They say for you to assess a situation properly you need to step away from it for a bit so you can see the whole picture. I have been back in the country for about a year and 5 months now and I must say I am beyond shocked at the number of unprepared mothers and unplanned pregnancies that are in this country.
This is something I never noticed before or, maybe, it’s because it never used to be this way. Either way, I personally think the situation has gotten out of hand. Weird enough, I seem to be the only person among the people whom I associate with who is not only shocked but also troubled about this issue.
But I blame baby showers, which have become so popular and are more of a party than friends coming together to support a friend and advice on how to act and what to do during the pregnancy. They are now social events that are marked on the calendar and even men are allowed to come for baby showers these days.
Not too long ago, I was in a combi when I heard a group of teenage girls, who looked to be around 16, busy discussing and planning their friend’s baby shower and one mentioned excitedly how she couldn’t wait for her own baby shower.
The first thought that came to my mind was that these are kids and they should be worried and excited about going to university not bringing a life into this world.
Baby showers have glorified not motherhood but rather pregnancy so much that’s its now viewed as something glamorous and a must have like the latest Louboutin stilettos.
Don’t get me wrong, because I think motherhood is something that’s wonderful and precious that should not be taken for granted and should not be entered into when you are not ready.
By being ready I don’t mean when you feel your biological clock is ticking and you need to make a baby soon, or that your younger sister got married now you need to do something that shows progress and growth in your life or that you feel you are read.
No by being ready I mean you have to have the finances to be able to take care of that baby; you need to be mentally, physically and emotionally ready for the stresses that come with motherhood because pregnancy is just the beginning of it all.
Many young girls think that if they can get enough people to organize their baby shower and maybe get that P10 000 or P15 000 contribution from the baby shower, then everything will be ok.
Nobody tells them that all that money is going towards buying the baby crib, feeding bottles, stroller, car seat, feeding chair and one or two packets of pampers if you are lucky. No one ever explains just how expensive all these things are and the fact that the baby will have outgrown them in no time at all.
They forget that very soon, the child will start having to go to school and school fees are not cheap even for the day care centers. Nobody mentions to them that a baby is not a doll and he/she will fall sick in the middle of the night and need medical treatment and it’s not all medicine that you will be provided with at government clinics but you will have to go buy and it’s never cheap.
Baby showers just glorify pregnancy and do not do much to prepare the mother to be for the reality of life and motherhood and that is why we have so many clueless and unprepared young mothers roaming our streets.
Maybe it’s time for sex education to be introduced in schools and for mothers to talk to their children about such things. Maybe I’m over reacting but I still say baby showers equal young and unprepared mothers and this needs to stop.