When you become a parent, it is the greatest love you will ever know. The minute you see that little face, your heart turns to mush and you lose yourself a little. Your life changes inexplicably. There will be no greater love in your life. At the same time, sacrifice is part of the package. I feel like a bad mom to even say that parenthood equals sacrifice. It seems to be a bit taboo. But, to not address it is irresponsible.
Everyone has a different experience when they become a mom or dad. We all lose sleep, sometimes friendships drift, some walk away from their paying jobs for a time, and our lifestyles transform. Who we were before kids is not quite the same as who we become afterward. I always hear people say, “Oh, I can’t remember my life before my babies.” The thing is, I can. I remember sleeping in and waking up whenever I wanted. I remember not having to adhere to a schedule. I remember spending time with friends and going on trips. These aspects of life change when little children enter your world. I couldn’t imagine my life without my children in it and I love them beyond measure, but I do remember life before them.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must know the very popular MTV reality shows 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom. These programs have stirred up much controversy, some saying that they glamorize teenage pregnancy. Some have even said that these shows encourage girls to get pregnant just so they can get on TV and earn money. I’m not sure I buy that, but it has been said.
I only bring up these shows because I have watched them and they are all about sacrifice and good ol’ teenage dramatics. My husband thinks it is weird that I’m in my thirties and I’m transfixed by these young girls and their stories. Some nights when I’m channel surfing, the dysfunction and the drama suck me in. Call me crazy, but I think that both of these shows illustrate how difficult it is to be a parent, especially a teenage parent. These girls struggle with friends, money, boyfriends, and their education. It makes me sad to see how much they have to give up and how much more difficult their paths will be because they became pregnant so young. It is painful to watch sometimes.
If young girls are watching these shows and thinking they want a baby, they are out of their mind. The show focuses on the hardships and the realities of trying to raise a child while also attempting to find their own way as young people. Just the words “labor” and “delivery” were enough for me when I was younger. In fact, when I was in early elementary school, I thought that pregnancy was like a disease that just randomly happened to you. I was so relieved when I found out that was not the case.
So, what do you think the biggest sacrifice of parenthood is? Have you watched Teen Mom? What are your thoughts?