Aubrey Howard, You Have A lot to Learn

by Renee Martin

“Baby Wipes” Terrence Howard proudly walked his 18-year-old daughter Aubrey Howard down the aisle.  Shortly afterwards, Aubrey revealed to the world that she is expecting her first child via twitter. Call me a cynic, but this is not a good start to a young life.  Motherhood and marriage in one year is a lot for a mature woman, let alone a girl who isn’t even out of her teens yet, because both require work and endless patience.  Aubrey has not necessarily set herself up for failure, but she most certainly has chosen a difficult path, which could indeed end in serious consequences and a lot of pain.

Aubrey is attending college at Howard University, but according to The YBF, she is not particularly keen on people advising her to work.

“I can’t stand when people tell me or my husband I should be working. If we decide that I’m going to stay home and raise our children then that shouldn’t be up for discussion. I grew up with my mom in the house always there for us and I wouldn’t have it any other way for my children,” Aubrey explained on Twitter.

What Aubrey needs to understand is that people are attempting to advise her because she has already shown a stunning lack of good judgment.  If she chose to get pregnant at eighteen, clearly she has no idea the responsibility she has set herself up for. The moment you become a mother, your main job is to sacrifice and support your children in whatever fashion they need. This will constantly conflict with her personal wants and needs. While her contemporaries are traveling, partying, learning, and generally exploring the world, Aubrey is going to be surrounded by dirty diapers, pacifiers, and baby food. This lack of freedom could potentially lead to feelings of resentment, no matter how much she loves her child.  Young mothers are absolutely capable of being good parents, but they have to negotiate extra challenges that more mature and established women do not face.  This is really important to note because motherhood is, without a doubt, the hardest job a woman will ever have in her life.

If this child was — shall we call it, a happy surprise — Aubrey has shown that she cannot even use birth control properly.  The chances of getting pregnant using the pill or condoms and foam together are exceedingly small. Just because you get pregnant, you don’t need to tie yourself to a man and such marriages often end in divorce.  When she is thirty, the girl that she is today will be almost unrecognizable to her.  This is why making life decisions so young is a problem.  Getting married because you got pregnant is compounding a problem, not solving it.

Aubrey is right that it is her decision to be a stay home mom, but such a decision would be a mistake.  Before you lose your mind and lecture me about how women should have a choice, keep in mind that Aubrey has not finished college yet.  Unless she plans to live the rest of her life on daddy’s money or dependent upon her spouse, not having a college degree will greatly impact her future earning potential, should she desire or have a need for gainful employment. Yes, staying home to cook, clean, and raise your kids is a legitimate choice, but it also comes with many consequences.

Relationships like these are extremely cemented in gender roles and for women; this means there is never a separation between work and leisure. It means being expected to work twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week because as the old adage says, “housework is never done.” It also introduces an uneven power dynamic into the relationship.  Despite the fact that the public sphere is very much subsidized and maintained by the private sphere, work in the home is not counted and it most certainly is not valued.  The work done in the home is extremely important; however, the one who actually earns the money, inevitably feels like they have the right to determine how the money is spent.  It puts the woman into the position of having to ask for money.  It further puts the family into a precarious position, especially in this economy when long periods of unemployment are becoming commonplace.  Even assuming that she has a good partner who respects the work done in the home, what happens if he should die unexpectedly and the job of supporting the family suddenly falls on Aubrey?  A car accident, a careless moment, or an act of God could irrevocably change one’s life.  What will Aubrey do then?

There is also the issue of what happens in an abusive marriage.  Without money to escape, the ability to leave is greatly hampered.  It’s no accident that abusers constantly restrict a woman’s access to not only people but also money.  I am not suggesting that Aubrey’s husband is abusive but pointing out that in this situation — her options would be limited — if she needed to leave.  Many women continue to stay in abusive relationships because they lack the economic capitol to leave and realize that, upon leaving, they lack the ability to support their family.

Aubrey is right, choosing to stay home and parent is a valid choice but that does not mean that it’s always a good choice, particularly in this case.  In women’s circles, there is much conversation about the importance of having the ability to choose, without any acknowledgement that being a woman does not suddenly make one infallible.  People are going to make mistakes and some of them will have long ranging consequences.  The importance of an informed decision is also visibly erased.  If Aubrey chooses to stay home and raise her baby, I support that choice, but I hope that she has thought through all of the consequences of this decision.  Life very rarely follows a neat path to the house, 2.5 kids, and white picket fence; it’s more often a winding journey with moments of joy and plenty of strife.

  • Vivienne

    You are coming off quite harsh, not to know this young lady. BUT, I will give you this.

    My mom was married with two children by the time she was 23, she had me at 20. While she went on to become college educated, and a borderline wealthy entrepreneur, she does admit she lost quite a bit of her youth; eventhough she is a very settle-minded person.

    Eventhough, she was never the drinking, partying, or traveling type, she does have the ‘what ifs’ in the back of her mind, should she have been self-indulgent like most 20-somethings. She is not resentful, but she encouraged my brother and I to wait have children, preferably around 30-35ish.

  • Keanna

    I found this piece difficult to read because it is just one big ball of judgement. What this young lady chooses to do in an effort to build her view of a healthy family is no one else’s business. Yes, she is young and married. But the latter half of that sentence puts her leaps and bounds above young women who are becoming pregnant everyday. Her determination and resilience to provide the absolute best for her family will be her guide. That may include her re-evaluating her decision to stay at home at some point in the future. But that’s her decision to make.

    Let this woman live.

  • OSHH

    You raise alot of excellent points, if I had a daughter I would advise her to focus soley on her education and/or establishing a career, putting GOD first and leaving the rest in HIS hands. Young dudes are a serious gamble esp those very young ages for number of reasons. I’m not judging this girl but I would not advise this route for any young girl or younger woman under 25.

