Wednesday, May 27, 2009
By Sarah Tucker
I have absolutely no doubt that I was a hellish child. My mother jokingly threatened to run away many times. I’m also sure my parents did not get a full night of sleep until I left for college, and with three other sisters still at home my mother, most likely, is not sleeping soundly.
While I know my mom is very proud of her daughters, she understands how tough and sometimes unrewarding it is to raise and support a family. Today many young adults do not realize how rocky the road can be to creating a stable home life and they are blinded by the glamorized, unrealistic idea of parenthood.
In high school most of us were forced to take Home Economics, a class that taught us how to cook, clean and take care of children. Thrilling. No disrespect to all of the Home Economics teachers reading this article, but not many students would have taken that class had it not been part of the core curriculum. Either way we have been exposed and taught about the aggravations of home life since we were young.
Having stated that my question is: Why are so many young adults choosing to get married or have children (or both) at alarmingly high rates? Why is there such a rush to grow up and why are marriage and child bearing not treated with the respect they deserve?
It is hard not to step on anyone’s toes while discussing this issue; nevertheless I find my opinions inflexible when this topic arises. After reviewing lengthy censuses’ and Marriage/Divorce statistics my views are only reverberated by facts. In the year 2000 alone, there were more than 9 Million single mothers in America. Of those almost 2 million were living with relatives, and over 3 Million were divorced. Those statistics should scare the nuptials right out of you.
I, like many of you, know plenty of soon-to-be mothers. Sadly, most of them are unmarried and not older than 21. I even know two young ladies who have each had their second child before their 22nd birthday.
These old friends of mine, instead of enjoying the headaches and hassles of college life and young adult hood, are now at home or at work trying tirelessly to raise a family. I do not want to sound ignorant or judgmental but I do not understand why this lifestyle is chosen and seems to be preferred by young women.
Didn’t our grandmothers and great-grandmothers fight so that their daughters could be able to attend college? Why are so many of us willingly allowing our education and dreams to take a back seat to parenthood?
A lot young mothers tend to drop out of school to better care for their child and many never return to finish their higher education. Isn’t that ironic! If they had only waited until after graduating with a degree they would be much more financially stable and most likely able to better provide for their families.
While my opinion may be slightly biased because I do not want children, I can understand the perks of parenthood. Who doesn’t want a walking, talking, pooping, burping, screaming, crying ball of fun clinging to them day in and day out? However, the lack of respect that child bearing and marriage are shown today reflects poorly on those who choose to do so irresponsibly and prematurely.
I feel like Peter Pan and the Lost Boys had it right when they said they never wanted to grow up. You have the rest of your life to be old and act mature so before you jump into marriage or leap into parenthood let’s all take a few seconds (or more…much more) and think about the choices that not only affect your lives but the lives of the people around you and the people you create.