Jillian Michaels has stated that although she is interested in parenting, she is not willing to put her body through a pregnancy. It is now being discussed as an irresponsible thing for Jillian to say as a role model for healthy living and healthy body image. Some view it as a dangerous, unhealthy message and a wasted opportunity to show women that you can get back into shape after pregnancy. Jillian herself has defended and explained the statement via social media. I, for one, support her decision as a responsible personal choice.
Jillian has been open that she had to work hard to get to her current weight. Sometimes being an emotionally healthy person means avoiding unnecessary stressors. For some, this means not being hungry when you shop for groceries or not adding a negative person to your Facebook friends list. For Jillian, maintaining emotional health may mean not feeling out of control of her body. No matter how healthy a woman is during pregnancy, there are some things outside of your control. Even if she maintains the epitome of a healthful diet, the hormones of pregnancy change your body in more ways than weight.
Parenting is the most important, most difficult job anyone will ever have. It is important to be in the best mindset possible to best meet the needs of your children. Responsible parenting is knowing what you can and cannot handle, whether that is the emotional toll of weight gain or disheveled post-birth photos posted to Facebook.
On a more serious note, I recognize that my career in adoption makes me more comfortable with alternative means to grow a family, including adoption and surrogacy. Many detractors may not be as familiar and comfortable, nor know the great need for families to adopt. This career has also brought me to the view that knowing what one can and cannot handle is responsible. There are many reasons why a family may not feel comfortable adopting a child with medical needs, but a child needs a family that is prepared to manage that stressor. If a family is not sure they are capable of parenting trans-racially, I will not persuade them to consider adopting from Congo.
Jillian is being a responsible parent by considering her own mental health in making parenting decisions. If she is not emotionally healthy, she cannot be the best parent that she could be.
December 29th, 2010