East teens balance parenting and education


Senior student taking classes online while parenting at the same time

Arly Hernandez and Ivett Meraz

Balancing a baby with school is tough, but East student-parents do it, often with the support of their families.  

According to “Teenage Parents and Their Education”, becoming a parent at any age is such a life-changer. However, it can be a tougher life-altering experience. As teenagers are growing and expanding their thoughts and beliefs, they are also working towards figuring out their futures.  If they chose to have a good career, they will study for it. According to Parent Herald, young parents have smaller room left for focus, schoolwork and extracurricular activities.”  Instead, they are worried about their child and the cost of “out-of-pocket childcare,” especially if they are single parents.   Morton East’s student-parents usually work to pay for the food and home necessary for their child’s survival.  Add school to the mix and the challenges get even greater.  Fortunately, teenagers that get support from a parent or the school itself are most likely to remain in school. If teenagers do not get support from their peers or the school, they are most likely to drop out due to the number of responsibilities and no one to rely on. In a random survey of 20 Morton students, 19 students reported that balancing parenting and school is hard.  (Oddly, one student said it wasn’t.)

Becoming a teen parent is a difficult challenge because it comes with many more responsibilities aside from the ones you already had.  

“It’s hard, especially even that I don’t work. My parents expect me to keep the house clean, take care of my baby, and do well in school. Sometimes my baby cries or doesn’t want to nap when I’m cleaning or when I’m in class, (or) even when I’m taking a test. It’s hard keeping up with the mess and taking care of my baby. Because I don’t work, I have too much pressure on my shoulders,” senior Flor Romero said. 

Balancing schoolwork and taking care of a child is hard, especially when he or she needs attention. 

“(School is) in the middle.  I got to work my baby around the school schedule.  Now, we are good, (but it’s still hard) when she wants to be on the computer.  She wants to play with the laptop, but I’ve managed to balance it out,” senior Yarily Alfaro said. 

While others have figured out a way to balance it, there is still a struggle for many especially with the pandemic going on.

“Well, remote learning is really difficult; I have to take care of my son while having to pay attention in my class too — and it’s hard.  Hes a toddler, and he does many kinds of stuff now.  I have to keep my eye on him all the time,” senior Lisbeth Llamas said.