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Baby Out of Wedlock

by Mina Keenan (follow)
Mina's Printables:) Society (26)      Motherhood (15)      Pregnancy (8)      Expectations (8)      Respectability (1)      Reputation (1)     


I don't think I was the maternal type. I didn't play with dolls. I didn't like little kids, they were too much trouble to look after.

I got older and the biological clock kicked in. I wanted a child. Was it a psychological 'badge' for womanhood? Was motherhood the ultimate 'prize'? I'd heard about women unable to conceive. Was I one of those?

The yearning was something instinctive, primitive almost. There was no thought of 'timing', of doing things the 'right way'. No thought of reputation or what others might think. I was sure I would be a good Mother. I was young, unmarried, no career to speak of (though I had two jobs), no home of my own (renting a flat).

It was just 'time' and it felt as if I had no control over it. I was not someone who just got carried away in lustful moments and ended up with 'accidents'.

In those days a baby out of wedlock was akin to something shameful.

My Mother cried - what was she going to tell the (extended) family? My Father laughed and was all happy about it. I was quite astonished at Mum's reaction because of this story and others like it. I said she could tell them anything she liked, there was no way I was going to hide myself. I was grateful for (but expected) Dad's reaction.

I had it in my head now that Mum's family might look 'down' on me - but no shine came off the fact that I was having a baby. I was just too happy about it.

The doctor had a 'tut tut' view. As far as I was concerned, he was a doctor and should do his job - no bowed head for me. Years later when reading my notes, I found out he did a paper for a study about young Maori pregnant girls.

I worked hard and filled up a baby glory box.

Parcels began to arrive from Mum's side. Beautiful hand knitted sets (crafty lot - them), crocheted blankets, quilts and baby clothing. Took it as a sign me (and Mum) weren't thought any less of.

I didn't decide to have a baby to 'hurt' my family or get myself into an anonymous doctor study. As I said before - for me - it was just 'time'.

You can still be a 'nice girl' even if you don't fit with mainstream ideas.
Stay true to your own convictions.
Figure out your reasons for those convictions - don't carry them out just for 'shock' or 'rebel' value.
Be sure you can cope with any backlash you might receive.

# Pregnancy
# Respectability
# Motherhood
# Society
# Expectations
# Reputation
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