To Tell or Not To Tell
By Single Mom Movement on October 24, 2012
Sunday arrives. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to tell my family or not. I just don’t know what to say or how to say it. Well, let me be honest, my younger sister and my younger brother already know. So basically who’s left to tell are my older sister and older brother and my parents.
My older brother won’t be there today, and my older sister is easy going and will probably be excited. She loves babies. My parents are my concern. I have no idea what reaction to expect from them. And yes, even at 37 years old, I don’t want to disappoint my parents, and I think this news will. I don’t think it matters how old you are, the not wanting to disappoint your parents never changes.
The things behind the words are what leave me uneasy. It’s the facial expressions or the tone in their voices that I dread most. Yes, it’s the fear of the unknown.
We’ve all experienced it in one way or another. The fear of the unknown keeps us from doing what we want. We aren’t sure what to expect, so we just won’t do it. We will think about it, hoping for the best. We will dream about it, wanting it to be our reality. But we will never do it. We chicken out and never explore that territory, because let’s face it, we would rather live in our comfort zone…our safe zone than to have to face what could possibly lie ahead. Also, not knowing that maybe what lies ahead is better than what we imagine. Why do we have to think the worst? Why can’t we think that things will work out, they might be better than we expect, or what we envision will actually happen?
I ponder this myself. Why don’t I think this will be great news for my parents? Just because it wasn’t initially for me? Just because the situation that I’ve found myself in…not married, not even a guy at this point, and still hesitant about impending motherhood? Why does what I think about the situation have any bearing on what my parents may think or feel? It doesn’t, yet I project my thoughts and emotions onto what I think they will think or say.
Not that evaluating all of this gets me any closer to deciding if I will or won’t tell them. I just don’t know.
The whole 45-minute drive to my mom’s house, I can’t think of anything but the pros and cons for telling them today.
Pros–To get it out of the way and off my chest, so I don’t feel like I’m hiding something, I can get it done and over with and not have to worry about it, one less thing to stress about.
Cons–My parents’ reactions and disappointment (At this point these two really outweigh all the pros). Just the possibility of my disappointing them is enough for me.
As I’m pulling up, I see the other cars at my mom’s. I realize I’m the last one there. No surprise, seeing punctuality is not my strength. I feel my stomach doing somersaults. My thoughts speed faster and faster, as I get more nervous with each step I take. I haven’t even reached the door, and I can tell this isn’t going to be good. I already feel like I’m hiding something from them.
I open the front door and walk inside. Almost everyone is sitting in the living room talking. I say hi, as I take a seat next to my younger sister on the couch. I feel tension, but it’s not coming from them. It’s from all within side of me. There is an internal struggle going on, to tell or not to tell.
My dad is sitting in a chair across from me. My younger brother is next to him and my sister-in law next to him. Then my older sister, nephew, and younger sister are on the couch with me. Everyone continues to talk, and I still silent. I have too many emotions and thoughts going on right now to hold a conversation. I feel the anticipation start to boil like a teapot on the stove. I listen to them and wait. Wait for the “right” time.
My mom and sister’s husband walk into the living room from the kitchen. As they stand, and the conversation lulls for literally one minute, I explode like the tea pot singing.
Before I know it, I can’t hold it in any longer. As I my eyes well up with tears, I blurt out, “Well mom says things happen in three’s. I’m pregnant. The End.”
Yes, that is word for word how I broke the news to the rest of my family. I actually said, “The End.” That was my way of ending the conversation before it even started. I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t know what to say. I just wanted to get it off my chest and be done with it. I had to tell them. I couldn’t live with it any longer, but I also didn’t want 50 million questions, especially ones I didn’t have the answers to…and I knew they were coming.
As the news sinks in, my mom jumps up and down and starts crying just as much as I am. Watching my mom, I barely hear my dad ask, “What did she say?” Although there is no room on the couch, my mom squeezes just the top of her bootie in between my sister and me. She hugs me and says, “I’m so excited! This is great!”
My mom has been waiting so long for grandkids, so the thought of having another is exciting. She doesn’t think about any of the other things (Jason, my doing it alone, money, etc). She had only one grandson before this year. Now she adds another three (when I reference “Mom says things happen in three’s). My younger brother’s wife is expecting in July. My younger sister is expecting in October, and I’m in November.
