My Deep, Dark Secret (for the Last Six Months)

My Deep, Dark Secret (for the Last Six Months)

Like so many little girls, one of my favourite childhood games to play was “grown ups.” 

Weekly, (sometimes daily) for many years, I remember going up into my bedroom, closing the door, putting on my mom’s expired 80's makeup and acting out my perfect "future life.”

In this perfect adult life of mine, I was always a wife and mom.  Just like my own mother, I was always THE most beautiful, happy, perfect wife and mom a young, impressionable girl could aspire to be.

young sammy shorkey

I loved pretending to be a wife and mom.  And to this day, I often joke with my parents that they’re to blame for creating this stupid “white picket fence” fantasy that I’ve come to learn in my adult life, doesn’t actually exist.  Or at least it doesn’t really exist anymore.

Don't get me wrong-- I LOVE that my parents are now in their 70's and after 45 years of blissful marriage, are STILL in love with each other and share the most beautiful, respectful adoration for one another.  I feel both blessed and cursed that their relationship has taught me to believe in "true love" and never settle for anything less.

mom and dad

And for a solid 36 years (for better or for worse) I’ve held out.

But I’ve also learned (now that I'm finally a "grown up") that I'm nowhere near perfect (although much better at applying makeup.)  And unlike my own mom (who at 36 was married, owned a house AND conceived four children) I followed a very different path.

Sure, I went to college, got a diploma in Journalism, got "Jacked on the Beanstalk," won a bunch of fitness competitions and created a successful online coaching biz

I've made my parents proud.  And yes, I've made myself proud too.  My big sister even says on the regular that she’d love to have just 5% of my ambition.  And yet, I’ve always seen her as the one to be admired—she got married and spawned two children after all.

Only twice in my 36 years have I been head-over-heels in love.  One lasted four years in my late 20's.  It was intense, volatile and died a long, painful, drawn-out death.  The other was quite recent and although brief, felt like a fairy tale.  It softly fizzled out, rendering me confused and disheartened.  Yes, that was the WWE wrestler you might remember me gushing over in THIS POST***Note to self: you should probably stop sharing so much about your personal life on the internet.***

Yes, it was only with these two men that I ever felt a glimmer of hope that I might one day become that perfect wife and mother who my 10-year-old self so badly wanted me to be.

After things ended with the wrestler, I decided to enlist the services of a psychotherapist to help me discover why I’m so good at creating success in my work life but suck so bad at creating love in my personal life. 

Together, we uncovered a lot about my childhood.  For starters, I was the youngest of four kids.  And being the newest addition to a very loud & opinionated, smart-assed family, I was forever trying to establish my role and "stand out in the crowd."  Not an easy task when every other family member was fighting for a turn to "hold the conch.” 

In this quest for attention and recognition, it was only natural that I developed habits and traits that made me seek out relationships and people who helped me to feel “important” and “seen.” 

Exhibit A: one of my drawings at eight-years-old.

young sam shorkey drawing

And it only got worse as I got older.  The more immersed I became in the fitness industry, the more I believed that the only men who could help me be seen and heard had to be superhero-like: strong and mighty.  No way was anyone stealing the conch from these big, scary dudes!

But alas, my relationships with this type clearly weren't working.  So my therapist encouraged me to stop meeting men at the gym and instead, date outside the “meathead” circle and stop believing that this type of man was the only key to unlocking my perfect “white picket fence” life. 

Naturally, I joined Tinder.

And like all of my life's greatest pursuits, I gave Tinder 100% effort.  I scheduled two dates per week for a solid month.  And as I scrolled through hundreds of men who I wasn’t really attracted to, I would try to heed the advice of my therapist and give the instant “no’s” a second glance before swiping left.

Unfortunately, Tinder also proved to be a letdown.  And I would often find myself on dates with nice-enough, decent looking-enough, random dudes thinking “I really wish I were at home meal prepping, listening to podcasts right now.” 

So after a number of mediocre dates, I made the decision to never again stray from meeting men in the "real world" and delete Tinder.

As I gave it one last "swipe," this one last "match" somehow convinced me to meet him before deleting the app.  I guess he won me over with the suggestion of a sports bar that had an ENTIRE vegan menu to eat from!  I had never been to this place so I accepted and was pleasantly surprised to see that he was better-looking than his photos.  He was tall.  He had nice lips and a strong jawline.  He was older than the other guys I'd dated and not my usual "jacked meathead" type.  But he was nice and kinda charming and seemed to have his shit together.

