The following is a post I began writing back in October of last year. I’ve never edited any of my posts more than this one. I’ve waited a while to post for several reasons.
The original post was angry and emotional. I was reacting at some of the questions people kept asking when I first made my pregnancy public. I wrote it and saved it in my files. There is a process I follow for every single post: write it, put it away, and come back to it to edit and publish. The main the reason for this it’s because I write out my emotions and this is my way to release/process stress. Some will never make the blog for this reason. I kept coming back to this post because I didn’t want it to stay in my unpublished files.
So here’s it goes…
I was asked so many questions and heard a lot of comments when I was pregnant. After a while I got used to most of them but there are some I wish people had kept to themselves.
Are you married?
Are you getting married?
Are you moving in?
Is he is going to be involved?
I didn’t know you were dating!
I’m so sorry!
People also ask me why I do not talk about Gael’s father— some make the assumption he doesn’t want to be involved but that’s not the case. He exists; cares and will always be a part of his life. The fact I do not talk to everyone about him doesn’t mean he is absent or non-existent. He is very present and completely in love with our little guy.
The marriage question would get under my skin at the beginning, not because I was embarrassed but because I don’t think that’s a question people should ask. I mean it is 2013 and the fact a single, professional, independent woman is having a child shouldn’t be a big deal or surprise to anyone. Oh and let me remind people this doesn’t make me less capable either. It doesn’t mean you should have pity or feel bad for me. Or say things like, “oh I’m sorry, are you going to be okay?” Yes, I am and will be fine. Women have been doing this for a very long time and I’m not the first or last in our society who will have a child without a man by her side 24/7. My mother did it and did a hell of a job.
No, this isn’t the way I planned it or would have wanted it but just how it happened. I’ve learned that life will take us only where we need to go and place us exactly where we need to be.
I’ve also realized people make assumptions if you are a feminist or come close to believing in feminism. The title or association must mean you do not want kids, do not want or believe in marriage or you must be a lesbian. Yes, I have been asked if I’m a lesbian!!! We are placed out of a box to be put into another. I know feminist women and men who are happily married, have or want children. I also know some that choose to never have children, never marry or simply choose to live their union without having to sign a piece of paper or make promises they may not be able to keep.
I will be honest, marriage is not something I’ve dreamed of or looked forward to in life but it doesn’t mean I do not believe in it. I certainly do not believe a child should be the reason for it. My hopes have never been placed on a white dress, or big ring but rather in the union between two people who love, respect and try to understand each other. I do not believe in perfect relationships, a perfect husband or a wife- those are fantasies.
I did look forward to motherhood but I never thought it would happen like this or at this point in my life. I looked forward to feeling the love mother’s around me would speak about- that amazing, unlike any other kind of love. It is true; this love surpasses anything I’ve ever felt.
Being pregnant challenged so many of my beliefs and also thought me so much about myself. I became conflicted with the feminist/liberal in me. I realized I was giving in to the traditional idea of what a family “should” look like: A woman, a man and kid(s). There was a moment I felt bad because I wasn’t going to be able to give this to my child but I realized I didn’t have to feel bad at all. No, I will not have a traditional family but this doesn’t mean my kid will be loved any less. It just means my family may look a little different than what society says it should look like.
I didn’t grow up in a traditional family but there were times I did wondered how it would be to have one. I wondered how different my life would have been if my father was a part of it. I never felt like I was missing anything though— I guess you cannot miss what you never had. My idea of family has changed with my little guy. Now I see beyond what some in society deem as normal. Family shouldn’t be incomplete if a man, a woman or child is missing, a couple is not together or married or if a same-sex couple raises a child. Family is much more than the “perfect” house with a white picket fence and much more than the establishment it has become. We create family. We design how it should look and feel like. Traditional or non-traditional. We should be able decide who gets to be a part of it and who doesn’t without feeling guilty or being pressured to do otherwise.
My kid will grow up in a non-traditional family and that’s okay. He will be loved and taken care of not only by me but also by his father. Gael is the soul of my modern family and I couldn’t be happier!
So the answer to that original question so many asked at the beginning of this process is NO, I’m not married and do not intend to any time soon.