Since when did kids become accessories?? Since when was it okay to take your baby on a stroll down Ocean Boulevard while you cruise for a hook up at 11:00pm?? And finally, I will jump on this grenade, since when it is okay to name your child something that sounds like an airline (side eye directed toward Kanye and Kim)??
This is the first blog that I am writing as an expecting mother so maybe I am just more sensitive or maybe it is the overdose of cookies and milk I had as a 3:00am snack, but I am appalled at some of the so-called “maternal behaviors” that I have seen recently. I am only carrying an 18-week fetus, and I am already thinking of how I am going to prepare my son to live a long, healthy and productive life. My husband and I have been married 4 ½ years and wanting to wait to have children to make sure we were fully prepared (or at least as prepared as possible). We have already had conversations about discipline, religion, schedules, child care and most importantly boy’s fashion! However, for some moms it just seems like their kid is an accessory, like a scrunchy hair tie in the 80s or a colorful pair of chucks. For some moms, they use their kid as a talking point or way to approach possible hook up partners. For many young moms, they simply do not know better because they never had a healthy relationship with their own mother. Many young moms struggle with the idea that they now have someone that depends on them for love and protection, and they can no longer just do what they want, when they want it.
I often remember this quote when thinking about our influence on teens, “catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will walk for miles to watch you burn” (John Wesley). This sums up the impact that an adult has on a child; if the adult burns with enthusiasm, love, patience and understanding then young people will look up to that adult and strive to emulate his or her qualities. However, if an adult burns with negativity, selfishness, judgment and apathy then young people will only strive to have those same qualities.
So to end this soapbox rant: quit using your kid to cruise for a hook up and instead cruise to the playground to spend some quality time with your child, quit using your kid as an accessory and instead buy yourself a cute handbag (cause that is the only accessory that really matters anyway) and put your kid first in everything because they will only go as far as you make them believe they can go.
As for me, I will continue to panic for the next five months about what I can do to make sure my son never gets arrested or ends up on “Intervention.” Please send lots of milk and cookies to get me through!
by Sarah Kershner, Project Coordinator, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy