I really wish I was making this up. I'm not.
This ad from the UK about emergency contraception is so outlandish I thought it was made up. In fact, my first thought was that a pro-life group put this together as satire. Unfortunately, it is all too real.
The basic gist? If you had unprotected sex you better buy our emergency contraception. Otherwise, you might end up with a baby! And, everyone knows what that means. No more looking good for you. It's all about the kid. You'll be trading in your high heels and lipstick for pacifiers and an endless life of soulless drudgery.
But Sarah, you don't have to buy the emergency contraception. It's free! Isn't that great? So, these people can't possibly be doing anything other than helping... because they're not making any money, right?
Ok, first of all, free doesn't really mean "free." Somebody is paying for it. My guess is that in the UK emergency contraception is covered by health insurance. They're not giving it away out of the goodness of their hearts. The drug company is making money and their taxpayers are footing the bill.
That's not really the issue here, though. The issue is the message that they're sending. You have to choose. Do you want to be sexy, free, and independent? Or, do you want to be a mother? There is no third option. Also, choose fast. The 'magic' pills will only work for up to five days.
I will eventually write about why I disagree with emergency contraception, but for now check out this article for more info.
So, why do we have to choose? Do women become mindless drudges as soon as they see two pink lines on the pregnancy test? Why is motherhood incompatible with being independent or attractive?
Me, moments after having my first child. I had no idea my life was over
I will be the first to admit that motherhood changes people. When I had my first, I had no idea how much would be involved. I didn't know I could love someone so much, that I could care so much, or that I could function on almost no sleep.
My #2, #3, and #4 babies followed the same pattern. I love them like crazy and I freely admit that my life is different because of them.
When I say different, let me explain, my life is better. My life is more full. I see things differently than I did before. I am less selfish and more giving. I am less vain, more focused on others, and I am deeply loved.
(Incidentally, I also have an excuse to own and frequently use a razor scooter. Can't really overstate the benefits of motherhood.)
Kids are a lot of work. I wouldn't recommend getting into it thinking that you'll get more than you'll give. However, it is in the giving that we become better, stronger, people.
The really crazy thing is, sometimes I still wear high heels and lipstick. I have a career that I love, I have friendships and relationships. I have hopes, goals, and dreams. Sometimes they have to be put on hold because of my kiddos, but they certainly aren't shelved forever.
My kids have enhanced my life. They have changed it, but they haven't ruined it.
Can we please stop acting like children destroy our lives? They don't. I'm not saying that every moment is perfect and Pinterest worthy. As I type this, my house is messy and my bathroom is ripped apart; this past weekend my potty training kiddo accidentally overflowed the toilet and moved up our renovation plans. Kids can be difficult, they can be annoying, and they can be inconvenient.
However, those inconveniences are greatly outweighed by their inherent value as human beings. They aren't sucking our lives away, they're filling our lifes and improving them.
Let's stop looking at them as an "either, or" problem. Either I have my child, or I enjoy my life. Either I have my child, or I finish school.
Our children will change our plans, but they will be worth it. I promise. And, if you find yourself in a situation where you truly aren't ready to be a parent you can make the life-saving choice of adoption. Will it be inconvenient? Will it hurt? Will it change you? Yes. But, it will be worth it. Your child will thank you.
Photo Credit: March for Life Facebook Page
Motherhood isn't easy, but it also isn't the end of the world. Children will change your life, but they won't ruin it. Our children are not the enemy. It is not an "us vs. them" situation. Do you feel like your way of life or personal choices are at stake because you're pregnant? Contact Alpha Omega Center, we can help you work through your options.
Children are worth the sacrifice. They deserve it. You might have to trade your heels in for a few months but then again, you may not. And I certainly don't understand why lipstick and babies don't mix.
Let's welcome babies, let's enjoy them, let's invite them in to change and enrich our lives.
These little guys didn't ruin my life. My life is better because of them!
Changing Lives Together,
Sarah M. Bowen