This week! Aleah from St. Louis, MO. Watch the whole episode here.
Chanel: Okay, so far we’re only at the opening and we have diabetes, juvenile detention, and a dude with a kid. Yikes.
Megan: It’s interesting that his mom is so willing to babysit. She says it’s the “grandmother’s job”.
C: We’ve seen a few different ideas of what it means to be a grandparent this season, right? Folks have been reticent, resentful, and now this.
M: It just goes to show that there’s no “right way” to be a grandparent, just like there’s no right way to be a parent.
C: I feel like Depo hasn’t been talked about on this show so much before.
M: Depo is a great option for people who want a hormonal method but might not be able to remember to take the pill everyday. But the catch is that you have to be consistent with getting to your provider to get the next shot! I’ve talked to a lot of folks who have missed the appointment for the next shot and gotten pregnant in the interim.
C: This segment reminds me of how much basic maintenance there are with kids. like, you have to remind them to brush their back teeth. Yikes.
M: I hadn’t thought before about how much stress it must cause to have to worry that you are going to pass along diabetes to your infant. On top of the general stress about pregnancy and parenting!
C: Seriously. Also, again, there’s no mention of abortion ever being an option, even though this is a high risk pregnancy. I am getting really sick of MTV editing out, or never asking, about the process of deciding to give birth.
M: So she is having an early delivery and her doctor said they wanted to “avoid a stillbirth”! Most terrifying thing to tell someone! Ever!
C: I like how Aleah’s saying the word “vagina.”
M: I am so relieved that the baby is OK. Can you imagine how much you would beat yourself up if you thought you were responsible for something wrong with your newborn?
C: Why are we not talking about the fact that Shawn/Sean might be speeding with tiny people in the car? Why has that not come up?
M: At least he doesn’t want to buy a new truck?
C: Or a dog.
M: So what’s interesting about this episode is that Aleah is the one living with the boyfriend’s family and the one who feels trapped and needs to leave. This seems like a reversal from what usually happens – that the boyfriend feels trapped by the baby, parents, and situation and wants to leave.
C: It’s not clear to me that she feels trapped, just that there’s not space.
M: That’s true. It also means that she must trust him in a caretaking capacity to leave the baby there overnight, even though it is clearly tearing her up. That’s not usually something we see either.
C: “I don’t think you should split with Shawn/Sean because I think the natural parents should try and try again.” That sentence just gave me an enormous headache.
M: “Natural parents” is a phrase I could go without hearing again.
C: SHAWN/SEAN. “Our relationship should go both ways, at least until we get our own place.” It goes both ways no matter where you live, dude. GOD.
M: OK, does he just not understand what he’s saying? I think he means he’s willing to sacrifice and meet her where she is and hopefully they will be more on the same page once they move in together. But maybe that’s me being too optimistic!
C: It’s hard to tell, I think, between editing and the fact that every week on this show is a depiction of a power struggle.
M: This one ended on such a sad note. She is teary and regretful and wishes she “had it together” because her kids “deserve better”. I just want to let her know that it’s fine to be sad but to remember that she is a good mother who is doing her best, and that what kids need to thrive is a safe and loving environment.
C: I think that’s the lesson no matter what, right? Every week.
M: Every week I just want to hug them all and tell them they are doing their best! You are all such good mamas. Don’t let anyone (like, the internet) tell you otherwise.