No good mother ever wants to see her children suffer. When they choose not to wear kneepads and fall off of their bike, scraping up an entire kneecap- she picks them up, finds them a Band-Aid, and makes everything better with lots of kisses.
When they bump their heads on the ceiling fan because they’re jumping on the top bunk of their bed, again- she picks them up, gets them an icepack, and makes everything better with lots of kisses.
And when they are suddenly suffering from killer nausea and big-time indigestion due to an untimely and unexpected pregnancy- she looks at them sprawled out across the bed wishing for sweet death, secretly hopes for puke, and makes everything better with lots of kisses.
And this is where my heart lives…in an eternal state of ‘you made your bed, now you have to lay in it but try to rest while you’re there so you don’t feel exhausted later.’
How is this supposed to work? She’s living in an adult world with adult problems, forced to make adult decisions, but she’s still my baby. One moment I want to protect her, the next I’m throwing her to the wolves.
We decided a couple of weeks ago that the first thing she will need to do is get a job as I am certainly not going to be the one footing all the bills and financial responsibilities. With that decision made, we sat down to make a list of places where she could apply. So, where does a 17-year-old pregnant girl without a high school diploma get a job?
Department Store? Maybe…she may be able to get a discount on baby clothes. But, what about stock? Would the boxes be too heavy? Would she be required to climb a ladder? She can’t climb a ladder!! Not my pregnant baby!
Restaurant? Not going to work, the trays are too heavy. She shouldn’t be lifting anything over her head. Plus, what if a customer is rude to her? She could get upset about it and lose the baby because of stress.
Receptionist? What kind of receptionist? She can’t work for a doctor’s office- sick people go there! No dentist either, the smell of the products they use might make her sick. Certainly not a vet’s office- there are things like cat scratch fever and mad cow disease.
Cleaning houses? Nope- chemicals.
Babysitting? Too many germs.
Gas station? Robberies!
Fast food? No, she could slip and fall. What if she got burned? Or someone could run her over in the parking lot!
I am certainly keeping her head spinning and I am sad to say, not just on an occupational level, on an emotional one as well. In one breath I am telling her not to worry and with the very next breath, I am criticizing her for lack of concern. But I have finally figured out that this is a “me” thing. I start to look at the circumstances and just how big this is and I start to worry. Yelling “what the heck are you going to do,” isn’t going to change anything and it certainly isn’t going to make things better for either of us. I am still the parent and she is still my child. So, today I choose to be the parent of a pregnant girl who needs a gentle boost into adulthood. I choose to focus on the here and now. I choose to take it moment by moment. The rest will work itself out.
This is for my own sanity.