Work Life Balance
I Envy My Teen Mom Friend
I’m completely jealous of one of my two best friends, who was a teen mom, and had her son at age 17. I met her in university when her son was a toddler. Her son has just graduated four years of a hard-ass business school and has landed his first “adult” job. My friend, now only 41, works as an editor-in-chief at a very well respected magazine and pretty much has her entire life back. She IS having the time of her life.
She works hard. She enjoys her job. She plays hard and goes out for more than one cocktail! She is rarely sleep deprived. She doesn’t have to worry constantly about taking her son to the doctor, paying babysitters, or yelling at him, “LOOK BEFORE YOU CROSS THE STREET!”
So, I have this theory that I should have been a teen mom. A theory that ONLY works if you have a great support system, meaning a fairly well off family who is completely willing to help you raise your baby.
My friend is, without a doubt, the most inspirational person I know. It wasn’t easy for her. She was a single mother going to school and raising a son who was in daycare, but she did have her mother’s support. Her mother actually moved in with her to help. My friend was even on welfare for a time, but now owns her own beautiful house, has paid off all her debts, and her son is a complete gentleman who adores his mother and grandmother.
While my friend can do pretty much whatever she wants, whenever she wants, I’m at home changing diapers and finding Cheerios in my bra and playing peek-a-boo with an almost 1-year-old (P.S. There’s no END to the damn game!)
I don’t regret my choice to have a baby at almost 40. But I can’t help but be a little envious of my friend. Man, just for ONE night I’d like to get completely wasted. But I can’t! Hangovers and babies just do not mix.
Obviously you can’t talk about teens moms these days without talking about MTV’s “Teen Mom.” When I read about the “characters” on those shows, let’s be honest, they are complete train wrecks. Farrah Abraham is now a porn star. Others have been in rehab and jail. And, hello! Even though they KNOW how hard it is to raise a baby as a teenager, they still have more babies.
Reality shows are not hard to figure out, even for teenagers. The more messed up you are, the more air time you get, and the more air time you get, the more money you probably make. And, hey, if you are already a teen mom on a reality show, what teen wouldn’t want to make money just showing their life? Even if they are arguing with the father like maniacs in front of their babies? It still beats working at McDonald’s.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m NOT suggesting that babies should be having babies.
My friend’s mother was completely accepting (but not thrilled) of her having her baby, probably because my friend told her straight out, “I’m keeping the baby.” Her mother was there every step of the way.
Even when I had my first baby in my 20s (with a great support system of help) it was easier to get “back into the game” known as work and, more superficially, my body bounced back a hell of a lot quicker.
My friend is an anomaly. Or perhaps because she was a teen mom, still going to school and graduating university, she is a more productive employee because she now doesn’t have to constantly sweat the small stuff anymore. (The dreaded school call that your child is sick.)
Of course, the irony of my theory is that if my own daughter came home as a young teenager telling me she was pregnant and keeping the baby, I’d probably (definitely) lose my shit and ask her how she could be so fucking stupid. I’d pray she’d make the decision to get an abortion. Sometimes things are just theories. It doesn’t mean they actually work.
(photo: Juan Sharma/Bruja, PacificCoastNews.com)