PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
tracyengelb
 
Comments: 4
Article views: 1134
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all tracyengelb's badges.
 

Let's talk about Alex

17 June 2014, 07:40

Let’s talk about Alex.

Alex is a 16 year old father. His girlfriend became pregnant after they had sex one time without a condom, which they didn't usually do.

Alex was scared and didn’t know where to turn. When he told his parents, they were angry and disappointed, but said they would support him no matter what happened. Alex’s girlfriend  decided to have the baby. Alex was there throughout the pregnancy, but the relationship eventually fell apart, although he tried hard to keep it together as he wanted his child to have both parents around.

Once baby Jade was born, Alex’s girlfriend’s parents had to take a lot of responsibility as she was not in a position to do so. Eventually they decided they would not be able to look after the baby anymore. Baby’s mom then decided she did not want to do it anymore and so dropped baby at Alex’s house saying it was his responsibility.

Alex was in shock but did not want his child to grow up in foster care or another family so he and his family said they would take baby Jade in. How was Alex going to manage going to school and being a parent? He didn’t know anything about looking after a newborn baby! Surely he was too young to learn how to change nappies or put her to sleep? What did he know about bottles and formula and baby development?

Dropping out of school was not an option for him. He also didn’t want all the responsibility for raising the child to fall on to his parents’ shoulders, even though he would, for a while, have to rely on them for financial support. He wanted to be Jade’s dad. Fortunately, his parents were there to teach him the basics of baby care. He read a lot about it, took her to the clinic religiously and asked the nurses when he was worried. He made a lot of mistakes at first but soon got the hang of it.

He found a way to stay in school after talking to his teachers, sometimes taking work home when Jade was sick or he was unable to find childcare for her that day. He got up in the middle of the night to feed her. He worried when she was sick. He got a part time job on the weekends to help pay for her food, nappies and formula – plus the extra childcare costs being away from her entailed.

Many of his friends were no longer interested in being around him – his priorities were different. He was not interested in drinking or partying, or even girls. Today, he’s sometimes lonely as he has little in common with any of his peers. He sometimes thinks about getting back together with Jade’s mom, but he knows that she’s not good for him or Jade. She comes around to visit Jade sometimes, but not reliably and although she’s said she will contribute financially, somehow that’s never happened. He doesn’t want to stop Jade from seeing her mom, because he knows that relationship is important. But he wishes that she would take more interest in Jade, even if she doesn’t want to be involved in the day to day raising of her. Even if she doesn’t pay any maintenance for Jade – Alex just wants his daughter to know her mother loves her. This worries him a lot, because Jade’s mother is not getting any better.

He tries hard to focus on his schoolwork because he knows how important his education was to both him AND Jade. He wants to be an engineer after school and is talking to his teachers about how to fund his studies.

Every morning he gets up at 5am, packs Jade’s bag for the day, makes her breakfast, tidies up the house, does a load of Jade’s washing then prepares for school. At 6am he wakes her, feeds her, dresses her and leaves home at 7 to drop her off at daycare. He then makes his way to school until 3pm. After school, he fetches her at 4pm and takes her home. He spends time with her playing and bonding – he knows how important it is to be the one special person in her life, and he worries sometimes that he doesn’t spend enough time with her. He wants to make their time together count. His parents do offer to help, but he is afraid to accept too much help because he doesn’t want them to think he’s taking advantage, and he has so little time with Jade he doesn’t want to share it, even if he feels exhausted.

Then it’s suppertime, bathtime and bedtime. Sometime around 8pm he can settle down to do his homework and study. Jade doesn’t really sleep well right now as she’s teething so he’s up with her a few times a night, and she usually ends up sleeping in his bed with him.

Next morning he gets up and does it all over again.

Alex is very young to have all this responsibility, and he knows it. However, he knows he’s doing his best. He knows Jade could not have a better father than him. He would not change it for anything, even though it’s hard sometimes. The challenges of being a parent are worth the reward to him and he’s happy. Tired, worried, stressed, but happy.

Other parents discuss Alex with their own sons – “If only you could be more like him! He’s a serious boy, with serious responsibilities and he’s doing so well! He’s not wasting time on drinking and getting into trouble!”

Alex knows that not all teenage dads are like him. He knows there are many who don’t do a good job and their children suffer. He doesn’t want that for Jade. He wants her to have a good life and he’s doing everything he can to give her that.

When Alex goes out to the mall with Jade, people smile at him. They are impressed with this young dad taking responsibility and obviously being a great father. You can see it in the way Jade is with him. Other mothers come up to talk to him and ask about Jade. He feels good being able to show her to the world. He is proud of her, and yes, he is proud of himself.

So that’s Alex’s story. There are many Alex’s in the world, doing their best against great odds. There are many Jades in the world, lucky to have parents who are as committed and responsible as he is.

Aren’t you proud of Alex? Don’t you think he’s awesome? Don’t you think we should hear more about people like him? To encourage them and to show other dads what they too can achieve? I think so.

 Now.

Imagine Alex was a girl. 

What do you think now?

Would she also be getting those smiles in the mall? Do YOU still feel the same way about Alex? Do you still feel that girl-Alex deserves the respect and admiration you extended to boy-Alex?
If not, ask yourself why. 
Then we can start to have a real conversation.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Terrylin Backpackers
The cheque is in the post

"I hear you are in bond collections. What are the latest excuses people are coming up with these days? I've run out of ideas." Read more...

11 comments 3988 views
Submitted by
Meta
News in the digital age

How do you think that spreading your hate/bigotry and or intolerance helps anybody? Read more...

14 comments 1255 views
Submitted by
Brian Faul
How and why a Dictator is born

One needs to remember looking back in history these hard times is when a dictator is more likely to get born. It is during these hard times that a dictator gets voted into power. Read more...

10 comments 2039 views
Submitted by
Prenisha Naidoo
I will be proactive...

This letter is in response to articles on the death of baby Jamie Naidoo, We have the tendency to be reactive…we wait for something to happen, then suddenly we care, writes a News24 User. Read more...

2 comments 503 views
Submitted by
woadstress
Celebration

Make a list of at least ten things that you can celebrate, and write two or three reasons why you can celebrate those things or events. Read more...

1 comments 190 views
Submitted by
Eric de Castro
Last squeak of the year

 Read more...

14 comments 321 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.