  • http://itsoftenbeensaid.wordpress.com Sasha

    congrats on the nuptials but this is really sad….another baby having a baby.

  • http://itsoftenbeensaid.wordpress.com Sasha

    I agree. While reading the article all I could think of is “gee harsh much” but then after mulling it over in my head, Renee is right and raises several points backed up by statistics and study after study. The odds are against Aubrey but hopefully everything will work out in her favor.

  • Erica

    I agree with the point of view…to a certain extent. This article comes off way too opinionated in judgment of someone she doesn’t seem to know enough on an intimate level. Okay, all these tragedies Ms. Martin mentioned may come into this girl’s life, but it’s too much projecting. Anyone can exhaust themselves with all the ‘what if’ scenarios that most of us don’t prepare well for anyway. I do believe that Ms. Martin wishes the best for her, but it is laced with too much negative energy.Granted she is very young to take on marriage, family and school simultaneously. However, that is a challenge for a woman at any age. Her perspective may be different from other people. Because of her father, she has been given the opportunity to keep on the rose-colored glasses a little longer. She will not have to immediately deal with financial hardship, nor single parenting, unlike most girls her age in that type of situation. Eventually, she will understand the challenges. Whether or not she has regrets, it’s not our call.

  • Cee Cee

    Yes this piece was a big harsh but I think sometimes harsh is what is needed. I do pray that this young couple makes it because it is hard out here and only the strong last. I have met young couples who are dedicated and who make it in the long run but NONE of them decided to marry based on the fact that they were going to have a baby. Most loved each other, had children way later.

  • Sweetles

    “Aubrey Howard, You Have A lot to Learn” every young woman at the age of 18 has a lot to learn. You raise some good points with this article, but ultimately Aubrey is married and her decisions about how her family will operate ought to be respected. The way a person is raised often has a lot to do with how their own lives play out. If she wants to give her children the opportunity to have a mother at home with them like she had, I do not fault her one bit. As far as money goes, I think Aubrey’s situation is a little different because she has an affluent father. Being in the situation that she is in at such a young age is challenging, but instead of listing all of the things that can go wrong, I think we should wish her the best.

  • doubledup

    The author has lots to learn about assumptions, propping this young lady up and spewing your hate (yes, you have no idea what’s in this girl heart) for her decisions. You make valid points all through this piece, but, damn, she is not the one to go after like this.

    College doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get ahead in life just as much as having a child at 18 doesn’t mean you’re life is now ruined.

    Where do get off saying that being a mother is the hardest job she’ll ever have? How do you know!!! Assuming makes an a$$ out you and her.

    Every point you make is hella negative about HER choice and then you try to bring it back, and say, oh well, her choice is “valid.” GTFOH

    Stop dry-judging.

    Just come out and say you’re a hater.

    Do you know her? Did she slap your child? Did you ask for an interview for this piece and she told you she doesn’t talk to haters?

    Everyone hopes that any woman who has a child assumes responsibility for that life but raising a child is hard no matter how prepared one is. You can’t predict life.

  • Native Gear

    Aubrey’s children might actually fair better than the average child who grew up with a single mother. The desire for her to want to be a mother and to raise a child will get her further than you think. Many single mothers now actually had their children by accident and were not prepared. Therefore, their children have a higher chance of fairing badly. If anything, she’s married and has a support system. Even if her husband does pass away, she still will be better off than most because of her background. We should stop judging people with the “one size fits all” theory.

  • ericka

    WOW, uh yeah i think this is very judgemental and a little naive to think that an18 year old is not capable of responsibly handling parenthood, and last I checked I do not have a college degree and doing quite well and i am a SAHM. What consequences does being a SAHM involve? Everyones path is different, i wish people would not act as if every story is going to start and finish the same! Becoming a SAHM does NOT mean your life has tragically ended. I hope she stays positive and grows because apparently there are some people who are expecting her to fail :( Not to mention that she could very well have plans of returning to school at a later date. #cmonnow And being a FULL TIME SAMH has many advantages that money will NEVER buy and a college degree will not fix.

  • LD

    Renee Martin, are you a mother? A young mother? A mother who struggled? You said something about not using birth control properly…well miss…I am someone who was not supposed to even have kids, but having my second baby. She’s a married 18 year old daughter of a millionaire, who has a good husband who is providing. Seriously, its none of your business. If she wants to finish school and raise her kids, she has the financial cushion to do so, LET HER.

    You sound bitter and hateful, I hope you check your feminism at the door.

  • JN

    I agree with the comments about the whole judgement thing. But from a personal perspective, I worry about this very issue. How do I show my future daughter by example that she can in fact have both a career and family? It seems like audrey learned by example that the way to raise a decent family is for the woman to sacrifice more than the man. For some reason I can’t give birth to a daughter, look her in the eye and tell her that is what she needs to do if she wants to have a family. I can’t raise my daughter to be ONLY a mom.

  • Gracegrace

    I completely agree with you. Renee can miss me with this one. There is just so much judgement and hate in her tone and language to even find any valid claims. I mean so she got married, is having a baby and may want to stay at home. How does the author know it is not a good choice, did she do it? Is she living this girls life. So over unnecessarily hateful articles on clutch. I know, I know everyone is entitled to their opinion… but this one came out of left field.

    Umm she seems happy 18 or not.

  • Lucy Lucy

    This has nothing to do with feminism. I’m a feminist and I believe women should do whatever they want to do and if it includes wanting to be a housewife, than so be it!

  • Lucy Lucy

    What if that’s what Aubrey wants? To be a mother? Who is to say she’s sacrificing anything? Maybe this is what she wants.