My giddy mom asks, “What about Jason?”
“I’ll tell you over dinner, just so I don’t have to repeat myself several times.”
She says okay and gets up to finish preparing dinner. This is the first chance I have to look at my dad….the one I really dreaded telling. He says, “What are you going to do about insurance?”
“I’m looking into that now. There is a new one out there called Pre-existing Conditional Insurance. I called them and applied. I should qualify, because pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition. It will take a few weeks to find out.”
He says, “Okay.”
That’s all he had to say? I didn’t get a lecture or a disapproving tone? He didn’t say, “Do you know how much kids cost?”I can’t believe that’s it. I’m shocked.
Then he and my brother talk about insurance for a few minutes. My nephew comes and sits by me. He tells me how excited he is and gives me a hug, which I desperately need at this point. My emotions are still wacked.
Then my older sister hugs me too and says congratulations. Within a few minutes, everyone goes back to regular conversation, as though I didn’t just spring this big, unexpected news on them. Or the news isn’t as huge as I anticipated it would be. They didn’t take it as “hard” as I thought. I know it’s a big deal, but I think my parents are dealing with unexpectedness better. Maybe that comes with age, and the realization that you can’t control your kids.
I don’t know what I expected from my parents, but it wasn’t that. The reactions they gave me, one jumping up and down excited and the other one blasé’, surprised me…in a good way. I expected more…more disapproval and disappointment. Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled about their reaction….just surprised. It just goes to show you that you never know how people will react. They can respond in ways you never thought possible. And I’m sorry I didn’t give my parents more credit beforehand.
Over dinner, my parents ask a few more questions, especially pertaining to Jason. My tears come and go, as I tell them the whole story about Jason, how I ended it, and that he is still hurt and angry. I don’t have any concrete answers, because for the past few days I’ve had no contact with him. I don’t know what he is currently thinking or feeling. I just know that he needs time to process and deal with his hurt. What that means for the baby, I really don’t know.
Dinner goes well. We talk about what I need to do next and down the road, like looking for a doctor, buying necessities, and what all will happen in the next several months. I’m a bit overwhelmed (as I shed some more tears) listening to all I have to do, things to get, and how to prepare. I will just take one step at a time and know that it will all eventually come to me. Some things will be harder than others, but that’s part of the learning process.
After dinner, my giddy mom takes pictures of the three pregnant women, even though two don’t have a tummy yet. I see how my mom’s face lights up, as she thinks about babies, babies everywhere. My older sister who isn’t pregnant joins in the picture fun. I say to her, “I’m interested in you watching my baby when I go back to work.”
She says, “Oh that would be great! I would like that.”
Being a nanny for 15 years, she knows how to care for kids…not just watch them but care for them. She is realizable and dedicated. Most importantly, she loves babies, kids and her work. What could be better? Oh, and she is also affordable, which is a must, seeing I’m not sure how financially I’m going to make it all work. That’s something I don’t even want to think about…at least not right now.
Then my family plays a game, which is usual for us and is great for helping me get my mind off of things. Everyone departs one by one, and with many tears cried today, I’m exhausted. My parents hug me on my way out, which wets my face, yet again. My mom says, “I’m really excited. This is great news. Everything will work itself out. Call me if you need anything.”
As I walk to my car, the tension subsides. The pressure decreases. I feel…relaxed. The weight has been lifted, and now I can breathe just a bit easier. I sit in my car, and for one more time tonight, tears creep down my face. I’m glad I told them. I don’t have to live with the stress or guilt of feeling like I’m hiding something from them. I also know that no time would have been a good time or the “right” time. I just had to do it, to get it over with. Now that it’s done, I couldn’t be happier. I fretted about it over and over, not knowing what to expect. And their replies were not anything like I thought. They pleasantly surprised me, and I couldn’t have asked for it to have been any better.
As I drive home, I play back tonight in my mind. How I told my parents, their reactions, the dinner conversation, and my mom’s giddiness. I’m starting to get excited…maybe it’s partly due to everyone else’s excitement. But it’s beginning to sink it….just beginning.
I really want to go to the doctor, just to make sure everything is okay. But first thing is first…getting insurance.
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