I can remember being ready to start a family years before my husband was, and the excitement when he finally was on board with the idea. You stress over your cycles, chart symptoms, pray and plead. Then, you finally are pregnant. So what happens when you share the news?
For me, this has been a humorous adventure. When it’s your first baby, people are usually thrilled. Of course, not all pregnancies are planned and hoped for, unfortunately. For me, having a baby took time. It took fertility treatments. So when we told our family, it was exciting. We made little cards. We called loved ones who we couldn’t see. There were happy screams and tears. Everyone was excited. Then, we discovered it was twins and the excitement doubled.
Fast forward to second baby. For me, there was still lots of joy over the news. Then, we found out it was a boy. Hooray! Now we would have a boy and a girl. How exciting!
Third baby came along, and this is where it hurts. There were snarky comments. “Can you handle three?”
“Three kids is hard because someone is always left out.”
“But you have a boy and a girl already.”
"Was it planned?"
There were even some loved ones who didn't respond at all.
So you’re having another baby, momma? Here’s what I say about sharing your news.
Be loud and proud.
If your family is expanding, then it’s time to celebrate. Babies are a precious gift and no one should feel bad about adding another member to their clan. Yes, we’re adults. We know how babies are made, and some of us just like big families. Don’t be embarrassed to share the news. People don’t think when they make comments. I’ve learned that. I can’t go to a store without hearing how "my hands are full." Instead of taking things personally, try responding with a positive comment. “Yes, we’re so excited and blessed to be entrusted with another little one!”
As my youngest child turns 1, the hope for more babies is dimming in my life. Babies are hard, expensive, and I’m tired. But, I will always be thankful for the babies I have. Even if your pregnancy wasn’t planned, came too quickly, or seems difficult--be grateful. Be thankful you have a car big enough for your growing family and food to eat on the table. Be grateful for the friendship your children will share as they get older.
Be true to yourself.
If this baby is something you really wanted, hoped for, and planned, then be true to yourself. Remind yourself and your spouse that this is your family. It is your decision to have a baby. It is your time, your work, and your love that will go into making this little one grow and thrive. Sometimes it’s hard to remember we have our own small families when other loved ones offer opinions or their advice. You are in charge.
Enjoy the pregnancy. Wear a smile and some stretchy maternity jeans as you walk through Target pushing those huge carts with your other small children. There is nothing to be ashamed of. You are blessed and so is the baby growing inside of you.
Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where she constantly gets funny looks for all of her children.