  • African Mami

    Get off your high horse! If this article was supposed to constructively criticize, it did not meet that objective. If anything the venomous/vitriolic tone was off putting and reeked of judgement. Sure, nobody in this day and age, I would suppose would want their 18 year old pregnant, much less married. However, for you to berate this young girl in such a manner, as if her choices have a stronghold in your life is despicable. This may be a gunshot wedding, but it could very well be a very blessed marriage in the works.

    “What Aubrey needs to understand is that people are attempting to advise her because she has already shown a stunning lack of good judgment.”

    I applaud her for telling ya’ll to go to hell kindly, if this the kind of “advice” ya’ll are attempting to give her! From the look of things, she has a strong, supportive network of family that consists of her parents. I would rather she listened to them than a bunch of strangers cloaking judgmental vitriol in the name of advice!

    “Just because you get pregnant, you don’t need to tie yourself to a man and such marriages often end in divorce”
    BULL FECAL MATTERS! Urrrgh, I’m clearly AGGRAVATED! Who exactly are you?! Jesus! I have seen marriages such as this flourish!! This is such an apocalyptic statement!

    “Relationships like these are extremely cemented in gender roles and for women; this means there is never a separation between work and leisure.”

    And so?! That is a feminist ideology which not every woman shares! Clearly, she is part of that group that doesn’t share in your sentiments.

    This article has really grated my nerve endings! Shit. It’s been a minute since this happened.

    Best of luck to this young lady….and I pray that the Lord gifts her with the Spirit of discernment, so as to know when to take advice, and tell these unsolicited advisers, to shove it.

  • http://museandwords.com NinaG

    In this instance, I can relate to Aubrey; last week this man, whom I’d never met before, gave me all this unsolicited advice about my life…

  • http://twitter.com/ThatsMsSydney2U Negretta Stone (@ThatsMsSydney2U)

    I have a serious issue with this entire piece. I understand what you’re saying and completely agree that it needed to be said but there is such judgment that I had to stop reading several times to keep from getting overly upset. Yes Aubrey is young and yes she’s has a lot to learn (like any young woman at that age), but you basically attacked her for choosing a more “traditional” route when it comes to gender roles and motherhood. Who are you to make that call? Yes the more common thing for the modern woman now is to put off family for her career but that’s not all women. I have a good friend in her young 20s right now that is a stay-at-home mom and she’s happy with that. And what the critiques on birth control. More than likely perhaps this baby isn’t a surprise but if she has a husband and father willing to stand with her, why are you tearing her down? Being concerned is one thing but judging is another and that I cannot stand for. Is there only one perfect way to womanhood? The feminist and womanist movements exists so women can make these decisions free of judgement and what have you done? The exact opposite. I was not please with this article at all and I’d hope you reconsider before doing another of this nature.

  • http://gravatar.com/socoolandtrendy socoolandtrendy

    Someone put on their judgey pants today! yeesh. the TONE was just like whoa. However, I agree with the sentiment. I’m 23 and couldn’t even imagine being in her position. Her life is clearly very different from that of an average 18 year old so I’m going to go out on a limb and say everything will be just fine for her.

  • Jaslene

    So what is your point? You just validated everything she said by using your mother as an example.

  • Very_Blessed

    Well, I definitely understand your point of view! I had a child at 19 and I handled my responsibilities. When my parents found out I was pregnant my mother cried and my father said you will not be quitting college. LOL. I didn’t. They only watched my son when I was in class or studying. No clubs, no enjoying the young life of a traditional college student. When my best friend called to say she was heading to Florida for Spring Break, I was met with a no we are not watching your baby by my parents. I was so upset. Yes, I made the choice to lay down. I accepted and handled all that came along with it. Now as a grown woman I look back at that time and realize it didn’t bother when I was struggling financially, because I knew that wouldn’t last always (and I could always depend on my family) but more so that I missed out on certain life experiences that I believe play into the development of who you are. In addition, when I met his biological father I was a girl. The woman I am now would have never gave him a fighting chance, but hey that’s another story. I finished grad school at 23 (I’m now 31) and have a promising career, and live what I called a Blessed life. However, I would be a liar if I told you I wish I could have told my younger self not to be so quick to grow up. And yes, I know young couples can make it my parents were married and had me by 19, but they too wanted something different for their children.

  • http://www.womanist-musings.com/ Renee Martin

    I certainly am not judging Aubrey, as I said choosing to be a SAHM is an absolutely valid choice to make but I do believe it comes with some pretty extreme consequences, especially for someone so young who has not finished school. It is hard to be a woman and harder even still be a WOC and with that in mind, we need to make decisions that maintain our ability to be independent. The point is that anything can happen and one always needs to be prepared for contingencies. You cannot plan everything in life but when it comes to something this important, you simply cannot wing it.

    I have a very good friend who is a SAHM, but on weekends she is a wedding photographer. She is with her children when they need her and still makes her own money, thus maintaining her financial independence. There are compromises that can be made to have the best of both worlds. The important thing is not to cut off your options and if you have no education or plan beyond raising your baby then you are trapping yourself into a box for which it could be hard to escape if you need to or want to.

  • http://twitter.com/QuirkyLady A Tamed Shrew (@QuirkyLady)

    I am the only one who feels like the writer had some personal stock in writing this piece. A younger sister,niece or other family member perhaps?. I cant see anyone being this judgemental to a perfect stranger. There are women juggling career and family everyday. Do we judge them for making money instead of focusing on rearing their children? What about those women who leave a good percentage of raising their children to a nanny? Everyone has their path.

  • Jordan

    I agree that Aubrey has a lot to learn about life. However, this piece is incredibly judgmental and suggests that being a housewife is a bad thing. We forget that in the “old days” it was normal for a young woman to get married, have kids, and not work. Now, I realize that times have changed dramatically, but I’m sure that Aubrey has some sense of what she’s getting into. She says she grew with her mother in the home, so I’m sure she’s following that example. I just wouldn’t want another teen to read this and think that if they have kids and/or a husband at a young age that their life is basically over. That’s just not a fair argument.

