True Story: I’m an Oops Baby

Many people have an underlying suspicion that they are oops babies. But I had more than an underlying suspicion when I did some quick math and realized my sister was 19 years older than me AND we both had different fathers AND my parents weren’t married.

Don’t worry. I’m not the only one who did this math. So did a lot of other kids in my elementary school. Insert childhood teasing here.

The good news is that my mom never let on that I was an oops baby. Instead she called me her happy little surprise — a much better name than my little mistake.

My mom was 40 when she had me and my dad was still in his 30’s. After being a work-a-holic jetsetter while raising my older sister, she decided to take a different approach with me. She opted to stay-at-home and have a daycare so she could spend as much time as possible with me. Instead of being a mistake, I was like her do-over, her chance to fix anything she did wrong while raising my sister.

I had a normal childhood for the most part. Of course the occasional snobby brat would make fun of me because my parents weren’t married and because I was clearly a mistake. But my parents never made me feel unwanted or unloved.

Then when I was six my mom was diagnosed with ALS,¬†Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease that basically attacks your nervous system and shuts down different parts of your body. She died within a year, and although I’m glad it was quick, I never had a chance to say goodbye. I went from being a miracle baby in my mom’s eyes to feeling like an added chore on my father’s to-do list. Although I knew I was loved, I couldn’t help feeling like I was always in the way.

And I guess you could say I’ve felt like that all my life. I’ve become this obsessive people pleaser — I constantly feel like if I do one thing wrong, I’ll be de-friended (in real life, not marky Z style) because people will know I was a mistake. So how do I deal with the stigma of knowing I was an oops baby? I fix it by being on top of everything all the time. And can I just say, it’s starting to get exhausting.

I would love to tell you that I had a revelation this year and I don’t feel like I’m a regret for my parents, or that it’s possible for me to have a healthy relationship. But I gave up lying for lent, so we’ll have to save that fiction story for another day.

I know that my dad doesn’t regret having me; I’m not stupid. But, some days it’s harder to rationalize. And the whole relationship thing, well, losing my mom left me with a lot, and I mean a lot, of abandonment issues — and mix that with constantly feeling like a giant mistake and you’ve got someone who is a bigger fail at making something work than Jesse James.

Hopefully some day I’ll be able to accept the fact that I won’t be able to please anyone and that it’s okay to lose people. But until then I’ll just continue to blog about my failed attempts at sparking a relationship and my annoying need to please everyone all the time.

Read more true stories from CollegeCandy writers and readers here.

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  1. Laurie says:

    I'm so sorry about your mom. My best friend's mom died of ALS this year, after having it for years. I watched how terrible it was and it was such a tragedy. At the very least, it was quick for your mom. My heart goes out to you in feeling like you were a regret for your parents. No one should have to feel that way. I'm sure it's not true. I'm trying not to say a bunch of cliches, because you've probably heard them before, and even though I mean it, I know they probably won't help. But at the risk of using one, I will pray for you. And not like "Oh, I don't know what to do, so I'll just pray for you." I mean it when I pray for people and I hope you can find peace and know that you are loved and don't have to be a perfectionist all the time. Anyways, that was all I wanted to say, I hope I helped in some way.

  2. M - says:

    I don't understand why people would make fun of you for being born out of wedlock…?

  3. Ariana says:

    The baby isn’t a mistake… It’s a blessing, but sometimes people aren’t in the right place to see that…

  4. NoOneGivesAShit says:

    Pity party much?

    1. Ann says:

      Rude much?

  5. Ana says:

    You know, I sometimes feel that way. Mostly because I know that when my mom found out she was preggers, she had just dumped my father because he was cheating. So I kind of know that I was an oops baby. My mom never made me feel that way, she always says I saved her, but my father, I just know that I was not in his plans and the fact that I have no relationship with him whatsover kind of proves it. I was always the one trying to please everyone, but I gave that up. I figure I can only be me and, yes, some people won't like that, and I'm okay with it. I still suck at romantic relationships, tho. I really have trust issues so I need to work on that. I have no idea of where would I be if I had lost my mother at such an young age and I'm pretty sure she is looking down at you and is very proud of the woman you are now.

    I wish you all the best!!!!

  6. Christine says:

    A friend of mine was a surprise baby as well. (Her sister's response was "Mom! Everyone will think it's *mine*.") We were discussing this once, and she pointed out that her parents obviously liked her – they brought her up anyhow. My parents, on the other hand, had been wanting a baby. The clearly wouldn't have cared *what* they got. I laughed, although I really wish that my mom hadn't agreed with my friend.

  7. maddy says:

    My little sister is an oops baby too. I reeeally hope she never realizes it.

  8. Katie says:

    I'm a oops baby too, there's 10 years between me and my brother and 15 between me and my sister. But I'm super close with them, and when I was younger I felt that my mom liked them better then me, but now it's all good

  9. Devin says:

    I was also an oops baby. My mom got pregnant with me when she was 15, so it's pretty obvious. Just something I've grown up with.

    I'm sorry about your mom, but at least you're making the best of a bad situation!

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