When I look back on those frightening moments in the hospital room and being too afraid of the nurse’s judgment to push the call button, I wonder about how many young moms and dads hesitate to reach out for help and support when they need it?
Now that I am well into my 30s and have seen my friends have babies at every age, I know that all new moms struggle with uncertainty. Most of us have both a powerful love for our new babies and a nagging fear that we won’t know how to be good mothers. The women who thrive in motherhood are usually those with trusted networks of support and the humility to ask for help when needed.
When I see the dismal statistics and negative images our communities are bombarded with, I wonder how many of the negative outcomes are caused not by the age of the parents, but by the stigma heaped on them and the isolation that results? We all know there is nothing inherently wrong with giving birth at 18. Humans have been doing it throughout time; President Barack Obama’s mom did it, every 30-year-old I know has a mother who was “young” by today’s standards.
In a generation, the “proper” age to become a parent has changed. Economic security sure helps in raising kids. Having a partner does too. But 40 percent of babies in the US are born to mothers who are not married, and their ages range across the board. The Great Recession has taught us many things, including that we can’t count on financial security at any age.
Maybe instead of a National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, with statistics and images that demonize young parents, we could have a National Day to Support Young Parents? We could have a day when service providers, teachers, ministers, and the media celebrate all of the great achievements by young parents and their kids. We could enjoy a day when we are honored for all we have taken on, and all that we have succeeded in doing, when the folks around us ask us how they can best support us, instead of telling us what we should have done differently.
(On why he let Willow cut all of her hair off)
Read more: Will Smith On Allowing Willow To Cut Her Hair: ‘She Has Got To Have Command Of Her Body’ | Necole Bitchie.com
- He raises a really great point. What would it mean to believe very early that my body was mine. That it’s not for anyone or for any particular purpose other than to be mine until I decide otherwise.
I was damned near 30 before I could believe my body belonged to me & me alone. Dear people who take an issue with this,
Let the Smiths do right by their babies & shut the fuck up about how you think they should parent.