    Like a commenter before me stated, going to school doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be living “the good life” either. Let’s not judge Aubrey because her focus is on family instead of working. I mean, she’s the daughter of a very famous actor. Her life hasn’t been normal from the start, so it’s a little crazy to think she’ll conform to “normal” standards of how she wants to live her life!

  • Cocochanel31

    Please at this article! Most of us women work because we have to not necessarily because we WANT TO! If my daddy was rich, and my husband was taking care of me, I would chill and have a few babies too! Why not! She can still travel and do whatever she wants to do unlike MOST of us single women even without kids! At 18 the world is her oyster..she has plenty of time to still travel and “get it in!”

  • http://www.womanist-musings.com/ Renee Martin

    I am not a feminist and where did I say she shouldn’t do what she wants. I just think that we should be talking about the realities of the decision. Whether you work or a SAHM there are consequences to both decisions.

  • African Mami

    “IF we decide that I’m going to stay home and raise our children then that shouldn’t be up for discussion.”

    Folks seem to be missing that big IF. To mean that, her choices are not set in stone. She is quite open it seems to exploring other options.

    “How do I show my future daughter by example that she can in fact have both a career and family? ”

    You teach your daughter to have her own mind! That’s what you do. Empower her.

    “It seems like audrey learned by example that the way to raise a decent family is[ for the woman to sacrifice more than the man.]”
    I beg to differ. I agree with Lucy Lucy.

  • http://twitter.com/QuirkyLady A Tamed Shrew (@QuirkyLady)

    How do we know what a mother is capable of? Women can be pretty amazing at multitasking and getting what she needs done in her life. WHATEVER THAT MAY BE.Let her live her life and raise her family

  • African Mami

    THIS!! She should listen to you.

  • http://www.womanist-musings.com/ Renee Martin

    I had my first child when i was 26 and in an extremely established relationship with his father. We are still together and are childhood sweethearts. I had a great job with benefits and we owned our own home. Even with all of these things I can openly admit as much as I adore both of my sons, parenting is damn hard work and that is with a partner and more maturity than Aubrey. It’s fine to be hopeful but we should also be realistic about the work that motherhood entails and the mishaps which happen along the way. I wouldn’t trade my kids for the world but I know that mothering is not all playgroups and baking cookies and I know the effect that having kids can do to a relationship. The truth is hard to hear, but it is the truth and no one is doing anyone a service by pretending that this is going to be easy for her with or without daddies money.

  • D.T.

    Is this the same Renee Martin that was commenting yesterday in support of that CRIMINAL getting free surgery? If so, then you’re just mad and taking your frustrations out in this story. BOL!!! Leave Aubrey alone.

  • African Mami

    The truth is hard to hear, but it is the truth
    True to who?! You?-Maybe. Her?-Currently her beliefs [which are her truth] are not nsync with your beliefs [your truth]

    - I understand where you are coming from, but you fail to deliver in a way that is not judgmental. No one is asking you to sugarcoat anything! This piece reads like murder she wrote.

  • http://www.facebook.com/felicityrankinsrhode Felicity Rhode

    Yes. To all of this.

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    I was gonna comment, but just realized Renee Martin is the same nutjob that runs Womanist Musings…In that case, I’ll leave the author to her bitterness and hateration.

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    AMEN!

  • …………….

    If she’s happy being a stay at home mother, then good for her, and that is her business. I honestly see nothing wrong with wanting to marry someone once you conceive a child with IF (and only if) you love and plan to continue to grow that love over time, are committed to providing a stable, loving, two-parent home for your child, and want them to see you work through life together, and so on.

    I understand that most young people today are not ready for these types of situations, but we do not know her personally…not in the smallest amount.

    Maybe their marriage will fall apart, or maybe it will work out well. Maybe their child will be raised in a great way, or raised in dysfunction. Maybe she will be unhappy in life, or maybe she will not. Maybe if her becoming a mother and marrying at a young age does make her unhappy with life, she will make it through just like many others who are 25, 25, or 45? Who knows?

    People said the types of things about me that Rene said in her article, and yet almost 10 years later, I’m still happily married, raising my kids, did the at home thing, currently doing the career thing, getting my master’s degree, I still have fun…and all they can say is “Oh…congrats.”, while they go into their 10th year at a place that was supposed to be a freshman-year summer job and argue with their kid’s fathers for child support payments. And all I can think is “Hm, thanks. Should have minded your business in the first place”.

    Also, the abuse/money issue is kind of moot because in her situation because she isn’t coming from a poor family.

  • http://theantifash.blogspot.com The Antifash

    I agree with this piece 100%, and I hope Aubrey reads it.

  • http://valsotherblog.wordpress.com Val

    I agree, AM. This post was more like a rant than anything else. Yikes, give the girl a break. She’s married, in college and having a baby. She could be doing a whole lot worse. Congratulations to her and her hubby.

  • edub

    AMEN! What a wonderful story! Continued blessing for you!

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    And also the same hypocritical woman who railed on light-skinned women for having “privilege”, but has two light skinned babies by a white man. Needless to say, I don’t take her words as relevant.

  • MimiLuvs

    Slightly off-topic: I do not know Aubrey, her husband and their families, so I reserve my opinions on their matters.
    But, I will admit that I did behave like a Judgey McJudgement with people that I know and did experience something similar.

  • C

    Kind of off topic, but I didn’t even know Terrence Howard had a daughter.

