Why Raising A Child -- While Dealing With An Ex -- Can Be A Never-Ending Struggle

It's a situation the 'Teen Mom 2' cast members understand all too well.

By Amy Kramer of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

“Oh my God, this is never-ending!”

That’s what Chelsea said to her dad when she was frustrated about the continuing custody drama with her ex Adam during the premiere episode of "Teen Mom 2." And she is right.

Being a parent IS never-ending, and having a child with someone you’re not with anymore is not easy -- to say the least. And custody is not an easy thing to sort out either -- especially deciding who should be responsible for taking care of a child’s day-to-day needs and where that child actually lives for the majority of the time.

The “TM2” kids are already five years old, and that's a long time to be co-parenting with a former partner. But there are still more than a dozen years left before these children are adults themselves -- and judging by the disagreements and heartache we've seen so far this season, the custody fights are nowhere near settled.

Not only is Chelsea headed back to court to keep her custody arrangement for Aubree, but Jenelle is serious about having her son Jace live with her permanently -- which means removing him full-time from her mother Barbara's care. In addition, Leah’s custody agreement with Corey for the twins is also in question. For now, at least, it seems like Kailyn and Jo are on the same page regarding Isaac’s schedule, but the back-and-forth between homes is hard to manage -- even though it should become easier when Jo moves to Delaware.

These girls' scenarios serve as an important reminder that having a baby is an enormous responsibility. And when you become a parent as a teen, when so many other things in your life are unsettled (school, living arrangements, relationships and more), it is extraordinarily difficult -- even after your teen years are over.

Not that parenting is ever easy, and not that relationships are either, but waiting until you are older and your bonds are more committed is a much better starting point for a family. And if you aren't ready for the responsibility of being a mother or a father, visit Bedsider.org to explore all the methods and options for effective birth control.