The topic I’m writing about today is one I feel is important. Nowadays, being a teen parent is not uncommon, in fact, it’s almost becoming ‘the norm’. Personally, it’s more strange to see a lady in her 30’s pregnant than it is to see a girl with a bump in her late teens or early 20’s walking around with a bump.
I fell pregnant at 16, my boyfriend was 17, it was June and we were together just shy of a year before I got pregnant. It was terrifying. I’m not going to get in to telling the full story, if that’s something people would like to see I will do up another blog post solely on that. This post is about the toll it takes on a relationship, my relationship. I can’t speak for anyone else and I can only speak about my experience. Myself and Scott had good year together before I got pregnant and things seemed okay, we were happy. When I was 7 weeks, we broke up. It was nasty. Again, I can only speak for myself, but it was one of the most emotionally painful times I had ever experienced. At the beginning the pain I felt was for me, how could we break up when were having a baby together? how can he just not love me anymore?. After a while the pain I felt was for the baby, I was so afraid of the baby growing up with no dad. Of course that was not the case, just because we were not together did not mean Scott wouldn’t be involved.
By January, a month before the baby arrived myself and Scott had got back together. It felt great, knowing the baby would have his parents together. We were still young and immature, we didn’t always see eye to eye and we didn’t always understand how each other were feeling as all of these new emotions and experiences were new to us. When you become a parent there are things you have to consider and think about that you never even knew about. Things got difficult sometimes when it came to discussing big decisions such as play schools, primary schools, even secondary schools! We had different opinions on which secondary school he should go to yet Lee hadn’t even started play school! We had opened ourselves up for an argument that didn’t even need to happen, whats the point in deciding something there and then that didn’t actually need to be discussed for a good few years! You will find that may happen for a lot of things as your kid(s) grow up, you may not always agree and it is hard, especially when you have your own idea of what way you would like things to be, but remember your partner is thinking the same thing. Chose your battles, ask yourself is it worth the threat of an argument? Does it really need to be discussed yet? Is it really important?. Having to act like an adult when you technically aren’t an adult is very difficult! I mean, how do you know how to be one when you aren’t one? We struggled with that a lot, dealing with adult situations and trying to find our way. Luckily we both have amazing, supportive families and we were never left without a helping hand.
Trying to maintain our relationship as well as being parents was hard work, still is. Not just for us, or for teen parents, but for any parents! Your life becomes consumed with attending to your little persons needs, housework, jobs and life itself. It’s very easy to fall into the routine of just being parents and losing who you are as individuals. Recently that’s where myself and Scott are. It is so important to make time for each other without your kid(s). Simple things such as date nights, once a week, once a month, twice a week, to hell with it three times a week if you can! Of course it depends on how busy your life is, but you need to make time for each other, listen to each other and be willing to compromise and also allow the other person have a life beyond being a mother/father and being a boyfriend/girlfriend.We will be together 8 years in June this year. 8 years!! I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit for getting to where we are today and having very few breaks from our relationship in between. We have faced a number of obsticles and fought through and fixed a number of issues and we both still remain in love and wanting to continue to fight for each other. As Scott says, “couples fight, but it’s who you want to fight with for the rest of your life that counts”. I would rather fight for us, than choose someone new. It CAN be done, but you have to want it and work hard for it.
So in conclusion, my advice for any young parents out there who are in, or are about to find themselves in a similar situation is to;
- Be patient
- Listen to each other
- Be respectful
- Create a balance
- Don’t plan too far ahead
- Enjoy the experience