I walk into the store already cringing inside. I try to be optimistic. Maybe it won’t happen this time. If I carry my head high, if I look happy and confident, surely it won’t happen today. Not now. Not here. . .
I browse the isles smiling to myself as my baby kicks in my belly. He’s slowly being rocked to sleep by my walking but I enjoy the odd jolt or kick as I shop. I pause for a moment to consult my list, check if I’ve missed any food item from this part of the store. I look up to see if pasta is on this isle and see them…
Two well dressed women stand at the other end of the aisle making no effort to hide their disgust as they look at me and my swollen belly. I see them whisper to each other, can feel their disapproval as it flies past the bottles of spaghetti sauce and hits me in the face. I bite my cheeks and carry on. Those women don’t know me. They don’t know my situation. I’ve done nothing wrong! I say to myself as I turn my cart around and walk the opposite direction from the pasta I needed. I’ll circle back around later when the isle is empty of glares and judgement.
I continue on towards the frozen foods. Picking up some mineral water for my husband. It’s his favorite, and I smile to myself as I think about how excited he gets when I buy it for him. We don’t have much money to spare so it’s a nice treat to get a special bottle of the 60-cent sparkling water for him. With my mind on my hubby I continue through the store, doing my best to concentrate on him and thoughts of my unborn son to keep the glaring-women out of my mind.
I cringe as a particularly painful braxton-hicks contraction hits me next to the milk display. Tears well up in my eyes as I wait for it to pass. It finally does and I take a deep breath. Just a few more weeks and I’ll get to meet my boy. I rub my swollen hands together and keep going. I hurry back to grab the pasta I skipped earlier and then make my way to the check out.
I stand there in the open, feeling exposed. I glance around a bit silently hoping the women from earlier are gone. They seem to have left and I feel ashamed at how relieved that makes me. I shouldn’t let it bother me this much, but it does.
As I look to my right I see another couple staring at me. They are in their sunday best, clearly they, like me are squeezing in a shopping trip between church and a sunday nap. They however, are dressed to the nines while I sport the only pair of jeans that still fit over my belly, flip-flops and a messy bun. I see their eyes glancing between my belly, my face and then by bare left hand. I no longer sport my wedding ring, since my fingers are so swollen, but it’s clear they assume I never had one to begin with. The exaggerated stares from my belly to my hand continue just long enough to make me wonder if they are trying to get me to notice them. If they subconsciously want me to feel their disapproval of my age, my (assumed) marital status, and most of all my beloved son. The son that I love so desperately, who seems to be hated by those surrounding me, although they’ve never met him or I.
I look away from the couple as the urgent whispers from a mother and daughter walking past reach my ears and I hear words like “these young moms” and “need to keep her knees shut” and “that poor baby”.
Tears fill my eyes for the second time this shopping trip as I rush to push my cart forward and pay. I swipe my card and slip my sunglasses over my eyes. The last thing I need is for people to see this “worthless young mom” crying.
I rush through the parking lot as fast as my belly will allow, throw the groceries in my cart and sob uncontrollably in the front seat feeling alone. Knowing that, although I am guiltless, I will continue to be overwhelmed with shame at every turn for the remainder of my pregnancy. The tears continue to flow as I wonder if it will be the same for my child. If people will glare into the carrier as I walk with him through stores. Fear fills my heart as I think about him growing older and hearing other parents whispering statistics regarding the children of teen parents just loud enough so that he can hear as he plays on the playground or waits for his turn in little league.
As I wipe at my tears I remind myself that my son will grow up in a culture of love. I think of all the family members and friends that are anxiously awaiting his birth. My breathing settles only for the tears to begin to fall once more as I think about the young mothers with no such comfort. And in this instant, as I’m savoring just a taste of their pain, feeling their daily turmoil seeping into my life for just an instant, I understand. For the first time in my life I see why a mother would consider, and even go through with an abortion. For the first time I see that it’s not always a selfish act on the side of the mother. That she’s not just searching for her own easy way out. I can see now that it would seem like a mercy to the unborn child. To spare him from entering a world that is offended at his very existence. I can see that she would want to protect him from a society that views him as nothing more than a statistic, expecting and even hoping for him to fail before he has even taken his first breath.
My husband and I had been married for a year when I got pregnant. We were expecting our son and overjoyed when I saw the positive on my pregnancy test. Despite all these things, almost every time I went out in public pregnant, I was made to feel like I was a failure, that I had done something gravely wrong by conceiving the joy of my life. As I sobbed in the parking lot that day, everything changed for me, as I understood for the first time in my life why young girls would consider, abortions.
Motherhood is scary. Although I wanted to be a mom my entire life, and wanted to try for a baby when we did, I was still scared. I was more than terrified about what kind of mother I would be. How I would care for my boy and if I could handle it. Wanting desperately to be a good and loving mother.
At every turn I was doubted by strangers. Although I had wonderful support in my husband and his family, the clear disapproval of strangers added an extra burden that was difficult to bear.
What I cannot imagine, is if I wasn’t married. If I was accidentally pregnant. If my significant-other had left me and my parents disowned me. If, then, I walked into stores and was met with stares, jeers and judgement at every turn.
Who would want to bring a baby into a world that already hates him?
Truly, it would seem like the compassionate thing to do, to end his life before he can start enduring that pain. If he’s already a disappointment to every adult I come in contact with, how can he have any hope for a future. If I don’t know what I’m doing, and no one offers to help me, how can I have even a glimmer of hope to raise him up in a healthy and loving environment?
So you think you’re pro life? May I challenge you to look at how you treat young moms? How you react when you see that unmarried girl sporting a baby-bump. Do you encourage? Do you stop her just to say “Congrats on your pregnancy, I bet you are going to be a great mom!” Or do you silently stare, maybe without even realizing it. Even if you don’t notice your glance from her belly to her left hand until you’ve done it, she notices. She sees you turn to your teenage daughter and make some comment like “see, that’s why you shouldn’t have sex”, reducing her to nothing more than a object lesson for your daughter. No longer a human mother, simply an example of failure for your daughter to learn from.
If you are truly pro-life. If you really want to fight for those precious babies, you should also fight for their mamas. Offer a smile, a word of encouragement, or, maybe even your phone number. Strike up a conversation with her, see if she needs any help. Don’t judge her, don’t look down on her, because she is more brave than we ever could imagine.
The love she has for that child, to keep him, to bare the shame and embarrassment at every turn. Every step she takes into public to feel the stares and hear the whispers. That is a fierce kind of love. She deserves our love, our support and our acceptance for that.
You can’t change her past. But you can help her with her future. Even if it’s just a smile. You might be the only person who tells her that she’ll be a good mom or that she can do this. Please, be that person for her.
To the mamas: if some one is reading this today, struggling and trying to make that difficult choice, I want to let you know that you are loved and your child is as well. I may not know you, but I love you. More important than that, God loves you and your child. Please don’t end your child’s life before it’s had the chance to be born. Email me, let’s talk about options that you have in your area. Most of all, know that you and your baby will not enter a love-less world, because you are both already loved more than you could ever imagine by the God who made you both.
*Edit May 2014 – Thank you so much to all the support and well-wishes towards my pregnancy. This was actually written about my experiences with my first pregnancy, now several years ago. I’m no longer pregnant and the words and glares made in my direction do not hurt me in the slightest now that I’m past that hormonal day, but my heart remains broken for the many young girls I know are experiencing this and FAR worse for making the brave choice to keep their babies. For that reason, I share this post, to inspire more love and support for all mamas.
Mad Madam Mel says
Thank you for another excellent post Paula :)
I can remember well that feeling of fear when I was expecting my oldest son, me and his dad were young and foolish but other folks can be so mean. Although we were engaged, thankfully in the UK there is a lot less stigma around un-wedded parents than there seems to be in the states, so we only had the age issue to contend with. It still drives me crazy though when people who didn’t know me back then, or don’t know me very well now, talk scathingly of young mums. Mel :)
Young mom comments still rub me the wrong way as well. ;) Though I’m still considered “young” for a mom here in the states even though I’ve been one for more than three years! Oh, well.
Thank you for sharing your story. Your words are important.
Hello, I just wanted to day thank you from a pro-choice point of view, where things normally bristle me when it comes to abortion and prolifers you made the basic choice known. If you want to have no need for abortions, making a society of accepting the abnormal is a must! I was that young mom, both unwed once then wed and still young, it dosnt change the feeling of dispair from being watched and disaproved of. Im atheist, but idont mind your dogma driven comment about mothers being loved, because they are if not now thdn maybe they just have a couple of days to go before they find it but its there.
Thank you so much for commenting Casey! I really appreciate your view from the “other side” of the issue so to speak. I’m so sorry that you also had to experience that despair and disapproval so prevalent in our culture but I’m so glad you took the time to share your thoughts! :)
Beautifully written, Paula. Thank you for your compassionate conviction. You already know how precious you and your sweet babies are to me! It is exciting to see how God is using you to be a light in a very dark world. Keep shining!!!!
Thanks Sarah! And thank you for encouraging me to write this!
So beautifully written and so, so true. We as Christians need to be there for those mamas and not ridicule them. It’s our job. Thanks for the reminder!
Thank you Jessica! And thank you for being willing to stand up for young/unwed moms! :)
That’s true for more than just Christians, but as decent human beings (and especially as women!).
Aprille @beautifulinhistime.com says
This is a great post. Definitely sharing. I know I have judged!
Honestly, I had too before I was shoved into the shoes of an un-wed mom. Not even realizing it or recognizing it as such. Just a sub conscious judgement and going about my day. :/
As both a young AND an older mom, it is interesting how I was treated during the pregnancies. Thankfully I lived in a small town, on an Island with my oldest son. Being that it was an enclave for people leaving cities and artists, no one seemed to care that I wasn’t married. Or young. Or had to work to support myself when my useless boyfriend of 4 years disappeared. If anything, they helped out.
As an older mom, in my late 30’s, I had attitude…lol. I was married, old and if you didn’t like it, well, be sure to tell me so I could give it back in spades ;-)
Part of a good attitude in life, be it religious or not (and ANY religion, not just Christianity) is letting other live without judging them. A person’s judging isn’t going to help anything. And thankfully with being an older mom to a 2 & 4 year old, I am too tired to judge others. HAHHAH!!
Very well put Sarah :) Intersting hearing your thoughts from both sides of the spectrum! thanks for sharing!!!
This. is. amazing. I’m so sorry that you had to go through that. I’m so sorry. But you can see now that is was for a purpose. So that you could write and help people. So that God’s love can be magnified by your love and kindness toward others.
I was told in 2007 that I would not be able to conceive a child with out invitro. Both of my fallopian tubes were blocked. This news, delivered to my ex husband and I, was devastating and started a spiral that would change my life forever. He had an affair, we divorced, I mourned our 10 year relationship and grew closer to God. I met my husband and our so was born in 2010. (With out invitro) we were not married. We did not get married until he was two. Lets just say, I was gun shy. I wanted to make sure it was right. I was single mother for the first two years.
I get it. I got it. I got the lesson I was being shown. Compassion for others. Love.
Well done my friend.
We Three Crabs
Thanks for sharing your story Erica <3
I am glad that I went through what I did, it really opened my eyes to a lot of things. I think I was probably one to judge, without even thinking about it before I really understood!
Rosilind Jukic says
this is probably one of the saddest stories I have ever read. It is truly astounding how judgmental we can be. Yes, we need to have morals….and yes, we need to uphold them. but we also must remember that if in doing so we are unloving and ungracious to those who have failed in those areas (as clearly you did NOT), then our stand for morality really has no value. And if in doing so, we judge a moral situation wrongly – we are doubly wrong. I do believe you are so right. The church has failed to be the church….the loving arm of Christ to reach out to those in need (not just physical need). And we have left those in need with no hope! Your story is so tragic and yet a call to remember Jesus’ actions….He reserved His words of judgement for the religious rulers who “shut up the kingdom of God”, when they weren’t even going in themselves. Wow.
LOVE that! “if in doing that we are unloving and ungracious our stand for morality has no value” yes yes yes!!! Very well put my friend!
Emily @ My Love for Words says
Absolutely! I’ve gotten these stares too, though less for my age and more for my decision to have more than two children. We have four children (12,5,2, and 1), and when we walk around in public we always get stares. Some people smile and coo at the baby while others say, “You know how this happens, right?” and “Wow, you’re busy!” Those comments don’t bug me because I do know how it happens (at 4 I’d argue I’m an expert! haha), and I am busy, but it’s sad that having children is, in many situations, looked down upon. I even had someone respond to a pregnancy announcement with a speech on overpopulation and irresponsibility!!
Emily the Expert! l(
It is definitely sad that having kiddos is looked down on, and pregnancy announcements should never be met with overpopulation speeches! Even if that is something you are passionate about, that is not the time or place! Sheesh!
Kay (A Ranch Mom) says
I’ve been there to… although more recently I have had the same type of looks and comments as a mom of a ‘big’ family. 4 kids is, apparently, a ridiculously huge family. :)
I have heard that from several moms of more than 3 ;) So silly!
You are getting it wrong. A stigma against young, unwed mothers needs to exist. It shows that at some level our society still has some morals and level of decency. Without any shame to that kind of status, we would accept anything–we already don’t care about divorce, adultery, etc. If there is shame associated with a status, people are less likely to find themselves in that situation. There has to be a motivation for our daughters to avoid it–not having them think that it is okay. Yes, we must be loving and comforting when/if they get there, but because you parade around acting like an unwed mother (instead of buying a big fat fake temporary ring from Walmart), don’t be upset when you get treated like one.
Abortion is a separate issue altogether. No amount of temporary shame or stigma should ever drive a woman to murder. For God’s sake–these are two separate issues.
Hi GS, I’m sorry but I’m going to have to politely disagree with every point you made in your comment.
A stigma against mothers does absolutely zero to help any one. Ever. And it’s certainly not helpful. Jesus didn’t shame people in fact he went to the very people that the religious folks of his day had created a stigma about, and loved them and showed them hope.
If there is shame associated with it people are less likely to find themselves in that situation, yes I agree with that, but I think the way that girls aren’t finding themselves in that situation is abortion, not abstinence, so instead of “helping” by being judgement and cruel, girls are actually being driven to try and “right” a wrong by an even bigger wrong. Which is completely tragic.
Shaming a mother for being a mother does zero to help kids avoid sex, because no one thinks it will happen to them, and I doubt that’s what is going through their mind in the moment anyway!
Also, your mention of it being motivation for our DAUGHTERS to avoid it, illustrates greatly another huge problem in our society. Why is it all on the woman? The guy is every bit as “at fault” as the girl, and yet he bears little to no shame or “stigma” in our society.
These are two interconnected issues that we need to look at together in order to help our society more forward and away from killing innocent children.
Is your purpose in having a shame/stigma associated with young/unwed moms to prevent teen pregnancy? I think that’s a worthy goal. But that it would be better accomplished in other ways.
Being hurtful to people because they made bad decisions, assuming we knew their whole story and that it was actually a bad decision, is still ultimately just being mean and hurtful and that’s wrong. You don’t have to actively encourage if you are concerned that sends the wrong message of approval to her or another young woman you are teaching modesty to.
I remember clearly my parents talking to me and telling me that they completely expected my modesty and appropriate behavior while also impressing on me that they would always love and help me regardless of whether I made good or bad choices. Their love and forgiveness were unconditional but their expectations were set high. They were involved enough in my life to know what was going on and to be able to head off potential future issues. THAT is the way to actively prevent teen pregnancy… not by being hurtful.
I appreciate Paula’s willingness to point out that if we encourage women to not get abortions we shouldn’t then turn around and be hateful toward them for being pregnant in the first place. There is probably a lifestyle/choices discussion that needs to take place with that woman, but a random stranger in the super market isn’t the person to do that.
GS, fudge you. I know at least three women who were raped as teenagers. They weren’t promiscuous. In fact, all three of them were very conservative religious girls at the time and afterwards. Two of them were raped by their fathers – one of which can’t be sure he was the one who impregnated her because he helped other men rape her too. These girls chose not to abort their babies, but to give them a chance at life. For one of them that also meant the added pain of miscarriage, because the damage from the sexual abuse was so bad she will (short of a miracle) never be able to carry a child to term.
Explain to me why exactly any one of these women should go spend money on a ring in order to gain your approval? I PRAY that you ARE NOT a parent. Any parent that thinks a penny should be spent first on garnering positive opinions from complete strangers when it could be spent on their child, has no place raising a child. I would say that I hope you experience something equally difficult one day to open your eyes and mind, but I find it more likely that you are a man than a woman, so I doubt you ever will. I hope no daughter of yours ever gets raped, because with your mentality you would probably blame her for it. When will we start holding young fathers under the same scrutiny that we hold young mothers?
And what about the women that CHOSE to be single mothers? What about women who are in relationships that are or become abusive? I can think of another two good examples from my own life. In one, he didn’t become abusive until after the child was born, and then it became physical. In another he began talking about wanting to have sexual experiences with their daughter and wanting his wife to pretend to be her in bed. I won’t tell you which one was me, but I will say that thereafter I wore my singleness with pride. Ever since, if anyone wants to say anything about it I’ve got something to say right back. I would much rather be alone than be putting my family in danger because I don’t want some jerk like you giving me crap for my decision. I think you know exactly where you can put your opinion.
All your judgement and stigma will do NOTHING to encourage “morals” and “decency” because it is neither moral nor decent. What it is, is being an asshole. And do you know what being an asshole does? It alienates people, drives them away. Being a mean-spirited judgmental person makes people want to do anything in their power to NOT BE LIKE YOU. Because of people like you, others abandon religion. As someone not very religious myself I should be thanking you. As a “decent” human being, I want to punch you in the face for being downright rude, or in the genitals to damage your ability to breed.
Paula, like you I married at 18 and at 19 we were suprised but excited to find out we were expecting. Not everyone on our family hid their disapproval of such young and financially strapped “kids” having one of their own but we loved eachother and money is never a prerequisite for the ability to love and protect your little one. One night out in particular sticks out in my mind: a movie date, something we did often because once two became three we knew those would all but dissapear. The woman at concessions looks at my 8 month belly and asks me in a shocked voice ” how old are you?!” While I don’t see what that has to do with my popcorn order, I said I was 19 and, just for good measure I paid her w my ringed left hand. She then noticed and said ” oh good, and you’re married. I thought you were about 14!” I just smiled and took my order but in my head I was screaming ” an who are you to judge if I was, you’re an adult woman working the AMC consession!” Which ofcourse was not polite either but I couldn’t help it. I did everything earlier than my friends an I think it just gave me more time to spend w my little one and honestly it means when I’m older I will have that more energy to play w my grand babies. I know everyone can have snap judgements that we don’t mean to be rude but to make someone purposefully feel like less when you can’t be sinless yourself, smh. Thanks for sharing your story, struck a cord w me!
Oh my goodness! I got several of those comments too, and then after he was born people frequently assumed I was the big sister or nanny. I think the same thing about grandkids! Won’t it be neat to have decades to love on them? :) Our marriage & baby timelines sound very similar! Thanks for taking the time to share you story and love on other young moms!
Kristen Jeffery says
I am certainly NOT saying these things didn’t, and don’t happen. We had a teenage (pregnant) foster daughter and we heard some uncouth things. But I also think sometimes we are too sensitive. Perhaps ladies were staring because they were jealous, or because they weren’t even SEEING a person. Again, NOT saying this didn’t happen, but just want to say we all need to be careful or we are judging others because we assume they are judging us when maybe they are infertile and struggling with being jealous? Maybe they are deep in thought trying to figure what soup they need?
I totally understand Kristen, and I think you are right, some of the stares may have been 100% innocent, possibly even the majority of them. Some obviously were not, but others could have gone either way. It just really opened my eyes to the need of obvious support for young/unwed moms, because they are getting so much backlash and stares from every one regardless of how it is intentioned. I figured that if I was perceiving the judgement having done nothing wrong and having a completely supportive husband and family, then it would probably be perceived that much more by a young girl who didn’t have a supportive partner or family, which made me want to go out of my way to smile and encourage young women even and NOT stare at their left hands, even if that was all I could do for the day. Judgement certainly goes both ways, and I’m not bitter about what I went through by any means, it just really opened my eyes to how girls can be treated and made me want to share the story for those who may judge without realizing it, or might be unintentionally ‘coming off’ as judging when they were not intending to and didn’t want to be.
Great point that you brought up!!! :) We’re not responsible for how some one takes every glance or blink that we might make in the grocery store, but this happened so prevalently to me, and many times it was clear that I was being judged, (not just reading into a situation) so I felt it was a good issue to discuss. :) thanks for weighing in!!!
I’m afraid I’m going to have to agree with Kristen here. It may be that you are in the wrong by judging other’s looks so harshly. Is it possible that the hormones of pregnancy are making you a little extra sensitive (good for you if being sensitive was put to good use by helping you understand mothers in certain situations)? I’ve found myself looking at a lovely pregnant mama and wondering “how far along is she?” or “I think she’s having a contraction right now. I know how that feels” etc. I’d be pretty horrified if I knew that the lady I was admiring thought that I was judging her for being a single mom. It’s possible that i’m just oblivious to how others are looking at me but I had three kids in 4 years and I only remember one negative comment. That was when a silly guy thought I was buying a bunch of wine that was actually sparkling grape juice. I guess I’m just thinking how in the world could you have really gotten that many negatives in one simple shopping trip.
I’m certain that I was extra sensitive (and brought to tears) because of hormones) but I also know that
1. if I am perceiving judgement when I had 100% support at home, then young girls without that support will perceive it and feel it even more so.
2. There has been so much backlash towards me for even writing this post, that serves to illustrate how poorly young and unwed moms are viewed in our society. Things like “they deserve to be shamed” and others that I won’t even repeat some of the words here because it is truly heartbreaking. While some of the glances may have been innocent I know for a fact that others were not.
3. This is just a tiny glimpse. I wasn’t an unwed mom, so I only got it from people who did not know me. I have many friends who did have pregnancies before marriage and the things that were said and done towards them were unthinkable. It completely breaks my heart, especially since oftentimes this type of judgement is coming from the same person who would say they are anti-abortion. The issues are so interconnected, and that is what I wanted to draw attention to in this post.
Chris Carter says
WOW. This was SO powerful Paula! I am just heart sick about those moms who are so brave in their choice and having to endure such judgement about their baby. You said this so poetically and I am SO sorry YOU had to endure the same circumstances. I love and respect and honor your message. Oh do I ever!
Thank you Chris! :)
Kat Ryan says
This was beautifully written. Makes me remember how hard it is. My hubby and I married when I was 18, and got preggo pretty quick. Very soon after that I swelled so bad that I couldn’t wear my rings. I was barely 19 when I was fully showing, but people would have sworn I was only15 and no wedding ring. I remember those looks, the whispers, the memory may fade but the scar will always be there. We had my second pretty soon after. Walking around with a toddler, a huge bump and still looking like a teenager was harder. People would ask me how I didn’t learn my lesson the first time or if the babies have different dads. No mention that I had been married before we got pregnant or that both pregnancies were planned or that we had been married for years. It hurts, it always hurts. All you can do, is not do it to someone else. I try to make a point now, that when I see that young mom to hold open a door, or help with the groceries to her car (yes now with three kids in tow), often I just smile and tell her she is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.
I got “are you like 15???” all the time too! lol Still do sometimes, though people that know me assume I’m in my 30s hah! I’m so sorry you got these comments as well. They definitely leave a scar, but I’m so glad for them too, because it taught me to help and smile at other young moms. I love that you help them to the car and such and telling her she’s beautiful! Thank you for sharing your heart!
When I got married at 21, I was forced out of my job for getting married so “young”. I lost all my friends. It was assumed by people who had never even met my husband–people who had previously thought highly of me–that I was being abused, pregnant or on drugs (or some combination of the above), since I was doing something so stupid as marry. I was well-prepared for pregnancy.
When my first pregnancy resulted in miscarriage, my husband and I were devastated. Then, people who claimed to “love” us, said it was what I deserved for announcing the pregnancy before 12 weeks.
When I became pregnant the second time (with my eldest son), I was encouraged to abort. Clearly the result of the first pregnancy was an indicator that I should not try to reproduce.
My father’s marriage to his second wife (my step-mother) fell apart because he refused to disown my eldest son when he was born.
There is nothing unrealistic about the account related in this post. As for her husband, I have no idea what their circumstances were, but there have definitely been times when my husband did not have the option of taking tasks over for me (when he worked graveyard, for instance). And there were times when I was eager to brave pregnancy discomfort just to prove to myself that I could still accomplish things without help. Either way, there are far worse things in this world than swollen feet, and walking does encourage circulation, which helps relieve the swelling. One’s life doesn’t get put on hold just because we’re pregnant and uncomfortable. For all you know, after this woman went home from the store, she unloaded her heart to her husband as he brought her a cup of tea and massaged those ankles.
And if this is your attitude, then maybe disgruntled perimenopausal blog readers should take a pill before reading blogs.
Very well said Rachel, although I did go ahead and delete the comment you replied to. I do not allow the type of language in it to be on my blog ;)
Thank you for sharing your story so bravely here. My husband was in a similar situation to yours, working far more than 40 hours a week, and therefore unable to take over grocery shopping (not that I see pregnancy as a reason to not grocery shop anyway!) hah!
I’m so sorry for the things said to you and about your children <3 but so happy you were able to welcome into the world with love and with those that loved and supported you and them <3
I got this type of treatment all the time when I was pregnant. I’m 27 now and I still get ID’d when I buy alcohol or go to a bar!! so you can imagine how young I looked 5 years ago when I was pregnant.
Its disgraceful! and I love the title you chose! People go on and about the evils of abortion and then when someone choses not to that road they still judge them??
ignore the haters, you said what 90% of mothers in their 20 have thought at some stage during pregnancy!
I’m sorry that you were made to feel that way. I often had to go without my rings when I was pregnant, too. The third time especially, which was fun b/c I was toting around a 3 y/o and a 1.5 y/o and a baby bump. I kept getting asked if I knew how that kept happening. I’d smile and say, yes, my husband and I are aware.
This post is fantastic; absolutely beautiful and well written.
I’m sorry that you felt this way during your pregnancy – I can empathize. Even as a 22 year old married woman carrying my first child, I was made to feel ashamed for being so young and having a baby. People judged without knowing one single thing about me other than the fact that I was carrying a baby and looked to be about 17.
Thank you for sharing your story and encouraging others!
Paula – this is well said. I’m pleased to find that even though we have quite different views on abortion, we’ve arrived at at least one of the same conclusions – women deserved to be treated, at a minimum, with courtesy and ideally with great respect while they are pregnant.
My personal belief is that it takes two people to become pregnant, and the one or two comments above that indicate that there should be a stigma against unwed mothers, effectively so they’re a lesson to young girls? This is terrible.
Women are the ones whose bodies change, who give up their lives and their livelihoods to raise children, whereas a man can leave the moment after conception occurs and never be otherwise adversely affected.
Women have a right and responsibility to assert themselves during pregnancy, which in my opinion, can mean having an early-stage abortion, choosing to continue with the pregnancy and adopt out, or raise the child on their own and FIGHT for their child’s right to support via the father. And to me these are all acceptable options.
As a pregnant woman myself, I’m finding myself growing even stronger in my conviction that women have the right to choose but also have the responsibility to do what is right for them, and we ALL need to be better about supporting that choice, even if it’s not the same as what we would have chosen. To those women in the grocery store – have a problem with a “teen mom”? Then don’t be one. Have a problem with abortion? Then don’t have one.
As a non-Christian woman living in a progressive part of the country who, admittedly, looks at the few and far between conservative Christians in my community a little warily, I’ve been very impressed by your writing and your open-arms approach to those from all walks of life, Paula. Your approach is the opposite of divisive, which I understand is what many Christians strive for. Keep it up!
Thank you so much Cory! I truly appreciate your comment and compliment! The gender bias towards the women (and not the men) drives me crazy as well! Don’t get me started! There should never be a stigma around pregnancy, around LIFE. goodness no.
Maudie Smith says
Thank you for your story. I was married at 17 and had 3 children by the time I was 19. Literally one after another. We have 7 now and I am always asked if they are all by the same dad, did we purposely have that many and of course do we plan on more. We allow The Lord to plan our family so imagine the funny looks I get when I say that! I know all too well that look of disguist and disapproval. And it hurts. Even now at 33 years old, I still feel like crying sometimes, especially in those late days of pregnancy. Babies are a blessing and I wish people could see that. God has a plan even for the babies whose mothers are too young or ill equipped. Praying you feel better soon and keep doing what your doing. I just found your blog today, but WHAT an inspiration you are! Blessings to you and your family!
I have several friends with larger families, and they have all said similar things too! It is so sad that having children is so frequently looked down upon!
Thank you so much for the kind words, this actually happened about 4 years ago when I was pregnant with my son, and the words/glares don’t hurt me in the slightest anymore (especially now that my pregnancy hormones are gone) but my heart still breaks for all the young girls that are experiencing this and FAR worse, for making the brave decision to keep their babies. Thanks for dropping by and commenting! <3
Kelly Seibert says
You are very cute and what a great post! I never really thought much about the pregnant ladies I would see wandering the supermarket aisles or around town. I never really thought much about abortion. I lived in a big city (LA) and moved to a small town to work in an Ultrasound Department. The first week after my move I headed to Walmart and saw a group of girls that appeared to be middle school kids. One of the girls had a kitten over her shoulder but as I moved closer I realized it was a baby. That looked like it was born, yesterday! I remember thinking “Whoa, did I just see that?” In my department at work, I have girls 13-17 come in and text and snap pictures of themselves while I scan them and tell me stories of how their friend so and so is almost due and that this person is having their second baby and they don’t know who the father is. Some of them are very nasty to the parent who is accompanying them to the appointment and they act privileged. I have had 15 year olds miscarry and then are pregnant again 2 months later. It’s hard not to become jaded when witnessing all this, everyday. I also have had the experience of meeting nice, young women who are doing their best with the situation they are in and appreciate the life they are carrying, that it’s not an accessory.
I still try to avoid judging and always hope that things work out for them. But it can be hard to keep those feelings intact.
Lydia @ Not Afraid of the Snow says
Great post! I have tried to put myself in the shoes of women who get pregnant and don’t want to. What a scary time! Without any morals in life, why keep the baby. It is good to put these things into a little more perspective. One mistake doesn’t have to lead to another. Thanks for challenging me again not to judge.
Elisabeth Halligan, RN, CPN, IBCLC says
Oh, I love this. My first experience with people’s judgments was when I was babysitting the son of my youth leaders at church. I took him to the store with me in the stroller and got SO many looks and heard whispered comments about my age and having a baby and so on… um, he wasn’t mine but he was a great little guy.
The next time I was a young married mom… I had a three year old and was pregnant with our second. I was also babysitting my great-nephew who is bi-racial (you’ll see why I point that out in a second). My niece was a teen mom and we were helping her get schooling and a decent start for her and her little bub (we lived in a different state… she was having a hard time getting people in our home state to give her a second chance in life). So, I was going in to the welfare office to pick up some forms for her. I came out… clearly pregnant… with two children who obviously had different fathers (no one ever asked if they had different mothers) and apparently on welfare! Oh… the dirty looks I got!
I’ve got a pretty thick skin now… you have to, to have 8 kids… and that’s how many we now have. The next generation has seen some of the judgments based on assumptions… my oldest daughter is 21 but looks 17… if she is out with one of her baby brothers she gets all sorts of looks!
oh goodness! The assumptions never stop do they! I’m so glad that your niece had your family to help her get on her feet <3
Ever since I was a young girl I craved the day that I would be a wife and a mom. I got married when I a 26. We had our first child at 31 and our second at 33. There was no better feeling than to raise them to love The Lord and stay close as a family. Now at the age of 58 I am going to be a grandma. We have been blessed with great kids and we praise The Lord that our son married a young lady who who is carefully carrying our first grandchild. Yay for us!
To any young lady who isn’t thrilled with her pregnancy please look deeper into your heart. I assure you there is a lady or maybe even a couple who wants you and your child to be a sincere part of their world. Pray and ask The Lord to direct you. There are wonderful people seeking you and your precious little one. You need never to feel alone. There is a special couple praying you will find them!
Rach D says
I WAS that young Mama people thought that you were…I actually was young, single & pregnant at 19! I can still recall the shame I felt everywhere I went. At the time I wasn’t serving Christ, yet I knew that God didn’t want me to abort this precious life…although I was pressured to: by the university I attended, by family, and others. Only some Christians came into my life & supported me :) It wasn’t an easy journey (read the story here on one of my very first blog posts: http://www.parentingandhomeschoolinginfaith.com/2009/11/every-person-has-divine-purpose.html)but now I am reflecting as a women married with five kids! I remember those days & I am able to ‘feel’ for the young Mamas I encounter. I am able to feel their pain & God has turned it around to help others…just because He is THAT good :)
Thanks for sharing your journey with us!
Oh I am so thankful for your story and for the Christians who DID come and support you :)
Thank you for this great post, Paula! I couldn’t agree more. I love being a young mom, but I felt so uncomfortable announcing my pregnancy even to some of my own family members because of the judgement and implied “irresponsibility”. I’m glad you linked this up at the Mommy Moments Link Up last week because it was the top viewed post and will be featured this week. Congratulations :)
I’m pro-choice and generally view “pro-lifers” as hypocrites -for precisely the reasons you outline so poignantly in your post. The truth is, nobody ever knows the reasons why a woman who is a stranger to us makes the decisions she does, and nobody has the right to judge another’s actions regarding whether or not she chooses to have a baby.
I’m in New Zealand and our society seems to be a lot less judgemental that the US – there’sa lot of support for single mothers, financial (government) benefits as well as social support – and I’m sorry to think that anyone should ever be judged for either keeping her baby OR choosing to terminate.
Good luck with your child – I hope he is everything you wish for!
Sarah Kosse says
Hmmmm, maybe that’s why no one ever commented or said anything to me about being pregnant when I was in public. My friends always said they’d get stopped or talked to. Me?? Never. At 5’1 and 24-25 with my first pregnancy I looked pretty young still.
I always just figured it was my bitchy resting face, but in the end what people thought of me didn’t matter. My little boy mattered and that’s what was important to me, my husband and our families.
Very well said!
Cody Doll says
So very true. It must be hard. Yet there is always the other side of the coin…
I whole-heartedly agree with and support your post and point of view. Shaming is not the answer and breeds meaness… something our society really has an issue with.
When I got pregnant I was early 20s and had been engaged for several months. Our engagement was on fourth of july when we had also recently celebrated a surgery that removed two tumors from my uterus and ended a 2 year long ordeal with uterine cancer. I had been told I would almost certainly have trouble getting pregnant when we decided to and may not ovulate for a bit. Most of my family was, and still is, unaware I had cancer. My grandmother had just died of reproductive cancer and my aunt was in the process of loosing her battle with cancer. My immediate family, best friend, boyfriend/now husband and boss (for scheduling reasons) were the only ones who I told at the time and that circle hasn’t increased much. Although I nolonger keep it secret for personal reasons; rather, because there is no real reason to discuss it. Anyways, some months after the surgery (but still having not had a period) I went in for a check up to make sure there was still no sign of the tumors and was informed we were pregnant. Closley followed with being cautioned not to say anything because there was a very high chance the baby would miscarry. It wasn’t until after four months we were finally given the go ahead to say something. We were so happy because we had been given something we didn’t know if we were ever going to get. We weren’t married yet (and ended up not getting married until our son was almost a year old because my grandfather lost his battle with cancer a week befor our original wedding date. My aunt who was battling cancer did survive to see us married).
Even being so exstatic and feeling so blessed by our pregnancy, I will never forget some of the comments. One customer asked me what grade I was in and what I was going to do about the baby. I smiled, ignored the baby remark (wasn’t sure how to reply to that question in THAT tone) told her I wasn’t in college she told me, ‘I thought you were another pregnant highschooler’. She wasn’t the only one. My husband and I were both managers at the same store, so he witnessed some of the reactions. In fact, though he is onlyb5 months and 2 days older then me, he has always looked several years older then his age (tall, serious, large man who started balding in his teens). A few customers would see us out together and make disparaging comments about the ‘age difference’. It was pretty extreme. I’m fairly short, was a very skinny young adult and at 29 still get seriously carded, so I understand that I looked younger. However, as you said in an earlier response, if I got these encounters and felt looked down on while we were unbelievably, deleriously happy for this blessing God had given us… how do the young mom’s who are not feeling as blessed by their pregnancy handling such encounters?
I am a nanny, I have never been married nor have I ever been promiscuous. The comments, looks, stares, and times I’ve been chewed out, when I am seen in public with the kids I care for, are sometimes more than I can bare. I am in my mid 30’s (and look barely 18) and have never been pregnant. I too have done nothing wrong, my job, other than being a part-time writer, is to care for kids that are not mine. Maybe it’s time we started to change the cultural perceptions of seeing women with kids.
To not be ridiculed, judged, or presumed to be on welfare just because I have an odd assortment of kids with me when I head on an errand, would be bliss. To not be followed by security because obviously I look like a teen mom on welfare who is going to rob the store, would be nice. To not be treated like a statistic, an errant child, a darelect teen, a whore, a slut, or ungodly would be nice. I am a nanny, these kids have loving mothers and fathers who happen to work full time. I am a nanny and I too have done nothing wrong to be treated like crap from judgmental people. These are my kids and I am their nanny, not their unwed mother.
Ricki @ The Questionable Homesteader says
I’m pro choice, mostly because you never know a persons situation, or how the child came to be. That being said I think it’s horrible that someone would judge anyone for making the choice to have the child, again, they don’t know the situation. My mother was one of six kids, and the oldest of three girls, she was also the only girl in the family to marry. Both of my aunts have kids from my mother’s side, and my aunt (also never married) also has a child. So for me, being an unwed mother is normal. That being said, I have seen the stigma that others feel towards young mothers. After my niece was born my sister and I where shopping (I was pushing the stroller) a women came up to me to tell me how adorable the baby was (clearly thinking I was babysitting) and when I told her it was my sisters (who was 19 at the time) she made a face and walked away. My sister was very hurt by the woman’s actions.
It’s funny I never thought about what she must have gone through while she was carrying, but now I will be making an even bigger effort to smile at expectant mothers, regardless of their age. Thanks for sharing.
Renee Fischer says
I hate the looks I get when I’m out with my husband and stepsons, or just my step sons. Their mother had them by two different men and one is very dark (maybe hispanic?) and the other (my husbands bio-son) is bordering on red/brown hair and burns easily. Yet, the comments, looks, and snide remarks I get or the treatment the school used to give me before I sent them an email stating I was their step-mother and a force to be reckoned with and deserved their respect as a parent… then there are the people who treat me like crap (EVEN CPS when taking our stepson in to live with his half brother as a foster/kinship placement) that I dont have kids of my own and how could I possibly know how to be a parent as the most qualifying factor is giving birth, it seems. And how dare I take on this project, I must have ulterior motives.
I think whats burning most in me is when I was 16 and had a diagnosis of endo and was at the gyno for a check up to see if treatments were working and the comments I got about being a pregnant teen.. I was thin as a bean pole and definitely not pregnant, but the words stung every time I had to endure them in my teens, as do the words sting now that I’m just 33, only been sexually active with my hubby for 3 years, and may be infertile…
Judgments abound, people need to start practicing more of gods compassionate understanding grace, than trying to play god and pass judgment.
Thank you for writing this! I had 2 children before my 21st birthday. I never slept around (in fact, the only man I had ever slept with was who got me pregnant and we were together for 4 years before it happened) and neither of us do drugs or drink. I now have 3 children (and we’re finally getting married this summer) but I hated all the comments I heard, during and after the pregnancies. Even pregnant with our 3rd, at 25 years old, I received many nasty comments about how we were pregnant AGAIN and this “better be” our last. It’s very upsetting to hear comments from people who are friends and family and are supposed to support you in this time that is supposed to be happy.
Oh my goodness!!!! I thought I was the only person who felt this way. My entire first pregnancy was stolen of joy because of these looks. Now I have two children and with my husband being in law enforcement his crazy hours of both work and sleep cause me to go out with me your children alone and as well behaved as my children are I still get these judgmental looks. I don’t quite understand how people say they are pro life but they are so quick to judge. In my opinion it doesn’t matter how old or what a persons marital status is as long as if and when they become parents they are willing to be a parent. Of course I know there is a correct order and a ideal age but I have a wonderful friend that got pregnant at 14, had her baby worked her way through both high school and college by herself and is a wonderful mother that honestly is a hero and an inspiration.
I was just having these thoughts the other day, thank you for writing such a beautiful post.
I’m a single mom by choice, and I’ve encountered the judgement and assumption (including a lot of assumption that I receive government help — I don’t, nor do I receive child support), but I will definitely admit that my heart breaks a little when I see a teen mom, and even though its from a good place of worry for their future and their baby’s, its still judgement. The fact that I’m looking at another mom and making any kind of assumption about what her life is like and how its going to end up is judgmental; yes, they’re dressed like teenagers and perhaps goofing off with their friends as some teenagers do, but unless we’re witnessing abuse or neglect, we shouldn’t have a negative thought — and if we witness those, the negativity should be directed towards the abuse/neglect and NOT the age of the mother, because the two are not co-dependent.
Bravo for a brave post, and I’m sorry that there’s jerks out there trying to make you feel oversensitive or worse about it :)
Crystal @ The Italian Bella Diaries says
I got many rude comments and stares with each of my pregnancies. Imagine how I felt when I was very obviously pregnant and in the store with 6 kids already. Let’s not forget that just because I have more than 2.3 (or whatever the average is now) kids, then I MUST be on all forms of government assistance. Also, I must have at least 2 -4 different daddies for my kids (they all belong to me and my husband together). Sometimes it’s best for some people to just not say anything at all since they obviously have nothing to say at all.
I too was pregnant at 18. Although I experienced much of what you are talking about, I dont feel that being judged, feeling awkward, having your feelings hurt or having your child judged is any reason to have an abortion. A woman will continue to be judged, have hurt feelings, and feel awkward along with the physical and emotional scars from having an abortion. It doesnt solve anything, only takes an innocent life. Truth be told Im against abortion for any reason. While I know its not right for everyone, I placed my daughter for adoption. Yep, Im still judged, feel awkward, and have my feelings hurt, but at least she was given her right to life. Once a young woman becomes pregnant, there are no easy answers or quick fixes, or ways to avoid pain. Women need to know the truth about abortion and all life needs to be respected. I believe that as a society we need to accept young pregnant mothers and reach out to them without condoning the situation. Women need to be supported by one another. It doesn’t matter how many kids you have or your age. Children are all gifts, no matter the circumstances. Please respect life, BOTH THE MOTHER’S and the babies’.
Beautiful post! I had the same experience with my first. I was 25 (not that young in my mind), but I looked younger. I actually went out and bought a cheap wedding band to wear on my swollen fingers so people would know I was married. It does hurt for people to make assumptions like that. I always see a pregnant woman as nothing but beautiful and tell them so. Thank you for the reminder that ALL life is precious!
Tara Joy says
Thank you for writing this, you have no idea how true it rings. I was pregnant out of wedlock (21 and a junior in college) and I was so scared to tell my parents because they had threatened to cut me off, and everyone else was saying get an abortion. I was the only one fighting for my child, people who I even thought would support me told me to have an abortion. I refused even if it meant losing everything. I cannot tell you how many comments I got about, well are you going to give it up for adoption because it is inconceivable that a child may actually be wanted and seen as a blessing. Luckily for me, I didn’t loose everything or everyone and I now have the most amazing 2 year old who has made me want to be the best person I can be.
I have a friend who, though nearly thirty now, can regularly get mistaken for a teen. Her mom was the same way and she told me a story once about when her mom was pregnant with her, her mom, dad, and grandparents were out at a restaurant and a stranger came up to them and started just railing about how this was what was wrong with the world and how could she condone her teenage daughter being pregnant and had they no shame!
I agree, people can be so judgmental. I remember early in my pregnancy and how afraid I was because I have medical problems and my life could have been at risk, I can understand why women will turn to abortion. I wish people would understand that what these women need is love and support, not judgment. If they had that they would probably be less likely to turn to abortion as an answer!
