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Stuff Infertiles Shouldn’t Watch: Teen Mom

3 Sep

It was inevitable I would get to this show sooner or later, wasn’t it? I mean, how can you watch “16 and Pregnant” and NOT watch the spinoff? It’s impossible. So I do. All for you guys! (Ok not really. But at least you guys get a ranty blog post out of it! Yay masochism!)

I’m going to take a bit of a different approach today, and break this down according to the cast of super-moms that are on this show. Ready? Here we go…

Maci

The Drama: Maci had Bentley with Ryan. Ryan and Maci were engaged. Ryan acted like an asshole, so Maci left him. Now she and Ryan share custody.

Mother of the Year Award: Maci met a new guy, and moved two hours away from Ryan in order to be with him. A couple of months later, she decided to move back (how’s that for stability?) and the new guy came right along with her. Ryan has been stepping up and really trying to be a good father, and be respectful of Maci and her new relationship (even going as far as friending Maci’s new guy on FB, and trying to help him get a job). So far she’s reciprocated by laughing him off and denying him visits sporadically. Now Ryan is considering taking her to court. I don’t blame him. Plus – she named her son Bentley. After the car. No, really, she did.

Why she makes me bitter: Maci is now 19. She’s blowing off college, and has already begged Kyle, her new boyfriend, to have another child. Not in the far off future – now. At 19. When they’re both unemployed and she’s considering dropping out of college.

Farrah

The Drama: Farrah’s baby daddy died when she was pregnant with Sofia. Farrah’s parents are a bit overbearing. She and her mom got into a fight after her daughter was born, which landed her mom in jail overnight and having to do community service.

Mother of the Year Award: Oh, where to begin! Yes, the circumstances she and her daughter are in are tragic on the surface, but the truth is, this girl is a spoiled ungrateful brat. She calls her dad “Michael” (and he’s her biological dad), she takes her parents’ help for granted, and she now has decided she wants to get as far away as possible from her parents, despite the fact that they are her primary child care providers. I looked for some clips of her whiny bratty rants, but couldn’t find any because of youtube’s copyright policy. Honestly? Better that you don’t see them. Your ears may start bleeding.

Why she makes me bitter: Again, I don’t even know where to start. So indulge my bullet points:

  • She applied for social security benefits because her baby’s dad passed away. She was pissed when she didn’t get them. Then a week later she took out a loan for about 10,000 dollars so she could get a boob job to “help her modeling career”.
  • To celebrate her Associates Degree, she went and bought a designer dog (isn’t that the epitome of financial responsibility?). Then she hid the dog from her mom. Oh, and she didn’t bother housebreaking the dog. The dog wears a diaper. Yes, you read that right. A diaper.
  • After convincing her parents to fly with her to Arizona to look into whether she wants to move there, Farrah proceeds to spend the two days there acting like an ungrateful brat, as her parents drive her around to look at potential places to live. When she and her mom enter a complete dump of a house, Farrah yells at her mother for disparaging the fact that her daughter wants to move halfway across the country with a two year old and live in a dangerous neighborhood.
  • General conclusion: Everything this girl does seems to be to spite her parents. I’m sure that If her parents were encouraging her to feed her daughter healthy food, she would starve her just to make them mad. She is a spoiled brat, and never considers the best interest of her child.

Amber

You know why this looks like a mug shot? Because it is one.

The Drama: Amber had Leah with a guy named Gary. He’s not perfect, but he seems like an ok guy and for some reason he’s madly in love with her. They lived together, got engaged, and then broke up. Then they got back together again and moved in together again. Then they broke up again. Then they moved in together again. Then they broke up again. Amber is now seeing a guy named Clinton.

Mother of the Year Award: Gary is seriously a victim of spousal abuse. No matter what he does Amber explodes at him. It got so out of hand that Amber hit him. On camera. Recorded for all posterity. Here’s a little taste of it:

CPS got involved and she lost custody of Leah. Amber then moved to yet another house (I believe this was the fourth or fifth in two years) and regained custody. They haven’t shown it on the air yet, but from what I understand she has since been arrested again, and has once again lost custody of her daughter.

