I am 16 years old and I really want a baby!

Iva Buconjić

Iva Buconjić

mag.psych.<br />

Good afternoon. I am 16 years old and have a boyfriend for some time. I want to have a baby and he wants the same but not now. After the conversation we had about it he thinks he dissuaded me from that idea, but I now want pregnancy even more and everything that comes with it. Advise me. I know I am too young, and it is probably not normal to want that. I consider myself sufficiently mentally mature to deal with it.

For starters, I would not call your desire for a child weird or “abnormal”, especially if you have strong feelings for your boyfriend. However, I have to ask myself what the reasons for your desire and abilities are to provide for a child. 

First of all, I do not know how long you and your boyfriend have been together, how strong your relationship is, etc. Assuming you have been together for a while, that you get along well and that your feelings are mutually strong, I will still assume you see each other in “controlled conditions” – before or after school, at a cafe, on trips, etc. It is very important to get to know another person well before we decide to have a child together, both in favourable and difficult life situations, to know how that person reacts when it is in a good and bad mood, how it functions under stress, how it manages money, whether that person is willing to share the care of the household and the child. It often takes years for people to get to know a person at that level and even then, some things can still (sometimes unpleasantly) surprise them. Therefore, already on this first point, I would like to emphasize that it is extremely important to give time to your relationship – give it time to grow, develop, strengthen.
In addition, some things you say also caught my attention. You say that YOU would like a baby, that he does not want a baby, but YOU want to have a baby even more now, that YOU are mentally mature. I cannot stress enough that it is ideal for a child to have both parents in a healthy relationship. The foundation of a healthy relationship is respect for the other person and their decisions – meaning their readiness or unwillingness to have a child. Forcing a person to do something he or she is not ready for can have a negative effect on the relationship, especially situations of bringing a person to the brink of such an important life decision. The decision on having a baby should be made together and based on mutual desire, trust, but also rational consideration of possibilities. 

Speaking of possibilities – I guess neither you nor your boyfriend work, you go to school and live with your parents. Since you are a minor for another 2 years, you will not be able to live alone, earn a living, or legally take care of a child. When a child is born in a minor relationship, most often, the custody is temporarily taken over by grandparents, and without them you cannot even register the child’s name. Have you checked with them to see if they are willing to take on that responsibility? Often such situations disrupt family relationships and further complicate an already difficult and complicated situation. 

I would also look at the part where you say you are ready for pregnancy and everything it brings. I believe that you are, a woman’s body is fascinating, and I believe that a pregnancy would be well tolerated and carried to full term. However, pregnancy is not the goal and the end, but only the beginning – a child that you will legally take care of for the next 18 years, and in every other way for the rest of your life. Are you ready to put yourself in second place at the age of 16 and fully adapt your life to the child?
So I would like to ask you in the end – how do you see your life in 5 years? If it is with that boyfriend and with the child, if you have confidence in your relationship, I will only advise you to be patient until adulthood for practical reasons. Then you will be able to get a job, move out and take care of yourself and your child on your own. If you still have a shred of doubt somewhere, if you realize that your future education or job may be important to you, consider whether having a child at an early age might make this situation more difficult for you? 

One of the features of maturity is the postponement of current desires and pleasures, in this case with an aim of creating a more stable future for yourself, your partner, and your child. Give a chance to 18, 20 or 25-year-old self to think, change her mind, go to school, work, travel, go out or have a child, but only when that child is wanted by both partners and when you can take care of yourself and the child.