being a mom

Schools In NYC To Offer Plan B Contraception, Awesome Program That Makes Me Awesomely Sad

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Plan B contraception will be made available to high school students in 13 schools in New York City in conjunction with CATCH — Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Health — part of a citywide attack against the epidemic of teen pregnancy. The school nurses can dispense Plan B  without first informing parents, and that’s where as a mom it’s get a bit tricky for me. I think it’s great that the CATCH program is doing what it can to prevented unwanted pregnancies, but it makes me terribly sad that so many girls feel like they can’t go to their parents in these types of situations. And I’m sure my own kid may one day feel the same.

When I think of my daughter becoming a teen I do so under the (naive) idea that she will  be as madly in love with me as she is today. Telling me she had unprotected sex or may be pregnant will be as big of a deal as her telling me she spilled my favorite nail polish all over the carpet. She will be trepidatious, but she will feel like she can come to me with anything and I will always be her understanding mom, able to listen to her with an open mind and an open heart. But in reality, one day she is going to freakin’ hate me.

Because that is what teen girls do.

If our daughters never hated us for a brief period during their early adolescent or teenage years, we would never let them leave for college or move out of the house ever. For those of you with young daughters or who have had daughters, think about this. You have probably never loved anyone as much as you love your daughter, or as she loves you as a young girl. I know moms also feel this way about their sons, but with daughters, it’s this ridiculous all-consuming connected best friends crazy love. I realize that during her teen years my daughter will at some point hate me, or hide secrets from me, or roll her eyes at me, or at the very least not love me as intensely as she does now. This is biology’s way of letting us start to let our daughter’s go a bit. If this angst hormone fueled mother/daughter rift never happened we would never let our daughters grow into the women they are meant to become. And it’s why all though it makes me a bit sad, I’m happy that the teen girls in NYC will have access to emergency contraception if they feel they need it.

Teen pregnancy isn’t a good thing, having to use Plan B isn’t a good thing, feeling like you can’t go to your parents for advice isn’t a good thing. We can all agree on this, but that doesn’t make any of these not good things any less of a reality. As much as it hurts me to say this, if in the event my own daughter grows up and feels like she can’t talk to me if she is pregnant I want her to be able to have safe alternatives.

In a perfect world, my daughter doesn’t have intercourse until she is either in college and madly in love or married. She doesn’t get pregnant unless she wants to get pregnant. She hates me for a few years when she is a teenager but then she comes around and we go back to being best friends. She always feels like she can talk to me about anything, even if she doesn’t like me so much at times.

I can’t guarantee any of the above, as much as I would love that to be the reality. Even though I don’t love the idea of her using emergency contraception without me being able to know about it or offer her advice and care, there are far worse alternatives I can think of. I’m sure a lot of parents with girls who attend these 13 NYC schools feel the same.

(Photo: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)