Who Woulda Thunk It?

As much as I hate to admit that I watch a show like Mtv's "Teen Mom" in the first place... I have to say I have found myself pleasantly surprised by just how chocked full of life lessons it is.  And I don't mean the obvious one about teen pregnancy... I mean just the lessons that are wrapped up in the relationships between these girls and their boyfriends, their ex's and their families.

It is like those "biospheres" I learned about in Microbiology (yes, I did actually pay attention at some point)... this little show about this small group of girls represents a lot of larger issues that we all go through in our lives.  Obviously, the main issue these girls are dealing with is figuring out how to be a teenager while handling the responsibilities of a mother.  But I can relate to many of their situations personally or just recognize them as struggles we all deal with.

Take the one girl, Chelsea.  She is beautiful, has aspirations of being a hairstylist (which you can tell she would be good at cuz she always has cool looking hair) and seems to generally be a sweet, caring girl.  But it's amazing to see how much she puts up with when it comes to how her boyfriend treats/has treated her.  One moment on an episode today particularly stood out to me.  After her boyfriend had been completely ignoring her and their baby, blaming his infidelities on her and basically having the overall maturity of a 12 year old, she takes offense to him calling her a b**** "for no reason."  NOT BECAUSE HE CALLED HER THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE.  She was upset because she said he called her that for no reason, because she wasn't being one.  I wanted to jump through the tv and grab her and tell her "it's not okay that he calls you that EVER!!"  I watched her literally start to question herself and say SHE was the one who had issues, when she couldn't trust her boyfriend because he had cheated on her in the past.  He literally had her thinking that 1) she had caused it in the first place and 2) that she was the one who had issues to work on because she couldn't just get over it already.  Again, this is a teenage "relationship" but represents the same situation that so many women (and men) find themselves in.  Where their own self (and self WORTH) have gotten so lost that they forget the very basics of love.  There is never a "reason" that will make infidelity, harsh language or just disrespect in general, justified.  Ever.

Another girl, Jenelle, has a tumultuous relationship with her mother.  Granted, if I were forced to choose sides, I'd be on the mom's "side" most of the time.  BUT they both have issues that keep their relationship from being a successful, loving one.  It does make my heart break to watch this girl go off and party or stay with her boyfriend, while her toddler son literally stands at the front door and cries, watching her go.  I want to jump in the screen and shake her too and get her to realize how precious it is that she has that little life standing there, wanting nothing but her love and time.  That if any boyfriend was really a man, that he would want nothing but for her to give her son the time and attention he deserves.  But I feel bad for her in the scenes with her mother too, because so many times, whether her intentions are good or not, the mother rips the girl to shreds.  Even when some of the things she's saying may have some truth to them, the mother comes at her in such a demeaning and negative way, it does nothing but drive them farther apart.  It's another instance where I, in my typical fashion of wanting everyone to be able to just see everything as simply as possible, wish that they could both just take a step back, be grateful for one another and speak to each other with love and respect.

Kailyn, brought up the issue of honesty in my mind.  Although her and her ex obviously had many other issues going on, it made me want to shutter seeing the blatant dishonesty that was going on.  It was another situation where she (I'm not singling her out, so many people do the same) looked out for her best interests and what would work out the best for her at the time, instead of just being 100% honest.  I get the strangest reactions sometimes when I stress how much I believe that is how everyone should be.  It's like people think, well yes, obviously honesty most of the time is the best policy, but there is always going to be a time or two where you have to tell a "little lie."  Okay, first of all, there's no such thing as a little lie... if you lie about something little, it will just grow and grow.  And second of all, there's a never a time that you have to lie.  Even if the truth will cause harm or pain, lying about it only doubles that harm or pain.

Ironically, the one girl, Leah, is the one I enjoy watching the most on the show now.  She drove me nuts the few times I watched it last season, I will admit.  But again it was because I wanted to shake her!  She had a guy who not only was willing to be there for her when she got pregnant, but he stepped up in all ways, financially, emotionally, and you could tell he honestly cared about her and the babies.  Amazingly, after all the bad times they went through, they got back together and now are such a cute little family.  They're not perfect, just like the rest of us, but they just seem to have the basics down - love each other, respect each other, be honest with each other and be there for one another - as a team.

I may have just put the show on for noise in the background while I work on my homework or my thirty-one business, but I am glad I did.  They make me think.  They make me feel.  And those are good things to do.  ;)  I wish nothing but the best for all of them on the show, as I do for all of us going through the same things in our lives everyday.  Like I said, I really do think life should be (and CAN be) a lot simpler than it is alot of the time...

*Be honest
*Be respectful
*Be loving
*Be supportive
*Be kind

and...

*Don't ever let anyone be anything but these back to you!