I was 19 when I got pregnant with my son, and I wasn't married to his father. In fact, his father wasn't even a good boyfriend, just a buddy who came around maybe once a week for a little fun. I lost my virginity to this man, and even though I should've respected that, I didn't, because I was sick of losing out on boyfriends because I was a virgin. For two weeks I didn't even hear from him because he was in jail, and he didn't even call me to tell me when he got out. I knew then that I should stop seeing him because there would never be no future there. A week later, we had sex anyway, and he spilled his seed on me. When I asked him what happened to the condom, he told me, "I threw it over there!" I responded, "Nice place for it." Then I didn't see him for 2 weeks and decided I was going to call him and tell him that I didn't want to see him anymore. By that time I was having symptoms of pregnancy, and had missed my period. I wasn't going to tell him about that though, because I didn't want him involved. Well, I met with him and had this big speech planned, and through the entire speech, he was trying to have sex with me. I refused his advances, but he kept at it.

       Finally, I decided the only way to get this loser to understand was to tell him that I was pregnant, so I did. He stopped, backed off, and made me tell him how I knew. I hadn't taken a test at that point, so I explained the symptoms and he agreed that it was definately pregnancy. Once he was sure, he tried to have sex with me again, and I then yelled and told him no, that he's done enough already, and I asked him if there was anything he wanted to do about this situation. He wanted me to have an abortion (I'm against it), yet he didn't want to pay for it. So I told him I was going to the doctor to check things out and I would make my decision then. Obviously, I called and told him I was keeping the baby, and all he could say was, "Well, I can't talk to you about it right now because I don't want my family to hear. I'll get thrown out." That was the last time we spoke, until the child support court case 2 years later, and even then he wanted nothing to do with his son.

       My son's dad made a choice, a choice most people think is selfish, cruel, and wrong, maybe it is. He chose not to be a daddy, because he couldn't handle it, he wasn't mature enough, and he had plans in his life. I, on the other hand, chose life, motherhood, and I chose to give up my dreams and plans, to raise this child and give him a chance at life. I struggled, even now, being married to a great man and we have another child together, we struggle. I had to work, no time for school for me, I had to come up with money every Christmas, to make sure my son knew there was a Santa Claus. I had to endure 7 more years of living with my parents and sisters even though we didn't get along well, and 7 years of dating and screening the men I dated to see if they'd make good stepfathers, because there was no reason to date them if they didn't. I made sacrifices, and I still do, but that was my choice, not my son's. He didn't ask to be born, he couldn't pick his parents, and he has to live with them until he turns 18.

      Maybe my son's father wasn't being selfish at all, because if you think about all the "dads" who don't live with their children, and promise their kids to come pick themup and spend quality time with them, yet they don't show up because they're horrible at keeping promises. What hurts more to a child, being promised a toy at the store, and not getting it even though they were good, or never have been promised it at all and just told no? You can't be disappointed if you never expected it to begin with, right? I knew in my heart that that is the kind of dad my son's father would be, and he knew it too, and maybe he was trying to protect him all along, from broken promises.

      That being said, and getting back to a parent's choice; Does anyone think that once their child turns eighteen, that their parenting job is over? I don't feel that way at all. The way I see it, when a parent chooses to have a child, it is their job to make sure the child gets a good start in life, to help them when they need it, and to ensure their safety and happiness. Agreed so far? When your child comes home from school and cries and tells you that everyne made fun of his pants today, and his best friend don't want to be his friend anymore, what do you say to him? Do you cuddle him and kiss him and tell him how to handle the situation, tell him you love him and everything will work out, then give him advice on how to mend his friendship? Or, do you tell him, "I don't know what to tell you, you're a big boy, figure it out!"? My guess is most parents will answer the first way, the correct way.

      After your child gets married, has kids, has a job, and a wife, and he's doing the best he can to make end's meet, without a college education that you didn't provide him, either because you couldn't or you wouldn't, would you still be proud of him? I believe it's the parent's job to help their kids make a better life for themselves. You should always want more for your kids than you had for yourself, and you should not be jealous of their achievements. My parents couldn't give me a college education because they couldn't afford it, but they took me and my baby in when I had no place else to go, 3 times. It's because I tried and I paid my bills, but I wasn't making enough money to live on my own. Even at 28 years old, they're loaning my husband and I money because of our housing situation (which you can read in another journal), so we can leave the drama of where we are now and start a better life. That's what I would do as a parent, especially if I couldn't send my kids to a higher education program, help them when they need it.

       That's not to say bail the kid out of jail everytime he ends up there, or give the kid money every week when you know he's using it for drugs and alcohol, or even just giving them money when they quit a job without having another one lined up, and they do it often. That's when "tough love" needs to take place, and when you can tell the kid to "figure it out". When your son is doing everything he can do to provide for his family, and it's still not enough, and he has little kids, would you help him then? Would you let his kids starve or go without shelter? Would you let your son waste his money on a bad investment? If his wife cheated on him, took the kids and left, would you tell him to "figure it out"?

       Until you die, your family is your responsibility, no matter where they are in the world, and if they need you, you chose to have them, so you better be there, in some way or another. The more I see of my husband's family, the better my family looks. We may not always get along, and they might not know the best way to approach things, but they would never let my children live on the streets, and they would never think twice when it comes to making sure I'm not making mistakes. My husband raised his little brother since he was 7 years old. His parents left them with family members or by themselves so they could work, go bowling, rollerskating, hang out with friends, etc, on a daily basis. DH's dad refused to buy his kids new shoes or clothes when they were needed as long as their was tools and bowling equipment to buy. His mom never stayed home, and cheated on his dad constantly, rather than worry about why her kids were riding their bikes, in the dark, to their aunt's house, because they were locked out of their house again.

       Now his dad and his "wonderful" new wife are conspiring with his grandma to throw us out of our home, while harassing us, and acting like children, because DH has more than they did at his age, again which as their own fault. His mother says that at 23 years old my husband isn't supposed to have his own house because she didn't have hers until she was almost 30. Maybe it's because it costs money to be a whore, and an irresponsible parent. I, however, am 28 , and I'm trying to take care of my children, so I think we deserve a home. All we asked is that they "borrow" us money, and we promised to give it back (they've never got jipped before by us), and co-sign for our home loan. Her and her "wonderful" husband had alot to say about what we should do in our situation, and they also have more money than God, but they don't want to help. It's ok, I understand, but I don't understand why my dad, who is about to lose his job, is lower-middle class, and is taking a risk in case he needs the money, will borrow it to us without a blink. Someone explain to me why some people choose to be parents, yet don't fulfill their obligations to their child? 

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