Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The "Reality" of Being a Teen Mom is NOT What is Shown on Television

According to an April 2019 report by the U.S. Department of Labor, there are about 82 million families in the United States -- and about 40 percent include children under age 18. Among married-couple families with children, about 81 percent have at least one employed parent, and about 50 percent have both parents employed.

Some experts say that when both parents share duties equally, the couple may be happier, better able to relate to one another and enjoy a greater sense of harmony in the household. Also, working parents must equally co-parent, coordinate activities, and work together to facilitate their child's school events, rehearsals and sports practices.

So, why are half of all families with children finding it a necessity to have both parents working? Opinions differ -- from the cost of living... to materialistic desires... to the basic costs associated with raising children.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the estimated cost of raising a child from birth through age 17 is $233,610 -- or as much as almost $14,000 annually. That's the average for a middle-income American couple. Of course, that's after the average price of having a baby, through vaginal delivery -- which is between $5,000 – $11,000 in most U.S. states, according to data collected by Fair Health. These prices include the total duration of care, the obstetrician's fee (including prenatal care), the anesthesiologist's fee, and the hospital care fee. Keep in mind, that's if you have insurance! The uninsured cost of having a baby is anywhere from $30,000 for an uncomplicated vaginal birth to $50,000 for a C-section.

There are many young girls who get caught up in such "reality" shows as MTV's Teen Mom and think that being a mother as a teenager would be a cool thing. However, that's not the case in most situations because what they see happening on those supposed "reality shows" is truly not real. In fact, InTouch magazine did some digging into just how much these reality TV moms are making to be on such programs. One such teen mom that was featured several years ago (but whose story is still followed), makes about $75,000 per year for being on the show. Another such mom reports to have made up to $250,000 for one season on Teen Mom, while another is estimated to be bringing in $300,000 per season. There's also unconfirmed reports that girls appearing in such shows get a bonus for having more children.

So, are TV shows like Teen Mom scripted? Some former teen moms who are no longer with such shows say that they are. One said that her story line was altered to gain more viewership, and another has said that some lines are taken out of context and put into scenes where the words were not originally said. Another teen mom who decided to leave the "reality" show world said, "a lame, fake, boring and scripted tv show that uses people’s life issues as a way to gather ratings and money."

Let's look at some REAL statistics! In the USA, roughly 1 in 4 teen girls will get pregnant at least once before age 20. Parenthood is the leading reason that teen girls drop out of school, and more than 60 percent of teen mothers never graduate from high school. Less than 2 percent of teen moms earn a college degree by age 30. About 25 percent of teen moms have a second child within 24 months of their first baby. More than half of all mothers on welfare had their first child as a teenager. In fact, two-thirds of families started by a young, unmarried mother are poor. And, 8 out of 10 teen dads don’t marry the mother of their child.

Now, THAT's the "reality" of being a teen mom!

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso