I am settling down. I bought a house . I just got a raise. I have a good career. I’m going to plant a garden.
After ten years of Nomadic living whilst getting a graduate degree at New York University, volunteering in Brazil and Ireland, working in Korea, France, Switzerland, and Portugal. Traveling the world and having an excellent time while doing it, I’m finally settled down. I’ve gotten to know myself.
I’ve decided that I’m going to have a baby. On my own. We’ve seen it all over the place lately in movies like Baby Mama and The Back-Up Plan. Highly successful, highly intelligent women undertaking the task of parenthood alone. In my twenties, I tended to believe that I would find Mr. Right and we would have our two children and things would fit into that nice box with a bow. In my thirties, I tend to take my life more into my own hands, making my own plans, rather than waiting around for some perfect situation to arise. Even women who find that mythical “perfect man” to have their child with may find that the relationship does not last and they end up becoming a single parent (unplanned) anyway—So, I decided, why not take the guess work out of it and start off that way.
I’ve been weighing the logistics over the last three years and just about have them figured out. The logistics, nor my decision to have a baby, are the topics up for discussion with this blog post. What is up for discussion is seeing clearly the reality of raising a child in my current community. I realize, when contemplating my upcoming venture into motherhood, that two of my biggest fears are:
1. How will my community treat my child (and me)?
2. How will my work handle my unwed pregnancy?
As much as other communities may have embraced the single woman as a capable parent (and as part of the social norm), I do not feel that my community is one of them. I live across from an LDS church, my neighbors consist of married couples with children, all of my friends who have children were married first, and I have NEVER met anyone near or far who is about to do what I am about to do…at least not deliberately.
After reading articles like this where unwed women are fired from Christian schools for being pregnant, I have been contemplating how I would be treated at my job were I to become pregnant. While I do not work for a “Christian” school, I do work at a small school in Utah county. A large population of students in my school are LDS. I can see the seminary from my office window. It’s a tightly knit community and I recognize myself as pushing boundaries in book and article choices, as well as topics for discussion in my classroom. It’s different than a job where I just stay in an office and am operating behind the computer screen. I’m in front of the classroom. In front of impressionable youth. My growing belly would be there, for all to see. And, while I have major job security now, I wonder what ramifications would come from my new life choices. Have I mentioned that I’ve been thinking of moving back to New York before becoming a Baby Mama?