Let’s disclaim this thing right off the bat: I AM NOT PREGNANT.
These are all old photos. I spend plenty of time cooing over baby + kid clothing and dreaming of maybe, someday, but that’s normal, right? RIGHT? Even if it’s not, I swear on the precious I am not pregnant.
But what if I were? Would you judge me for having a fourth kid? Would you celebrate it as much as you did when, after years of infertility, I had my first?
My sister just had her fourth baby last weekend. (And she is beautiful, by the way!) A dear friend recently announced she’s also expecting her fourth. And friends, I’ll be honest: four babies sure feels like a lot of babies to me. I’m in complete awe of these women, doing something I am not yet prepared to do.
I remember when I was pregnant with Ryan, people would often ask, “So did you finally get a boy?” As if my pregnancy was only acceptable if we had at least one boy to balance out the two girls we already had. I would think of my friend Janssen, who has four daughters, and wonder how much judgement she had faced from strangers who thought a fourth baby—let alone a fourth girl!—was not a good idea. Who are they to decide for her? Or for me? Maybe I should have A MILLION girl babies, just to spite them!
(Obviously I am a very rational and not at all vindictive person when I am pregnant. Also I have zero say in what flavor baby we have. Biology is fun!)
I also recently watched the media + the internet collectively swoon over the most recent addition to Britain’s royal family…which was, incidentally, Kate + Will’s third child. And I wondered. Would we be so excited for them if they weren’t a) beautiful and b) wealthy? I mean, obviously they should have more kids: they make darling children, seem to be gracious people + good parents, and can afford nannies + housekeepers + a large home + things like that.
What about those of us who can’t or don’t? When your neighbor tells you she’s expecting, and she’s already got two sets of twins in her 3 bedroom fixer-upper and that perpetually frazzled Mom Look (you know the one), what’s your first reaction?
Honestly, mine isn’t usually willing congratulations. Sometimes it is. More often, my thoughts get real judgy, real fast. Why would you do that to your body AGAIN? Aren’t you guys stretched thin enough already? How will you afford this? Won’t your other children get neglected? Did you REALLY think this through?
I know. It’s not kind and I’m not proud of it.
But despite those initial thoughts, here are some things I genuinely believe:
Every child is a blessing.
A day when a family grows is a good day.
Each human has intrinsic worth and the world is a more beautiful place because each of us exists.
So I’m making more of a point to live those beliefs.
When someone tells me she’s expecting, whether it’s her first kid or her ninth, I will exclaim my joy for her with laughter + tears + all the hugs.
When I hear that another baby is joining a family, I will offer whatever support + service I can give to make the transition easier.
I will remind Judgy Jen that another person’s decision to have a child is 100% not our business. And then I will buy that expecting mama something sweet for her precious new bundle.
Because being pregnant, giving birth, and keeping a newborn alive is hard enough without people heaping judgement on you. And every kid really is a unique gift to the world. Plus, it’s a lot easier to for us as mothers to appreciate the delight of each new baby when we help each other bear the burdens that come with them, don’t you think?
We should all be as excited as tiny Margot was when she found out she was going to be a big sister!
So, to help us all celebrate kids—your own or someone else’s, first or second or twelfth—I’ve got a little giveaway for you!
It’s a $50 credit to a darling boutique based in Pittsburgh. They have baby + kid clothes (some of my favorite high quality brands too!), home decor, and even a few things for women. Because moms deserve to be celebrated too.
(Psst: Mother’s Day is coming up. You might want to get on that.)
The giveaway ends Tuesday May 15th at midnight Arizona time. Winner will be announced as soon as entries are verified.
Scroll on down to enter…and good luck!
Images 1, 2, 3, and 5 by Kelli Nicole Photography What a baby I was!