In comparison to every other Tinder date I’d been on, we had a good time and had several dates over the next few weeks.  But deep down, my "spidey sense" was telling me this was not the happily-ever-after I was seeking.

Nevertheless, we continued to hang out and I remained open to whatever the universe had in store.  Apparently it had something major to dump on me.

As I write this very-tough-to-share blog post, by some strange stroke of fate, I am now six months pregnant with a little vegan baby boy. 

sam shorkey pregnant vegan pregnancy single mom ashamed of being pregnant

I love blogging and yet I put off writing this post for sooooooo long because I felt so much shame for getting myself into this less-than-ideal situation.  I felt like I failed my parents for not following in their footsteps.  And I felt like I failed the 10-year-old me by not living up to that fantasy we both wanted so very badly.

It’s been hard looking at all the beautiful, happy, perfect-seeming pregnant women on Instagram who are married and ecstatic about their growing families.  As genuinely happy as I am for them, it hurts to feel like you got kicked off that same path and are now going through all of the same physical changes and emotional experiences but without a “soul mate” by your side.

Thankfully my parents have been incredibly supportive and I’m feeling so much love from my family, friends and the clients that I’ve told.

Slowly but surely, I’ve accepted the fact that I’m having a baby and I’m going to give this little guy the best mothering experience I can possibly give him.

“Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you.  Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late.  You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.” – Byron Katie

It’s not easy letting go of the judgments we have on ourselves and the opinions we’ve made about things that deem our actions “good” or "bad.”  But I’ve learned to stop resisting WHAT IS.  And I’ve realized that resistance takes up a hell of a lot more energy than acceptance does. 

And so, here I am, internet: unmarried and pregnant with an unplanned child. 

I might not be living out my perfect "wife and mom" childhood fantasy but maybe I can help be a part of someone else's childhood fantasy and play the role of a "MILF" perfectly. ;)

vegan milf meme

And instead of time traveling back into the past, being that little girl in the baby blue eye shadow and frosted fuchsia lipstick, I’m embracing every new moment that comes with being pregnant.  Like feeling his little kicks and hearing his heartbeat.

And what's pretty amazing is that I already feel a love for this little baby stronger than anything I’ve EVER felt for a man. 

And I can now see that the universe had this plan for me all along.  And that was to stop searching for my Superman.  And start being my son's superhero instead.

- Sam Shorkey, Jacked on the Beanstalk

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17 comments

  • Kendyra: April 08, 2019

    Wow Sam,
    What an amazing surprise. You may not have a husband but you’ve got a loving family & friends and that’s what matters.
    I think it’s so cool that you are going to be a Mom. You’ll do great and I’m looking forward to all the baby photos.

    Love ya,
    From Vancouver

  • Kathleen: April 08, 2019

    Thank you for sharing and congrats! I am sad you have felt shame. Unplanned, planned or whatever, a baby is a miracle, and you are going to fall in love and be an amazing mama! I had a planned daughter out of wedlock nearly 3 years ago (at almost 43!), and even though my conservative family was not 100% excited about me not being married, she is the light of all of our lives. You will find a whole new aspect of your business after becoming a mom, because you will now be able to fully relate to the majority of women out where, I.e., those of us who go through pregnancy, postpartum and momhood. So I only see big, new exciting things for you in your career! Sending love and happy baby vibes.

  • Steve : March 25, 2019

    Congratulations! You are going to be an awesome mom. Your son is going to be so proud that he has the loudest farting mother ever created. Hopefully your sense of humor is greater than ever now. All the wonderful advice you share with us will all be passed down to him. This is nothing but a great thing that has happened to a special woman. Keep your spirits up just as you always have and stay positive. Oh and by the way you are still as beautiful as I have ever seen you. Good luck with everything and keep all of us up to date with your pregnancy. You are awesome Sam

  • Miriam: March 20, 2019

    Sam Shorkey this is amazing news. It has raised a smile on a grim day here in NZ. Thank you for sharing this! Motherhood is spectacular, birthing is beautiful, breastfeeding is a privilege, and you are NOT alone.

