By Lauren Mann of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
Much like any other young adult, Kailyn, Chelsea, Jenelle and Leah of “Teen Mom 2” have to deal with everyday issues. The stress that comes with school, work, family and relationships can be really hard to juggle, but when you add being a parent to the mix, navigating it all can seem like utter mayhem.
Kailyn and Jo have been fighting pretty regularly since splitting up after Isaac was born. It’s understandable for teen couples to grow apart and eventually break up — that’s what dating in high school is for, right? But when you have a child together, no split is ever clean. They’ll forever be connected to one another, even if they don’t get along. Hopefully counseling can help Kailyn and Jo co-parent successfully and remain civil with each other.
Chelsea, like many students, now has to balance homework with her personal life, but friendships and boys take second priority to parenting. It’s great to see Chelsea get her life in order and become a positive role model for Aubree, but it’s not easy to be 20 and have no time for a social life.
Jenelle’s not the first 20-year-old to break up with her boyfriend, but the fighting and constant drama with the guys in her life isn’t helping her make a case for regaining custody of her son. Still, by surrounding herself with positive influences and relying on the support of positive influences around her, Jenelle has the potential to turn her life around and eventually get Jace back.
Leah’s load is twice as hard: double the guys, double the kids, double the drama. Though love triangles are a common dating problem, she’s got two little girls at home and her decisions involve both the father of her children and a fiancé. Having to choose between the two guys affects everyone involved, including her daughters. She can’t simply follow her heart, she has to think about her kids every step of the way.
Life as a teen parent means putting your child before yourself, even when you’re in the middle of a bad breakup or fight, or your schoolwork is piling up. The girls of “Teen Mom 2″ show exactly how hard it can be and the kinds of sacrifices that have to be made. None of them ever expected their lives to look like this.
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