Reality: Growing Up With Two Kids

Teenage pregnancy is a worldwide epidemic. It is no longer a taboo these days for a 17 year old to be a mother. At the rate that kids are having kids, the best way to deal with this epidemic is to make sure that their children do not repeat the cycle. Many young girls are dealt with the hardships of raising a baby while they are still in school. Is this a result of poor sexual education in schools or basically life circumstances faced by these young girls?

Many people would want to ask these girls, why they had a second child after experiencing the pressures of raising the first one? The truth is that judgement towards them after they actually have their second born will not change their situations at all. Although it is also a simple thing to direct daggers straight at parents for not being able to curb such situations, we need to realize that teenagers today do whatever they want. So who do we blame for teenage pregnancy, the teens or their parents? It is unfortunate that society assumes that all teenage girls are having babies for fun or for the government grants. But many of these girls realise that it is no joke to raise a child therefore we should commend them for learning from their mistakes. We also need to try and understand what the girls have to say about their choice to have children at such an early age.

I had an opportunity to interview two young ladies, Nettely Goodgall (22 years old) and Florence Lebepe (21 years old) both with two children each, on how their lives have changed and what challenges they are faced with being young parents.

What are the names and
ages of your children?

NG: Ofentse (3years old) and
Alicia (4months old)
FL: Kabelo (5years old) and Thuto
(2years old)

How has your life changed after having your 2nd child?
NG: Life changed dramatically and
I had to adjust and do a lot of
things by myself because with
my first born I had my gran to
rely on.
FL: The fact that everything has.
multiplied, now I have two
people who are depending
on me.

What challenges are you facing?

NG: Balancing between the two
kids when we are getting
ready to go somewhere is
always a hassle. Sometime
when it comes to playing with
them it becomes hard
because my son becomes
possessive. I also face days
where everything gets too
much but all I can do is smile
in front of my kids, I always
want to be a supermom.
FL: My lifestyle changed
completely as well, at that
time I was doing my matric
and everything was
overwhelming. Having to
study and be a mother was a
little too much. My greatest
fear was that I will not be able
to love my kids equally
but being a mother is a life
changing experience. My
perspective on life, behaviour
as well as time changed to
make sure I was a good
mother to both my kids and
they became my first priority.

What would you tell your
15 year old self today?

NG: I’d say think twice before
making a decision. And make
sure it’s the best one for
you.
FL: To be honest I don’t know.
The void I wanted to fill by
having a child is still there. I
think if I had more self
esteem and had my own
opinions I wouldn’t be here. I
would say though to every
young lady out there,
patience and planning is
essential to ensure such
mistakes don’t happen. Most
importantly the guidance of
an elder, if we learnt to listen
then we would definitely
make good decisions.

Do you have any future plans, Goals and Dreams?

NG: My future plans are to study
banking and to open my own
restaurant. I also plan
for my children to have a better
life than what I had, and all this
comes with working hard. I also
plan to focus on myself so that
my children are happy because
happy children are successful.
FL: Yes I do. I am currently working
to save up money to further my
studies as I want to pursue a Law
as a career, getting a masters
degree would be an honour to
me as
well. My dream is to serve my
community as a social worker,
which helps me ensure the well
being of society.

These two young ladies have given me a broader view into young mothers’ lives, as they exhibited that they too are human beings with dreams and hopes of a better future. Society will never stop judging them for their choices but society should also be forgiving and positively encouraging towards them.

Author: Zanele Mash
Source: Nettely Goodgall and Florence Lebepe

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Posted in Real Life

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