Obvious, right? But I'm genuinely so grateful for this. Having grown up in an area where it wasn't uncommon at all to be a teen mother (I mean, there are daycares in the high schools- for the students' babies), I saw firsthand how hard it looked. There is nothing easy about being a parent, and to add additional stresses of being a teenager with raging emotions and hormones to that situation- I can't even imagine. Factor in the financial stress that usually comes with being a teen parent (how can you have a solid job when you haven't even finished high school yet?) and the frequent stressor of not having a partner to raise this child with- it's phenomenal to me that these girls are strong enough to get up and do it every single day, and that a lot of them raise really wonderful children. It's truly a testament to how strong people can be.
All that said (how strong they are, and how difficult that situation has to be), I'm really grateful that I haven't had that experience. I guess in a way, that makes me grateful for the fact that I wasn't exactly the hottest commodity in high school- I didn't have to deal with pressures that other people probably did, so that was a big blessing in disguise. But I'm glad I've been able to make choices that kept me childfree until I felt more prepared to take that on. I still don't feel fully prepared, and there's still things I would like to work out (such as finishing my education) before we do have a baby. But I'm so glad that there's a good chance my pregnancy, if I'm lucky enough to have one occur, will be full of love and joy and excitement that I can share with a phenomenal husband. And big, big love and prayers for those moms who are doing it a younger age and in less than ideal situations- my hat really goes off to them for their courage and strength.