It seems like you hit your twenties, get married and then people start asking you when you’re going to start a family. Then you have your first child and people lavish you with attention. In fact, the parade of people coming to visit your first-born in the hospital seems endless and overwhelming. By your second you get a few visitors and after that you’re lucky if anyone comes at all.
All The Hype Is Reserved For The First Baby
There is so much expectation and excitement for your first baby. Yet after your second you might start to hear this question, “So, you’re done now right?” I had a daughter and then a son, so of course people assumed the only reason to want another, namely having a child of a different gender, was a moot point for me. I’ll admit that I thought that too. After Jayden was born I thought, “I’m done now.” So much so that I sold all the baby gear with the exception of the crib. Perhaps that was a sign I wasn’t ready to put the closed sign on the old uterus just yet.
Are You Done Now?
After a year and half of convincing my husband, we should have a third he FINALLY agreed. Today, I’m celebrating my little Sydney’s first birthday. I still get asked, “So, you’re done now right?” Ironically, I also get asked, “Are you going to have another and round it out?” I’ll be honest. I have no idea what the future holds, only that I’m open to whatever comes my way. If we never have another child, I will be ok with the three gifts I have. If we decide to have another, I know I will love him or her every bit as much as I love my other children. The only thing I’m sure of is that I no longer believe in talking in absolutes. Even my husband who tells me he is “sure” we’re done will not let me sell the baby gear just yet. I think after having to repurchase a lot of things after we were “sure” last time we said we were done he has learned not to speak in absolutes either.
Fascination With Family Size
I have no clue why people seem so invested in other people’s family size. I do know that TLC and other TV stations have made a lot of money exploiting that fascination. I’ll admit that I get caught up in it too. I wrote a post about my friend Stephani because I’m fascinated with how she not only survives taking care of six kids every day, but how she thrives doing it. Big families that were once the norm are not anymore. Now it’s two kids, and three is quickly becoming the new two. Anything beyond that and you probably get the aforementioned question all the time, as if it’s anyone’s business anyway. So how do we go from welcoming a child as a blessing to seeing adding another child as a burden?
A Loaded Question
The truth is I don’t know, but if you do please fill me in. The only thing I know for certain is that what one person may see as a burden, another might see as a blessing. I was surprised when my friend Stephani said that she had a lady at the supermarket tell her she was blessed with all six of her children. Maybe it’s the New Yorker in me, but I would have expected for her to hear a rude comment instead. What I would LOVE is if everyone just stopped asking. They don’t understand that it’s a loaded question, fraught with emotional pitfalls. For some, asking if a person is going to have more hurts because of a fertility issue or miscarriages or a hundred other reasons that may be private. For others, the implication that having more children would be a burden hurts because they celebrate each child like the first one.
Only Time Will Tell
Before I got pregnant with my third, my step dad used to tell me all the time “Oh you don’t want any more.” I would tell him that, “as a matter of fact I do.” Well here I am celebrating my little blessing today. Sydney is so loved. Her presence in our lives seems so precious and just like my other kids, I truly could not picture my life, our lives, without her. So if you really want to know if a person is going to have more kids, you’ll just have to stay tuned. Maybe you’ll get a pregnancy announcement and maybe you won’t. As for me, all I know is that adding to your family may divide your attention, but it also multiplies your love.
Did you know you were done having kids or did you just run out the clock on your fertile years?