When You’re Told “Don’t Get Pregnant” Your Whole Life

IMG_6615Every piece of furniture in my home that could potentially be toppled over is anchored to a wall. At fourteen months old, my daughter will attempt to climb anything; couches, shelves, tables, anything. She’d try to ride the dog’s back if he didn’t know to get out of her way. My daughter is a whirlwind. She’s constantly moving. When she was born, I took to calling her Little Pumpkin because she is a fall baby, but now I refer to her as Wild Thornberry, for obvious reasons. We’re constantly on the lookout because if you’re within two feet of her she will deliberately launch herself off of whatever she’s climbing and expect you to catch her. I find myself simultaneously amused and concerned. I’m learning that being scared shitless and wanting to laugh all at the same time is essentially parenting in a nutshell.

I thoroughly enjoy watching my daughter grow and learn. It’s amazing watching someone solve a problem or overcome an obstacle on their own for the first time, but there was a time when I wasn’t all that sure I even wanted to have children at all.

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As a younger person the idea of motherhood seemed to be a burden. An albatross hung around the neck of budding dreams; something that should be avoided unless I found myself in the plushest of life conditions. Or at least that’s how it was presented to me and many other girls I grew up around once the eldest of us edged closer to puberty. Warnings about boys, babies, reputation, squandered potential, and lost opportunity were ubiquitous.

I’m learning that being scared shitless and wanting to laugh all at the same time is essentially parenting in a nutshell.

So much emphasis was placed on not getting pregnant and all the sacrifice and disappointment associated with it, that little space remained for me to anticipate the joy that having a child could bring. I do understand that for some who found themselves unexpectedly faced with the responsibility of raising a child some negative realities have come to fruition. I also know and have witnessed many who have thrived in the face of the added responsibility, as well as those who waited and meticulously planned to have children with varying results. I believe there are many external factors that contribute to these circumstances.

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Ultimately I waited quite a while to have a child. I’m still young, but more “game night, music, and wine at the house (you can bring ya kids)” young, as opposed to “shots, shots, shots and I slept in all my makeup” young (though on occasion…).  I matured and evolved and what was once a concern for my own aspirations and level of freedom became concern for the human being I could potentially bring into the world. I mulled over my level of patience in trying situations, my ability to advocate when necessary, my ability to provide with or without a partner, the state of the world/country/community I’d be bring a child up in, my ability to help without enabling, my support system, and my general philosophy and style of parenting.

Most parents would agree that those concerns don’t magically melt away once your child is in your arms. If anything I find myself more determined to rise to the challenge of raising a well-rounded human being to the best of my ability. Like all things in life worth the effort, parenting is a learning experience. You do the best you can and then you do some more.

I’m Simone. I’m a new blogger here with Open Mic Rochester and I’ll be focusing mainly on the good, the bad, and the ugly of parenting. I’m a Rochester native, a mom, and a General Manager for a small company (so I’m pretty much a mom 24/7). I’ve lived in Chicago and I’ve traveled moderately (which is one of my favorite things to do). I like art, books, TV, a hearty debate, and cozy environments. I hope to bring a thought provoking and sometimes humorous perspective to this blog and I look forward to doing so.

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  1. Ekow

    Motherhood is burden particularly looking at it from the viewpoint of a young person. The freedom, selfishness and unbridled optimism of the young have is truly the very opposite of motherhood. If you’ve never felt the sense of dread at the thought of motherhood as a young person then dare I say you’re not quite ready for the responsibilities of parenthood. That primal fear of the unknown that we have evolved as humans is what you’re feeling. Motherhood is rewarding but mostly for the prepared. The unprepared are about to be “scared shitless” and they will probably not have the sense of laugh along with the curve balls of parenting.

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