As Mother’s Day approaches, I thought it fitting to explain the reasons behind a very personal decision to not write or discuss a huge moment in my life. For the past few months, I have kept this very huge life transition practically secret on Facebook, Twitter and the like, opting instead to share the news the old-fashioned way. In about a week and five days, my first child will be due. You’ve heard me correctly; I am 9 ½ months pregnant, 38 weeks to be exact. My daughter can come any day now, as I am full term.
I have discussed my education in some of my posts, but what you might not know is that I’ve always been a bit of a late bloomer. I didn’t graduate with my bachelor’s degree in film production until I was 29. This wasn’t by choice; I was working full-time and didn’t receive any help from family. Following graduation, I waited a few years before getting my project management certification, and then I opted to get my master’s degree after that. Somewhere in between, I wrote a couple of screenplays and a novel that I am attempting to publish after a few final touch ups and last-minute revisions. But, who hasn’t written a screenplay or a novel? Tons of bloggers have and they even write about their self-published or traditionally published books. It’s more common especially now days and especially in Los Angeles.
Do the math; I’m no longer in my 20s or even in my early 30s, though, friends and even strangers encourage me when they say that I look rather young. I guess I have that going for me. Regardless, education and career have always been my first priorities. I put starting a family on the back burner. Whenever I would find myself longing for a family, I would drown myself in my books, studying for another exam and reminding myself of all that I still needed to accomplish.
While I wasn’t as fortunate as some others in having my education paid for, looking back I feel much stronger and more appreciative of what my hard work has earned me. This brings us back to the present and my first child. It was no surprise to my family that it would take me this long to finally start a family. Life choices, especially whether or not one wants to reproduce verses deciding to opt out, are very big decisions and can be extremely touchy and highly private matters.
Despite or perhaps as a result of my ambition, I suffered through a terrible 3.5-year marriage. I looked back to find myself a little older, wise and more educated, but once again without a child. Not having a child with my ex was definitely a blessing in disguise. Those that are single parents or co-parents with an ex-spouse can testify to how challenging a divorce can be let alone one that involves a child or children.
I vowed after my divorce that I would rather first have a child before ever again wearing a silly wedding dress and a gigantic rock on my finger, when all that money would be better served as a down payment on a house. Call me unconventional because I totally am. Some people need the dating, then the long engagement and all the parties and events that go with it. Some people need to follow all the traditional rules, because that’s what their parents did and their parent’s parents. Everyone is different, but for me time was not on my side. I thought I would never be a mother; I almost gave up hope until I reconnected with my life partner (I call him this because we’re not married and may never get married. We might one day, but we’re in no rush and are both the creative, non-conventional types.)
After knowing him for 10 years, it’s rather amazing how the universe can connect you to the person you truly are meant to be with. I would have never thought when first meeting that we’d become friends, date, lose touch, reconnect, fall in love and bring our daughter into this world. He’s 40 and I’m getting there; we’re both older parents doing it unconventionally and for the first time. It’s scary. It’s exciting. It’s overwhelming. It’s amazing. And the fact that we literally conceived our child after one try is even more baffling.
We swore, well at least I did, that we’d be one of those couples that would have to spend thousands of dollars to get artificially inseminated like some of our friends. On the contrary, all it took was one shot, and now in just under two weeks, we’ll bring our miracle baby into this world.
Having a child is a very personal decision, especially if you’re anything like me – a career driven and highly ambitious individual. Some people choose to broadcast their pregnancy immediately. I mean their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are loaded with week-by-week belly shots, first-time ultrasound pictures and paragraph-long posts describing each symptom of morning sickness. Aside from my production and entertainment background, as someone who has also been hired to help manage social media accounts, I had my reasons not to put my bump on blast. I waited until I was nearly 8.5 months before I even shared the news with friends on Facebook. Even then, I shared with select people.
As a woman, having a child seems to affect us much more than men. It takes a toll on our bodies, as well as taking a toll on our careers. Some of us will likely juggle both career and motherhood, while others decide that being a mother is the best full-time job…ever. I decided to hold off on making my baby some sort of event to be pimped out and marketed for all to read or even judge. Being that I am so close to delivering, I made the decision to finally share my little blessing and to open up about it here. In this day and age with two women running for presidency, I still feel we’re somewhat behind the curve as prejudice, ageism and sexism very much exist. The entertainment industry is dominated by males, and the last thing I wanted was to be scrutinized over my decision to have a family, especially when I haven’t quite reached my fullest potential. Sometimes the mentality is that you must make your career your “baby,” that doing anything on the contrary is not showing you’re devotion or capability of accomplishing both.
The Bottom Line:
Some very big life decisions are highly personal especially when they affect careers, personal lives, finances, living situations and lifestyles. Being a first time parent affects all of the above. But, millions of people have been able to successfully juggle parenting with work. Millions of women never had to trade in their identity, passion, love, and career because they had children. To the contrary, they became better women. Motherhood is a beautiful thing, one that I’ve long waited for, to see what it truly feels like. I have just chosen to experience the blessing privately, at least not online until now, for personal reasons. But with Mother’s Day approaching, I felt it was time to share publicly that I am finally going to be a mommy and that I would never trade my decision to become one for any amount of money or impressive job title. Now days, it’s possible to achieve professional career goals without sacrificing yourself or your desire to have a family.