Bristol Palin, who’s going to be the answer to a lot of trivia questions a decade from now, is on the front cover of People magazine. In it, she talks about how unglamorous life with a tiny baby is:
Girls need to imagine and picture their life with a screaming newborn baby and then think before they have sex,” she says of being a teenage mom. “Think about the consequences … If girls realized the consequences of sex, nobody would be having sex. Trust me. Nobody.”
I’m not sure she’s quite got the point here. If the message is that life with a screaming newborn baby can be stressful, well yes, that’s true. It’s equally unpleasant to be sleep-deprived and subject to nursing woes and diaper changes when not a teenager. And while having other adults around to share in the baby-care makes life easier, the basic hassle involved in the tending of small children is pretty standard, whether you’re a teenager, an adult, married, single, a stay at home mom, work outside the home, you name it.
Bristol Palin’s problem isn’t that she has a screaming newborn baby per se; it’s that she has this baby with whose father she’s already broken up, a not uncommon result of a high school romance; that she’s still totally dependent upon her parents and thus pretty much by definition not prepared to parent herself; and that she has none of the supports in place to help her cope and adjust that are more likely to be available when you are married and at least semi-autonomous before having children.
Don’t get me wrong, if “sex=screaming baby=no social life” stops kids in high school from having sex, more power to them. The thing is, to a certain extent, that equation holds true for adults too, not just teens. The issue isn’t how much work babies are, it’s how much more bearable the work is when you’ve got a husband and supportive family and a bit more maturity to fall back on.
And it’s a wee bit irresponsible for People to run a cover of a beautifully made up, slim and rested-looking Bristol in cap and gown, toting Tripp as an accessory. The text may read “don’t do this” but the sub-text is telling a different story.by