By Lauren Mann of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
When Karley and Tony found out they were expecting on “16 and Pregnant,” both of them knew they had to get into family mode stat. Karley switched to a homeschooling program to finish up high school, the couple got married and they moved in with Karley’s parents. Tony worked as a mechanic while Karley stayed home with their twin girls, Amariah and Amayah, with the goal of eventually getting a place of their own. Happily ever after, right? Not exactly.
Karley admitted that her situation wasn’t the newlywed life she’d imagined, while Tony seemed pretty shocked by the sudden change, as well. But that’s what happens when you become a parent. A baby requires more than just love. They cost money, need time and attention, and for the parents of twins, that means double of everything. The couple hoped to move out of her folks’ home, but it’s difficult to save up when you’re raising two babies.
Like many of the girls on “16 and Pregnant” have demonstrated, it’s pretty rare for teen parents to make it down the aisle (8 out of 10 don’t get married), but even when they do, things don’t always work out the way everyone wants it to. Like Karley and Tony realized, getting pregnant at a young age means growing up fast and sacrificing a lot. Just because they’re husband and wife, that doesn’t necessarily mean they can easily transition into being mommy and daddy, too.
Doing something that adults do, like getting married, doesn’t make it any easier to grow up and become more responsible. Hopefully Karley and Tony will defy the odds and stay together, but it’s going to take a lot of work and maturity on both their parts. If you’re not ready to think about making that kind of a commitment, make sure you protect yourself from getting pregnant.
For more on Karley’s episode, take a look at the discussion guide at Stay Teen.org. Plus, visit MTV’s It’s Your Sex Life website for info on teen pregnancy and sexual health.