Why she makes me bitter: See above. Oh, and it came to the point that she saw her daughter so infrequently that Leah began calling her “Amber” instead of “Mommy”. Again, Leah is two. Amber cries all the time about missing her, yet somehow continues to find herself in jail. That’s appreciating parenthood, isn’t it?

Catelynn (and Tyler) 

**WARNING: I am about to lose all cynicism***

These two are awesome. Seriously.

The Drama: Catelynn and Tyler are actually step-siblings. Catelynn’s mom is married to Tyler’s dad. Tyler’s dad has been in and out of jail his entire life. Catelynn’s mom is just – well, unstable. It seems that Catelynn and Tyler got together because they really had no one to take care of them, so they decided to take care of each other.

Mother of the Year Award (truly deserved): When Catelynn found out that she was pregnant, she and Tyler decided to give their daughter Carly up for adoption, because they didn’t want her growing up in such an unstable environment. Parents on both sides protested. They all insisted Catelynn and Tyler keep the baby. The couple bravely went against their parents’ wishes and gave Carly up in an open adoption. Before having Carly, Catelynn and Tyler were both struggling in school. Now they have both graduated, moved in together, and gotten engaged. Tyler is going to college because he has decided he wants to pursue social work. Catelynn has become a vocal adoption advocate in her community. They always say they are working their butts off to make their lives better so that Carly will be proud of them.

Why she makes me bitter: She doesn’t. Not only did these guys help an infertile couple get their forever family, they have proven their maturity and grace time and time again in this very complicated situation. They are amazing role models. I wish MTV’s casting department would find a few more kids like them. In the history of 16 and Pregnant, this is the only couple that has opted for adoption rather than parenting.

In Conclusion…

Catelynn and Tyler are the only couple still together on this show. They are also one of the few that have managed to further their education. They are slowly building stability into their lives and their initial selfless act has strengthened them. They are poster children for adoption. So what’s my beef? In the 16 and Pregnant world, they are the exceptions, whereas Supermoms like Farrah and Amber are the rule. Some would say that MTV is sending a pro-adoption message through this. I say MTV needs to balance things out a bit with a few more Catelynns and Tylers.

So for every time I coo and tear up at Catelynn and Tyler’s bravery and maturity, I gag at yet another snarky comment from Farrah. I wince at Maci’s tactless approach to co-parenting. I bang my head against the wall at Amber’s abusive behavior.

And I wait with baited breath for their childrens’ tell-all books.

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14 Responses to “Stuff Infertiles Shouldn’t Watch: Teen Mom”

  1. slcurwin September 3, 2011 at 00:47 #

    Well…that’s just fucked up. I dont know what to say there. I’m glad I’ve never seen these shows? It’s kinda creepy that the step-siblings are a couple even thought it shouldn’t be since they aren’t actually related so there’s technically nothing wrong with it? Maybe I’m just tainted by the only other step-sibling relationship I know.

    • slcurwin September 3, 2011 at 00:49 #

      p.s. I’m really glad that Amber doesn’t have her daughter.

    • Mo September 4, 2011 at 01:26 #

      I thought it was a little creepy at first too. But when you realize how messed up the relationship is between the parents, it makes perfect sense.

  2. eggsinarow September 3, 2011 at 01:25 #

    Nothing prepared me for some of Catelynn’s mom’s comments about the adoption. Seriously. They were living in a trailer, on food stamps, with an addict stepdad and only 15. OF COURSE THEY SHOULD OF KEPT THE CHILD. I’m so proud of them.

    I have nothing to say about the rest of them. It is a train wreck. A fertile train wreck.

    • Mo September 4, 2011 at 01:27 #

      and yet, we can’t look away. So sad…

  3. Port of Indecision September 3, 2011 at 06:28 #

    Catelynn and Tyler amaze me. They are so put-together and mature for teenagers period, but especially given the batshit household they come from. (Though I have to admit, the step-sibling thing is way weird.)

