Questions from a pregnant teen

Received this email last night and decided to post it and my answer here – maybe it could help someone else. Do you think I’ve missed anything in the reply? Didn’t mention abortion as she seems to have passed the stage where that’s an option. Answer is very very very long 🙂

Question:

I’ve bin pregnant for 5months now and I am scared to be a mom I feel like its going to change my life I sometimes think of adoption but my mind keeps on telling me I can’t is it normal for me to be in fear as a 19years old first time mum

Answer:

Firstly, it’s totally normal to be scared the first time you’re pregnant, no matter how old you are.
Everybody is scared the first time, and you are right – being a mom *WILL* change your life.

A few questions:

  1. Do your family, friends and partner know? It’s very important not be going through this alone, and no matter what you decide, you will need their support. If you haven’t told them yet, you must do so urgently. I know it can be scary, but it is better to get the hard bit over and done with so you can all move forward together.
  2. Have you been to the doctor or clinic yet? Whether you decide on parenting or adoption – you need to make sure that you and your baby are healthy. So if you haven’t gone yet, that’s another important job to do
  3. What are your reasons for considering adoption?
  4. What are your reasons for wanting to raise the child yourself?
  5. Are you working or studying?
  6. Do you have somewhere to live after the baby is born?
  7. Who will support you financially while you are pregnant and afterwards?

Nobody can tell you what decision to make. Even if your family or partner try to tell you what to do – while you should listen to their opinions – the choice will have to be yours alone. It’s a big decision and you should not make it without considering all the options.

Being a mom is NOT easy.  Babies are hard work and you will need to change your life. You will be responsible for another human being and you will have to put them first, before yourself. That is not impossible to do – and it doesn’t have to be hard either – it all depends on your personality

You know yourself best. WILL you be able to put your own needs second, without being angry with your child or resenting them? If you think you will regret changing your life, it is probably best to consider adoption strongly. A child needs a mother who is 100% happy with her decision. If you have regrets and wish for your old life back, your child will feel it. And that’s not fair to them.

So first of all consider whether you will be able to do that.

Then – start thinking about the practical issues like money, a home, clothing, food, medical expenses etc. Will you be able to make a plan for all of those? Will you have the financial and emotional support of your partner and your family? Even if you and your partner are no longer together, he will still be required to pay maintenance. You can go to the maintenance court in your area to organise this. But before you do that, you will have to have an idea of what your expenses will be after baby is born. Start making a list of what you will need money for.

A child needs:

  1. Food
  2. Clothing
  3. Shelter
  4. Medical care
  5. Education
  6. Love
  7. A safe place to live
  8. A family who cares for them
  9. A mother who is 100% committed to being a good parent
  10. A mother who will take responsibility for doing her job properly and not expect anyone else to do it, such as grandparents
  11. A mother who enjoys being a mom
  12. A mother who has support from others so she can take a break sometimes
  13. A mother who is relaxed and confident (this only comes later, as you get more experienced. Nobody is confident in the beginning!)
  14. Parents who do not fight – whether they are together in a relationship or not
  15. A mother who will never give up on trying to do the right thing for her child

It’s a long list! Notice I didn’t say a child needs fancy clothes, fancy toys or the best or latest of anything. They don’t. Having money is no guarantee of giving your child a good life.

Do you think you will be the kind of mother your child needs? Only you can answer that. Think about it hard. Don’t rush into a decision. Speak to people you can trust – remember – not everybody who wants to give you advice really has your best interests at heart.

What you’re feeling now is completely normal. I can’t say to you – “Don’t worry, it will all be okay”. Whether it’s okay or not is up to you. Adoption is a very hard road to choose – but if you don’t believe you can be the kind of mother your child needs (every single day, for the next 20 years or so) – then perhaps adoption will be best for the child.

However – being a mom is also hard – neither choice is “easier”. Both have their pro’s and their con’s.

You also matter – if being a mom is going to be too hard for you or make you unhappy – then don’t do it. An unhappy mother makes an unhappy child. You have to be totally committed to it.

I have seen girls who think it will be fun to be a mom but find out that it’s very hard work and then take their disappointment out on their children. This isn’t fair. I’ve also seen younger girls than you become great mothers. So there is no guarantee of how it will be – it depends on how much work you put into it.

So  again – make sure you have the support of your family. You will NEED them. You must not try to do it all alone.  Make sure you’re seeing the doctor – you could ask them about connecting you with a social worker, if you want to pursue adoption. They will help you organise it. Think long and hard about your life and what you want for it. Being a mom doesn’t mean the end of your dreams, but it will mean you’ll have to find different ways of achieving them.

Whatever you choose – if you think carefully and go with what your head AND your heart tells you – you’ll make the right choice.

I’ll be here if you want to chat again.

Thinking of you

 

 

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