In light of a recent article on Babble about me and my apparent disregard to financial responsibility in childbearing, I do have an announcement:
Yes, I am pregnant. Again.
And no, I do not idolize Michelle Dugger.
I planned on making the big announcement today, but after reading Michelle’s article, I definitely had cold feet. While Michelle and I respectfully agreed to disagree, she worried about the responsibility if deciding her family was ready for #2, while I argued that finances shouldn’t always play a part in deciding a family’s size.
Of course, after I read the article, I panicked, thinking I appeared to be some sort of free-will hippie, getting pregnant every chance I could with no consideration for any reasonable concerns like jobs or insurance. So, to clarify, while I am NOT for mindless childbearing, I am in favor of the belief that money does not necessarily a good parent make. And I also firmly believe that there are valuable lessons to be learned by having siblings and a “large” family. Furthermore, I do not believe that poor women should be held to a different standard as mothers, nor should those women who are in situations they can not control, such as rape, feel they are not good mothers.[End of soapbox.]
Trust me, after getting pregnant in college and enduring WIC and Medicaid and the feeling that I was an inadequate mother, I am no hurry to have an unplanned pregnancy again. I value the gift of being in a stable financial place, with some life experience under my belt, and a supportive partner before becoming a parent all over again. But let’s face it–sometimes life happens. (No pun intended!)
So you lament over the fact that your child won’t attend that fancy-shmancy summer camp? Or that you won’t be able to afford that brand-new car you had your eye on?
Of course not. As the patient I delivered a few nights ago so aptly declared (on her 5th child, no less!),
“You can’t worry about it! You just love it!”
Watching this patient deliver, while actually laughing, which was bizarre in itself, and then literally worshiping her baby, kissing her toes and refusing to let me take her so she could sleep, was so refreshing. In this age of worry and control, it can be hard to just let go and enjoy our families. We worry about every single thing when it comes to our children–are they eating enough veggies, do they watch too much TV, are they getting the right balance of educational activities and physical exertion?
It can be exhausting. But watching her, I was reminded, all over again, of just the pure joy of parenting. How it really can be viewed as a gift and a privilege. And maybe, maybe, even fun.
The truth is, I have battled fear with this pregnancy. Fear of appearing irresponsible. Fear, as Michelle’s article talked about, if I’m doing the right thing. Get ready for a shocking fact–I will be 26 with 3 kids under the age of 5. *Gasp*
So yes, there is a part of me that feels like white trash. There is a part of me that is embarrassed about what the article said about me. Part of me that couldn’t believe, when I told my parents, and my dad blurted out, “Was it planned??”
But then there is the part of me that realizes– Ben and I have stable jobs, a home, and all the grown-up things like life insurance and a retirement fund. We aren’t the college kids we once were.
Maybe I don’t have it all together yet– our house could be nicer, our car a bit newer, (or for that matter, bigger…) and there are some goals we haven’t met yet. But I see our girls playing together, laughing, running around the house holding hands, and I know that we have given them the gift of a sibling.
And that’s the part of me that realizes–
I do just want to love my baby.