What do you do when your life plan suddenly goes haywire? Especially if you are a perfectionist, it can be difficult to navigate this type of change. One particularly challenging disruption can be an unwanted pregnancy. A positive pregnancy test may not fit into your neat check boxes of this season of life. How do you cope?
Avenue Women’s Center is a limited medical clinic that has been helping women navigate unplanned pregnancies for over 37 years. We understand every woman’s situation is unique and offer services tailored to your individual circumstances. When pregnancy doesn’t seem to “fit,” contact us right away for a pregnancy options consultation where you will receive helpful information and nonjudgmental support.
Navigating change and overcoming life’s obstacles are difficult tasks for everyone. Yet, they seem especially daunting to perfectionists. Spoken from a perfectionist myself, I will share some tips on helping to cope with bumps in the road, in particular, an unplanned pregnancy. How can you approach the possibility of pregnancy when you’re a perfectionist?
- Accept mistakes, even our own. An unplanned pregnancy brings about the question of how this possibly could have happened. Perfectionists are on top of our game, but we’re also human and sometimes make mistakes. Did you forget to take the pill that one time? Did you manage to “get caught up in the moment?” Or did you trust him when he said it was “taken care of?” Regardless of what happened, it’s a chance to look back and see what role we played in leading up to this point.
- Accept the fact some things are outside of our control. Maybe none of the above applies to you. Maybe you did all the right things and STILL wound up pregnant. Ultimately, it’s because we can’t possibly control every single thing in life. (It’s still a hard reality for me to grasp.) Taking time to take a deep breath and realize that we’re not the ones in charge can be a way to release the pressure we put upon ourselves.
- Accept that things are changing. Eek! Ignoring the issue won’t make it go away. Although compartmentalization and denial will help keep things nice and tidy externally, they do nothing to help us accept the reality of the situation. Owning up to what is happening is a scary, yet necessary process.
So, now that we’ve worked through the process of accepting our role, recognizing we’re not in control, and realizing the reality of the pregnancy, what do we do next?
- Gather information: Be thorough, but don’t get immobilized. Perfectionists can rock research. Give us something to look up and we’ll find every nook and cranny on the internet. However, when it comes to an unplanned pregnancy, at some point, enough information is enough. The pressure to make the “right” decision may propel you to keep looking at options and gathering information, however, at the end of the day, a decision has to be made.
- Gather support: Be willing to ask for help. It can be difficult for perfectionists to rely on the help of others (support can be unpredictable, inefficient and unreliable). Yet, there are some things that are best tackled with a squad at your side. Tell a trusted friend or family member about the pregnancy. Ask them to listen as you process through your decision with them. Reach out to a third party such as a therapist, religious leader, or agency. Don’t navigate this alone.
Perfectionism can be a blessing and a curse. It can drive you to results & efficiency, but can make it difficult to move forward in the decision-making process. Don’t let perfectionism keep you from taking positive steps in this midst of this difficult season. In all of this, Avenue Women’s Center is here to help. We provide information & support in the midst of unplanned pregnancy by offering free, confidential services with our expert, caring staff. Call, chat, email, or text us today to begin the next step on our journey.The information provided here is general in nature. It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.