The other day, I asked my friend what she thought my next blog post should be about. Without missing a beat or hesitating for even a second, she said the following:
“You should tell all the people who don’t have kids, that they seriously really, really, really, need to think about it before having them.”
(She MAY have been having a bad day. Or she may have just been having a normal day with two young kids. Whatever.)
Anyway, she got me thinking about teenagers having unprotected sex. (Isn’t that what popped into your head?)
Are any of you readers high school teachers or administrators? I’m wondering if you guys still do that thing where you give your students a doll to take care of for a day or two in order to serve as a wake-up call about the responsibilities of having a baby? Because while I admire the effort, I kind of feel like a doll that whimpers and needs to be “changed” every few hours doesn’t REALLY do the whole parenting thing justice.
Bottom line: Fake baby does NOT equal real baby.
What they need is the TRUTH. So, I’ve prepared a short list that I think may REALLY help your cause. (You know, in addition to the fake baby.)
So, here you go:
Things You Should Know Before Having Unprotected Sex, Getting Pregnant & Having a Baby
1. YOU WILL NOT GET FAMOUS.
It will almost definitely NOT land you a cover of Us Weekly, despite what you’ve seen happen to those Teen Mom mothers train wrecks.
Side note: I assume that Teen Mom was created to offer a glimpse into how hard life can be for a teenager with a baby. BUT then I see those girls on the covers of magazines and I have to ask, how is THAT a deterrent for a teenage girl? Isn’t a magazine cover kind of the BIG DREAM for a 15-year old? Can’t you see some young girl saying, “Wait, if I have a baby, I can be on the cover of Us Weekly? Like Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez? Duh, I am SO going to do that! I take care of my little sister, like ALL the time… I can totally handle a baby! New goal: have a baby when I turn 16, get on the cover of Us Weekly, become rich and famous and date Justin Bieber. Yay me!”
So yeah, no magazine cover. Just a baby.
2. THERE IS SO MUCH GROSS STUFF.
If you have a baby, you will have to touch a lot of poop. And vomit. And boogers. Not just see them, but TOUCH them. Often.
I want you to re-read that and really think about it. And visualize. It’s one thing to think about “changing diapers,” but I want you to really consider the poop. It’s green and brown and black and lumpy and more importantly, it will not just be in the diaper. It will be on their legs and your hands and sometimes on the bathroom floor and …
OK reader, I’ll stop. I’m sorry. Were you eating? I apologize. But I want these kids to know the truth. The whole disgusting truth.
3. YOU WILL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN.
Remember when you were younger and you would have sleepovers with your friends and there would always be that moment when you were on the brink of sleep but your friend would keep talking and talking and you would TRY to keep your eyes open but you just couldn’t?
Well picture yourself in that same exact moment only instead of tuning out your friend’s chatter (“And ohmigod, he said ‘hey’ to me and did that nod thing with his head, ya know? Which totally means he likes me, don’t you think? Because he wouldn’t have said ‘hey’ AND nodded like that unless he really likes me, right? RIGHT? ARE YOU ASLEEP?”) and blissfully falling asleep, you’re awakened completely and abruptly with the loudest, piercing SCREEEEAAAAAM you can possible imagine.
Now imagine that happening EVERY. HOUR. ALL. NIGHT. LONG.
4. KIDS CAN BE REALLY ANNOYING.
Like, more annoying than your MOM. No joke. You think it’s annoying when she nags you over and over again about things like covering most of your body with clothing or not piercing body parts that aren’t ears?
How about this: Can I have ice cream today? Can I have ice cream? Mom? Mom? Can I have ice cream? And candy? How about candy? Can I have candy on my ice cream? Candy on ice cream is so good… please can I have it? Today? Can I? CAN I? NOW???
That’s pretty much how kids sound all the time. And unlike your Mom, they wake you up in the middle of the night to annoy you more. (See #3)
5. IT’S FOREVER.
All of the above is permanent. The poop, the vomit, the Can I? Can I?, the exhaustion… it doesn’t go away for a really long time.
And by the time that stuff goes away, you’ll have a kid about YOUR AGE with a whole new set of issues… and I ask you, would you want to be YOUR mother?
To sum, PRACTICE SAFE SEX.
P.S. By the way, if you’re thinking, “Yeah, but babies and kids are so cute!” you should know, the novelty of cuteness wears off.
P.P.S. If you are a high school principal and you’d like me to format this into a nice cool-looking infographic and save it as a PDF so that you can print it out and hang it in your locker room, I can make that happen.