My Beef With Teen Mom

I have to admit I am a sucker for “reality” TV. I get excited for Bachelor Pad on Mondays, have seen way too many episodes of Jersey Shore, and recently caught an episode of Teen Mom.

I have mentioned that my sister is pregnant. She is 19, works part-time at a grocery store, is not attending college, and her boyfriend just got his first paycheck, ever. I have confidence that she will make it work, in some capacity, because she absolutely adores children and will have help, but it will by no means be easy. So I was quite annoyed when she was watching MTV’s Teen Mom, and insisting that these lives of the females on the show are similar to hers.

No! Absolutely not. I haven’t watched a full episode so maybe it does get more realistic at some point, but in the 10 minutes I saw, the one girl, Farrah I believe her name was, was talking about getting her boobs done. She was currently in school, had a child, had legal issues with her mother, but was going to take out a loan to get her breasts augmented.

Are you freakin kidding me?! She was going to pay thousands of dollars to have plastic surgery when she had just been talking about her lack of income, not a few sentences before. Does this make any sense to you?!

I am not saying Farrah is a bad person, or bashing her capabilities at being a mother. What I am saying is MTV is painting a picture of teen pregnancy that is so not true. I feel as if they are making it seem like a new car, time to go to culinary school, and nights out with friends, are normal, even with a challenge such as a new child in your life.

I am trying to prepare my sister now…THIS IS NOT WHAT IT WILL BE LIKE. On her salary (she makes just over minimum wage) and the fact that she only works about 25 hours a week, there will not be much wiggle room in the budget for extras. To me this means not going bowling or to the movies every weekend, trips to Ruby Tuesdays and Dairy Queen will be limited, new Nike kicks aren’t happening just because you want them…money will be tight!

We went to the grocery store to use my sister’s WIC checks (which you can read about in an earlier post!) and the $10 she gets for fruits and vegetables does not get her a ton of produce! Anyone who does any form of food shopping will know this. I was pleased with what she got and feel that the program is certainly an excellent way to meet the nutritional needs of mother and child, but honestly, if that is the money she gets to feed her, the baby and Tyler, and they don’t intend on spending any more than their voucher allotment, they will be hungry! At least I know I would be!

So with six months until the official due date I really want her prioritize her life, learn to budget, COOK (yup, she doesn’t know how to do this) and accept the changes that will occur…perhaps even STOP watching Teen Mom and all its ridiculously inaccurate portrayals of life with a baby.

And at the same time I need to work on me, as far as learning anything I can about pregnancy, and caring for an infant. So it’s not like I am asking her to go at this alone. I will be there when I can, but at the same time, I have always been the epitome of an enabler for her. She doesn’t know how to prepare meals because I have always had dinner waiting when she got home. She doesn’t understand how much things cost at the grocery store because I do the shopping. So I need to let her grow up, because soon she will need to be a big girl, a mom, and a role model. I’m not thrilled about her declaration that she is moving out as soon as the child is born, but it is her life, and I am NOT in control, meaning I need to stop acting or thinking I am. All I can do is help and be there when she has these wacky cravings, morning sickness, and goes to pick up a caffeinated soda (BIG NO NO!) but I cannot force her to do anything.

The only person I have the ability to change is myself, but this is a difficult part of my journey. I don’t easily let go, or believe the mentality that some things are just out of my hands. But in actuality they are, and if I can learn to accept that, life might just get a little easier, and hopefully I won’t be as stressed.

So can I control that MTV has a show (well multiple shows!) that demonstrates a life atypical for most people? No, I can’t. But I can do my part to help my sister prepare for the reality of taking care of another life. And I can work on accepting my inability to dictate everything that occurs, and learn a few things about babies. Sounds like I have a pretty eventful few months ahead of me!

What do you think about shows like Jersey Shore and Teen Mom?

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6 thoughts on “My Beef With Teen Mom

  1. I watch Teen Mom frequently and I’ve seen that episode. I figure I’m on the treadmill, I can watch what I want, no matter how trashy, and trashy train wreck shows make people feel better about their own lives. You know MTV is paying them for being on that TV show and that has to be how those girls make ends meet. Farrah is probably the most spoiled girl I’ve seen on there, some of the other moms like Maci and the girl who gave hers up for adoption (I think her name is Caitlin) are a little more realistic. Teen Mom glamorizes motherhood a lot more than 16 and pregnant glamorizes pregnancy, IMHO, but it makes me sad for those poor kids, growing up in the spotlight like that.

    I’m sure your sister will be a good mom. I think once you have a kid, you make it work and you learn as you go. I doubt anyone is ever really prepared, but even young moms make it work and still manage to be successful people and successful parents.

    • absolutely u can watch whatever u want on the treadmill! haha whatever keeps you there right! and thats exactly what I thought, that either MTV is paying them or they are getting freee diapers, cars, etc. so the companies get free advertising!!! thank you for saying that about my sister. I think she will do well too, i dont know if reality has hit yet!! but she will get there 🙂

  2. I watch the show. (In fact, I watch most reality tv shows – I’m addicted!) I don’t think that it glamorizes motherhood or teen pregnancy. If you watch with a discerning eye (which not every viewer does) you can see that the girls are struggling and, in some cases, emotionally stunted and unhappy. Two of the four girls have yet to graduate high school. The other two (the ones whose parents still help them out) are struggling to make it through college.

    I do agree that some of what they experience now is a-typical because the moms have earned big bucks from MTV and probably from selling their stories to Us Weekly. I wish the show talked even more about things like prevention and the options you have if you do get pregnant. They have the platform, they should take advantage of it.

    Great post! I loved reading your thoughts!*

    • I will have to watch an episode more thoroughly. I think I just caught it at a bad time and got frustrated so quickly I turned it off right away! Im glad its a little more balanced than I initially thought!! Im a reality tv junkie. its pretty bad! haha thank goodness for dvr so I dont spend all my time indulging in stuff thats totally trashy! im into big brother right now haha its too funny!

  3. I absolutely hate teen mom. They are just a bunch of drama and it makes me mad! it’s like they’re making being a teen and pregnant is like a hype! Ugg, I really don’t like the show and think those girls need to get back to their lives and out of the celebrity world.

    • I agree! and there are seriously 12 girls at the high school I work that are pregnant and proud! when did that become the thing to do?!?! I feel like it would be way too hard! Im 24, married and have no intentions of being pregnant for a very long while, if at all!
      I hope the fire has gotten under control! youve been in my prayers today!

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