Remember that moment when you first found out you were expecting? For most women its a mixture of fear, excitement, and “holy crap!”. Even as a married woman “trying to conceive”, I was still a bit horrified when my husband and I saw the plus sign on our home pregnancy test and even more appalled when my doctor confirmed the news in person, “Congratulations!”
How are we supposed to feel when we find out we are expecting a baby? Excited? Disappointed? Scared? I guess each situation requires an individual set of emotions. Both of our pregnancies I was absolutely terrified – the second time more so because I knew what to expect.
Then there’s that moment you have to tell others: – like your parents.
Telling my parents my husband and I were expecting our first baby was literally the most embarrassing moment of my life. When you tell your parents and family you are pregnant, it is vindication and proof that “their little girl” had sex. I’m sure my parents (like most) wanted to assume my husband and I only kissed until we got married and even after marriage, sex was obviously still out of the question – “Our Kim would never do that!” All of a sudden BOOM your parents look at you a little differently – my dad was shocked! He jumped up out of his chair and asked my husband if he had been having sex with “his daughter”. I joked, “Yes, Dad. Only once though! He talked me into it!”. My mother of course, was blissfully ecstatic. We were lucky and both of our families were beyond thrilled which made me feel more at ease.
Isn’t that how it is supposed to be? Pure excitement and joy? Just like the pamphlets and movies make becoming pregnant seem? Maybe the pamphlets should have pictures of terrified mothers with hormonal acne trying to find something to wear to work while nine months pregnant.
Society in a way has made women in our generation feel uncomfortable with being a mother. Our mothers and grandmothers came from the Women’s Rights Movement; passing Title IX and burning bras. They forged the way for modern moms. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all of these brave women who proved females are capable of more than just having babies and getting dinner on the table – it took men long enough to realize it! But as with all great movements there are unintended consequences.
Society now expects Mothers to birth and raise babies along with a new laundry list of other things:
- “Why yes, I have a Bachelor’s degree …” (Have an education)
- “Full time career, yes please!” (Working mom)
- Sure babe, let’s have sex every night! And then I’ll rub your feet!” (“Perfect” wife)
- “OMG your house is so clean!” (Pristine house)
- “I’m sure there’s a Pinterest craft for that!” (Capture every milestone)
- “Sure, your mom can verbally punch me in goodies whenever!” (“Perfect” daughter-in-law)
- “Now I organized your clothes by color, size, and season …” (Organization expert)
- “Of course I washed the shirt you never put in the dirty clothes!” (Human laundry machine)
- “Yes I sent the bills in a month early just because I am so not busy!” (Family business office manager)
- “Where did I get this hot body? Just by breathing!” (Hot body lady 2 weeks after giving birth)
- “No, I do not need any makeup or anything for myself! Not even food …” (Selfless mother)
AND BY THE WAY … this includes being Martha Stewart’s clone and having a healthy, homemade dinner on the table!!
When you tell your parents you are expecting, if not initially, they (hopefully) eventually will be over the moon, but remember, you have so much more on your plate (pun intended) than mothers of any other generation.
My mom used to say “You’re not the first woman to have a baby!” Well guess what … we are the first women to have babies in this technological, pessimistic world that expects us to have our lives pulled together 24/7. Its OKAY TO NOT BE PERFECT ALL THE TIME; our moms weren’t Betty Crocker every night and we can’t be either. And there’s a pretty good chance, I won’t look like Heidi Klum after giving birth – ever. While we will make immense sacrifices for our children just like mothers before us – we are the innovators of doing it all and then some – being a Mogul Mom.