  • Beth

    Yes, everything is rainbows and sunshine! So what if she’s 18, she has ALL the life experience and brain development to be able to predict the consequences of her actions (even though science tells us that young adults’ prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for long term planning and mature decision making doesn’t cease developing until the mid twenties). No no, she will be possibly the first woman in modern history who feels an authentic sense of accomplishment and purpose by giving up her life and living for others. Gee, where do I sign up?

  • Vivienne

    The author makes it seems as if her life will be a living hell. Everyone is not the same, do not paint people with a borad brush. Everyone does not have the same values, or think the same things are horrible. In other words, people need to speak for themselves, and let people live. The woman, just like my mom, may end up financially better off than most; including myself.

  • http://gravatar.com/dginki Kim

    This is too funny! LOL! Some of the people calling the writer of this argument judgemental. LOL! GTFOH. The next time I read some of the responses posted by them, there will be “guns ablazing”. LOL! I can’t. LOL! SMDH.

  • grateful

    lol at this!

  • Shieka

    Many think all 18 years are immature and young. But this author knows nothing about this young woman personally. She is passing judgement based off what she thinks she know. Why is the author telling her her life is over. Why not try to be positive and give her some good advise. Women like this author annoy me to no end. I know women who are in their 20s, 30s, an 40s and are some of the worse mothers I know. Before she judges a person maybe she should know everything about that person. This article is a fail.

  • JN

    If that is what Aubrey wants, she can have it. Never said she should not have it. I just said that my daughter ought to see by my example hopefully as well as by what I tell her, that she has choices. But I still consider it a choice to sacrifice to be a stay-at-home mom or dad. You choose not to make your own separate income. It is a concious decision as well as a sacrifice. Might not feel like it because it is for something you enjoy but it is. (*side note: how YOU DOING, African Mami! ain’t but seen you for a bit, my fault for being so M.I.A.)

  • apple

    aint she a daughter of a millionaire? she’s going to be fine

  • binks

    AMEN! Jeez…exiting this thread slowly as I post… honestly I don’t know her situation to be commenting on it and neither does the author or anybody else that isn’t close to the family or her so all judgments of what she needs to do, should do, how to think, live etc. should be reserved. This is a situation of frankly IT’S NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS! I agree with some of the points raised but it didn’t come across well but condescending and frankly woman bashing…let this young woman live, learn and make mistakes and learned from them. Her decisions isn’t set in stone she can always change her mind but if she still chooses to be a devoted wife/mother guess what THAT IS OKAY TOO! Shocking, I know! I swear sometimes we as women take one step forward for sisterhood and 5 steps back in sisterhood, I swear if you are the independent woman I have my own type it is a problem and if you are the I want to be a devoted wife and mother type it is still a problem, you can’t win for losing.

  • Tami

    This article came across as extreme…I “get” what the author is saying. Education is extremely important, but by the same token, family is also. This young lady doesn’t sound like she will be wanting for money with a rich daddy. Life is an experience. We all do things we regret. I think its wonderful that she wants to be home with her baby.She is in school. At least she is doing something. But raising your child can be challenging, rewarding, exhausting & also a loving experience. I had my child when i was young, & yes I did miss out on some of the adventures my friends went on, but I have a beautiful child & now I get a chance to do a lot of things that I couldn’t do now. I thought writers were suppose to be objective.

  • Kimmy

    If we all decided in life to stop worrying about what other people are doing. The world would be a better place. I’m tired of the SAHM bashing as well, I say kudos to women that are able to stay home with their child. If most women had the opportunity, I think they would stay home as well. I wish her the best of luck!

  • African Mami

    @ binks,

    They ain’t trying to hear you on the sisterhood part! Truth be damned. On another note, there have been a lot of articles on here, suggestive of homemaking being nothing short of a woman maximizing her potential. Just tired!

  • Nicole

    Agreed. Very judgmental piece. So what if she is 18 years old, married and pregnant? Heck, most of the time we are complaining because yet another black teenager is knocked up and unwed. But now that she is married, you want to knock her because she’s elected to become a mother and a wife in one year. Who are you to decide whether those are proper decisions for her? Obviously her father had little if any reservation about it as you described that he “proudly” walked her down the aisle. Plenty of people got married back in the day to do just that–have children right away. It isn’t a crime or a trigger for whatever convenient statistics you can pull up to prove whatever point it is that you feel you are making. Thing is, there COULD have been some valuable take aways in this piece but it was too uninformed, judgmental and snarky.

  • ?!?

    I did think the article was a bit judgmental, but I do agree with the author about many things. I don’t think Aubrey’s situation is as bad as it she makes it seem, but this is good advice for the average Jane. I also don’t think it is right to judge her because she had a shotgun wedding. Maybe they are truly in love, and they were ready for the commitment. I do agree about the SAHM part though. Having the option to raise your kids is nice. Very good SAHMs who do their job can have their kids running circles around other kids on the first day of kindergarten, but it is very important to have something to fall back on. Husbands die. Divorces happen. Times get hard. It is very good to have a plan B.

  • Joy

    The couple in the pic really look alike. They look like they could be brother, and sister

  • b.

    33, SAHM to two toddlers and full-time student. Married, loved and in love. If money were not an issue, I too would probably still stay at home AND bust out more babies. For some that’s the life:lovin’your spouse, getting pregnant, growing limbs and organs, giving birth, sustaining a life, raising that life….THAT’S the life:) Leave the girl alone, many women are astute and know their wants and needs–yes, Renee, even at an age as young as 18. If she changes her mind at 18.5, that’s cool too. It’s her life, let her live it:)
    ps
    SAHM have lives outside of their family too. It is a PART of and not the SUM of us.

