Even though it was twenty-one years ago, I still remember what it was like to go to school pregnant. I’d been a cheerleader, on the yearbook staff, an honor roll student–on the outside a good kid. At the time, most of the kids I knew were sleeping with their boyfriend/girlfriends. I know because we’d often talked about it on bus trips to away games. The thing was, I got caught. The proof of what I was doing was evident as my stomach started growing. My friends started acting weird around me. Other kids at school would stare and whisper. Soon my boyfriend had a new girlfriend, which just made everything worse.
Today, things are different. I mentor young moms on a weekly basis. Many of them say they still get the stares, the whispers … but not in a bad way. A few even said that being pregnant made them popular. They said that people would come up to them and say that they wanted to have a baby, too.
The truth is, neither of these stances helps a teen mom. She doesn’t want to be an outcast, and she doesn’t need to be the most popular girl in school. What does she really need? A friend. Someone to invite her to church, to ask how she’s doing, and to call her up at home after the baby’s born and she’s feeling distant and alone.
When you’re a true friend you don’t condemn. When you’re a true friend you are realistic about what helps others and what hurts them. Friends are there when the baby is crying. They are there when the young mom feels overwhelmed. Do you have someone you can be a real friend to today?