Teen Mom 2: When You're More Of A "Teen" Than A "Mom"


So how about that Jenelle? After last night’s premiere set the stage for a nasty custody battle with her mother, the petulant, seemingly irresponsible, and violent adolescent is clearly the standout of MTV’s new set of Teen Moms.

Jenelle was one of the most out-of-touch expecting mothers we’d ever witnessed when she was first featured on an episode of 16 & Pregnant last year. She said classic stupid teenager shit—without recognizing how ridiculous she sounded—like, “If you’re responsible enough to have sex, then you’re responsible enough to have a baby,” (a point she quickly disproved) and, “You know what’s so great about me? I feel like I’m gonna be a good mom,” because she would take her baby to “fun places” like the beach.

However, as it turned out, she ended up taking her infant son to a house party, after her mother—whom Jenelle frequently verbally assaults—refused to babysit. By the end of her installment of 16 & Pregnant, still not wanting to give up her social life in exchange for the demands of motherhood, Jenelle decided she “wasn’t ready” (or perhaps wasn’t willing) to take on such a large responsibility, and instead of putting her son up for adoption, asked her mother to raise him for her, making the brilliant observation: “When I mature, I’ll finally grow up.”

So flash-forward several months and Jenelle is still partying and going out almost every night. She basically treats her son like he’s the family lapdog, with whom she’ll occasionally play, pet, feed, and bathe when it’s fun or convenient for her, but leaves the bulk of the burden on her mother. Her limited involvement with her son—as well as her treatment of her mother—is pretty basically summed up in this scene, in which she chooses impractical bedtime attire for the boy, but then flies off the handle when her mother wants to change him into something more suitable, causing a violent blowup that, on Jenelle’s part, seemed to be more about establishing power over fashion choices than what’s in the baby’s best interest.

The entire situation is sad, and from the looks of the previews, it only gets sadder. What’s worse is that while Jenelle does seem, frankly, like an asshole, and has demonstrated behavior that makes it clear that she can barely handle herself, let alone a child, it’s possible, at least in some small way, to see where she’s coming from with her frustration of her mom’s accusations that she’s not a good mother. As Jenelle pointed out, her mother must not have been a good mother. However, while Jenelle’s reasoning for this is because her mother had a teenage daughter who got pregnant (snap!), it can be more accurately said that perhaps Jenelle’s mother wasn’t a good mother because she raised a person like Jenelle, who is so disrespectful, delusional, and ill-tempered.

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