Anyone who keeps up with the Kardashians has, at some point over the past several months, asked, "Where are they hiding Kylie?!"
It's been an open secret that the youngest of the Kardashian-Jenner clan has been pregnant, and the conspiracy theories (was she Kim's surrogate?!) have circulated with nearly as much frequency as the judgment.
"She's too young." "She doesn't know what she's doing." "She's just a kid herself." "She's not ready to be a mom."
The criticism was relentless and far-reaching. Even I, a devout KUWTK fan, was concerned — I remember myself as a 20-year-old, and I can't imagine starting a family so young. Part of me naively thought that, no, no, Kylie wasn't being so reclusive to hide a growing baby bump — she was probably hard at work on the next line of lip kits!
So when she officially announced the birth of her baby today, I quickly pulled up the Instagram to see what she'd written — and if you had any inclination that she was too immature to be a mom, she'll have you convinced otherwise by the fourth sentence. These were the words of one strong mama.
It bears repeating: "My pregnancy was one I chose not to do in front of the world. I knew for myself I needed to prepare for this role of a lifetime in the most positive, stress free, and healthy way I knew how."
She certainly could have chronicled her major life change for reality cameras (a task that she, contrary to popular belief, doesn't owe the general public), but it seems that she weighed the positive, real-time attention with the opportunity for negativity and made a judgment call to remain private — no easy feat for someone with 101 million Instagram followers.
She wasn't fame-seeking, she wasn't shopping around exclusives . . . she was taking her pregnancy — and the health of her baby — seriously.
"I knew my baby would feel every stress and every emotion, so I chose to do it this way," she added.
I personally am so happy that Kylie was able to have an "empowering" pregnancy on her terms, and I hope as much for this next stage of her life. If she decides to bring a dozen TV cameras into her home tomorrow, if she decides to go on a date night with boyfriend Travis Scott next weekend, if she decides to post a Snapchat about the wonders of supplementing with formula next month, I hope we can all remember to take a breath before we offer up judgment — that she's young, yes, but that we all were once new members to the motherhood club, too.