Parenthood As A Young Adult

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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Becoming a parent at a young age have a traumatic effect on your life. Not just in the since that you will change the way you live , but more in the since of what you live for. Some people choose not to have children, while others jump to the conclusion very fast. Sometimes unplanned things can occur in your life that you can't really change, and the best thing to do is just make the best of what you have at the time. I am 18 years old, and my first-born is due on January 27, 1999. Granted, that isn't quite what I had planned for, but you have to live with the mistakes you make in life.

At first, I was really disappointed every time I thought of becoming a parent at such a young age. I knew that I would have so many more responsibilities than before.

I could see all the bills adding up in my head. All the doctor visits, shots, medicines, and any other thought I might have about hospitals really scared me. Here I am trying to go to college when I will also have a family to try to support. Then there is all the clothes and toys. The clothes will only last a small length of time on a child before they are wore out or just too small. Just keeping my child in clothes will be a large task. Then there are all the toys I could trip over while feeling my way through the house at 2:00a.m. because someone is scared of the big, hairy monster that lives in the closet. Plus the cost of all those toys! They should give you a toy with the purchase of every article of clothing you buy. All of these don't add-up to the greatest asset of responsibility: someone to look-out after. With all the killings, beatings, and rapeings that go on now days, I would probably want the U.S. National Guard as my personal babysitter. It seems like everyday on the news, there is another day-care center closed because the care giver was beating or neglecting the kids left in his/her care. If someone treated my child that way, I would probably raise my child through prison visits, because I would kill the person who was treating my child in that manner.

Another thought I was really scared of was the loss of so much freedom. The most important thing on most college students mind is finding directions to the next party. All that wonderful staying up for three days and possibly drinking more beer than Betty Ford pours out, just so you can have a good excuse not to study comes to an end. You are usually so tired from working and going to college that you just go straight home to study and spend some time with your family, only to get up the next hay and do it all over again. The wonderful days of working all week for the weekend comes to an end, too. Teens usually tend to save enough money to make a car payment each month, but blow the rest on an 800,000 watt stereo system, enough chrome to power the world through solar power, and just enough left over for some gas and a lot of cheep beer and wine. The wonderful Idea of coming and going as you please is really gone now, too. Instead of staying out at Joe's Pool Hall until 3:00a.m. while smoking enough cigars and cigarettes to put a large forest fire to shame, you get to go straight home. You can bet if you are 10 seconds late, you will hear about it for a week, too.

Finally, though, what seems as such a horrifying dream, really isn't. I can promise anyone that the first time you go and hear your child's heartbeat, or see it move on the ultrasound screen, that your heart will melt like snow in Mexico. Hearing and feeling a child inside your wife's stomach is a great feeling. It is like waiting nine months for the greatest present you could ever ask for in your life. That is a feeling I wouldn't trade for anything. Then when the ninth month comes, and the whale-sized person who resembles my wife thinks every gas bubble or stomach cramp is the time, only after 900 trips to the hospital and then sent back home to wait for the next gas attack to give be a triple coronary. But when it is actually time, and you watch the most wonderful sight come out of your wife, all those false alarms are worth it. Words can't explain the sight that you will witness. And if that isn't enough, every day after that, you get to watch a reflection of yourself growing-up before your eyes. As your child grows, you too grow and learn form each other, making a better person out of all of us.

Just because I only saw what I was afraid of loosing from my childhood, doesn't compare to what I feel now. I was very afraid at first, but now I can't wait to become a parent myself.