There are teens all over the country getting pregnant on purpose, because they think they are ready to plunge into parenting. But what they don't know is that a baby changes everything.
Momlogic.com spoke to one of the brave "mock" teen moms, 19-year-old Kelsey Lampman. Kelsey, who once dreamed of getting married and having children at a young age, has totally changed her life path after being part of the NBC's new summer reality show The Baby Borrowers.
Momlogic: How did you get involved in the show?
Kelsey: I saw an ad on craigslist.org for teenage couples who had been in a relationship for a while. They were looking for a teen couple who were willing to engage in an experiment. They wanted us to experience living together, being married, and having a family. I wanted to do this because I wanted to marry my boyfriend, Shawn, and I wanted to have kids sooner than later. Shawn was the opposite of me, and he didn't want kids at all. I wanted to prove to him that we could do this--live together and have kids; he wanted to prove to me we weren't ready for any of it! That's why we decided to be a part of the show! It did not turn out like anything I thought it would.
ML: Are you and Shawn still together?
Kelsey: I'm not allowed to tell you if we made it as a couple, but I can tell you that we will not be having children any time soon.
ML: What was the easiest part of the experiment?
Kelsey: We were given a house, furniture and placed in a job, which is not realistic, but it didn't make the experiment any easier, well, a little easier. We paid $250 a week for rent, had to buy our own groceries, and put money in the bank. Our jobs paid us $100 a day, so we really had to budget our money. We were given $300 at the beginning to buy groceries and toilet paper, and that was considered a maternity leave pay.
ML: What was the hardest thing about being thrown into a marriage, having a child and paying bills?
Kelsey: The biggest struggle for me was taking care of baby Etta. I have a ton of experience with babies, toddlers and children, but we just didn't connect. When she was crying and I couldn't soothe her, it took a toll on me emotionally. I lost sleep, I didn't get to have a relationship with Shawn, I couldn't sit down and enjoy dinner without being interrupted, and a whole lot of other things that you would never know unless you experienced them. Shawn and I couldn't really handle the relationship while having an infant in the house, him going to work and trying to deal with the daily household things. It was very hard on the both of us, and it just wasn't working for us. You may think you're with the right person, but when you have a baby it totally changes everything.
ML: Who stepped up in the relationship?
Kelsey: When we had the infant, I gave Shawn 100% of the responsibility, because he knew I had shut myself down to the experience. He wanted the experience, but did not want to take care of Etta. I changed and evolved in every stage of children, and definitely didn't back down with the older children like I did with Etta.
ML: Do you still want to have children?
Kelsey: Yes, but not any time soon! I've learned that I have plenty of time to have kids. I want to be in the right relationship, as well as emotionally and financially ready. I now realize I was being selfish and didn't take any of that into consideration.
ML: What do want to say to all teens out there who are want to have a baby right now?
Kelsey: Well, I doubt every teen watching the show will realize how realistic the show is, but believe me it was so hard for me and for all the other teen couples--there are people out there (even adults) who have the same issues with raising kids, keeping a healthy relationship, going to work every day and keeping a household running, so what makes you think you can do it?
Parenthood is not as easy as it looks, and it is life-changing. You can't give your babies back after three days like Shawn and I were able to. You are stuck with that baby! If I got pregnant today I could deal with it, but I don't want to--you don't realize how much it takes away from you!
You can check out The Baby Borrowers tonight at 9/8c on NBC.