  • Sue

    Yes, the article is really harsh. And even if things don’t work out this girl is not likely to struggle financially. Still, I think the author was trying to put the message across that marriage and parenthood require alot of sacrifice and giving of yourself. It’s good to give oneself the time to explore and discover oneself, before committing one’s life to another or commiting to raise another human being, so that may be why she feels Aubrey is rushing. Probably she could have passed that message in a better way.

  • stopit

    Accidental Pregnancy + Celebrity Family = Shotgun-Wedding.

    See: Solange Knowels….LOL

    I wish her well but It would not surprise me at all to see her as a single mom like Solange and Brandy(kind of) Getting married to validate a mistake. She would do well to take her friends advice…finish that education and learn a way to support yourself should things not work out. Choosing to leave the workforce at 30 after you have an education and work experience to be a SAHM is one thing, but trying to do it at 18 only works for the Ann Romney’s of the world and this overly-facial manicured guy is no Mitt.

  • anlisa

    Wow, this article is incredibly judgmental and you are making a lot of extreme assumptions. Instead of celebrating the fact that she has been blessed with many great gifts, you attack her. Can’t people love and feel happy for others despite disagreement?

  • Ronnyec

    That is the message I got as well. I think most missed the deeper meaning of the blog. A teenager @ 18 is quite a different person @ 25. I know women who had the first kid @ 29/30 and found it difficult. I have 2 daughters. My oldest got married 4 weeks ago today @ 29. She has a masters degree and is a SLP. Before they were married, I advised them against having kids for at least 2 years, as they need to find their groove in the marriage before adding a baby to the mix. It just seems like a bad idea to have too many changes too soon. A baby changes everything! Everyone makes the choice whether they’d like to pursue a career or be a SAHM. I have a career and encouraged my girls to do the same. My mom was a SAHM but she was the CEO, CFO, COO,.. There are no more men like my daddy. Personally, I like to have and spend my own. I have seen what some SAHMs endure. As I broke it down, you never should be in a position to ask for $$ to purchase personal items…and that’s as basic as it gets…and yes, I’ve seen it. But, to each her own.

  • justanotheropinion

    Yes the article was harsh, but maybe it’s time we stopped being so nice about young un-wed mothers (just because she’s rushing to the altar don’t mistake this for anything other than what it is).

    I didn’t see the article as a condemnation about stay at home moms – it was more critical of being 18 and pregnant. If you are blessed enough to be able to stay at home to raise your kids, you rock. i would have given my left eye to be able to do so. Many other women would have at least LOVED to have the CHOICE.

    She’s 18 and pregnant. PERIOD. She thought she was going the college route until an accident happened. Just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean the marriage is right – ask any divorced women with kids. Just because your are pregnant at 18, getting married won’t make everything ok. You aren’t seen as any more legit. Reality – you will be seen as an 18 yr old that got pregnant and rushed to the altar.

    I wish her well in whichever road she walks. Just know that the odds are stacked against you. No one can deny that. What you are thinking at 18 is NEVER…N.E.V.E.R. where your head is at at 30 or even 25. You grow up and you learn.

  • isola

    The odds are against her marriage surviving, but one never knows. She cannot undo the past, all she can do is move on. I would be so sad if my daughter took this path, but all I could at do at this point is support her.

  • Pema

    This motherhood thing is hard regardless of age. Most of the women in my circle had their children in their late twenties early thirties and the transition to motherhood was difficult for all of us.

    An eighteen year old is an adult. Her father is a millioniare. I am happy that she at least married the father or her child. If she turns around in two years and says, “I want to go back to school” she has the ability to do that and hire a full-time nanny. If she says, “I want to start a business” she has access to capital. If she wants to visit Thailand she will be flying First-Class. This young woman has access to wealth and power she does not need your advice.

  • lol

    thank you for this! unfortunately they ain’t tryin’ to hear you…

  • edub

    LOL, y’all going IN!

    Sidebar: I always find that those loudest critics of white privilege were those black women and men married to white people. Go to any college intro to sociology class–if you have a black professor, chances are she is/was married to a white man.

  • Shawnie River

    This article seems to be written by someone with their own resentment or issues concerning parenting. This was harsh and abrasive especially since it doesn’t concern ANY OF US. I haven’t found parenting to be such a negative or serious plight, and who’s to say that Aubrey will either? If she and her husband can afford to live and attend college with her NOT working, that is NO ONE’s business but theirs! Her Dad is well-off so her life will be nothing like mine, yours or the author of this article. We’re adults and we need to start minding our own business. This young woman is building a family for her unborn child, which a lot of young women don’t do; a lot of KIDS in her position selfishly abort their baby. She’s respecting life, loving her baby, and respecting herself by getting married. She’s beautiful and it’s her life. Leave her be.

  • Emme

    Interesting perspective. I agree that people change over the years but your values don’t ALWAYS change. Whether you’re comparing age 18 to 30 or age 35 to 50… If what she values today is marriage and family (even as a priority over education) she may feel the same at 60. Besides, a lot of it really boils down to what HE values. If they both value the instutution of marriage, they’ll probably be fine. I know a lot of couples who got pregnant before marriage (some young, others in their late 20s early 30s) who remain happily married years later. Many women in this day and age are able to handle the life of a young wife/mother. Unfortunately (from what I’ve seen) young men have trouble holding on to the same roles.

    I wish them the best of luck because at this point I don’t believe their decisions have been patently/obviously wrong. People who get married older get divorced too… You just never know what makes each relationship tick.

  • Cia

    Aubrey is in college and getting married before having the baby. I don’t have a problem with it because my tax dollars don’t have to subsidize her lifestyle. Her father will make sure she doesn’t fall through the cracks. Now for all the 13, 14 and15 year olds without a father in the NBA that are pregnant, I can say I have a problem with it, but not in this case.

