The Dogma of Being Pregnant in the USA
I am pregnant. This is my first child. I waited until I hit the ripe age of 30 to start trying. My husband and I have worked hard to create a safety net of finances, build a business, and get our emotional and mental shit in gear.
We waited until we felt the time was right. We don’t regret that one bit, and because of that hard work we are in a position where I can stay home and raise our children, while still pursuing writing/art and flipping endeavors. He goes to the office, I tend to the home, and we both work on house flipping together. It’s a system we busted our nuts off trying to get going and we felt that was the best thing to do BEFORE a screaming demon came into our lives.
Not everyone has that ability, and not everyone even has that option to try to even pursue it. It isn’t easy work, let me tell you that, and it’s not for everyone.
The thing that confuses me, now being pregnant and seeing everything in a slightly different light, is how judgmental people are over it.
Before I go further, let me just say that I was a single kid for 11 years before my younger brother was born. For those 11 years, my mom had been a single parent. She busted her ass off. She worked hard to become a nurse, took her exams the day before I was born, and worked as soon as her lady bits healed.
I was probably the worst human baby on the planet too, crying so much for the first two years I ended up in the hospital needing surgery. I didn’t get better, I was a terror. Always hurting myself and doing stupid shit that required stitches. She was a saint with her level of patience and I’m only alive today because she’s a pacifist. My mother hustle through the judgment of other people, back then it was uncommon to see single parents. Where was the father? Where was the husband?
Its becomes far more common to see single parents now and even more common to see both parents working 40+ hours a week while they hand off their little ones to someone else to watch. I know how hard it is for people now-a-days to joggle kids, a career and a home. I watched my mother do it with me, later on with my brother (she picks great men, clearly) and I get it. We all wish we could do things differently.
Having grown up this way was part of my main push to NOT follow that path. I have personal horror stories of daycare (I was a rare situation, remember I was a goblin, lots of daycares are awesome.) I didn’t want to hand my child off to someone else to raise while I toiled away at a office job, getting fat and depressed (again, personal thing there folks.) My husband was on board and shared similar values. Hell a good daycare is expensive! The amount of money I was making at my job would only cover the daycare alone.
For us, the choice was easy but the work to get to the point where we could actually DO this plan was much different.
Thus, this is where the judgement began.
It’s become so common place now to have both parents work that to say you are a “stay-at-home” parent has become some distorted bad taboo. I didn’t realize it at the time when we started this journey just how harshly people were going to judge me. I also had no idea how much praise my husband would get for the same thing people were frowning at me for.
For a wife to be a stay-at-home mom/wife meant she was lazy, dumb or straight up unmotivated. For a husband it meant he had succeeded in his career and was “making it in life” because his wife didn’t have to work. He could afford anything now.
Seemed a little one sided to me.
When people asked “how come you decided to do this?” it seemed my answered didn’t resonate with anyone. The concept that I would give up “my career” just to have kids seemed selfish or foolish, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. I didn’t want an office job in a deadend position. I wanted to pursue my art and writing, my husband and I wanted to invest in a business that would carry us financially in the long run; walking away from the office was just the first step.
My husband makes damn good money in his job and that carries us pretty well. Me staying home allows me to do things he can’t because of his career restraints, like running over to a house to make sure things are going as they need to at the drop of a hat, or to be able to run out and get something that we need for one of the workers on the property. That flexibility is key when flipping. Things happen and usually need a quick response.
Even when I explain this to people when they ask me, it seems to drift into the wind. For them, he’s a hard worker busting his butt off, but for me….I am just riding his wave. Don’t get me wrong, he works hard, but why is it that only I am the one frowned upon?
The real kicker here folks, and herein lies the true mystery, is that when I had decided to go back full time I was immediately shunned. When I had mentioned to people “things are slow, I think I am going to go back to my career” the first thing out of people’s mouths were “WHY.”
“Why would you do that? You have the option to not, so why waste that?” or “you’re husband worked hard for you to be able to stay home” or even better “do you know how many people wish they could be in your in position?”
These are the same people who rolled their eyes when I told them what we were doing. These are the same people who jabbed at me and praised him. This is the dogma of being pregnant now.
No one will ever be happy for you, not truly. So do what you feel is right and is within your means, but be kind to those who are either a little further along or a little further behind. Just be nice. Just be kind. Don’t judge people. There are a million others wishing they have what you do and a millions other who just want to harass you over it.