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Missmichelle8 Missmichelle8 is offline
 
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Pregnant and unmarried catholic school teacher
Old 02-24-2017, 03:21 PM
 
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I am pregnant and teacher intermediate to primary in a catholic elemantary school. I am un married and newly inlvolvex with someone and this pregnancy is unplanned. It is feb now and i will likely be 5 months by June showing I'm sure, it's an LTO so I will not be returning to this school.

Everyone knows I'm unmarried and newly dating someone, the students don't know anything about my personal life but do know I'm unmarried. I feel like the biggest stress is on me to abort the pregnancy due to poor role modelling. I am not fearful of loosing my job, only of the stigma and questions and reactions of my colleagues.

Should i be ashamed or is there a way to pull this off with dignity?


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not the 50s anymore
Old 02-24-2017, 03:34 PM
 
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The Virgin Mary was not married when she bore the Christ Child. You live your life through your faith and I hope you give Glory to God that way. God bless you and your child.
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Old 02-24-2017, 03:54 PM
 
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I would venture a guess that most people have sex before marriage. No one who has should judge you. (The Bible warns us not to judge each other regardless!) This is nothing to be ashamed of in my opinion. Of course you can pull this off with dignity. "It was not planned but still a blessing." Good luck to you!
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Old 02-24-2017, 04:08 PM
 
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My opinion is that regardless of how one views pre-marital relationships, a baby is a blessing! If anyone is judgemental of you, that's on them. Congratulations on your upcoming little one! I hope that you experience no problems. I agree with whiteturtle.
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Old 02-24-2017, 04:08 PM
 
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I do hope that you only consider termination for personal reasons, and not for what others will think of you. If you are truly concerned about Catholic values, consider the value of life above a child outside marriage. If the children question you as a role model, you can explain the value of life within a Catholic context(*discussion about abortion/life is considered fine by my Catholic district). Pope Francis has made it clear that the infants of unmarried women can and should be baptized, there is no sin in having a child. The church speaks about the protection of marriage, but not that the child itself is any sort of "sin".

I wish you the best of luck with your choice. My kids were two and four when I married their father. Do I wish we had married before? Sure. But the first happened as a surprise and the second? Well, we didn't learn our lesson. Nobody cared.


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Old 02-24-2017, 04:30 PM
 
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If it were not for your particular job, what would you intend to do? Do you want to have the baby? Keep the child and raise him or her? What does the child's father think? Does he know?

Clearly these questions are the most important ones. Your job is a minor part of the big decisions you need to make.

What's the worst thing that can happen? You could be asked to resign or be fired so that the children would not be scandalized by you as a person in a role model position. Could you find a new job to support yourself if that happened? Would the child's father or your own parents help you if you became unemployed? Since you will not be returning to the school next year, I think the worst case scenario is being unemployed a couple of months sooner than you expected. Not worth aborting a baby over.

You have some time to think about the situation and make a good decision. The previous posters are correct: this is not an uncommon situation. Choosing life is the Catholic option. No one should think less of you for deciding to have the child.

If I were in the situation, I would wait till month 3 or 4 if I could. I might look into other employment during that time. Then I would go to the principal and explain my situation matter of factly. Clearly you understand the problem that the principal faces. Nevertheless, the principal may be willing to keep you till the end of the school year. You won't know till you ask. There may be legal reasons why the principal must keep you on (depending on your state's discrimination laws, your contract, and so on).

Hold your head up and do what is best for you and the baby. In the long run, that is what matters.
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Old 02-24-2017, 05:19 PM
 
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Congratulations! Who would dare to question what is obviously God's plan for you?
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Thank you
Old 02-24-2017, 05:46 PM
 
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Thank you for your input, I appreciate your words more than you know. The father wants the baby, is supportive and encouraging even though our relationship is young he's fully committed and loving. I want the baby- aside from job pressures and feeling like a horrible role model I am ready embrace the pregnancy fully. I wish I worked for the public board or in childcare so I could be free of these pressures. I will go through with the pregnancy and wait to tell my principal in a few months. I'm planning on working in childcare or a public board in September if I can secure a position. It will only be a month or so if awkward showing near the end of the year, i know they won't fire me they need me and have a shortage for the position. If they did I would be fine with it anyway, I have other options. I am just nervous to disappoint or look shameful among my colleagues or students. This is a feeling I am working through.

These feelings are really raw and I appreciate all the kind feedback, I will work to develop a more matter of fact stance and pride towards the value and life that myself and my child deserve.
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Old 02-24-2017, 05:47 PM
 
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Also I am located in Toronto Ontario Canada, I am not sure about our laws...
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Thank you!
Old 02-24-2017, 05:48 PM
 
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Thank you for your positive words, so assuming I'm set on having the baby, how to deal with presenting it or answering student or staff comments and questions?


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I think Lisa
Old 02-24-2017, 05:59 PM
 
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has great points. I think a baby is a blessing and things work out. I wouldn't base whether to have the baby due to the job. There are bigger things to consider.
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Of course you must keep the baby.
Old 02-24-2017, 06:05 PM
 
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At the Catholic school I work for we must sign a morals clause. I am sure everyone would be happy for you to stay, but the priests would not allow it. Possibly because you are a LTO they would ignore it. You don't need to tell anyone. Most people when they suspect something they won't say because they may be wrong.
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Old 02-24-2017, 06:07 PM
 
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It's possible that you won't really show at 5 months. I just looked chubby. I didn't pop until 6.5 months with my first. I showed much sooner with the second, however.
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Old 02-24-2017, 06:24 PM
 
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In the Catholic schools I taught in, an unmarried, pregnant teacher would have been asked to leave whenever the pregnancy became public. I think that is certainly a real possibility. I don't see what that has to do with your decision about continuing your pregnancy since you didn't think you'd be returning to this job next year anyway. If you're extremely concerned about the reactions of students, colleagues, and parents, you do have the option of resigning and giving some other reason and leaving before your pregnancy is common knowledge.

Unplanned pregnancies without marriage can be problematic. I don't share one poster's opinion that the existence of a pregnancy is evidence that this was God's plan for you. This baby is a result of biology! But God and you can make a blessing come out of this if you so choose. No one can guarantee it will be easy-not now and not for the next 20 years.

I think you'll have to come to grips with the fact that you are pregnant and unmarried and there may well be questions from kind and not so kind people. You seem very concerned about what other people will think. I hope you have people who can advise you, support you, and help you deal in a positive way with those questions and whatever choices you make. Wishing you well.
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Lie to the students
Old 02-24-2017, 06:44 PM
 
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Start mentioning your husband. Like, oh this weekend my husband and I ....

When they say you are single, act surprised and say you thought you told them .... that you had eloped back.... count back how far you need to.

Lie to the adults in a different way. Just say you eloped over the weekend. Then if you start showing, they'll think, Oh that's why she got married.
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It's 2017
Old 02-24-2017, 07:16 PM
 
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I see nothing wrong with your situation and I'm a practicing Catholic. Many parishes are more tolerant than others. I would continue working and not mention the pregnancy. Find a different job for the fall and have your beautiful baby.
Role model? I'm sure a good chunk of your kids' parents are unmarried. It's really no ones business.
This is why I could never work at a Catholic school. Where is the compassion or concern for a new mother?
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Old 02-24-2017, 08:07 PM
 
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Why do you need to say something? If you are not returning and will only be 5 months by June, just wear loose clothing and say nothing. It's no ones business but your own.
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Old 02-24-2017, 09:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Why do you need to say something? If you are not returning and will only be 5 months by June, just wear loose clothing and say nothing. It's no ones business but your own.
This. Of course, people may guess based on any morning sickness you might have or whatnot, but I don't understand why you feel you'd need to tell. Aborting due to poor role modeling is one of the most ridiculous reasons I've heard to abort (sorry, but that's my feeling on this). I'm also not Catholic, but I would imagine it's a bigger sin to abort than to became pregnant out of wedlock. Don't worry about the stigma and reactions of others. Focus on what works for you. And there is no reason to share this. If it's your first, it is likely you'd barely be showing by 5 months, and loose clothes will be helpful in hiding it. At worse, you have "gained a bit of weight" if someone asked.
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Old 02-24-2017, 09:16 PM
 
