Since the debut of ’16 and Pregnant’ on MTV, there has been one constant critique: That the reality show glamourizes teen pregnancy, instead of showing the difficulties of it. Most people who watch the show agree – there is nothing glamorous about the lives these teen moms lead. MTV has continued to follow four of the moms from the first season of ’16 and Pregnant’ in a series called ‘Teen Mom,’ which is now in its second season. These moms have come a long way, but even they will be the first to say that being a teen mom isn’t easy or glamorous. Here are four ways that MTV shows the reality of teen parenthood without making it look like an ideal situation.
1) Babies having babies often leads to broken relationships.
Case in point? Only one couple from the four featured are happily together – and they gave their baby up for adoption. Catelynn and Tyler became favorites after they were on ’16 and Pregnant,’ and fans have watched their struggle with the finality of adoption. They have had their ups and downs, but are still together. The same cannot be said about Maci and Ryan, who were engaged, then broke up, got back together, and finally broke up for good. Amber and Gary have a very volatile relationship that consists of massive blow-ups that have occasionally led to violence on Amber’s part. Any teen watching this show will see that a baby doesn’t mean it will guarantee you a happy relationship with your significant other.
2) Babies mean bills… lots of bills!
One thing each teen mom has in common is a serious lack of cash. All of the moms are struggling to support their families and have jobs to make ends meet. Maci’s ex-boyfriend Ryan refusal to contribute gave her no choice but to sue him for child support. Amber’s boyfriend Gary is out of work, leaving her to work at a tanning salon to pay their rent. Farrah has given up the financial support of her parents in order to make her own way and is finding out how difficult that is when credit card bills start piling up. Diapers, formula, and clothes for babies adds up!
3) Social life? What’s that?
Perhaps the hardest adjustment for these teen moms has been the drastic change in their social lives. Whereas these girls may have once been carefree and social, their priorities have shifted and they’re no longer able to just run out for an evening with friends. Now an evening out requires finding a babysitter and making sure there’s money to spend on dinner or a movie. For Maci, it means watching her closest pals leave home for college, an experience she had intended to share with them before getting pregnant.
4) Babies and toddlers require constant attention
Many fans have cringed watching the teen moms learn the hard way that babies and toddlers need lots of supervision. Farrah leaving Sophia in a sink with a faucet that Sophia could easily turn on sparked lots of critiques, not to mention a quick shot of Sophia shaking a can of Comet cleanser. Maci’s son Bentley is always on the move and has demonstrated that not even carefully placed obstacles can keep him contained. When there’s a little one in the pictures, there’s no time to sit back and relax. As a mom, you’re always on the job.
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