How to treat young, unwed mothers


#1

I used to believe myself to be pro-life, then found myself judging young girls who were pregnant. God put a mirror up so I could see my judgmental ways when I saw a young baby with a teenager and her Mom one day at a store. After judging them, the Mom turned to me (a stranger) and explained that the baby was a foster child who was abandoned for several hours in a hot car. I realized after this that it was not enough to say I was pro-life and then go around judging girls who chose life. Now if I see a young girl who is pregnant, I smile at her and may even thank her, if the setting is appropriate, for bringing a baby into the world.


#2

serious, I know what you mean. All of us mess us. Look at how many of us have had premarital sex. and any of those episodes could have resulted in a child. God blessed those unwed mothers with children, so they were more blessed than the rest of us who messed up. If we judge them hard, we must judge everyone else just as hard who had premarital sex, (which nowdays is soooooo many people), and then judge basically the WHOLE world for killing their babies by using the pill. Just pray for them, and try to show them christ’s love

www.sevensorrows.com


#3

Come on everybody! Are SevenSorrows and I the only ones willing to admit that we have made mistakes in the past? Surely someone thinks this is important! I wanted to post it in the politics II forum, but I knew it would be moved. I just want to know if others that are strongly pro-life, show love to ones who choose life.


#4

I just saw it, sorry!! It’s funny, I guess because…
A) my little sister is 10 years younger than me and boy did I used to get nasty stares,
B) I love kids, regardless of the age of their parents, and
C) I’m pretty naive… it never occurs to me to wonder whether someone is married or not before smiling at them and their baby…

But it just doesn’t occur to me to be mean. I don’t think it’s because I’m less judgmental, just because this for me isn’t a circumstance that I would judge.


#5

I don’t know how to answer this–it’s a situation that just doesn’t come up much in my life. Maybe I’m not social enough.

Two experiences spring to mind:

The first was my step-daughter, who found herself pregnant and single. Being anti-abortion (I guess I did something right) she insisted on having the child. We tried to convince her to give him up for adoption, but she was unwilling. My spouse and I raised him for his forst 2 years until she got her life into some sort of order that would allow her to take him.

The second event was a very close friend of mine who in her 30’s who, despite being a virgin, was terribly concerned that she might be pregnant. I spent that conversation trying (unsucessfully) to convince her that aborton was not an answer. As luck would have it, though, it turned out to be a false alarm. She still complains to this day, however, that I was more concerned about the (potential) baby than her.

(A non-experience occurred when I lived in Texas. There was a (non-Catholic) church-related ministry that would place unwed (teen) mothers in volunteer homes if they were kicked-out by their parents. We volunteered, but because we had a teen-aged boy living in the house at the time, we weren’t allowed to do so.)

So, lacking sufficient real experience in the situatuion you describe, I have to say I honestly don’t know how I would react, but I do hope it would be with charity.


#6

Thank you for raising this issue.

I voted for “show them warmth and love without speaking” but I don’t mean that we should ignore them, just don’t go telling them what I think. First, you don’t know how old they really are. Second, as another poster mentioned it could be a baby sister or a babysitter situation. Third, if they want counseling from a stranger I’m sure they can ask for it.

I’m glad to see that nobody picked either of the options to shun them or accuse them. I believe Jesus calls us to go further and not only not act judgmental, but to truly be non-judgmental. I’m sure they know that many people on this planet believe what they did is a sin, but I think if we are going to win hearts for Christ we need to keep in mind the old saying that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

Personally I think the inability, or lack of desire, for self-righteous people to hide their judgments are one of the primary contributors to the abortion rate of young women – especially Catholic women. I have a daughter who is a freshman in Catholic high school, and among all the girls she knows only one other can talk with her parents about personal issues anything like the way she can. Some of them are heading for trouble. Some are suicidal. Some are sexually active, and even though they don’t want to go “all the way” they don’t have any adults they can confide in and they think even their friends are judgmental. If they get pregnant, they have two options: 1) make the problem “go away” or 2) provide evidence to the entire community of friends, teachers, priests, and parishioners that they are not a virgin. One Catholic girl I knew in college got an abortion with her mother’s consent because her mother was just as interested in her at avoiding social judgment.

Alan


#7

My wife brought up another point. If you act judgmentally toward a young unwed mother, then you have judged Mary.:hmmm:

Alan


#8

Isnt the Catholic belief that Mary was married…to Joseph? I love babies no matter what. I dont know I feel about abortion or premarital sex but I dont think that people should be having sex in high school…too many consequences so early in life. Im a high schooler myself. It does bother me to see young girls pregnant or with a baby…but i just love babies so i usually smile and say the baby is cute or something. No big deal is necessary.


#9

[quote=siamesecat]Isnt the Catholic belief that Mary was married…to Joseph? I love babies no matter what. I dont know I feel about abortion or premarital sex but I dont think that people should be having sex in high school…too many consequences so early in life. Im a high schooler myself. It does bother me to see young girls pregnant or with a baby…but i just love babies so i usually smile and say the baby is cute or something. No big deal is necessary.
[/quote]

Dear siamesecat,

I’m not sure but I think they were married before Jesus was born. When the angel came, they were “betrothed.” Not being an expert, I assumed they weren’t married yet at that point, and that she became with child before the wedding. Maybe not, but the principal is the same. I’m sure Mary had to put up with lots of judgmental people, which is one reason her decision to allow God to fulfill His plan with her was so remarkable to me.

