3 February 2011

"Good News"

This might be a really weird post coming from a woman who is currently trying to conceive a little one, but here we go...

The other day, L and I were discussing some positive things that have been going on in our lives recently. Just various tidbits of random good news. I thought about how we might tell friends/relatives/coworkers, and realized that ever since I have been married, the words "good" and "news" are always met with...

OMG, are you pregnant?!

And so as a way to remedy this situation, I have become a master at saying this statement five times fast, "We have good news, and NO I'm not pregnant. Hahaha!" (Why I always fake laugh after saying that is beyond me. I guess it's more of a nervous chuckle.)

Just so I have this straight, after marriage, good news and pregnancy are now inextricably linked? Any and all good news = pregnant.

Sweet.

Prior to marriage, we were young women going to school or working or galavanting about doing whatever the heck we wanted to do. If we had good news, it was met with enthusiasm about what fun or exciting things might be going on in our lives.

Then we got into a serious relationship, and instantly the only "good news" we could possibly have is somehow tied to a sparkly ring. "OMG, are you engaged?!"

Nope, but {ta da!} I just got a master's degree. Hello? Hello?! Is this thing on?!

Then we got married, and the "good news" is either related to some imaginary baby or purchasing a place to house the imaginary baby.

In the span of a FEW years, the conversation has changed drastically.

I assume (because I'm not there yet) that after you crap out the first baby, the "good news" jumps to predictions over a second baby. Eventually it evolves into, "Did your little junior clone get into the best pre-school/elementary school/junior high/high school/college?" I just learned that our three month old cousin who can barely lift his head is on a waiting list for pre- school. Say whaaaat?!

While in many ways this is the natural progression of the life cycle, if I think about it too long, it hurts my head.

I won't play the innocent card. When I hear women my age declaring "good news" my mind somehow wanders to "maybe she's pregnant?"

Next time I do this, I'm going to bitch slap myself.

Yes, we have biological clocks and timelines for baby-making, and all that. Totally understandable. Babies and significant others and houses are all amazing. They are. I'm no better than the next woman who wants them. BUT...

What does this say about a woman's identity? Since when did "good news" become this exercise in how much money is my husband making (not what I'm making...what HE'S making), am I pregnant, did they buy a house, and other domestic expectations?

The next chance I get, I'm going to tell my in-laws, "I have amazing news!! {pause} I've taken up wind surfing!" Then I'll watch while everyone's smiles drop to frowns, and my MIL says, "Ahh, I thought you might be pregnant."

Anyone else notice this?

This post is mostly food for thought. I'm thinking out loud. Obviously, there is no right or wrong way to live your life, but it doesn't mean we can't question it all every once and awhile, right? :)


18 comments:

  1. 100% agree. I sometimes get the feeling my "good news" are not "good enough" *sigh*

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  2. This. I felt like a disappointment when I was all excited because I had enrolled in school again!

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  3. I love the tease and hey windsurfing is awesome!

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  4. "Next time I do this, I'm going to bitch slap myself." HAHAHAHA!

    I love you so, so much for writing this. Once you're married, it's like good news is no longer "good" if it's not somehow tied to husband and family. *sigh*

    People...

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  5. I'm going to start using that..."I have amazing news...." just to watch peoples faces change drastically....I can't wait to do it to my inlaws :)

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  6. Yes, yes, yes! This happened at my husband's cousins wedding last year when we announced that I was leaving my job. My husband started saying that we have some news and my SIL started getting all excited. I turned to her and I said, "NO! That's not it." She was pregnant at the time. Honestly, if we ever have kids, I feel like just sending them an e-mail.

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  7. OMG I so went through this in my first marriage! Struggling w/ what we thought was PCOS - and the fact that I wasn't ready to have kids until a couple years into the marriage - people just couldn't get it through their thick skulls that marriage, to us, ment something different than having babies that shared the same gene pool.

    When we were trying to adopt, they also didn't get "that". We had our hearts set on a little girl from Tiawan. I got her info, her picture, etc, and I was so ready to bring her home! Every "Good News" was "Did you get her?" (I won't lie - it still bruises my heart that it fell through, but so did the marriage. I hear she was placed with a family very close to where her little sister was placed, so I feel everything worked out as it should, but it doesn't mean my heart wasn't broken.)

