Sarah's story was truly a heartbreaker, to me anyway. Even though she has her mother's help, I still think Sarah wishes every day that she had chosen NOT to have sex instead of making, to quote HER words, "one stupid decision."
I remember hearing Sarah telling her mom that if she had known motherhood was this hard, she would never have had any kids. Her mother seemed really surprised at that statement, but I would have had the SAME thought as a teenager. What 16- or 17-year-old girl really WANTS all that crushing responsibility when she hasn't even started her senior year of school yet? I didn't when I was a teen, which is why I broke up with TWO boyfriends in high school (one when I was a Junior, the other when I was a senior) over this issue. No WAY was I going to risk getting pregnant and ruining all MY dreams.
I just wish her mom Tina had told Sarah all about the HARDSHIPS of motherhood, BEFORE she made the decision to have sex. It seems to me that too many teen girls truly DON'T know how hard motherhood is, and many moms of teen girls don't seem too eager to tell them. I wonder why that is.
Girls, if you want to avoid getting pregnant in the first place, you need to THINK SEX THROUGH. Think past the moment before you are IN the moment.
- Think about how you'll feel losing your virginity.
- Think about missing your period.
- Think about having to tell your parents that YOU ARE PREGNANT.
- Think about having to give away a baby so you can go on with your plans.
- Think about giving birth.
- Think about having an abortion
- Think about putting your plans on hold maybe forever.
- Think about how much it will cost to raise a baby to adulthood ($100,000 or more)
- Think about what you'll be giving up (all your FREEDOM)
- Think about colic (anywhere from 1 to 6 months of it)
- Think about trading in your cute teenage outfits for dumpy maternity clothes
- Think about painful, drippy breasts
- Think about a child with a disability
- Think about changing lots of stinky diapers, day AND night.
- Think about losing lots of sleep
- Think about "What if he leaves me."
- Think about getting a HUGE belly and gaining a lot of weight
- Think about morning sickness, anywhere from 1 to possibly 6 months of it
- Think about suffering through painful hours (possibly days) of labor
- Think about getting almost no sleep at night after bringing the baby home
- Think about a baby possibly vomiting all over you (that happened to me more than once when DS was an infant)
- Think about listening to a crying, screaming baby instead of being out having fun with your friends
- Think about missing out on prom, graduation, college and dream career
- Think about the next 18 years of GIVING THINGS UP
The more girls THINK about the very real hardships of motherhood before having sex in the first place, they might be far LESS likely to take the risk of having sex and possibly ending up pregnant.
To reinforce the concept of THINKING SEX THROUGH, a girl can also keep these short positive thoughts in mind, EVERY time a guy tries to pressure her to have sex.
1. Pregnancy-FREE and loving it
2. No Pregnancy, Know FREEDOM
3. Freedom ROCKS, Pregnancy SUCKS!
4. Freedom = Fun, Pregnancy = NO FUN
5. Sex? No Way! I intend to KEEP my freedom, not lose it.
Girls can write these thoughts down and keep them in a place where they can look at them EVERY day. Whether they use one thought they like best or all five of them, they can be written down on colorful sheets of paper and placed on their tables/desks, and/or on their walls.
These colorful sheets of paper, whether large or small, will serve as daily reminders of how important it is for them to THINK about the consequences of teen sex -- babies -- and help them say NO! to sex with confidence.
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