By Soraya, age 17, Texas
I was watching the Tyra show after school one day. The topic was "Teen Mothers". I thought this was going to be very interesting so I kept on watching it. I couldn't believe what those girls were saying. They wanted to have kids so the government would help them, so they could move out of their house, and simply because they thought babies were cute. They sounded so stupid, senseless, and childish. A kid is not a doll, I thought to myself. It's not a game, but pure reality.
My sister, who is now 18 yrs old, had a baby who is now a year old. She got pregnant at 17, my age. The saddest thing was that she didn't complete high school. She struggled at first. I believe I know how much she struggled. Friends of my family criticized her, fingers were pointed in her direction, and she lived up to the statistics. I don't know exactly what was going through her mind, or if she had planned having a baby at that time.
I love my sister, but I think that she should have waited. My niece is so beautiful, she's my little angel. But having her was not cheap. There are bills to pay, diapers to buy, and checkups to take her to. Even though my sister didn't really think, what I love about her is that she is responsible. She doesn't live with us; she lives on her own. She works and gets paid well; her husband does too. To be honest, not all teen mothers are like her. Some even leave their baby with their mother while they're out getting wasted.
One thing mentioned on the show was that one of the girls had wished to go to prom, graduate, and go on to college, but this remains a dream for her. It doesn't have to stay a dream for the rest of us. Another great point made in this show was: "We not only have to worry about getting pregnant, but about getting STDs." It doesn't matter if you know the person you are with, you shouldn't trust them completely. Guys will tell you they have gotten checked just to get in your pants!
We are not in our mother's times when they didn't know about STDs and the consequences of doing certain things. I believe that each one of us makes our own decisions. I'm not going to say what you can or can't do. I'm just asking you to please be a little smarter than those girls. After all, like my mother always tells me, if I mess up, I'm going to be the one suffering, not her, but when it has to do with a baby, the one who suffers is the baby.
Think twice before you do things. I don't want to have a baby. I'm not ready to give up my shopping time, my days out on the weekends, my naps after school, and my freedom to do certain things. I'm not saying that babies are bad - they are a blessing from God - but there's time for that later on. I'm not ready to have one, nor for that big responsibility. In time my kids are going to come, but at this time I'm trying to enjoy my life and go on adventures that I can later tell my kids about.