Teenaged pregnancies are the start of a severely depressing emotional cycle. Societal reactions border on the extremes making it a monster battle for the girl. Most teenagers respond to this with one of the two extremes – rebel or completely succumb. It’s also commonplace and absolutely understandable that teenaged girls opt for abortion, but critically, they struggle to survive the guilt through a lifetime. Rina takes a look into teenage pregnancies, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.
Motherhood is a difficult journey from conceiving through to raising the kids in the journey of life. A woman goes through emotional and physical changes beyond description. This is true regardless of age and ethnicity of women around the world.
Mature women prepare for motherhood and plan their maternity are struck by the sheer enormity of emotions that strike them like a tidal storm. Mood swings, inexplicable behaviour, and urges, self-esteem (or lack of it), assailed by doubts on the acceptance of her child, and her, by her spouse, the entire range is enough to create a Bollywood blockbuster.
Imagine then the challenges for teenaged girls for whom some fun and experimentation, or abuse, turns into a pregnancy. The greatest gift for a woman turns into the biggest pivotal point for a teenaged girl’s life. Globally, the number of pregnancies attributed to teenaged girls from planned conceiving is diminishing due to the transformation in how girls today seek out their life ambitions and aspirations. Unplanned pregnancies are inflection points for the girl and increasingly for the men, today.
As girls grow into young women, stepping into adulthood, they develop innate urges to be appreciated by men and society for their beauty and – by the law of nature –often seek out boys and men they view as being ‘right’ for them. Prim and proper behaviour was a norm of the past.
Today’s age is focused on educating girls and boys to the perils of engaging in unprotected sex that can dramatically change both of their lives.
A teenaged girl will wake up to discover she’s going to have to be responsible and be a mother for an incredible baby and care for the child, while often putting her own desires and aspirations last. It could mean a poorly timed break from school or college just when the girl discovered her calling or was very successful academically and socially.
It could mean having to drop academics for a while in life and actually have to go to work. For several girls around the world, teenage pregnancies are the start of a severely depressing emotional cycle. Societal reactions border on the extremes – incredibly compassionate or terribly unforgiving – making it a monster battle for the girl. Peer pressure doesn’t make it easier for teenaged girls to handle such a life situation.
Most teenagers respond to this with one of the two extremes – rebel or completely succumb. It’s also commonplace and absolutely understandable that teenaged girls opt for abortion at this stage of their lives – but critically, struggle to survive the guilt through a lifetime.
It could mean possibly running away from home or eloping with her male partner. That is a breakdown in the family support system and a challenge that teenagers are seldom prepared for. It causes poorly matched marriages in the rush to legitimise the child. It causes two young humans to come together as a couple when their mental states are far from mature to make such a transformative decision.
The girl discovers that she often looks older than her friends and the odd one amongst friends. Her friends’ circle often changes from young girls having fun to a circle of young mothers uncertain about life and somehow finding the need to rebel and revolt.
Fun and frolic in frisking around with a male always have repercussions for a woman irrespective of her age or nationality.
In any case, this would transform a teenage mother for the good or worse. Responsibility ahead of due time is mostly burdening.
Fathers to children born from teenage girls are equally at risk. It could mean a marriage due to compulsions, a possible break with a current partner if this was a fling, forced fatherhood, and financial considerations subsequently. That’s only if the male is a settled adult.
It could also mean jail in this case if the male adult consciously or unwittingly ends up having sex with a legally underage girl – not going so far as her being pregnant with their child! Not just could it destroy him through law, but end another family for who a father, a husband, a son, could be crucial. We’re just conscious not to deviate from making this into a debate regarding adultery because that opens up a whole can of worms!
A teenaged boy causing the pregnancy could be traumatised by the abrupt life change and may or may not accept the responsibilities that follow willingly. While society is always kinder to the male that may be responsible for this, the law provides for adequate support just to ensure the teenage mother and child are not abandoned. This could be suffocating for the young boy and alter his life aspirations just as it does for the woman.
Imagine if this consensual act happens between two young humans under the age of legal adulthood – the trauma from a legal default, to being in rehabilitation as a juvenile; and in several countries, having the male on charges of rape could be absolutely devastating and life-ending potentially. The possibilities of running afoul of the law and facing consequences for any one of the two individuals, or both, is in itself terrifying and arouses sympathy and alarm in equal parts.
The emotional frustrations of having to parent a baby while peers and life move ahead of them could devastate the teenaged parents beyond a point of conscious recognition in society.
The difficulties in having to begin earning ahead of time to financially support a very young family can cause immeasurable hardship and financial distress – a debt trap that’s a never-ending spiral potentially. Motherhood is a difficult enough journey from conceiving through to raising the kids in the journey of life. A woman goes through emotional and physical changes beyond description. This is true regardless of age and ethnicity of women around the world.
Teenage pregnancies make it worse. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Photos from the Internet, sourced from the author
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