There’s an ill-mannered term thrown around carelessly that I can’t stay silent about anymore. Maybe you’ve heard it or maybe you’ve said it in passing: “OOPS BABY.”
PSA: Babies are not an “oopsie.”
They are also not any of the following terms:
I get it. I understand, truly. I myself am part of the estimated 44-49 percent of U.S. pregnancies that are “unplanned.” My mother walked down the aisle 8-months pregnant with me as I was an unexpected pregnancy for her and my birth father. She felt rushed into a marriage, hadn’t gone to college, and was living off scraps financially. She’s told me numerous times that I was big fat oopsie, but she loves me more than she ever thought she could. She simply got pregnant with a high school boyfriend.
I myself took pregnancy tests before marriage and made countless poor choices. I dated the wrong people, was intimate with men not good for me, and forgot to take the pill several times. THOSE are the wrong choices.
Forgetting the pill was an accident. Being with the wrong man was a mistake. The end result of the actions—a baby—is NOT where we should be directing the negativity.
And I don’t want to diminish how a mother feels about her pregnancy or the road that led her to it. It’s vital that we are honest with ourselves about the timing, financial struggles, wrong partners, and the mindset it puts women in when having a baby.
I am in no way taking away any of the hardship that comes with an unplanned pregnancy. But our children will learn about how we handled the “unexpected.” If you planned for something 10 years down the road, and it happened two weeks later, then it happened sooner than expected. Please don’t refer to the baby as an accident. An accident has strong underlying negative tones. Creating life isn’t the same as bumping the car in front of you at a red light. And “uh-oh” bears an even stronger connotation.
There are accidental circumstances, but—hear me loudly on this—there are no accidental babies.
According to Google, however, there are. And it’s not a pretty web search. “A baby that was created by accident, a mistake, and a regret the parents always have.”
I get so fired up hearing these words. They are a distasteful way to speak about your own child or someone else’s for that matter. If you absolutely cannot help yourself in describing the baby, I challenge you to say “unexpected.”
I hesitate even saying unplanned. Because God has a plan. He always does. God’s timing doesn’t always line up with what we hoped for, let’s admit. Things arrive years late, way too early, or out of the blue. But God has a plan. We just have to figure out the why. Remember, we are called to His will.
If I hear the term oops baby I’m going to grit my teeth and congratulate you regardless.
But just know, behind those gritted teeth, is a sadness I feel—because I too, was a surprise, and 30 years later, the term still cuts like a knife.
So I ask you on behalf of oopsie babies everywhere, respectfully, to please not call any child of God an accident.
There’s no such thing as an oops baby, as He intended for all of us to be here.