That girl has got gumption!

For those of you who don't know yet, my new job involves working with pregnant and parenting teen girls.  That's about all I'm going to say about it on here, for privacy sake, but if you want to know more feel free to ask me personally. 

In any case, this is a population that really has a hold on my heart.  I may not be a mother yet myself, but I know a lot of fabulous women who are.  And while I think being a mother sounds like the most incredible and amazing thing in the world and I honestly cannot wait for my chance, I also am not naive.  Motherhood is wonderful... and also insanely and unbelievably difficult.  Even for the most "prepared" and "supported" women in this world.

Even for those women who are financially stable.  Who have a roof over their heads, a steady (albeit not always large) income, and a caring co-parent and extended family members to help them.  Even for those women who have transportation and insurance for medical support, finances and literacy skills to purchase and read "What To Expect" and all the other zillions of pregnancy books out there, and fun baby showers filled with both practical (diapers and wipes) and ridiculous (frilly dresses and patent leather baby shoes) gifts.  Even for those women who "have it all," motherhood is hard.

Imagine how much harder it must be for a girl who loses friends, family, and support because she finds out she is pregnant.  Who cannot complete her education, and therefor cannot get a job, because she goes into labor before the end of her senior year.  Who lacks a supportive co-parent, who doesn't have a steady roof over her head, nor access to the aforementioned advice books.  Whose friends don't throw her a baby shower and who struggles to get even the most basic supplies for her child.

Sure, a lot of people might say "She should have thought about that before she started having sex."  And sure, there's some truth to that argument.  But without rambling for tooo much longer, I will say these three things:

1) For some women in our society (more than we would care to think about), sex is not a choice.

2) As long as we continue to deny the fact that sex is happening and refuse to talk openly about contraceptives and how to do it safely, teens will continue to get pregnant.  Abstinence may be ideal, but it's not reality.

3) Regardless of whether or not she made the choice, and whether or not her choice is one you agree with, the new life is there.  It's forming in her womb and the woman that carries it deserves to be nurtured just as much as the baby itself.

These girls need our love and our support, not the secrets, stereotypes, and stigmatization. 

I'm so impressed by the story below, of a young girl who sacrificed her senior year to expose the truth.  I really want to read her report, and I hope that her project sparks the kind of awakening our society so desperately needs.



Natalie you have insight way beyond your years. The job is perfect for someone with your heart and spirit. I know these girls will be so blessed by you! Happy Easter :)
Vanessa's Dad said…
Gaby Rodriguez confronts stereotypes on many levels, including showing us how to confront sterotypes.