By Kimberly Poovey
Are you this person too? An over-thinking, over-preparing, worry-wart perfectionist with a 5 year plan?
And then I found out I was pregnant.
We weren’t trying. I took a test that was already stuffed in the back of my medicine cabinet on a whim. And seeing those two faint lines appear in the pre-dawn light of the bathroom was the most earth-shaking moment of my life up until that point. I will never forget that feeling.
I ran to the bedroom and shook my sleeping husband awake. “Babe. Babe. I need you to look at something. I think I might be pregnant.” His reaction was perfect. He threw his arms around me and held me close. I wasn’t imagining it; he could also see two lines. I needed more evidence. We hopped in the car and got to CVS before they opened to buy a digital test. I needed to read the actual words. 15 minutes later, we stood in the bathroom together, reading the word “Pregnant,” clear as day.
This was happening. And I started to cry.
I was 28. We had been married for over 8 years. We had solid jobs and college degrees and were actually moving into a bigger house that very week. By all societal standards, we were “ready.” More than ready.
But I was freaking out.
I was also happy, don’t get me wrong. I had always wanted to have a baby, especially with a man as amazing as my husband. We always knew we wanted kids “someday.” But the unexpected timing of the news threw my control-freak brain for a loop.
These thoughts kept circling around my anxious mind: “Can I do this? Can we afford this? What about my job? Am I going to be a horrible mother? Am I too selfish for this? AM I READY?”
After taking the test, I cried for approximately the next 48 hours. I hyperventilated. I sobbed. I took the following day off of work. I was a basket case. And my steady, stable husband remained profoundly calm and reassuring. Bless him. To say it was an emotional roller coaster would be an understatement.
We took a walk by the river that night. We sat on a rock and watched the sunset amidst the flowing water. And during that long, tearful conversation in the twilight, something totally profound hit me like a freight train: there is no such thing as “ready.”
If we waited until we were 100% ready for anything, would we ever do anything ever again? Maybe not.
Ready is not a destination, it’s a process. Ready comes in incremental steps, often as we go. And I don’t want to miss out on the truly great joys and adventures of the human experience because I’m caught up in the myth of “ready.” It doesn’t exist.
This moment, right here, is all any of us have. And now is as good a time as any.
Kimberly Poovey is a writer, speaker, wife, and over-caffeinated new(ish) mom. She runs a teen pregnancy prevention program for a nonprofit and is a founder of Pearls, an organization that serves women in the sex industry and fights human trafficking. You can find her over on Scary Mommy, The Mighty, her blog, and on Facebook.