I completely agree that kids should not be having sex in high school. Those who are, will undoubtedly look back at it 20 years later and agree with us. How to help girls remain abstinent in this culture is quite a challenge, but I think you agree with me it does no good to shun them once they’ve become pregnant. If nobody shunned them, maybe it would result in fewer abortions – but hopefully not in more sex. It’s a tough call, and I think it’s great that you take your chastity seriously.

Alan


#10

[quote=siamesecat]Isnt the Catholic belief that Mary was married…to Joseph?
[/quote]

Mary was a young woman- engaged to Joseph who had not yet taken her into his home- when the angel Gabriel approached her with the news that she would bear the Messiah. The punishment for a woman who had sex out of wedlock (and the pregnancy would have been more than enough evidence for the Sanhedrin) was death by stoning. If Joseph had refused to take Mary as his wife that could have been her fate- fortunately the angel was sent again to intervene and Joseph accepted her and her pregnancy on faith. This is why I try to remind myself not to judge a young mother or pregnant woman- the Mother of God was once an unwed, pregnant teenager. Perhaps the compassionate thing to do would be to ask the Blessed Mother to help these women, and to help us to help them as well.

But yes, the Christian belief is that Mary and Joseph were married when Jesus was born.


#11

How to treat young, unwed mothers? With compassion. The thing I do NOT understand is young, unwed, mothers pregnant by three or four different men.
It makes me wonder what are they thinking>?


#12

[quote=Timidity]I don’t know how to answer this–it’s a situation that just doesn’t come up much in my life. Maybe I’m not social enough.

Two experiences spring to mind:

The first was my step-daughter, who found herself pregnant and single. Being anti-abortion (I guess I did something right) she insisted on having the child. We tried to convince her to give him up for adoption, but she was unwilling. My spouse and I raised him for his forst 2 years until she got her life into some sort of order that would allow her to take him.


The second event was a very close friend of mine who in her 30’s who, despite being a virgin, was terribly concerned that she might be pregnant. I spent that conversation trying (unsucessfully) to convince her that aborton was not an answer. As luck would have it, though, it turned out to be a false alarm. She still complains to this day, however, that I was more concerned about the (potential) baby than her.

(A non-experience occurred when I lived in Texas. There was a (non-Catholic) church-related ministry that would place unwed (teen) mothers in volunteer homes if they were kicked-out by their parents. We volunteered, but because we had a teen-aged boy living in the house at the time, we weren’t allowed to do so.)

So, lacking sufficient real experience in the situatuion you describe, I have to say I honestly don’t know how I would react, but I do hope it would be with charity.
[/quote]

How could she believe that she was pregnant when she was a virgin. I have heard about girls who have very little knowledge about how babies are conceived and believe they can become pregnant after a deep kiss.


#13

I am a not so young unmarried mother. I was engaged to be married fell pregnant and my partner left me, I have confessed my sin of sex outside of marriage and believe God forgives me. God has given me a wonderful vocation of Motherhood. Until you walk a mile in anothers shoes, it would be very wise to withold judgement and positively turn to yourself and ask could you walk in their shoes should you have to and what have I done in my life also that is as equal or even worse a sin than focus on the sin of another.

The greatest sin in all of this, is the exact judgement being explored in this thread, is one of the reasons people do opt for abortion, apart from thinking of the ‘self’ and fear of not being able to care for a child alone. I embraced my circumstances and in doing that I now have a beautiful 3 year old child who is made VERY welcome in my church and is much loved by all. She has the most beautiful spirit and at the age of 3 can say The Lord’s Prayer and this autumn will go into the convent school nursery. I am thankful to God for her everyday.

I now lead a celibate life and I am glad I have seen the error of what I did and have been healed of it in reconciliation and penance, but my child is a lovely miracle from God and for that I don’t regret her and love her deeply. Feel free to hold whatever thought you like about me and feel free to judge me, because I have no judge but the Lord Christ Jesus and he loves me and he has forgiven me because I am sorry for my sin.

God Bless you all and much love and peace to you xxx


#14

How to treat them? Just as you would your own daughter or sister, or how you would want to be treated in the same situation. As in every situation where you observe a situation that may possibly be construed as involving a sin, you refrain from judgement, you realize you are not in possession of all the facts, and you express the same joy you would feel at the sight of any expectant mother or mom with new baby. I do business with a member of our parish whom I admire greatly. She is active in pro-life in our area, and often acts as sponsor to young women who need assistance because of pregnancy. She is in touch with those in Operation Rescue and has pledged herself to find jobs for those who need them. She has often hired these women to work in her own business and even provided child care as long as it was needed. She will do anything it takes to help a mother decide to let her baby live.


