I going to be honest and say that I am really starting to enjoy telling people that I am expecting my fourth baby. When they ask me if this is my first pregnancy, I love telling them the ages of my other girls too (almost 5, 3, and 17 months). They look at me wide-eyed and usually say something a long the lines of “Wow, you have your hands full” or “Boy, you have been busy”.
These kinds of comments used to piss me off but now I’m just soaking them in a little more and secretly enjoying the reactions I get. It has taken me a little while to get to this stage though. It took a lot for me to get past the judgment I felt. The little eye-rolls that I got from folks signifying that they may think I’m nuts isn’t as offensive as it used to be.
It was a little harder to get over the comments coming from family members though. Especially when those comments keep coming from the same people. I know he really cares about his son, my husband, but when he first heard the news of another baby on the way, my father-in-law’s response was less than enthusiastic. He said, “Oh, Brent, come on!” or something to that effect. I really didn’t love that response. I guess because it wasn’t what I had been hearing from my family.
That one comment in isolation didn’t really bother me that much, but when coupled with a comment a few months later at my sister-in-law’s house, I really had a harder time shaking things off.
We were at a BBQ in her backyard, when someone asked if we were done after four kids. Before me or Brent even had a chance to respond my father-in-law blurted out, “I should certainly hope so!” Hmmm, now I really am wondering, what is it about us having more children that is hard on him exactly?
Up until last week, I really had let his comments go (for the most part). Then on Thursday, the day of our 9th wedding anniversary, my husband sent me text message asking for the name of the urologist we had been recommended to for, you know, the “snip, snip”.
“What?” “Why?” I asked. My husband replied with, “I was just doing some research about it and plus my dad brought it up again” I was brought back right to square one again with my feelings of resentment towards my father-in-law. I haven’t asked him, but maybe I should, what is the big deal? What if we did want more children? What is he doing to do about it?
People have so many opinions sometimes it is hard to not care what other people think. I generally have gotten better at letting go of things that bother me but sometimes over and over again it gets too much.
A friend of mine posted on Facebook this weekend that she was fed up with people making comments to her that it must be so much easier for her with a two kids five years apart. I’ll admit that I have thought that before about people who have a larger spread between their children than what we have. But thinking that and saying it out loud are really two different things. I suppose that the reason I have thought that is because you only have one set of diapers to deal with, etc.. But I also think that I suffer from occasional “the grass is always greener” syndrome. I often think people have it easier than me especially when I’m tired, sick, or just plain overwhelmed with my kids.
Another mom on my mother’s club web board posted an anonymous post asking people how they made the decision to go from two children to three. Perhaps she got direct responses rather than responses to the entire club, so I didn’t see them, but it didn’t seem like many people had thoughts to share on the topic. I had wanted to write in but we never really weighed the decision, I guess we always knew we wanted more children and didn’t really spend too much time “weighing” it. I also felt that it is such a personal decision to make, how many children you want, how close together you have them (although in our case it was very difficult to time that because of my unpredictable cycle), how you raise them, etc.
People do have a lot of opinions and perhaps the cost of having more children, the impact on the environment of more people, social responsibility, etc. are all things that people feel strongly about, but isn’t that why they get to live their life and other people get to live theirs?
We might not have planned anticipated having a fourth baby so close in age to Rocky but for me it is a dream come true. I feel so grateful that I get another opportunity to have another baby. I can honestly say that I am excited about it rather than scared. I am looking forward to it more than dreading it. I am so excited to find out the gender of our next baby and start to brainstorm names with my husband.
Yeah, I have often wondered how our four small kids are all going to ride in a stroller when none of them wants to walk. I sometimes think about how we will literally have no trunk space in our mini-van and will probably have to buy one of those roof top storage racks or tow a trailer with all our stuff. In the worst of times, I worry that adding a fourth little voice to the chorus of crying and tantrums is crazy. But I am happy we are who we are and our kids, as challenging as they can be sometimes, are ours. I am so glad this is my life and even when it is feeling a little nuts, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.