  • dana111

    Okay, so let me get this straight. I read your comments in support of the man who wants to undergo tax-payer subsidized gender reassignment surgery while in prison. So, a man wanting to get surgery to become a woman AFTER he is convicted of KILLING his wife (did he suffer from gender issues when he decided to get MARRIED and then commit MURDER?) is okay and perfectly normal, but a heterosexual woman who is married, having a child, and staying at home to raise that child with her the support of her husband and her family is somehow dangerous and abnormal? Don’t get me wrong, I am as liberal as the next person, but that really does not make any sense to me.

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    30 -35? are you serious?!?!

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    let her? LMAO how is renee stopping her? and how will renee allow her to do what she wants?

  • Jae Bee

    Wonder how Terrence feels about that. I sure know I wouldn’t feel like supporting my married teenage daughter. If she has a husband it should be HIS responsibility to support the family, not MINE. If she chooses to become a mother it should be HER responsibility to make sure the child is adequately supported, not MINE.

  • Jae Bee

    Who says Terrence plans on financially supporting his daughter’s new family? Maybe he shares the same “leave and cleave” mindset that many parents employ when dealing with adult, married children. It’s one thing to provide the occasional help, it’s entirely another thing to be the primary financial support. If an adult child of mine makes poor financial decisions THEY should be willing to live with the consequences of THEIR decisions without the expectation that I will be their primary source of assistance.

  • Jae Bee

    Co & Sign. I think the main point of the article is that we should all have a “plan b”. Putting all your eggs in one basket is a risky venture for anyone–even for someone who has so-called rich parents (who may or may not chose to financially support you) and a husband (who may not always be able to financially support you/your family).

  • Jae Bee

    She MAY have access to wealth now (don’t see how she would have access to power…after all, it is her FATHER who is the celebrity), but it is not guaranteed that she will for life. What if her father loses all his money and goes bankrupt? What if her father refuses to financially support his adult, married, daughter? NOTHING in life is guaranteed and no one should arrange their lives as if it were. That’s why we have things like insurance–cause unexpected “sh*t happens” that can have drastic effects on our lives.

  • chinaza

    This girl made her choice and good luck to her.
    Now I’m saying this to any single, childfree, young woman in 2012 because we’re here to love them and guide them.
    Get an education and get a job to give yourself options in life. Do not rely on youth and beauty because those things will go. Do not rely on parental wealth or the whims of a man because circumstances change in a moment.
    Give yourselves a chance to live and discover who you are before you knit that to someone else who also has to make that journey.
    Build the foundation for a child before you have one but don’t step back from being a woman and having the experience of love and a family of your own.
    Go for it! All of it.

  • au napptural

    I get Renee’s point, though it did come off harsh to me. But that’s no different from white bloggers coming down hard on Bristol Palin. Yes, she got married after the fact, but it didn’t last and her mother is still her main source of support, PLUS, she still is responsible for that child she birthed. This girl may legally be an adult but otherwise, the situation is the same. Like Renee said this child couldn’t even use birth control properly and now she’s going to raise a child?! And people are giving moner wayyy to much weight. Yes, IF he father helps out the baby will have all it needs materially, but it won’t have a mother who can raise it as well as a more mature woman could. Have you been thinking about birth options? Natural vs. drugs, c-sections, etc. If the child is disabled or premature how exactly is she goint to manage that? Has she, at 18, been thinking about the knowledge she wants to instill in a child? What she is going to raise it to be believe? Given any thought to schooling? Planning on teaching the baby to read?

    Yes, people who are 18 can provide for a child’s needs, esp. with a parent’s support. But I feel it’s quite inaccurate to say they are “raising the child.” They are playing with a baby. How are you equipped to raise a child when you just stepped from under your parent’s roof? You didn’t even PLAN the child! Criticism is warranted and needed.

  • http://gravatar.com/honeybfly1980 Isis

    Cute couple. At least she’s getting married and won’t be raising the child alone. A lot of marriages don’t last even when the couple is older

  • http://gravatar.com/dginki Kim

    Since you wrote that we need to start minding our own business, we can count on you not commenting on anyone else and their life that is written about on this site, right?

  • Sweetles

    Would it be better if she had gotten an abortion?

  • ebaucic1

    I don’t understand where the “judgement” is coming from. Renee Martin is simply delineating the potential risk and consequences of having a child and marrying while attempting to get an education at such a young age. Can anyone tell me with a straight that every point that she made is not true for the majority of 18-year old women who are making the decisions that she is making?

    I find it rather alarming that many people think Aubrey’s situation is exceptional because of her affluence. Parenting taxes our emotional resources as well as our financial ones. Her family may have the means to provide material comforts, but what of providing the type of attachment parenting that is beneficial to the child’s psychological and emotional well-being. I am not implying that by virtue of her youth, she is going to be a crappy mom. I am questioning whether her willingness to parent another human being and provide the type of up-bringing that she herself claims to be ideal will maintain several years down the line. This girl is young and still has a lot of life left to live. How many of us are the same people today that we were when we were her age?

    This is one opinion piece on a online magazine, hardly a force that could prevent Aubrey from making her own decisions. There is no need for the accusations of jealousy/vitriol/anti-feminist/whatever. Renee never wished ill on Aubrey. Her assertion was that her actions may lead to some serious consequences, a concept that many commenters believe that she is impervious to because she is rich. Renee said nothing that we don’t say, think, or feel when these types situations happen to someone we know well, know in passing, or don’t know at all. For all the people saying “mind your business, you don’t know her life”, if you cannot honestly say that you haven’t “prophesied” on someone that you thought was making a bad decision, then don’t attack people who do.

  • Jae Bee

    Who’s to say what will happen once the child is born and reality sets in about the amount of responsibility each parent will have. I can only hope that her experience doesn’t end like many other teenage, shot-gun weddings. Perhaps she can get some advice from Solange Knowles about the matter.

