect with me because of how close in age we are compared to usual. I got to go through my dad’s younger years stages: the frosted tips, the wannabe break dancer, to finally finding his signature dapper style.
Now I’m the age that my parents were when they became parents and it’s quite the eye opener. I don’t know if I could do what they did, and for that I’ll be forever grateful. I could go on and on about this topic, but I’ll spare you the time. This blog has been all over the place as it is, but I hope my point has been made.