Being a young mom means we met a little early, but I get to love them longer.

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

What do I tell them?

I have been thinking a lot lately about what I want for my children, and I always end up back at the same things...
Things like health and safety are at the top of the list of course. Finding true love. Having beautiful children of their own.

That last one always brings me to this...
I do not want them to be teen parents. And this always brings me to wondering how I will explain that to them without making it sound as if I feel like I didn't want them or they ruined my life or something of that sort. I don't feel that way at all, but I know it will be hard to explain my reasoning without it sounding that way.
So, I figured I would try to lay it all out here just to wrap my head around everything.

The first thing that comes to my mind is that I want them to live up to their full potentials. I had the grades to get into pretty much any college I wanted. The school nurse encouraged me to apply to my dream college just to see if I could get in. I never did because I knew I would receive an acceptance letter, and I knew it would hurt too much for me to know that there was no way I could go. I loved my daughter, and I had absolutely no issues giving up my dream for her, but I was still giving up my dream never-the-less.
I don't want my children to have to give up their dreams. I want them to be able to do everything they imagine they can.

There are also things I don't want them to miss out on. The year before I got pregnant, I was nominated for Junior Princess. I helped decorate our (winning) homecoming float. I went to football games and basketball games. I made memories that kids are supposed to make. After I had Grace, I was making a new kind of memories. I love every single one of those memories more than words can say, but they are not the sort of memories I envision my children making at that age.

I also don't want my children to have to go through the struggles of being a teen parent. I am fortunate to have a great support system (Chris, family, and close friends). I am also very aware that many young couples don't stay together. Many "friends" won't stick around. And it takes a long time to build back that relationship with family. I would be there for my children should it happen, but I cannot control the other people in their lives, and I don't want them to experience that sort of heart ache.

I want them to be in strong, stable relationships. What Chris and I have now is great, but it has taken a long time to get to this point. We were young, and we weren't prepared for a baby in our (what I now know was a) fragile relationship. We had to rebuild our relationship from the ground up around a baby. I want them to have strong relationships that will only be strengthened by the arrival of a baby.

I also don't want them to be subject to the ridicule that comes with being a teen parent. Being the talk of the school, being stared at, constantly being questioned about every last detail, being doubted, having people automatically assume things. I know these things come with life, but people greatly underestimate how much these things are forced upon people who aren't "the norm."

And, of course, I don't want them to have to do anything before they are ready. I knew nothing about being a mom. I see that now. I managed, and Grace has grown into a beautiful, smart, amazing little girl, but my parenting style has drastically changed. I do have regrets, and every single one of them involves how I feel that Brentley has received a better "babyhood" than Grace did. I want to be able to say that being young doesn't affect the type of parent you are, but it can in some ways. I don't think I was ever a bad mom, but I do feel that I am a better mom now. I don't want my children to have those sort of regrets.

Most of all, I want them to understand that they can have both of these worlds. They can do all of these things, and then have a baby. That is the difference. I cannot go back and recapture the things that I missed. I want it to be very clearly understood that I would, in no way, change the past now that I know my children. They are my world, my pride and joy. I know them inside and out, and because of that, I would never change a thing.

What I am trying to get across here is that I want them to not have to be in this sort of position. One where you have to make sure that your children know they are loved and wanted while explaining to them that you don't want them to take the very path that lead you to them.

I know that they are only three and one, so I have plenty of time to sort through all of my thoughts before I'll have to have this conversation, but I also know there are many parents out there who are going to be having this conversation soon.

Take it from someone who did not have an open relationship with her parents when it came to things like this... Talk to your kids. Explain to them that they owe it to themselves to fulfill their dreams because they will still have plenty of time to have children when they are older. That way, they won't miss out on anything. They will get to be kids and experience everything kids should, then they will still get to know the amazing joy it is to be a parent.

This is what I plan on explaining to my children, and I can only hope that it conveys my message clearly. They deserve everything life has to offer them!

2 comments:

  1. This made me tear up. I totally agree with everything you said. I often think about how to talkto them about this without hurting them. It's hard. You said it very well. I love my babies very much but one f my worse fears is that they will end up teen parents or even college parents. Drew brought up one day that since we have 4 of them our chances are higher.... Sigh.... I really want them to live life without the responsibility of someone else's life if that makes since.

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  2. I totally understand what are saying. I don't want them to have that kind of responsibility that young just before they are ready in general either.

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