  • Team Aubrey

    This article was so harsh that I could barley get through it all. First, kudos to her husband for having such strong morals and values. It takes a lot for a man at his age to really think about the insitution of “Family.” Thank you for believing in that and passing on that value with building your family. Second, Aubrey you are so mature for your age. Many woman in this world rather they be 18-35 would really love the idea of being able to have that nuturing time with their child. You are in a wonderful position to do so. Cheerish it!
    Third, Renee are you a mother? Are you married? You have given us many negative statistics, but not as that many positive examples. I just think that if you wanted to be a topic of discussion then it should not have come off as negative. My Aunt got married at 20 still in college and had a first child while still in college. She holds a Doctorate Degree in Education. She has retired 3 times and continues to be asked to come back into the education system to spread her knowledge and expertise. She isn’t the only person that I know that may have chosen to be committed to her child the first few years of their life, but continue on to do great things. Please watch your tone has you try to knock down women/men and families who try to do the best for their children in life.
    Thanks,
    Team Aubrey

  • Tam Aubrey

    @binks and @AM. So true. At times I don’t know if some of the women writing the articles are mothers and wives themselves. As a new wife and I hope to be a mom I can tell you 4 years ago I was all about my career. God blessed me with a wonderful husband, and the urge to serve my family has grew in my life. Yes, it would be great to be a millionare, but I see the challenges it is with many of my older family members that took that path with their children. They are disconnected and really don’t know the value of family. I have other family members who decided to devote their time to and Stay at Home as a Mother. They don’t have the 6+ figured job, but I do see the strength and guidance they have had in their children lives. I think its a struggle which ever way you raise your child and to throw stones at this young lady is crazy! I think we don’t need to be so snotty and learn how to have more empowering conversations of sisterhood.
    Peace and Blessings to you and your family Aubrey. There are ppl who really do support you!

  • Katie

    I think the point is four years ago you weren’t 14.

  • Shelly

    Didn’t she say that she was raised with her mother staying at home? So that would mean that she has already seen how the stay-at-home mom thing works and she has perhaps chosen this life because she has personal experience with it and decided that she favors it over being a working mother. Being a stay-at-home mom works for a lot of women, and if her husband makes enough money to support her and the children, then why not? I think this way she will be be able to spend more time with her children, unlike many women who find their work as more important than the kids and drop the kids off with some stranger at a daycare. And you said something like may miss out on partying, traveling, etc. Her father is a rich actor…so, who’s to say she hasn’t been doing those things? Even at her young age, perhaps she’s been there, done that, and now carefully decided that this is the life she wants and is ready for. Nothing wrong with keeping it traditional. Not everyone is a feminist.

  • shlbshl

    I ask this in good faith. I really do.

    What, precisely, did Ms. Martin set out to do when she wrote this article?

    I found this piece bizarre and disjointed, and this, along with the most recent piece on Evelyn Lozada (like many, I think she’s a total scumbag, but the subtext of the article was rife with victim-blaming) makes me both question the editorial judgement of Clutch, and doubt whether this forum exists as a “safe space” for black women.

    Teen pregnancy is not optimal, and likely the result of poor decision making. Reasonable people would not quibble with that.

    But why launch such an overly personal rebuke on an 18 year old girl in such a public fashion?

    Quite honestly, the entire thing smacked of concern trolling. The author made an awful lot of assumptions (I’m still not sure how we went from this girl making a rather naive statement about stay-at-home parenting, to her invocation of abusive marriages and the assertion that Howard “cannot even use birth control properly”) that exemplify the way in which black people’s attempts to police each other often go terribly wrong.

    I’m all in favor of having a robust discourse surrounding black motherhood, teen motherhood, black teen motherhood—whatever. But I also think that it’s more productive to do so in a manner that makes clear that certain behaviors will produce undesirable outcomes, while not singling out black girls for public shaming and tsk tsking–particularly when you’re only insight into the personal lives of said girls comes from an offhand twitter remark.

  • Cam

    Like they say, “a hit dog hollers”… As judgmental as this article may seem, there’s truth to it. I can’t even begin to imagine what Aubrey’s life must be like, but I do know that at 18 is too soon to be making life-changing decisions such as having a baby and becoming a stay at home mom, for any young lady. It’s almost more upsetting to me to read so many people calling out the author for putting her opinion out there…what was she supposed to say? Bravo, Aubrey!?? Seems to me like this article hit a little too close to home for some of the “teen mom” readers out there, and instead of addressing the truth of this article, decided to dismiss it all by calling the author judgmental.

  • Mia

    Stop being so judgmental Ms. Martin. We all have a different life journey….this is hers. Worry about yours….dang!

  • Christine Adams

    I would give her more credit than saying she has no idea what’s she’s getting into. She’s the older sister at home, and most likely helped with the younger kids, so she may be very mature for her age. I do think, however, it is rooted in wanting to get attention. Prior to her being married and pregnant, only fans of her dad knew who she was, now lots of people know her. That is one way to launch an acting career. I’d opt for the education, training, and hard work over time road to fame.
    Sometimes, short cuts are short lived.

  • Tracy

    This story is as old as time and I admire the fact they are trying to make a go of it. Marriage and parenthood is difficult at any age but they seem to have family support and resources on their side. Best of luck to the happy couple!

  • Ro

    All the best to her. She doesn’t need people in her business giving her unwarranted advice. I met my husband when I was 17 and we have been happily married for 24 years and counting. Do what’s right for yourself and your family.

  • Berkeley Girl

    What kind of judgmental piece of crap is this article? And why are women always the “blame” for accidental pregnancies?

    Regardless of what anyone thinks, I’m sure Aubrey and her husband will do the best given their circumstances.

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