By Lauren Mann of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
When other girls their age were getting ready to graduate and picking out their prom dresses, the inaugural "16 and Pregnant" cast and eventual "Teen Mom OG" cast members were navigating pregnancy and the first few months of parenthood. And now, even as young adults, Maci, Catelynn, Amber and Farrah are still in very different places of their lives. With the unique experience of being forced to grow up much faster than their peers, the "TMOG" ladies find themselves in a time warp as women in their mid-twenties.
The average age of marriage for women in the United States is 27, and the average age of first birth is 26. But for teen parents, age is a weird thing. On one hand, they’re grownups, taking care of another person, putting that person’s needs before their own, making adult decisions. On the other hand, they’re still young adults, grappling with the uncertainty and emotions that come with being in their early twenties. For someone like Maci, she feels like she’s so much older than other girls her age. She’s about to have her second child, is close to engagement and is more worried about buying a house than partying with her friends. Then there’s Amber, who has also had to grow up faster than her peers. But parenthood, life experiences and being engaged to an older man aside, she feels like she needs to remind those around her that she’s only 24.
We know that having a child young means growing up quickly, but it isn’t always a straight shot. The moms will continue to grapple with the consequences of early parenthood for the rest of their lives. We thank them for sharing their stories with us and for helping viewers think about their own choices. For more about teen pregnancy and parenting, check out It’s Your Sex Life and make sure to catch the season finale of "TMOG" on Monday at 10/9c.