Shoulda Coulda Woulda
For those of you haven't heard it through the grapevine, I am pregnant. SURPRISE! We needed to add one more thing to our plate this year.
Before we got married, my fiancé & I were discussing when we would like to start trying for a baby & knew that we wanted it to be immediately after our wedding. Both of us have been wanting nothing more than to be parents for so long. I swear we were born to be parents. I spoke with my doctor about it and decided to go off of my birth control 4 months before the date of our wedding to make sure that it was out of my system. Well, fun fact…it was. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s going to take up to 6 months for the pill to wear off because everyone’s body is different. For us, it was approximately 14 days. Turns out those ovulation trackers don't work either.
It was such an overwhelming emotion finding out. It was something that I wanted SO badly, just not yet. I cried. Ugly cried. I mean seriously, leave it to me to get pregnant 14 weeks before my wedding. The wedding that I had taken almost a year to plan. The wedding that I had picked out the perfect slim fitting dress that I ran miles and miles to look sleek in. The honeymoon that we had planned to an all-inclusive resort to Punta Cana (anyone ever heard of zika virus?) where I couldn’t drink the booze that I had paid a ridiculous amount of money for.
But you know something? This is just the way that life works sometimes. The shoulda woulda coulda life is not how things always work out. I always say that God works in mysterious ways. He gave us exactly the blessing that we needed and at the exact right time. It didn’t feel like it then, but I know it now…
We made the announcement to our close family & friends. The ones who knew us and loved us and would be happy for us. Other than that, we let the small town rumors fly. ‘I heard she’s pregnant.’ ‘They couldn’t have waited until after the wedding?’ ‘He knocked her up as an insurance policy to get her down the aisle.’ ‘Shouldn’t they be worried about a house, not a baby?’ ‘I just thought that they would have waited…they’re so young.’ These were all of the words flying around us. Both to us, to others, and at our own wedding FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. Pretty f****** up right? Something we were so incredibly happy about, something that was ALWAYS a part of our plan, turned into something negative by the naysayers and glass half-emptiers. As if it wasn’t possible that this child was created out of pure love.
I have been asked so many times why I haven’t publicly announced my pregnancy. Why I didn’t broadcast it to the world with some corny staged photo. Was it because we were ashamed? Was it because we didn’t want people to know? Let me tell you something, it had nothing to do with shame. We are PROUD to be parents. We are EXCITED about this chapter. We LOVE this child unconditionally already. The reason why we kept it to ourselves? Because quite frankly, my uterus and I are none of your business. Another reason, I don’t need people congratulating me on Facebook and Instagram to feel worthy of being a soon to be mom. Because other than ‘likes’ and reactions, what are we really posting it for?
Here is the thing, people think that I share every aspect of my life between social media and my blog. & I do share a lot BUT there is such thing as selective transparency. I choose what parts of my life that I let you into. & I do it very carefully. So, do most of you. You don’t post photos of the messy stuff. The ugly marriage, the financial problems or a photo with a huge zit in the middle of your head. You post the good stuff. The happy stuff. And a whole lot of kid stuff.
Just so you know, my children will be the part that I select to keep private. Soooo Kristin Cavallari of me, I know (*hair flip*).
With a life that has become so public, I have never valued privacy as much as I do now. There are parts of my life that you will never, or very rarely, catch a glimpse of on my business pages. My bedroom & most importantly, my kid's face and personal lives being two of those main things. My husband (every now and then he will let me). There won’t be a cute birth announcement online nor a hospital photo post with the name, weight, and exact birthdate posted. We will share our news with our friends and family, our support system, privately.
I know what you’re thinking. You think that I’m being a diva. You think that it’s ridiculous that I don’t want everyone to be happy for me and celebrate this new life. But here is what I want. I want it to be my children’s choice whether or not they want their entire life portrayed online. It’s honestly scary to me that this generation of children will have Instagram profiles from the time that they are born, whether they want to or not. It scares me that we are teaching our kids to put everything out there. Think about it…
Our parents never had to give this any thought. It wasn’t an option for them as we were born in the generation of scrapbooks. Because of that, we grew up in a safe and protected bubble from the world wide web until we were old enough to make decisions for ourselves about what we wanted to share. Honestly, social media didn’t truly take off until I was graduating high school and going to college. My very first Instagram post was from my college dorm room. Therefore, if a future employer were to Google search me, they weren’t going to find too much before that time period other than a boring Facebook account that didn’t have much on it or newspaper articles from school or sporting events.
That won’t be the same for our children’s generation. Complete strangers will be able to find pictures from the time that they were born, videos of when they took their first steps and their kindergarten graduation. This is the way that I look at it, while my children are mine, I do not own them or their rights. I provide them their basic rights. I get to be in control of things like what they eat, what they watch on television, and who they spend their time with. But the decision to be online? I leave that decision up to them with the hopes that they give it thoughtful consideration when they are old enough. To be honest with you, I'm not sure what that age is.
& don’t get me wrong, I love seeing all of your babies on Facebook and Instagram. I smile as I scroll past all of them, stopping briefly to ‘love’ the post. The monthly photo updates? They’re adorable. The pregnancy announcements? They literally make my entire body warm. I love seeing other people happy. It’s just not a path that I want to go down.
Don’t worry, I plan on taking ALL the pictures and showing my kids off to the ones that know and love them. If they want them later, the photos will all still be there in an old school scrapbook form. They just won’t be in their Google search bar.
Would my pregnancy and baby be great for engagement and business? Probably. Actually, I could almost guarantee you that it would be. My sales would probably go through the roof. Everyone loves a cute baby bump photo. Does that change my mind? Absolutely not.
& maybe one day I will. Maybe one day I will loosen up the reins and decide to post a photo of the baby. Maybe one day you will get more than the back of their head. Until then, I hope that everyone can respect my choices as a parent. If you are truly interested in my kid and love them, ask me about them. I’d be happy to tell you all of the things!
Full disclosure: this is simply my opinion and this was a personal decision that I made in regards to MY family. How you choose to raise your own children & what you decide to share about them is completely your choice. I am sharing this because I have been receiving so many questions in regards to this topic and the reasons behind my beliefs. This post is not a judgment, or a reflection of anyway, on how I feel about any other parent’s decisions about posting about their child online, just the down low on why I have this personal policy. I understand that everyone does what they think is best for their own lives and I respect those choices. Mom’s face enough judgment as it is, this is not that from me.
If anyone would like to discuss this further, share your opinions or have questions that I didn't answer, I would be happy to chat. All I ask is that you be respectful of my choices as a soon to be mama.