#15

[quote=siamesecat]Isnt the Catholic belief that Mary was married…to Joseph? I love babies no matter what. I dont know I feel about abortion or premarital sex but I dont think that people should be having sex in high school…too many consequences so early in life. Im a high schooler myself. It does bother me to see young girls pregnant or with a baby…but i just love babies so i usually smile and say the baby is cute or something. No big deal is necessary.
[/quote]

Yes - this is the Catholic belief. It is very popular among feminists to refer to Mary as an “unwed mother.” Shame on them! How could any Catholic believe that God through the Holy Spirit would have Mary conceive His Son and then not ensure that she would be taken care of on Earth?:tsktsk:


#16

I was once a young, unwed mother. I was treated very poorly by most. My son is now a wonderful young man who as aspirations of becoming a priest. The church in general treated me very well. Society did not.


#17

May I ask…how do you treat anyone? Why the judgement, simply because a young woman is holding a baby? How do you treat young, unwed fathers?

Embarrassment is a real factor in terminating a pregnancy. Not necessarily the embarrassment for the woman…but for her family. Once upon a time, that was one of the major reasons for abortion. I believe it holds true today, as well.

So - how do you treat anyone? Blessings -


#18

Teresa9, Thank you for your beautiful post! One of my children is three and it most certainly is a wonderful age. Denial is so deep and I knew that I was being judgemental when God opened my eyes for me. The baby I mentioned in my first post looked only a few days old and the woman and teenager were going into the store with him with no diaper bag, etc. Imagine how I shrunk to 2 inches tall when the woman though having obligation to explain, told me how the baby looked so young, but it was because he had not been fed properly and was 3 months old. He had been abandoned in a car for several hours and was luckily found alive. They were at the store to purchase everything this child needed. I had never realized the depth of my judgment. I could have been an unwed mother and my mother married at 17, 5 months along with me. How horrible of me to be thinking negative thoughts about this teenager and a baby. I am now much more loving to all young mothers or expectant mothers. I try not to “assume” anymore.


#19

What to say? God is good. I do have an unmarried daughter (26) with a son of 8. And I praise God for him.

BUT, not that I have ever judged such situations as I know they do exist, the Lord still prepared me more than I can ever imagine. I was on a trip to Israel at the time and I had a dream that my daughter was in trouble. There was nothing iIcould do about it and just let it go. My priest gave me a birthday gift to bring along on my trip: The Return of the Prodigual Son by Henri Nouwen. Well, I read the whole thing before coming home. Which, of course, prepared my heart. My daughter left me a note (I was experiencing jet lag, but I woke up real fast!) saying she is pregant. I have kept the note. Her father was in Washington at the time. I sat down with her and she told me her story and I was very open and sad, too, as I knew it wan’t going to be easy. We hugged big time after. Not so with her father when he found out. he tried to talk her out of it and get an abortion. She refused and he didn’t talk to her for 3 months. It was a difficult time but also an exciting time as I prayed for the health of this baby who was growing inside her.

I also know the story the story of St Monica. Her playboy son St Augustine at the time had a concubine with a child. She did not allow them to enter her christian home as they were acting like pagans. But God, showed her through prayer that this was the wrong thing to do. She welcomed them into her home and the rest is history. This story I have told to many people and some have come back to tell me how that story and my story had prepared them for their own news of a pregant unmarried daughter. There are so many now!

Do I judge a young girl being pregant? I am being honest when I say no. I have had pre-marital also and thought I was pregant one. But it was a false alarm. I have been married for 30 years and seen a lot. I get very sad when I see a young unmarried mother pregnant because there is a lot of pain and sacrifices involved. But the baby itself is a complete joy and blessing…and we must see it that way. Hopefully the baby will get its needs met by a loving family in whatever situation. To have kicked out my daughter would have been heart-breaking for me. There was enough heart-break as it is…

Praise God for his mercy and love,
Blessings,
Shoshana


#20

[quote=princz23]Teresa9, Thank you for your beautiful post! One of my children is three and it most certainly is a wonderful age. Denial is so deep and I knew that I was being judgemental when God opened my eyes for me. The baby I mentioned in my first post looked only a few days old and the woman and teenager were going into the store with him with no diaper bag, etc. Imagine how I shrunk to 2 inches tall when the woman though having obligation to explain, told me how the baby looked so young, but it was because he had not been fed properly and was 3 months old. He had been abandoned in a car for several hours and was luckily found alive. They were at the store to purchase everything this child needed. I had never realized the depth of my judgment. I could have been an unwed mother and my mother married at 17, 5 months along with me. How horrible of me to be thinking negative thoughts about this teenager and a baby. I am now much more loving to all young mothers or expectant mothers. I try not to “assume” anymore.
[/quote]

Dearest Jennifer

Yes three year olds are just squeezable!! They are so wonderful, but we are all wonderful, we are all God’s creatures and so Jennifer, don’t even dwell on this thought you held for a time, because we all in some way presume and it is wrong yes, but we also all learn and it is the learning and trying in our Lord Jesus Christ that counts most. It isn’t horrible of you, you are a daughter of God and as such, you are wonderful!!!

God Bless you and much peace and love to you always xxxxxxxxxxxxxx


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