  • Sarah: March 08, 2019

    Congratulations! ❤️ and thanks for sharing. I was in your shoes 21 years ago, and guess what? It all turned out OK. My daughter is now in university, studying to become a doctor. We’re the best of friends. You’re not alone. And you’ve got this. Much love to you, young Mama!

  • Madeleine: March 07, 2019

    My eyes welled up after reading this post. I’ve felt SO much of the same. Our journies seem to have a lot in common, so this really touched me. I’m a 36 year old single mom to an 8 month old vegan baby boy 💙 Kudos to you for being brave and sharing your story and congratulations on being the recipient of the most precious gift we can receive. :)

  • Erika: March 07, 2019

    What an awesome an honest post! Congratulations! There are so many ways to bring a child into the world these days, and it’s important to feel empowered by the notion that this is your CHOICE, not some formulaic path you’re following. Many people have babies because “that’s what you do” and end up being disappointed in how much work it is and how it affects their marriage. But to each their own. You’re walking your path.

    I also had a “Tinder Baby”. It wasn’t planned, but it was THE BEST thing that ever happened FOR me! It will be the hardest thing you ever do, and the best thing you ever do. I wouldn’t change a thing. For a long time I would compare myself to married friends and that only brought me to a really lonely and angry place. Now I am able to see all of the awesome advantages to not having to be a parent while maintaining a relationship, having time off to myself when my son is at his dad’s, and to generally just loving being able to focus 100% on my relationship with my son. My only advice is to take iron pills because pregnancy can make you anemic AND to make sure you have all the best people in your corner for that first year. I wasn’t able to maintain a vegan diet with my son for a few reasons, but he is a happy little vegetarian. Happy to chat to you anytime! You’re not alone :)

  • Daphna Nachminovitch: March 07, 2019

    You look beautiful, you are beautiful, and you are bringing another vegan into the world! You are going to make a wonderful mother. Mazal tov!

  • Alexis: March 07, 2019

    Congratulations!! You are so inspirational! Thank you sooo much for sharing. I really hope we have vegan weightlifting pregnancy podcasts!!! ❤️

  • Carly: March 06, 2019

    Hell yeah mama!
    1. You have such heart. It shows in everything you write or put effort in.
    2. You are going to experience SO much life soon- and it’s going to be amazing. Who cares what it looks like- it’s your life and the most important thing is that your living it! Having experiences, becoming a mom, it’s awesome!
    3. All too often we want to place ourselves in categories of good/bad/right/wrong, it’s really all the same. I love that you quoted Byron Katie in your blog. She’s amazing. You’ve done nothing “wrong”. You’re living. And you’re loving, and I’m sure you’re going to love the beanpods outta that little duder.
    4. How crazy is it to grow a human inside of your body?! Life is crazy!
    5. Thank you for being vulnerable and real and open. There are people who see that, and appreciate it.
    😘😘😘

  • Jennifer Moore: March 06, 2019

    Hold your head high! You are carrying a human life that will forever change yours!! We all have things in life that didn’t turn out the way we planned but God is faithful and He can turn anything around. I am proud of you for who you are as you are for all you have done. Keep on keeping on!

  • Niccole: March 06, 2019

    Such a honest from the heart blog post. That is one of the many things I love about you as a person and as a coach, your no BS, no sugar coating kind of personality. It’s refreshing to see the real side of people, and their own struggles and success. You are going to be a great mother and a damn cool one that all his friends are going to wish you were theirs. Get ready for some of the most amazing days of your life!

  • Britney: March 06, 2019

    As a once single mom, and mom of two vegan boys, you’ll find so much love in your little boy! Congrats.

  • Sharon : March 06, 2019

    Thanks for sharing! Be prepared to love more deeply than you ever have in your life. Your son will not only open your heart big and wide, but also prepare your heart for the right man one day, you’ll see ;) Annnd, now you’ll get to be the resident expert on how to reclaim your body after pregnancy.
    All good stuff! #goyou

  • Vicki Strickland : March 06, 2019

    I absolutely love your story! While it may not be “ideal” or line up with the dreams you had for your life, its beautiful. Life gets messy sometimes but it always remains breathtaking. Thank you for your authenticity and vulnerability. May you find yourself in situations that continue to take your breath away and may you build a life with your son that far exceeds every dream you have ever dared to dream. He is a lucky little guy.

  • Cynthia : March 06, 2019

    Very beautifully written.

  • Lindsay: March 06, 2019

    Congratulations!!! So special x

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