I was in a shop sometime ago when two beautiful teenage girls walked in. The taller one was a customer but the other one just came along. While her friend was being cared for, she sat on the couch holding a baby boy of about six or seven month old. I didn’t want to assume that the baby was hers being a girl herself. I asked whose baby was he and she replied, “Ng ngelkek.” He was such a beautiful baby boy. The young mother was good looking with beautiful brown eyes. My guess was she was no more than 16 years of age, if not 15. I glanced at the clock on the wall and saw that it was sometimes after 10:00 in the morning. I thought about the sense of loss, this young mother was experiencing. To survive, she will deny the loss of herself. I thought that she needed to be in school with her friends and classmates learning World History and Algebra.
My heart goes out to children having children. While I delighted myself watching such joy and warmth between the young mother and her son, I ached knowing that it won’t be the same a couple of years from now. The baby becomes a child and begins his intense individuation at age two with a mother who has not even finished her individuation as a young adult. What they don’t know is they are facing difficult years ahead. Their emotional needs will not be met because the mother herself has not fully developed emotionally. Both of them will be simultaneously individuating that will force them to fight for their spaces. It’s too much stress for young age. She suffers with her whole family. The society suffers too. But the two-year-old boy will suffer more.
Individuation is when a child from infancy to teen years is exploring a new sense of freedom as a separate human being. Part of the individuation process for teens means separating from parents and exploring the world. This process can be tough to navigate as teens practice more independence and make mistakes along the way [as the teen mom at the shop]. Imagine being a mother at a very delicate phase in your self-development stage. It’s no picnic!
This is the most troubling truth – the baby boy and his teen mother will face many difficult days of financial, emotional, mental and spiritual problems. Teenage births are associated with lower annual income for the mother. The young mother I saw was apparently a drop out of school to take care of her son. Of course, she will find a job later with minimum wage but it will be one struggle after another. Studies show that the baby who gave her so much joy is now a child seeming set on giving her pain and suffering. She wonders why no one seems cares! And self-pity party picks up the speed and the cycle goes on round-and-round! [/restrict]