I used to watch 16 and Pregnant and be all judge-y like, “Oh my god! Those girls are so dumb. I’m so much smarter than them.” Then I was 39 and pregnant and suddenly I was like, “Oh my god! I really should have done this shit when I was 16.”
Sure I’ve seen Juno, Mom at Sixteen and the Maury Show. And I’ve heard all of Dr. Phil’s ramblings about how teenage pregnancy ruins lives and babies shouldn’t have babies and blah, blah, blah…
But I bet Dr. Phil never schlepped his pregnant 30-something ass to work in New York City every day with crippling sciatica pain only to get pummeled on the way home by a bunch of perky twenty-somethings raving about their awesome new jobs. Shit! If I did this when I was 16, my kids might actually be those twenty-somethings and I could slap them for calling me “Ma’am” and for being so nauseatingly full of hope.
After two pregnancies, my 16-year-old body would have definitely bounced back and the dream of one day posing for the cover of Vanity Fair would still be alive. At 39, I’m more likely to land a topless centerfold in National Geographic’s Nursing Mothers of the Amazon edition.
When I was 16 I actually enjoyed staying up all night. The bags under my eyes were a badge of honor that screamed, “I defy authority by driving around all night and sharing a pack of Capri cigarettes with my friends.” Now they just scream, “Bitch, call a doctor!”
They say teen moms put the burden on their own moms to help raise the baby. Awesome! So do I. Except if I were 16 she wouldn’t have to travel an hour each way to do it because I’d already be living in her basement. It would also be totally acceptable for me to dump them on her and go out partying every weekend because, duh, I’m 16. I’m expected to be irresponsible. Now when I do it, I’m just that lady at the bar that makes the 21 year olds look at each other and say, “Ew, if I’m still hanging out here when I’m her age with two kids shoot me.”
When I was 16 I didn’t have a mortgage, car payments, grocery bills, property taxes or a six-cup a day coffee habit to support. Dinner was made for me every night, my laundry was folded, I always had two shaved legs and I was home by 3 every day. I could have easily raised a baby under those conditions. And so what if my Algebra grades suffered. They were at death’s door anyway.
Sure teenage pregnancy is an epidemic that is ruining our youth but when you’re almost 40 with a human squatting in your uterus and you can’t drink wine or use high-powered wrinkle cream for nine months, the benefits really begin to shine. Besides, babies should have babies. Let’s see how they like it.
Of course, this is great advice for everyone except my two daughters, Charley and Alex.
Teenage pregnancy is a really terrible idea, just ask Dr. Phil. Plus, by the time you are 16, I’ll be way too old to raise anymore babies and I plan on using my golden years to shave my other leg, finally get past the first six minutes of Stranger Things, and maybe even get a chance to sleep like a baby. (Or more like an old drunk guy or a dog because babies don’t sleep.)