Okay, I must admit, I love to watch Teen Mom 2 (and Teen Mom OG) on MTV. It’s pretty engrossing to watch other peoples’ lives, I think that’s why those cheesy reality shows do so well. We all love to see what other people do. But let’s get real here, all those “reality” shows aren’t really that “real”. I mean, nobody really lives like the Kardashians, unless they are the Kardaashians.
The Teen Mom shows, the follow up to the original 16 and Pregnant show, follow moms who were teenagers when they had their babies. It airs on MTV and is a huge hit. We fans love watching those babies grow up and seeing their moms succeed (yay!) and we feel their pain when they do not. We cheer them on as they navigate their lives in the right direction, find new love, have more sweet babies, find their way in this thing called life. I smile as I watch Chelsea being truly loved and finding happiness. I am proud of Leah as she shows her girls she can be strong and independent. I love that Kailyn is so fierce in her love for her boys.
For me, I have a much more personal reason for watching this series, as I myself was 16 and pregnant once upon a time (23 years ago). I was that teen mom, navigating growing up myself, balancing a marriage, and trying to be a good mom and make good choices. I look back and I am proud and happy with my life. I am married to my baby daddy (23 years in December), I have my own business, and I work as a nurse. My daughter is married and doing wonderful, and my son, my youngest, just graduated high school in May.
But saying all this, let me take you back to when I first began my journey. My husband worked full time, our daughter was born 9 weeks early and was in and out of the hospital (2 1/2 hours from home) for her first few years. We really struggled financially, my parents really stepped in and helped us a lot. I didn’t finish high school (got my GED before she was born) and missed a lot of “teen” things. We were broke, our kids didn’t get vacations, they got second hand clothes many times, we didn’t get to go out to dinner much. Am I painting a picture that is shown on the show? Nope, not at all. I wasn’t being paid to be on a TV show. And neither are most teen moms. The majority of teen moms live in poverty, they receive welfare benefits and never finish college (many not even high school). That’s a much different picture, now isn’t it? Yep. That’s the reality of teen pregnancy.
I am writing this to say, what we see on TV (not just that show, but all of them) is just not real. We live normal, everyday lives that aren’t scripted, they aren’t filmed and edited. But our teens need to know that when they have a baby at 16 (or in their teenage years) it won’t be like on the show. No big new houses, no expensive SUVs, no fancy island vacations, no designer clothes, nope. It’ll be much, much different. It can still be awesome, just with less stuff and much more work. And college will be a struggle all the way. You’ll be studying, wishing you had more time with your kids.
So, go forth and watch your favorite reality show! Just know that real life is what “reality” really is. No editing things out, no big paycheck, no makeup and special lighting, just the real deal. And it can be ugly, it can be painful, and it can stink sometimes, but it’s real.
I hope all are having a blessed Monday! I hope you have a marvelous week ahead! Summer is winding down, the kiddos are all back in school, we are all looking forward to fall around here! God bless y’all!