Beautiful post. Well written. God loves us all and he knows the deepest parts of our hearts, our hurts, and our pains. He knows how bring us peace and comfort, and we must go to him through it all. :)
Alyssa Waters says
This hit me hard, I am a young mother to two with now a 3rd on the way, When I was pregnant with my son I couldnt bare going out in public, I wanted to shelter myself from the stares and the remarks. It didn’t get much easier when he was born either, I would have people blatantly come up to me and tell me I was way too young to have a child, they couldn’t stand my response when I would tell them they were right however my life was different now and that regardless to my age I had grown up thanks to my son. Now 5 year, 2 babies later and a third on the way people still make the same comments, My son now answers for me and says yeah I have a cool young mommy.
I was 21 when I had my daughter and looked younger. In the grocery store a woman put her hands on my belly and then said, “how disgusting it is babies having babies these days.” I was shocked. I am pro-life at 36 my husband and I had our 3rd baby there was some soft markers on our US we had to go to a specialist I was 24weeks along I told them absolutely this baby was going to be born, I didn’t want more tests we would meet him when he is born and love him no matter what. He was born perfect. My 14year old daughter was carrying her brother in the grocery a women tisked at her and said,”teen moms.” I would hope women could treat other women with kindness. A baby is never something to make a rude comment about. It breaks my heart. I make it a point to smile at other moms of all ages, we’re all in the same club.
My oldest daughter was 16 when I had my youngest child, her only sister. I could not believe the stares she got when she held her sister in public and people assumed it was her child. Once crossing the street, I was a few paces behind, carrying beach things, and she was carrying the baby, and two guys yelled out the window at her, taunting her, yelling something about “teenage pregnancy” etc. We laughed about-we could because of the ridiculousness of it, but it also made us both think deeply and sorrowfully about how those younger mothers who choose life are treated.
This is a beautiful brave story and I thank you for sharing it. Know that in your bravery you have helped many many people behave more compassionately.
I got married right out of college and by the time I was 23, we were expecting our first child. I have always “looked” young (wish I could say that now…at 37), and so I was used to folks giving me a double take. I have thick skin, so it never bothered me that much. My husband was a junior enlisted sailor when I got pregnant and because we had just moved, I only had a part time job. We were eligible for WIC and I had no problem using it. That’s what it’s there for, right? Oh- and I was a tad too big to wear my wedding ring (50 lb gain by delivery- yikes!). One day I was checking out at the local grocery store and the woman in front of me kept clicking her tongue and staring at my items on the belt, with the WIC vouchers in the very front. I kept silent (which is so not easy for me), until she give this completely exasperated sigh. I asked her if I could help her with something, to which she replied, “It’s bad enough you’re an unmarried teen mom, but do you have to use my tax dollars to support yourself, too”? Old me would have punched her, but I had just accepted Christ and continued, “Well, my husband pays taxes and even college educated 23 yr olds need a little help- but thanks for thinking I look like a teenager. I hope I can say that in 10 yrs”. Man, did she pale and walk out so fast! I was still pretty teed off when the cashier says, “I wonder what she would have thought of me. I was pregnant at 15” (she was an older woman at this time). Sad to say she would have judged the tar out of me if I were to have had an abortion instead. This is why when folks identify as “prolife”, I just nod and smile…Sorry to vent, but I have never told this to anyone before…I guess 14 years is a long time to hold that in!
Good point! My philosophy is that once a person is pregnant, you support than, regardless of the circumstances.
Funny story, it was the first very cold fall day and my coat couldn’t fit over my belly anymore. I was at my sister-in-law’s house & so she loaned me her bigger letter jacket from high school (this jacket was already 5 years old, mind you with the date on it). We went out to do so errands & oh the looks I got at TJ Maxx from middle-aged women! At first I was like, “What they heck is their problem?” & then I realized they must’ve thought I was a high school student because of the jacket! This was ridiculous though because clearly I’m not a youthful high school student (I WAS 27!) & the year largely printed on one of the sleeves would also prove this. I laughed it off, but it still wasn’t so great to have someone look at you, judging you like that.
Theresa (Capri + 3) says
I knew that people can be judgmental of young mothers. It was eye opening though to read your post and see the way people treated you through your own eyes. That is awful that you had to fear going out due to the judgmental behavior of others.
Suzanne - Teaching from a Tackle Box says
I love your blog and I have nominated Beauty Through Imperfection for the One Lovely Blog Award. http://teachingfromatacklebox.blogspot.com/2015/01/one-lovely-blog-award.html
mom of 9 in Canada says
Hi. I just found this post today and I am amazed at the negative comments you and your commenters have received. I’m 38 and have 9 children (plus 5 miscarriages) and have never ONCE had a negative comment about either being pregnant or the number of children we have. ( And so you know, I was just recently ID’d at the liquor store so I don’t look like I’m ‘old enough’ either! :)) In fact, just the opposite, I’ve received many compliments on my ‘mothering’ and how great it is that I have a large family!
With that said, your post was great and definitely thought-provoking. I’m sad to say I’ve also been judgmental on more than one occasion. I’ve even thought, ‘in this day and age, if you have no morals, it’s extremely easy to get contraceptives, why don’t you use them, then?’ Ugh, nasty, huh?
Have a great day! ~Jo
Wow. I had no idea that young mothers deal with crap like that. Admittedly, I do stare when I see a pregnant woman. But, for what it’s worth to any young mother out there, as a childless woman about to hit my thirties I stare because I’m desperately hoping that one day I’ll be expecting a blessing of my own.
Although I have not, and will not ever feel this feeling. This hits home with me. This is an amazing post and I’m glad we have people like you in this world that give me hope for Christians. For the Christ like attitude that Christians should have. You my friend are an inspiration and a anomalie. Thank you.
Maria Snow says
Ah Paula! What a sad read! I’m sorry this happened to you, I’m not sure the area you live in or what on earth got into those ladies, but I tend to think people who do that are miserable in some way in their own life and resent others.
That said, I loved what you said to raise your child in a culture of love. It is true what you said, it is scary to be pregnant, for many women, it is a very fragile state. And for some reason pregnant women seem to attract the craziest comments from strangers. I couldn’t believe how many people would stare and how many bizarre comments I got in my last months of pregnancy. My mom was running errands with me one day and she got to witness it all, and at the end of the day we walked to my car and she just goes “What on earth…?” and she trailed off and I just laughed. Because I knew she was just bewildered by the way people can be.
Thanks for the article!