    So now that I'm a divorcee, the "Good news" is either being pregnant OR being engaged again. Well, I've got the engaged part down! Our next "Good news" will be him getting his station. After that, it'll be him getting his deployment schedule. After that, it'll be actually putting a deposit down on a place to get married...

    You get the idea! :)

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  8. Couldn't agree more! SO annoying! I also find myself thinking "they must be pregnant" when I see someone tiptoe-ing around some "big news" they are going to release "not quite yet" but that's based on experience. The majority of the time that is EXACTLY what their big news is, and it seems like that's the only thing people consider newsworthy, so of course that's what you expect. Its sad that once you get married you're no longer important on your own. One of the many reasons I'm holding off on the whole baby thing. There is more I want to do with my life even though nobody will care about it; I care!
    P.S. almost fell out of my chair when I read "after you crap out the first baby" MADE MY DAY!

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  9. I agree in general. Thankfully, my in-laws (and parents) are really supportive of other areas of our lives besides family life.

    but it always seems like "ok, you've done that big life change, what's next" (dating, engaged, married, babies)
    I can't wait to share news when I start a grad program! or when E graduates. I'm sure people will think I'm pregnant.

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  10. Good news!

    I agree with this post completely.

    :)

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  11. Aww Crap. You put all my thoughts on paper- or the web- whateve. I totally feel that way. I've recently started joking that I am going to put pictures on facebook of me drinking weekly so people don't ask. Urg.

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  12. I have noticed this pattern ever since being in a sorority in college, a girl getting lavaliered or engaged was met with a ceremony expotentially larger than the one she got when achieving a 4.0 GPA.

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  13. I like this post so much. So much. It's so true, and we all do it, and I'm going to bitch slap myself next time my brain jumps there too.

    Thanks for the reminder :)

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  14. Have I noticed this?!? This my constant state of living. I was just (internally, again) bitching about how I've lost the ability to do anything that I did pre-marriage - vomit, pee a lot, have good news, be in a bad mood - without it being assumed that I'm pregnant. I had sex before I got married. How come no one thought I might be pregnant then when I caught a stomach virus or burped after lunch or was being kind of bitchy?

    Why does marriage mean that every function of my body, every mood, every bit of news I have revolves around a baby? If my husband has good news, everyone assumes he's gotten a promotion or had a nice poo, or whatever. Me? Carrying a fetus. Marriage = women turn into fetus boats.

    Damn it.

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  15. I love this post! Thank you Carly! It is so true! We recently just bought a new car that we are so happy with, and when we were at a family party we said to my SIL "Oh, we have some news"... (I didn't even say "good news" I just said "news")... and she clapped her hands and shouted "You guys are pregnant!!" So loudly that the whole family stopped what they were doing and gathered around us.

    We just looked at each other and said "No, we bought a new car."...... silence....... and my husband said, "It's a nice car, it's a race car"... more silence... crickets....

    Then finally my SIL said "Oh. Booo. I thought you were going to say you're having a baby." And the crowd broke apart and went back to whatever they were doing. LOL!

    There's so much pressure on us newlyweds to get prego, it's intense!

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  16. I LOVE this post! It's so true. I got married in August and people talk to me about babies now. Um, I'm 23 years old ... just because I got married doesn't mean I want a baby right now. Marriage and pregnancy don't always go hand-in-hand immediately.

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  17. YES! I feel like now that we're married and have the house, all people can ask us is when we are having a baby. I told my Mom I had some great news on Saturday and she asked me if it was about a baby. Um no, it's about the insurance check we got and the two blueprints of the house we finally got framed. I also get a lot of baby questions when I tell someone I'm not feeling well or have to go to the doctor's. No, I'm not having a baby but I do have a mild skin irritation on my lower thigh.

    We've started telling people that there will be no baby discussions until I turn 32 (next year) and hoped it would keep the baby questions to a minimum but it hasn't.

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  18. Love this post! And, it's so true! I do the same thing even though I realize that "good news" could mean lots of stuff. I need to work on that.

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