There’s a million “shoulds” that some women feel after finding out they are pregnant unexpectedly. If I’m pregnant, I should be happy. To have a baby, I should be in a stable, long-term relationship. Pregnancy should come at a time my life when I have everything figured out financially. But what do you do if your emotions, relationship, and finances aren’t matching up with all the “shoulds” associated with pregnancy? What if you’re feeling like the only path you “should” follow is aborting this pregnancy?
If you’re experiencing a flood of “shoulds” with an unexpected pregnancy, Avenue Women’s Center offers free pregnancy services such as confidential and private consultations to discuss your pregnancy options. Our understanding and nonjudgmental staff is experienced in helping women face pregnancy decisions with compassionate support. Contact us for an appointment at one of our five locations in the DuPage County area and learn more about how Avenue can help you.
Many women seek to abort a pregnancy when their life does not meet expectations for what a season of pregnancy “should” look like to them. While it would be nice for every “should” to be true and every pregnancy expectation to be met, the reality is that a lot of women do find themselves pregnant during less than ideal times. Aborting a pregnancy can often feel like the option they should take given their current life’s situations and circumstances. However, it’s important to allow yourself to decide what your heart wants and what’s best for you, aside from the “shoulds” that have been determined by others and our own self-expectations.
Renowned psychologist Karen Horney theorized about this inward struggle that many people face and called it the “tyranny of the shoulds.” Horney wrote that in order to find our “true self” people must break free from our preconceived ideas of the “ideal self.” She said that we must let go of the cycle of self-criticism of what we should be in order to be our best selves in life. While her ideas can be lofty and challenging to understand, Horney’s theories can help us reflect on how harmful self-expectations affect our lives and our choices. Too often we place unrealistic expectations on ourselves of what our lives should and should not look like, when in reality no one is perfect and we all face different adversities.
Even if you find yourself pregnant in a less-than-ideal time of your life, it’s important to remember that you are free to make the decision that your heart wants and be true to yourself, Despite whatever expectations you may have about what a pregnancy in your life “should” look like, each pregnancy situation is unique and different for each woman. As you look into aborting a pregnancy, it can be helpful to take time to sift through emotions, feelings, and motivations and find what is best for you, your heart, and your life ahead. Whatever your situation may be, you can feel empowered to break free from a “tyranny of the shoulds” and make a decision free from self-imposed life expectations. Your decision to continue or abort a pregnancy is yours to make, and it shouldn’t be prohibited by any “shoulds” or pressures that don’t feel right to you.
If you are seeking to abort a pregnancy, Avenue Women’s Center offers a judgment-free environment at each of our five locations to discuss your abortion options and alternatives. Let our compassionate staff help you with the pressures of the possible “shoulds” you might feel and address your unique concerns and needs in a private and free pregnancy consultation. Avenue is here to support you with the care and understanding every woman deserves when facing an unplanned pregnancy. Call, text, chat, or email us today to set up your free appointment!
- Maddi, Salvatore R. (1996). Personality Theories: A Comparative Analysis (Sixth Edition). Thomson Brooks/Cole Publishing Co. Belmont, CA.