Papa Don’t Preach


Dear Dharma,

I just found out I’m pregnant. I’m 17 and it was definitely an accident but my boyfriend is excited and said that he would support me and loves the idea of being a dad.

He’s 19 and has a good job. We’ve been together a year but I don’t know if he’s “the one” and I’m definitely not ready to get married.

I would like to be a mom one day but is 17 too young? If I don’t have it I feel horrible taking this baby away from him, but if I do have it I know my parents are going to flip out.

What do I do?

And Baby Makes Three

Dear Baby,

Oh dear.

Of course I can’t tell you what to do, but we can definitely talk this through and look at options.

The main positive of this situation is that your boyfriend didn’t bail and leave you to deal with this on your own.  Statistically, this speaks well of him.

It’s also good that you don’t want to get married at 17, and that you don’t feel pressured to do so because of this.

I honestly think the first thing you need to do is tell your parents – and his if they don’t already know.  Will they flip?  Yeah, they will.  Will you live through them flipping?  Yeah.  You will.  The dread of telling them will be the worst of it.  However, once you’ve summoned all your strength and told them, you can start down the path of finding solutions.

The two of you need support from the adults in your life who, after the shock wears off, will hopefully be able to work through this with you. You already know all the options.  Have the baby and go the adoption route, have the baby and keep him or her, or don’t have the baby.  None of these options involve you having to get married at this point, and hopefully everyone will be in agreement on that point.  If not, though, remember that the final decision is ultimately yours.

It’s going to be a rough road for the next little bit, I’m not going to lie.  Indeed this is big, but work hard at keeping things in perspective.  As much as it feels like the end of the world, I can only imagine, day by day you will get through it.  And the person that emerges in the aftermath will be able to get through anything life throws her way.

Brave, strong thoughts sent your way, Baby.


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  • Other young mom says:

    I feel the need to tell this girl. That if she decides to have the baby not only the baby will be part of her life for forever but also the dad. Sometimes we assume you break up with the dad and he will be out of your life like any other boyfriend. It won’t be like any other ex. He will be there and sometimes is a good thing and sometimes is not. Just something to think about it. Because if you already know he is not the one to spend the rest of your life with. Consider that if you have his baby he will be on your life. And there is no going back on that.

  • marriage is not for babies says:

    I recall a similar story about a young teen in my community. She told her parents. It was tough. She went on to have the child and live at home. Continued schooling. She did not marry the father of the child until 6 or 7 years later when they both felt ready for each other. The maturity in their delay, I think, was in part due to the support of her parents.

Whether you agree with Dharma or think she missed the mark on this one, leave a Comment!

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