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I agree with the pp who said wear loose clothing and don't say anything. Even if people suspect, they likely won't ask for fear of being rude (thinking perhaps you've just gained weight). I don't think you'll necessarily look very pregnant at 5 months. Do you live in a conservative area? I'm from a very conservative area and my parents were just telling me last year about a teacher who was fired mid-year from a religious school for being pregnant and unmarried. They said she was a "bad role model." I was completely shocked and just hearing about that made me angry! I don't even know this person and I still think about this situation sometimes. To me that's one of the most "unchristian" things I could possibly think of, but obviously many people disagreed. Does your contract say anything? My mom worked at a religious school and had to sign a "morality contract."
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Old 02-25-2017, 05:07 AM
 
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Just wanted to agree with the others who said that others won't really even be able to tell until about 5 or so months. When I was pregnant with my first son, I never told anyone at work until the end of the fourth month. I really did not start showing until about month five and I probably could have just worn some loose blouses and looked like I had put some weight on. Just remember, a baby is a blessing and hope. Your baby is meant to be yours and someday you will realize your little one is your whole life. Don't worry about what others think of you....take care of you and your little one.
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Personal experience
Old 02-25-2017, 05:46 AM
 
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I worked for a catholic school in a very conservative parish. One of the other single teachers had an unplanned pregnancy. Yes, there was a morality clause in our contracts and the principal and/or priests could have had her terminated for the pregnancy.

When she spoke to the principal about the pregnancy, the principal asked her what her plans were - to parent or to place the child for adoption? When the young lady said parent, the principal asked her to come back that afternoon for a meeting. I saw her, the principal and both of our supervising priests meeting in the school conference room when I went to make copies. She came back to her room in tears - and not because she was terminated.

I was two rooms down and walked over to check on her. She told me that the priests told her that as long as she got counseling to help her with the stress of being a single parent she could stay unless her performance as a teacher required a contract non-renewal. They also told her that her child would have a space at the school as long as she was teacher - starting in the PK3 class.

As far as I know, she is still teaching there.

Your child is a blessing. Don't feel pressure to make a decision about abortion based on other people's opinions.
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Blessing
Old 02-25-2017, 05:56 AM
 
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I was glad to read you are keeping your baby and the father will be involved and supportive. Congratulations to you both- a very exciting time for you and all who will know the love and joy your child will bring to the world!

I agree that you don't need to say anything. I hardly showed at all with my first, and didn't wear maternity clothes until over 6 months along. If you stay away from the firm fitting styles, it won't be obvious.

Try not to fret- stay healthy, and enjoy your miracle!
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Old 02-25-2017, 12:51 PM
 
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I'm also on the don't say anything side. If you start to show, just act oblivious keep your head up and keep going. If someone comments, just say yes I'm gaining weight. Right now you just have something going on with your health. You don't need to be specific unless you want to.

If you decide to tell people or it becomes obvious, you ARE being a great role model. You are keeping an unplanned pregnancy and moving forward. That is something to celebrate, not be ashamed of.
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bless you
Old 02-25-2017, 01:32 PM
 
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Choosing life is the Catholic option. This baby is going to bring so much joy and blessings to your life. Everything happens for a reason. You are a strong role model to your students in doing this, don't let those negative voices in your head convince you otherwise.
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Old 02-25-2017, 02:39 PM
 
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Talk to your Union if it becomes an issue. We have the HRT in Ontatio. Your Board may CLAIM they can fire you but they cannot.
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Old 02-25-2017, 03:02 PM
 
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I wouldn't say anything to anyone. With my first I didn't start showing til around 5 months and probably only then because I was wearing maternity clothes to emphasize the belly. You could easily wear loser clothes and hide it. If you have morning sickness that could make it harder to hide. But really, how would anyone prove you are pregnant especially at 5months or earlier?
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I am glad you are going to keep the baby
Old 02-25-2017, 03:20 PM
 
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I look forward to the time you are feeling excited about it all. Sometimes decisions are made for us. I waited to marry and then had 6 years of miscarriages before I had a child. It will work out. It may be challenging, but having the father included is a good thing...don't worry about others.

