My 17-year-old daughter has a class at school this year called Early Lifespan Development. She has a wonderful teacher who has taught her so many things about “real life.” But one of the lessons recently made my daughter think it over!

Beginning in December, her teacher handed out fake “positive” pregnancy tests and told all students they would study pregnancy from week to week through the trimesters. The students would ultimately “give birth” and take a “baby” home from school for one full week. This wasn’t your average baby doll. It was a top of the line baby simulator. It had a weak neck that needed proper support, it cried when it was hungry or needed a diaper, and needed the attention a new baby would require. The teacher had the ability to check online and monitor the students attentiveness to the baby.

Bringing Home Baby

And so it began! She came home the first day of the project with a baby in a car seat and a diaper bag filled with all the essentials to care for a newborn.

She was so excited. She couldn’t wait for this baby to cry so she could care for it.  She was anxiously awaiting a feeding or a changing. Her friend came over with her “baby” from the class for a play date. The “new moms” thought they were going to watch tv, but the new “babies” had other plans. It ended up being a little different than the girls had hoped. I had to giggle a little.

Her feelings of excitement completely changed that first night at 4 o’clock in the morning when she had a crying baby. I went upstairs to find a distraught teenager bouncing a baby in her closet trying to sooth it. The excitement had quickly changed to confusion. She said, “I don’t know what it needs!” I explained to her that that is exactly how new moms feel when they have babies.

There were sleepless nights during this trial week.  She was tied to this “baby” at all times. She took it to work with her one evening.  She had to hold the baby while she did homework, got ready for school, and ate meals.  As easy as it would’ve been for me to help, I did not. This was her project and I really wanted her to see the struggles of having a new baby.  I wanted her to truly “think about it.”

Bye Bye Baby

It was rewarding for me to see what kind of mom my daughter would be.  She was so loving toward this “baby”.  I would see her swaddle it, cuddle it, and care for it like it was real.  This project taught me that I’ve raised a daughter that would one day love her kids the way that I love her! She quickly learned that she was not ready to become a mom anytime soon.  Thank goodness, because I learned that week that I’m not ready to become a grandma any time soon!!!

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