Surprise! 'Bachelor' star Bekah Martinez reveals she's pregnant

"Men and women's reactions, I don't want to generalize, but I think they're very different," Martinez explains in the video.

Surprise! 'Bachelor' star Bekah Martinez reveals she's pregnant

She was one of the most popular and controversial Bachelor cast members in recent seasons, and now Bekah Martinez is going to be a mom.

She made the announcement Wednesday via YouTube video and an interview with PureWow, and the story of how Martinez and her boyfriend, Grayston Leonard reacted to the positive pregnancy test proves that, sometimes, partners can have very different feelings when they find out a baby is on the way.

"Men and women's reactions, I don't want to generalize, but I think they're very different," Martinez explains in the video.

The 23-year-old mom-to-be had been dating Leonard for three months when she found out she was pregnant (the relationship and the pregnancy were both reasons why she didn't do Bachelor in Paradise).

When Martinez found out she was expecting she was excited."It's the one thing that I've known with certainty for so long," she told PureWow. "I've always felt sure that I want to be a mom."

Leonard, on the other hand, was a bit shocked and concerned about what the couple would need to do to prepare for a baby. "The male reaction is like very logical, very practical," Martinez explains. "I just wasn't thinking about any of that practical, logical stuff. I was just like, you know, I've wanted to be a mom my whole life. This is what I've always wanted and I don't care what the circumstances are, this is gonna work and this is my baby. That's how I've felt from the start."

While Martinez felt like a mom from the moment she got a positive test, Leonard feels his transformation from reluctant to expectant father took some more time, but he did get there. When Martinez's bump began to pop, he felt a change, and says he's ready to be the best dad he can be.

It's not uncommon for men to take more time to get excited about a pregnancy

"Women often perceive that men aren't as excited as they are because it takes longer for them to get connected since it's not in their bodies," Deborah Issokson, a licensed psychologist, previously explained to WebMD. "So much of the pregnancy is kind of quiet until women start showing or the baby starts moving."

And while mama's hormonal changes start before we see two lines on the stick, changes to dad's hormone levels are a bit slower.

Now that Leonard and Martinez are experiencing some pregnancy milestones together, he's getting into dad mode but the couple isn't rushing to meet any relationship milestones. A lot has happened in the seven months they've been together, and they're looking forward to slowing down and just enjoying some time with their child.

"We'll have a kid before we've been dating for a year," Leonard says in the video.

"It's a horrible idea for us to consider with all of the hormones and the stress we're experiencing," Martinez told PureWow. "The last thing we need is to consider another commitment on top of what we're already going through...Regardless, we're bound together by sharing this little life."

Whether they choose to stay together or co-parent separately, and despite their different initial reactions, one thing is clear: Martinez and Leonard are both committed to their baby.

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This is how we’re defining success this school year

Hint: It's not related to grades.

In the ever-moving lives of parents and children, opportunities to slow down and reflect on priorities can be hard to come by. But a new school year scheduled to begin in the midst of a global pandemic offers the chance to reflect on how we should all think about measures of success. For both parents and kids, that may mean putting a fresh emphasis on optimism, creativity and curiosity.

Throughout recent decades, "school success" became entangled with "academic achievement," with cases of anxiety among school children dramatically increasing in the past few generations. Then, almost overnight, the American school system was turned on its head in the spring of 2020. As we look ahead to a new school year that will look like no year past, more is being asked of teachers, students and parents, such as acclimating to distance learning, collaborating with peers from afar and aiming to maintain consistency with schooling amidst general instability due to COVID.

Despite the inherent challenges, there is also an overdue opportunity to redefine success during the school year by finding fresh ways to keep students and their parents involved in the learning process.

"I always encourage my son to try at least one difficult thing every school year," says Arushi Garg, parenting blogger and mom of a 4-year-old. "This challenges him but also allows me to remind him to be optimistic! Lots of things in life are hard, and it's important we learn to be positive during difficult times. Fostering a sense of optimism allows kids to push beyond what they thought possible, like biking without training wheels or reading above their grade level."

Here are a few mantras to keep in mind this school year:

Quality learning matters more than quantifying learning

After focusing on standardized measures of academic success for so long, the learning environment this next school year may involve more independent, remote learning. Some parents are considering this an exciting opportunity for their children to assume a bigger role in what they are learning—and parents are also getting on board by supporting their children's education with engaging, positive learning materials like Highlights Magazine.

As a working mom, Garg also appreciates that Highlights Magazine can help engage her son while she's also working. She says, "He sits next to me and solves puzzles in the magazine or practices his writing from the workbook."

Keep an open mind as "school" looks different

Whether children are of preschool age or in the midst of high school, "going to school" is bound to look different this year. Naturally, this may require some adjustment as kids become accustomed to new guidelines. Although many parents may wish to shelter our kids from challenges, others believe optimism can be fostered through adversity when everyone is committed to adapting to new experiences.

"Honestly, I am yet to figure out when I will be comfortable sending [my son] back [to school]," says Garg. In the meantime, she's helping her son remain connected with friends who also read Highlights Magazine by encouraging the kids to talk about what they are learning on video calls.

Follow children's cues about what interests them

For Garg, her biggest hope for this school year is that her son will create "success" for himself by embracing new learning possibilities with positivity.

"Encouraging my son to try new things has given him a chance to prove that he can do anything," she says. "He takes his previous success as an example now and feels he can fail multiple times before he succeeds."

There's no denying that this school year will be far from the norm. But, perhaps, we can create a new, better way of defining our children's success in school because of it.

This article was sponsored by Highlights. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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