Some people won’t believe if I tell them that I’m in my 20’s, like the stingy guy on the convenience store who refused to sell me a beer because he insisted that I’m a minor and the tutorial center’s manager who thought that I was enrolling for advanced mathematics. Maybe it is also because I dress like a teenager whenever I go out: shorts, loose shirt, pair of sandals and a sling bag.
My ovaries became annoying again and I was required by the doctor to do an ultrasound. While I was waiting for my turn inside the OB-Sono’s clinic I overheard one expectant mother saying to her friend, “Teenager pa yan, kita mo hindi pa kasama ung tatay, iniwan yan for sure.” This was not the first time I was mistaken as pregnant and I always take the situation lightly and laughed it off, but this certain experience was different, I was so shocked on how mean this lady can become, and even though I wanted to correct her I did not and waited for my turn.
After the procedure, a nurse approached me and apologized for the other patient’s harsh words and handed me my ultrasound images. On my way home, I was thinking on how I was shamed by that woman. But somehow, I think I also deserved it, because I also judged teenage parents before and inside my head I labeled them as irresponsible people who make poor choices.
That experience was just on the surface of what young parents experience in their daily lives but it shows how our society (yes that includes me) puts on a stigma on them. I also came to an understanding that those individuals also know what they are missing on but that doesn’t make them less of a person. At the end of the day, whatever choices we make lead to experiences that in one way or another would enrich our existence.
Young parents don’t need another nasty comment or a judgmental look, what they need is support and compassion and if we can’t give them that then we should just mind our own business.
If I would see that lady again, I would smile at her and hope that she deliver a healthy baby. And I think I won’t be dreading having long waits inside the doctor’s office anymore.