There's something about having baby number four that makes plenty of people around me uncomfortable. Maybe it's because four children elevates us into the large family category and that seems daunting for people to have that much responsibility.
Often I hear my pregnancy being justified in casual conversation. "Yup, that's baby number 4 for Sarah... but she's done now."
I'm not sure if that last little bit is tagged on the end to ease the anxiety of the teller or if it's just an interesting little tidbit that seems too juicy not to include, but a lot of people are saying it.
I want you to know how it feels to hear "but she's done now" when you're talking about this little belly baby.
- It feels like disapproval. Not that I'm begging anybody to put a great big stamp of endorsement on my growing family, but there are folks out there who I love that are saying this and it does sting to feel like you are disappointed in the number of children I have.
- It feels like you are embarrassed. Fear not. I am sure very few of your friends, coworkers, distant relatives...etc are judging you for my radical contribution to over populating the earth.
- It feels like betrayal. Honestly if we are close enough that I have discussed family planning with you than you are a privileged person in my circle. I would hope that the sacredness of our conversations would be held in confidence. Not blabbed to any ears willing to listen.
- It feels shameful. And it shouldn't. I'm a pretty great mom and I have some really terrific kids. I have devoted a large portion of my life to educating, nurturing and loving on my little humans just as I will do with (and am already doing with) baby number four.
If you are thinking that you are being singled out in this post, you're not. I have had enough of these sort of experiences that I feel the need to address is rather publicly. So if you are a "but she's done now" person trust me you're not the only one.
I understand that habits are hard to change and sometimes we need a little help figuring out how to better our behavior. When we know better we (hopefully) do better. Here's a list of what to say instead of "but she's done now".
Sarah's having baby number four and...
- I'm so excited.
- I can't wait.
- Our family is so lucky.
- We love him already.
- He will be so much fun.
- He sure is lucky to have all his older siblings to shower him with love.
- This will be the first one born near family.
- I want to be a top notch baby snuggler when he gets here.
- In the mean time I will make sure Sarah's feet are rubbed and her toe nails are painted.
Hopefully these suggestions will be helpful and trigger some of your own ideas on positive things to say to pregnant moms of many (or any for that matter).
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