    I read in Us Weekly (what? I got it on supersale via an earlypregnancytests.com promo!) that Maci wants to name her next baby (because of course she’ll have one and of course it’ll be a boy)…are you ready for it? No, really, are you? Royce.

    As in Rolls.

    • Mo September 4, 2011 at 01:28 #

      OMG that’s awful. Ick ick ick. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. (You are pardoned for the US Weekly, seeing as it gives us yet more reasons to mock these girls)

  4. jjiraffe September 3, 2011 at 06:30 #

    I am unabashedly rooting for Catelynn and Tyler. They are incredible kids.

    The others make me really sad. I think you’re right that Farrah is rebelling at anything her parents do/say. Maci is going through typical relationship drama for that age but her son’s along for the ride. And I don’t really know what to say about Amber, other than I don’t think her issues should be televised.

    I have read that the moms/dads make a lot of money from the show, like $200,000 a year. Apparently Gary (Amber’s whatever) spent $10k at ahem a gentleman’s club. Ew.

    I wonder if the show has decreased teen pregnancy rates. Or, horror of horrors, increased them?

    Evolution really did us few favors by making us most fertile in our teens/early twenties.

    • endoandbeyond September 3, 2011 at 06:34 #

      I too wonder about the teen pregnancy rates!!

      • Mo September 4, 2011 at 01:30 #

        I read a couple of articles that were anecdotal, about teens getting preggo so they get on the show. Which is just… ick. I think it does glamorize the situation and makes girls think they’ll become celebrities and make lots of money. If those girls truly make 200 grand a year, then why the heck did Farrah apply for social security. That’s just… urgh.

        • Betsy September 5, 2011 at 23:11 #

          I’ve never watched it, but I did read about a year ago that the girls were making $250,000 a season. I don’t know if that’s true or not. Maybe MTV is smart enough to put it up somehow for the babies’ college fund or something? I’ve always thought trash like this would cause more teen pregnancies; it seems like MTV is glamorizing it.

  5. Kristen September 4, 2011 at 01:39 #

    Why, why, why do people like this end up with babies? It’s so unfair! (And yet, if I started watching this show, I know I wouldn’t be able to stop. Thanks for watching for me so I feel like I don’t have to… 🙂
    Oh, and thanks so much for your comment on my blog yesterday. I’m so sorry about your friend, and also I didn’t know about your parents…so sorry…
    I love that you got to meet your unborn daughter in a dream…she sounds so beautiful…
    XO

    • Mo September 4, 2011 at 01:54 #

      I’m glad to be of service. 🙂
      I’m an idiot – stupid typo in the comments. I meant to write GRANDPARENTS. Lost them in a car crash when I was 19, and I miss them terribly.
      *smacks self upside the head and reminds self to PROOFREAD her comments*
      xoxo

  6. Esperanza September 4, 2011 at 06:40 #

    Oh Mo, I’m embarrassed to say that I also watch this TV trash (along with 16 and Pregnant) and I quite enjoyed your synopsis of each character. I too LOVE Tyler and Catelynn and am SO GLAD that included their story on the show. I hope their story, and enduring relationship, juxtaposed against the train wrecks of the other girls makes some teen moms think harder about adoption. I also hope they don’t discount the struggles of the other girls because they are kind of crazy (well, actually batshit crazy).

    I used to watch those shows and think, I wouldn’t have minded being a teen mom but now, after having my daughter, I’m SO GLAD that I was never in that situation. I can’t imagine how hard it is on those girls. They really face a lot of hardship. And while I will always think it’s so unfair that they get pregnant while others who are ready cannot, I’m starting to see that it really has nothing to do with them, and that their pregnancies can still be incredible hardships, even though they wouldn’t be for someone else.

    I hope you know I’m not trying to be preachy, just explaining how my viewpoint on all of it has changed. I still understand and respect anyone else’s feelings about the show. I had different feelings for a long, long time.

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