Sharing this post as part of the #NoTeenShame Pushback aimed at the Candie’s foundation and their atrocious adsthat attempt to shame teens out of pregnancy. Shaming teen moms in NOT the way to go about preventing teen pregnancy, and it never will be. These moms deserve our love and our support. PERIOD.
How would you feel if every one around you refused to acknowledge your successes?
How would you feel if, instead of rejoicing with you in the good times and supporting you through your struggles; your friends and family ignored them and kept reminding you of your mistakes.
What if every time you went out in public, every one knew what mistakes you had made, and whispered about them among themselves.
What if the greatest joy in your life, was also the source of much judgement and shame.
Would it make you angry? Hurt? Ashamed? Would you feel like it was unfair for people to ignore all of your good accomplishments and only focus on a single mistake?
Most of us don’t live the way I have described above. Most of us are able to hide our mistakes and shortcomings so only very few (if any) people know about them. A lot of us carry about our business while silently shaming people around us who’s mistakes are more obvious than our own.
Do you wonder who I might be talking about? I’m talking about the unwed/young mom. I’m talking about the 19 year old you see in the grocery story pushing her cart full of groceries while carrying a baby. I’m talking about the girl in target eyeing maternity clothes and hoping no one notices her.
I’m talking about the young woman who feels so out of place taking her children to the playground because the other moms are all older (And sport wedding rings) and no one talks to her.
These young women that may have made a mistake, yes, but they made the brave choice to keep their baby. These young girls who have hopes and dreams, not only for themselves, but for their children as well. These girls that could have easily ended their baby’s life, but they chose to keep it instead. These young girls that get ridiculed and shamed by almost every one around them.
It makes me angry. It hurts my heart for these young women. They are all around us, and yet we ignore them. We pretend like we are better than they are, when really, our mistakes are just less apparent. They don’t need to be told that they did something wrong. They don’t need you to remind them of their mistakes and they most definitely do not need to be shunned under the guise of “not supporting the sin”.
I do not support S*x outside of marriage. But I wholeheartedly support the teen mom/unwed mother.
I never thought about this issue much until I was pregnant with my son. I was not an unwed mom, hubby and I had been married for over a year before I got pregnant, but I still looked the part and I still endured cruel whispers and stares from strangers everywhere I went. I left more than one store in tears as I was made to feel like I was doing something wrong for welcoming a child into the world.
I admit, before I walked a few miles in the shoes of an unwed mom, I did silently judge them. I did look down on them a bit without even sparing the topic 5 minutes of thought. but now? I have a HUGE amount of respect for unwed moms. For these girls that embrace this difficult road, who choose to accept society’s cruelty for the sake of their children. These girls are brave, they are resilient and they need our love and support.
I’ve recently become friends (online and off!) with some gals who were/are unwed moms. Let me tell you, these women aren’t failures. They are going places! Their lives are not ruined and they are not ruining the lives of their children. They have faced hardship, some still face it but they are thriving. They inspire me everyday. These women are beautiful examples of selfless love.
They are amazing women, who deserve our respect, our support, acceptance and love.
So next time you see a young mama, instead of making a “sly” glance at her left hand and then deciding for yourself what kind of a woman she is, why don’t you look her straight in the eye and smile. Why don’t you let her know she’s doing a great job, or comment what a sweet baby she has or tell her how much joy she has to look forward to.
Small actions such as these can do much to uplift or tear down another person. I know because I’ve felt the shame as people glanced at my bare left hand (when it was too swollen to wear my ring) and walked the other way or started whispering to their friends. Such small gestures, but they speak volumes. Yes, I’m sure sometimes I misread the situation, maybe people are just curious about my martial status and that’s why they look, but WHY? What does it matter? *hint* It doesn’t.
Yes, I am for abstinence before marriage.
but more than that, I am for the unwed mothers.
*the links in this post are for 3 blogs written by some amazing women who were/are unwed mothers. These gals are incredible mamas, with beautiful families and they run some of my favorite blogs!!! They each inspire me so much, I am proud to call them my friends.