I'm going to go ahead and admit it right now: I am hooked on Teen Mom on MTV.
(On the chance that there are people who don't waste time watching MTV and are unfamiliar with it, Teen Mom is a reality television series that premiered as a spin-off from the show 16 and Pregnant... which is pretty much self-explanatory from the title. The series chronicles the lives of teenagers during their pregnancy and then into their first year of motherhood.)
Aside from the fact that I feel like I'm far too old to be watching MTV, I get such a range of mixed feelings when I see these young girls having to grow up so quickly as they enter motherhood at such an early age. Having a baby isn't easy and I imagine that being young and being followed by video cameras can make the whole experience extremely... hard.
As well as having to deal with their friends' reactions, their parents' acceptance, and the way that pregnancy changes the relationship with their boyfriend, many of these girls end up leaving high school in hopes of getting an online degree later on in life.
Now, I don't have any experience with receiving an online college education and I have no doubt that there are wonderful online universities out there, but by having a baby as a teenager many of these girls talk about their struggle with having to give up traditional high school and college options.
Combine that with their stories of getting engaged, getting married (and filing for divorce), going through a custody dispute, giving their baby up for adoption, holding down a job... it just shows that the extremely difficult job of being a mother and provider can be a stark contrast to a typical teenager's dreams of dating, parties, and prom.
Although each new mom faces a completely different set of circumstances as the next, I always watch Teen Mom hoping that young female viewers take away the message that with parenthood comes life-changing struggles and having a baby isn't something to be taken lightly.
For now, I can't seem to look away! MTV airs episodes in the middle of the night and I find myself losing even more sleep while I'm riveted to see what the girls are going to do next. Am I the only one? Do you watch Teen Mom? If so, what do you think about it?