Misguided kindness: a cautionary tale 

Out of curiosity, why do people insist on scaremongering pregnant women and imparting their version of what a family looks like? To be clear I know a lot of what I am referring to comes from a place of kindness, but that doesn’t make it any less unwelcome and scary to hear. There must be a better way to pass on tales of caution and warning. 
When we first got married all we were asked, or TOLD in most cases was ‘Oh, it won’t be long before babies.’ Well no. We didn’t wait that long after we got married but in the same breath it was of no ones business or concern when or if we had children. So for all my friends and family, if I don’t ask about or hint at the possibility of you having children it isn’t because I don’t care and am uninterested, it is simply because your reproductive schedule is no more my business than mine is yours! 
For us pregnancy came as planned. We were lucky. We have a beautiful little girl who, to us, is perfect (although I think I may delirious from the amount of coffee today has required after a 4.30am wake up call). First time round everyone was full of enthusiasm and positivity for us. Even throughout the pregnancy. We chose (I conceded) to find out what we were having. The 20 week scan fell on my husbands birthday and it was fair leverage to persuade me. Everyone we told was full of kind words ‘Little girls are so cute.’ ‘Oh you must be so happy.’ ‘How lovely to find out. It must make buying things much easier and more interesting than neutral.’ 
Then pregnancy came again, as planned. We were lucky, again. But this time people were different. Second time I think I was more desperate than my husband to find out what we’re having. An odd thing happened when I found out we were having another girl, a sense of relief washed over me. I don’t know why but I had been struggling with the idea of a boy (maybe I subconsciously knew she was actually a girl). I couldn’t look at stuff online to buy ‘him’,not even a blue blanket. every time I tried I would cry. So when we were told it was another girl everything seemed to fit. I felt myself physically relax. Now don’t get me wrong I would have loved the child boy or girl and I don’t think there is anything wrong with having boys. I have friends with boys and they are all just as lovely as girls (if not more so sometimes) I have three brothers. Boys are not foreign to me. Nor did I think I ever wanted two girls… Ask my mum, I used to be quite against the idea of two princesses before I found out I was blessed with two. Now I couldn’t imagine it being anything else. 
So post scan, with a huge spring in my step, I announced to anyone that asked, ‘yes, we found out we’re having another girl.’ 
Cue Eastenders doof doof music!!!!
No one was positive this time. Now it was ‘oh little boys are so much easier.’ ‘Oh, wouldn’t it have been nice to have had one of each.’ (This last comment was often followed with ‘then you could have stopped having children.’)
Well I have news for all of you……
I don’t know if boys are easier because I don’t have any. It may have been nice to have one of each, but considering my feeling of relief, it may not have been right for me or my little family. And finally and most importantly since I have no choice what gender my children are I don’t see how not having a boy means I can’t stop having children!?! Hubby and I are both agreed, knowing us if we went on to ‘Try for the boy’ (as so many people have suggested we must want to do because why wouldn’t we) we would end up with twin girls….! So as I first mentioned, if we do or don’t want more babies it’s our business alone. 
And yes as many people enjoyed warning, two is a handful at times. Yes, the terrible twos do suck! And yes I feel guilty that they don’t always get my undivided attention due to the demand of the other. But do I regret having two. No! Is there light at the end of the tunnel with tantrums? Yes, small though it may be. 
But above all the love they display towards each other even at this really young age is absolutely priceless. 
To any pregnant mums out there. It’s an amazing journey and it’s all yours. Who doesn’t have good and bad days? Sometimes unbelievably bad? It’ll be ok! So try not to take the tales of caution to heart. 
To anyone out there with a pregnant friend, relative or colleague, please try to avoid the negative phrases second time round. It might be less exciting for you but it’s no less exciting or scary for mum. Two is still an unknown entity….  

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