Recently at work, this horrible stomach flu has been tearing through everyone. Teachers and students rushing to the bathroom left and right; no one was safe. In one classroom, a certain teacher… we’ll call her Molly, threw up on her lunch break. She had to go home early. The next day I was in that room with her co teacher (we’ll call her Susan). Susan was feeling nauseous. As Susan and I talked about her symptoms, I teased her and asked if she was pregnant. Susan began to worry that she was. As she went on this panic mode, she said something that really nettled me. She said “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
Of course it turned out that Susan simply had the stomach flu and was not pregnant. But I still couldn’t get passed her statement. As I pondered it, I realized that the issue I had with it goes beyond unplanned pregnancies, it goes to most potentially impulsive decisions we make.
In high school we begin preparing for college, in college we plan our careers, why can’t the rest of our choices be like that? If we make the choice before it comes, it’s easier to stick to it.
When I was successful in my self-control in eating it was due to me making the choice in the morning that I was not going to splurge on sweets. Making safe choices in relation to my social life, I would make a choice to avoid certain actions before I ever left the house. If you know you are going to go out drinking, you need to plan ahead how you will get home.
Going back to the pregnancy thing, it is irresponsible to have sex without being prepared for the consequences. It’s like going grocery shopping without a list, an idea of what you need, and starving; you’ll end up spending a lot of money on things you don’t need and will regret later.
If you are going to be participating in the forbidden dance, then you need to be a responsible human being. Before you ever even start, you need to ask yourself what you would do if a certain consequence happened. Sure you know before what you would do if you got an STI or other issue (if you didn’t say head to the doctor, they you need to rethink your life), but what about other consequences? What if pregnancy does happen? Boy or girl, male or female, you need to have a plan.
I recommend thinking about all of this before emotions and panic is high. Start with all the potential options you have: abortion, adoption, parenthood, etc. Research what the side effects/consequences of each option would be. All three will have a significant impact on your life, boy or girl, male or female. After you understand what your potential future would look like with each choice, think about what option you feel the most comfortable with.
Now for the next step, after you have your comfortable options, reevaluate your choice regularly. Before you go on that date, ask could I be co-parents with this person? No? Am I still going to do the cha-cha slide with them? Yes? Well then your choices will be different.
A key component about this researching the consequences of potential outcomes is the understanding them better. Many people are outright against adoption because its so horrible, but that’s just because they don’t know more about it. If they took the time to make an informed decision before hand, they might see that adoption doesn’t just give a way to continue your path with least resistance, but they’d also see that it helps a someone else achieve their dream of having a family. It gives a child a better, more stable home. Researching is really key to making your best decision.
Again, this can be applied to all things that will have potential impact in our lives. You could use this in your job, your dating, your hobbies, your home and car buying future, and so on and so forth and what have you. Making the choice before the emotions get in the way makes facing these hard futures less treacherous.
Imaging going to a party without a plan, getting drunk, and then driving home and killing someone. It would ruin the rest of your life and significantly alter the lives of others. If you made the choice beforehand to call a driving service to take you home, then it would’ve been avoided altogether.
Too often it seems we emphasis throwing caution to the wind, and who cares what results, but we need to be smarter. We need to be more careful in our choices before to save the heartache later.