Remember that no one can understand what someone else is experiencing since they are not in your shoes. Someday you may open your heart and mind to someone who struggles. Just hold your head high. I wish you the best...and peace and I hope you can remember what a miracle you have growing in you.
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Old 02-26-2017, 06:19 AM
 
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As a Catholic and teacher I would say the life of a child planned or unplanned is a gift. I have to believe I'd oriented with the facts - termination because of stigma vs. Caring child to teen any Clergy within Catholic faith (since we are speaking Catholicism) would much more encourage and promote life. If you aren't showing that helps your psyche but honestly I would hope you wouldn't have to suffer or hide. Things happen. Life happens. Wishing blessing and health to you and your new little family to be.
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Do not allow
Old 02-26-2017, 06:43 AM
 
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Anyone to demean and shame you for making the choice you have made It is your life and your baby. People's responses are all about them, not you! Don't worry about what people think! Find people who will love and support you and your baby. There may be some rough times ahead, but deal with those situations as they arise with dignity. My advice would be to find a counselor to help you through any rough patches. Also, I would say nothing to anyone at your school. If anyone asks, say "why do you ask?" Or "Thanks for thinking of me." Do not offer explanations or respond to intrusive questions. Do your best for your students while at school and take good care of yourself. Good luck!
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I was very obviously pregnant
Old 02-26-2017, 07:57 AM
 
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at barely three months, but that was because I was so tiny to begin with (5'4", 102 pounds). Everyone is different. Many people will just "know" that you are pregnant because of the changes in your skin, hair, the way you walk, psychic ability, whatever.

What I don't understand is why you just don't get married? Are you Catholic? How do you feel about violating the tenets of either your own religion or the school religion? What does your contract say?

It is really no one's business. You can just deny, deny, deny, unless the school can force a lie detector or pregnancy test. Good luck whatever you decide.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:59 AM
 
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MissMichelle8---come back here often and let us know how you're doing! We support you and if you can't shout it from the rooftops at school...you can on this board!
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Old 02-26-2017, 10:28 AM
 
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Truthy, I don't think anyone here is applauding her for getting pregnant, we are applauding her for valuing the life of her child over the shame/embarrassment she is feeling over an unplanned pregnancy.

I do not believe in the practice of sex outside of marriage, but that doesn't mean I don't celebrate life. This baby is a life. If I had a nickel for everything I've done myself that I don't believe is the right thing, I'd be rich. God loves me warts and all and teaches me not to stone others.

Michelle is clearly struggling with this. The child is real. What good is it to judge how the child came to be? The overriding thing should be love for the child and best wishes for all involved.
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Old 02-27-2017, 03:56 PM
 
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There is absolutely a way to pull this off with dignity! You have nothing to be ashamed of. You are not a bad role model. I am sorry you are feeling so stressed out and not feeling like you are going to be supported by your staff or families at your school. I hope you have someone to talk to.

I agree with a PP about not telling anybody if you don't want to. That is your business.
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:24 AM
 
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Thank you I will! I have a doctors appointment on Thursday to get some more information !
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Old 03-01-2017, 03:35 PM
 
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"Congratulations! Who would dare to question what is obviously God's plan for you?"

Unwed pregnancy is obviously not part of God's plan.

There is no way to pull this off with dignity. Please don't think of abortion. That won't make it better and add more guilt.

You are not returning so don't worry about it. You made a mistake so move on.


I'm glad you shared this. Sometimes I think people need to think long and hard about being employed in religious schools. If your lifestyle and beliefs conflict don't work at one.
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Old 03-01-2017, 04:32 PM
 
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Kitekrazy, babies aren't mistakes. Anyone can work in a catholic school who is qualified.
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I doubt that they will all know
Old 03-05-2017, 12:29 PM
 
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When I was 5 months pregnant if I wore lose fitting clothing instead f maternity clothes I just looked like I was putting on weight. The 5 month belly is not as big on most people (especially first time pregnancies) as I think you are thinking it is. I wouldn't say a word and I doubt anyone would ask. There is a long period during a pregnancy when strangers dont say congratulations to you since they cant be sure your not chubby. I actually had someone not realize I was 7 months pregnant once because I had big baggy coat sweat pants on and I had a big belly by then. I unzipped my coat and the guy looked embarrassed as all get out for making a comment about over eating getting more exercise to be healthy.

