I don’t know that as a child or teen that you ever fully comprehend exactly what it means to be a parent. What it feels like. The joy that your child brings. It is precisely for this reason that I think that it is difficult for those that find themselves pregnant unexpectedly to understand the weight of the decisions that are facing them, and that in this time of need they should not be depending on someone that makes money from killing those children for advice.
To be a parent is a difficult task. It means placing another person first. It’s making time for them when you’d rather spend time on yourself. It’s being consistent in disciplining them. It’s changing dirty diapers and washing messy faces. It’s cleaning up cuts, watching that they don’t go into traffic, and it’s also smiling when they bring you a dead mouse.
But it’s also enjoying their hugs. Smiling when they tell you that they love you. It’s enjoying the fact they can hit a ball in the air only being three years old, or laughing when you honk a bicycle horn. It’s being happy when they see you come home at night from a long day of work. It’s listening to them tell you all about their day, and them having to show you something that they think you’ve never seen before, but you’ve seen it many more times then they have.
You see, we tend to think and focus on the difficulties that children bring, and we paint a picture of the cost without showing the benefits. We tell young mothers about the changes to their bodies without telling them how that child will melt her heart. We focus so much time and focus into saying how much it will ruin her plans and not talk about how amazing it is to watch theirs.
Teens and young adults don’t understand what it means to be a parent like those of us that are or have been. They don’t grasp it all, and that’s why they think that they can play around. That’s why they think that it’s ok to play house. They believe that they can have it all– all of themselves, but none of the responsibility. And yet it is that responsibility that takes us outside ourselves, that matures us and that helps us by reaching a part of our heart that’s not complete without that child.
No, I’m not suggesting that we try to encourage more girls to have babies out of wedlock. What I am saying is that we need to change the tone of the discussion to say how great children are. How much we want them to have a married father and mother. Most of all, we need to continue to share the blessings that they are in our lives.