I've been watching MTV reruns of Teen Mom over the last few days. It's fascinating.
I hope that teenagers who watch this show get the same message I'm getting from it: your teenage boyfriend will not help you with the baby. Some of the girls on the show have very high hopes for their irresponsible partners, but the show consistently demonstrates that the fathers are disengaged, perpetually tardy, inconsiderate, and oblivious to reality. They say things like, "Why are you yelling at me?" after their tardiness prevents their girlfriends from going to classes/interviews/work. They are useless.
But the thing I don't understand is the moms' reluctance to put their kids in day care. Even though they are failing classes, missing work, and resenting being stuck at home with the babies, two of the moms have a horror of day care.
Eventually, both realized that they could not rely on their loser boyfriends for childcare and found professional alternatives, but they were obviously not pleased. One, who had been living in a fleabag motel, interrogated the fresh-scrubbed daycare staff about how often they vaccuum the floor. The other kept calling her son back to her to say extended goodbyes even though he was very happily playing with the other children.
Of course, it must be hard to leave your child with strangers. Still, the mothers' quality of life seems so low, I can't understand why they wouldn't welcome the chance to have reliable help. They don't trust the daycare providers at all, but it seems to me that the kids can only benefit from social interaction with other kids and the supervision of caring professionals.