I certainly wouldn't be worried about being a good role model either since the kids likely wont even know. Focus instead on be a good role model for treating others with respect and working hard to do a good job.
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Old 03-05-2017, 06:26 PM
 
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Your response is really disturbing , just so you know it hurts a great deal, maybe human beings should put a little more thought into their judgemental exclusionary comments before participating in discussions. The only one lacking dignity here is you, I will pray for you !
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Old 03-05-2017, 06:28 PM
 
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Thank you for sharing, I gain strength from every story and insight! Many thanks
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Old 03-08-2017, 06:44 PM
 
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Don't be ashamed. I grew up in a very strict Catholic house and I understand that pressure and shame that comes from not being perfect according to the Church. But you have one of the best blessings that anyone can ever get! And trust me - as someone who was terrified a few times in my life of facing a similar situation, only to now be happily married and discover I won't ever have that blessing - you don't ever take it for granted, especially if you KNOW it's a gift and it sounds like you do!

As for talking about it, I would honestly say to just respond with "I'm in a relationship with the father" if you want to say anything at all about dad (and only to adults) and then just say "I am very excited that God has blessed me with such a joy" (which I think is the only thing you need to say to kids and then just shut it down or make it light and baby-focused, not parent-focused). Even an uptight, sanctimonious parent can't say much to that. And that's on them for not showing their child to take the blessings that life gives us instead of focusing on whatever they want to perceive as the negatives or the wrongs.

In my experience, especially with younger kids, is they like babies. They're gonna be excited. They may have questions, but they'll be thoughtless and they will take whatever answer you give them and then they will move on.
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Old 03-10-2017, 06:15 AM
 
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While I applaud you for your choice in life and I truly believe all babies are a blessing. I realize that we all have our sins that we must come to terms with. I am not judging you on your behavior, your choices on your actions are simply your choices and you must handle the outcomes of your actions.

I certainly hope you do not take one posters recommendation about lying about eloping. Lying on compounds the situation not helps it at all. I am shocked that someone could even suggest lying to your students.

However, as a parent with children in Catholic Schools I do not want an unmarried woman teaching my children. It goes against the sacrament of marriage. Are you teaching a religious class? I expect teachers to be role models of the faith when I AM PAYING for a CATHOLIC EDUCATION. Young students are impressionable and when they see you pregnant they can easily come to the conclusion that being unmarried and pregnant is acceptable, which by definition of our faith it is not. I am not passing judgment, only stating my beliefs. If you were a public school teacher and my child was in your class, it simply would not be any of my business.

Should you be ashamed? That is for you to decide...sounds like you have a moral struggle going on. I wish you peace and a beautiful healthy baby.
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see above
Old 03-10-2017, 07:06 AM
 
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Mamabaarjo is the very reason why you should not say a thing. People can only be offended if they know and with the small belly most first time pregnancies cause at the 5 month mark they wont-some might wonder but many will just assume you putting on weight.

I interviewed for jobs when I was 5 months pregnant and I found that I wasnt being hired for positions I was over qualified for which boggled my mind. then I decided to wear normal clothes (not maternity wear which generally emphasizes the belly) and not mention it. While I knew it was illegal to discriminate against me due to pregnancy I also knew that no one want to hire someone who is about to be on a long term leave. with my bulge and unnecessary admissions out of the way I was hired right a way. Your pregnancy is none of anyone business.
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Pray for her, indeed!
Old 03-11-2017, 11:10 PM
 
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You've obviously thought long and hard about this decision. What she said was harsh and hurtful. Hold your head high, girl - you're one of God's own!
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I am sorry you feel stressed
Old 03-18-2017, 05:05 PM
 
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Most of life is unplanned. We just do the best we can and keep on living.

You have a big decision to make concerning the pregnancy. But you also have many options. My advise would be to choose an option that you can live with long term. Do not let this next five months be the biggest influence on your decision.

If this is your first pregnancy and you decide to have the baby you might not really show that much. Your stomach muscles are in good shape and will not just pop out there like most women do with second and beyond pregnancies.

Also women who are taller don't seem to show as early as short women.

There are many cute baby doll style tops you can wear. Also maybe a light jacket or big shirt to hide your body changes. many times dresses can be more flattering rather than slacks.

I hope you are able to make your decision quickly. Then you can begin to move on with your plans with less stress. Teaching is already stressful enough.

Best wishes whatever you decide.
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From a Longtime Catholic School Teacher
Old 03-25-2017, 05:00 AM
 
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God often works in our lives in ways we do not plan. This is YOUR life. Five months in a lifetime are short, even though it will seem like eternity now.

You can certainly carry this off with dignity. Obviously you love children or you wouldn't be in teaching.

Please keep us posted. PT is here for support.
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