The Stork Left a Present in my Uterus
After the latest fiasco with EvenFlo’s latest marketing attempt via a distasteful video depicting grandparents as unsupportive and judgmental of breastfeeding, I thought I would share a personal experience to rant a little and praise all parents trying their best to parent their children. I want to praise the supportive Grandparents out there and because it’s also my anniversary today, I’m feeling a bit ballsy. So here goes!
I can’t tell you how many families I’ve met who have been shocked when they saw that positive pregnancy test. Regardless of how long they were trying (or if they tried at all), it’s still a surprise. I can tell you the first words that ran through my head:
My son was definitely a surprise. But you know what? DH and I talked about and decided we wanted to make it work. We had discussed starting a family previously and never really came to a conclusion. But we decided that if our little miracle managed to get past two forms of birth control, it was meant to be.
So even though I was scared to death to tell the Grandparents-to-be in fear of being judged, I was wrong to expect judgement. My parents reminded me that we had a choice, just like anyone else who planned a pregnancy. It wasn’t that DH and I didn’t have a choice with our unexpected pregnancy. We had a choice, albeit it wasn’t a long process, but we chose to be parents.
And that brings me to the next point. What does it mean to be “ready” for parenthood? Just because I had less than 9 months to get ready doesn’t mean that I wasn’t ready when the day came. So I really feel like laughing out loud when I hear a casual phrase along the lines of: Some people actually plan to kids… to imply that people with unexpected pregnancies are less fit to parent than those with expected pregnancies. I think I’ve heard it one time too many.
I decided to write this post because I feel like too many parents who have surprise pregnancies feel judged. They feel like they have to explain or justify their child’s existence because they didn’t do it the right way. Well then, who is determining the right or wrong way? Who gets to the right to pass judgement?
I admit I never wanted kids when I was younger. I wasn’t the girl who played dress up and pretended to mother dolls when I was a child. I played with baby kittens and made mud pies. I was the girl running around outside playing with the neighbor boys and catching snakes. Occasional babysitting and coaching gymnastics was the extent of pre-parenting practice I had, but that doesn’t mean I’m less capable as a parent as someone who grew up around lots of children.
That just means when I found out I was pregnant, I had to work extra hard to get ready to be a parent. I took multiple classes about parenting and pregnancy, I read up on parenting, breastfeeding, labor and delivery, and what to do when my baby came home. And besides a challenging start to breastfeeding, I had a healthy pregnancy and baby who, despite being 15 days early, never ended up in the hospital for jaundice or any other illness after birth. He’s healthy, happy, and thriving.
So if you’re among those who have unexpected babies or are pregnant with unexpected babies, YOU’RE DOING JUST FINE! Parenting is a learning process and I hope you never stop learning. In fact, I’m honestly concerned about those who think they have nothing left to learn.
So all parents everywhere, look at your little miracles and pat yourselves on the back. Who cares how they got here. It doesn’t matter if you planned, didn’t plan, adopted, fostered, or found your little one under a cabbage leaf. What’s important is that your children are here and you’re doing the best you can with the knowledge you have.
So Happy Grandparents Day to all the parents out there. You rock!