It’s time to have a chat, some raw feelings here…being judged as a mom or how you choose to parent sucks. Society judging you as a mom or how you choose to parent sucks. You have to stand strong in your decisions, regardless of how hurtful or just plain asinine the judgement is. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t rip your heart open, exposing the most vulnerable parts of your soul.
So I bring you to my point…we want to have another baby, and I’d be lying if I said people support that decision. We’ve heard it all…
“you’re getting too old”
“you’re not getting any younger”
“are you crazy?!”
“you already have three kids”
“are you insane?!”
“you know kids cost money, right?”
“well you already have both genders, so you don’t need another”
“what if another child has food allergies?”
“what if your pregnancy is difficult again?”
“aren’t you worried about the age difference?” (in regard to having a 19 year old in addition to two other young children)
“you’ll never have time for yourself” (we don’t anyway)
“that’s too many kids”
“your child/children is/are a handful, how will you handle another?” (any mom can vouch for the fact that toddlers, in general, are a handful!)
The list goes on and on, and even some others that have been more hurtful than those. My response is usually simple, stating “We just really want another child.” Are we “older” now? Do we already have a bunch of kids? Totally! …but all of it is really no one’s business. Yes, there are risks involved in getting pregnant again, I know this, but there’s risks regardless of age, previous health concerns, etc. We can’t predict what may or may not happen, but what we do know is that we love our children and that our ability to love and nurture another child has never been in question. It’s our decision to make and support is all that’s requested from others, even though we often don’t get it. Saying we want to have another baby should be a happy statement, but instead I just feel fear and anxiety at even the thought of mentioning it. I chose to be a mother because I like being a mother. It’s not a burden, maybe to some people, but not to me, so it’s hurtful that it’s sometimes approached that way.
This brings me to my next point…we are having trouble getting pregnant. There. I said it.
I wasn’t sure I’d even discuss it, except for a few far away friends and confidants, but it’s really bothering me and I know there’s so many others in the same boat. No, let me preface by saying we haven’t been trying for years, like so many others have, and this struggle is still very new for us. I’m not even close to using the word “infertility” yet, because we are nowhere near that yet and I hope we don’t have to get there. We are hopeful it will happen, it’s just not what we expected to happen after the first two were so easy to conceive. But it is happening and it’s been very disappointing, nonetheless.
All those statements up there, the judgment, the opinions? They’re consuming me like wildfire lately. The little voice inside oftens chimes in, “they’re right, you know? You’re old(ish), you will be broke and stressed out, you will likely have pregnancy complications, you’re going to have another child with food allergies, more hospital bills… It’s just not meant to be.” And I shrink up inside, trying to hide from all of it. Trying to escape the thoughts of “why can’t my body just do what it’s supposed to do? What it’s done before?” I remind myself to be thankful for the babies I do have. I enjoy them immensely, even in the hard, stressful and financially trying times. I’m passionate about them, about my family. I love being a mom.
My hearts breaks for people everywhere who struggle with infertility, miscarriage, motherhood, pregnancy, parenting, life…we are all taught that our feelings aren’t valid because “well consider yourself lucky, so-and-so has it much worse” or “you’re being overdramatic” or “everything happens for a reason.” Don’t even get me started with trying to grapple with the thoughts of possibly never being pregnant again or holding my own newborn again, because that’s part of the story that I’m not ready to write quite yet or the fact that Duchess Kate is pregnant again and we’ve been pregnant together every time! (Sarcasm is obviously key to getting through for me, although, a few people did remind me of this recently by saying it was “my turn” in a way that was meant in jest, but actually stung a bit because of what’s happening)…But it’s feelings and emotions, and they’re not easily dismissed. They’re real, they’re sometimes wonderful and sometimes sad. They’re also valid.
I just wanted to share, because it’s easy to feel alone or get lost in thoughts of “why me?!” and yeah, I can totally be overdramatic (just ask my husband about me trying to eat the unhealthiest breadsticks imaginable through tears because we failed at pregnancy again…oh and yeah, I realize my diet and junk food and being overweight affects all of this, but don’t even get me started down that road with judgments)…I’m just trying to work through it all. Just trying to forge ahead on this journey that we’re navigating alone, but we have each other, our little tribe.
There’s also hope in there. And I hope that someday soon there can be a happy announcement, even if it’s met with judgments I’ll have to push aside, because it’s what we want and that’s what really matters. And also, just be kind to others, even if you don’t necessarily agree. I feel like I’ve had to type/say this far too many times as of late…