No Prize for First in Line

When I was pregnant the first time I was the first of our friends. Most of our friends were not married but in serious relationships. Now over five year later they are finally starting to catch up...sort of. While I am pregnant with my third baby most of them are now pregnant with their first or trying to get pregnant.

In some ways it makes me kind of sad. There are so many wonderful things about your first pregnancy. The excitement of not knowing what to expect, showers, registering, new stuff, watching your body change for the first time, and all of the many many other firsts (first time you hear a heartbeat, see a sonogram, feel the baby kick, etc).

On the other hand there are a lot of things I would not want to have to do over again. The FEAR for one. Not that I'm not a little worried about having a third baby to juggle but I was literally terrified for most of my first pregnancy. I didn't know how to be a mom. Bret and I had little experience with babies and felt completely unprepared. I remember one night I was crying because I was worried about how the baby would change Bret and I's relationship. I wasn't sure how we would manage finding time for each other and if we would still love each other as much.

This time around is so much different and in a lot of ways better. There is very little to no fear about being a mom. So far Emily and Palmer seem to be doing OK. Bret and I's marriage and love has never been stronger. I understand now that seeing him be such a great dad has only made my love for him grow beyond what I ever imagined it could be. The new stuff is just stuff. I have a better idea about the things that I want and need. Since I have so much of the basics I can spoil myself with the extras.

One of the hardest parts of having lots of friends being pregnant for the first time is to keep my mouth shut. Every pregnancy is different and so is every baby. Most importantly so is every mom. One friend plans on cloth diapering, another wants to have a shower after the baby is born instead of before, another wants to use all organic products, others have no desire to nurse what so ever, and one mom made all of her baby's blankets, burp clothes, crib bedding, curtains, etc. Sometimes their choices match my own and sometimes they are completely opposite. That is OK. It's hard to not take their choices personally. Not that they automatically judge me but it feels weird. I worry about things like "what if organic really is so much better for the baby" or "am I a bad person for using disposable diapers or is it going to come back to haunt my baby down the road"? While I usually make a few things for the new baby (blankets, burp clothes, etc) I wonder if I'm short changing this one since it's my third. I remember walking into my friend who made everything for her baby's nursery and thinking to myself "wow, my kid has a crib in our room".

I know that as a parent you have to decide what works best for you and your baby. Hormones don't help this effort at all. Everywhere you look people judge. When I stayed home people wondered why I couldn't get a job to help support our family and when I work people express concern about the effects of letting daycare "raise" my kids. I think the reason we are such harsh critics is because we feel criticized ourselves. We (moms) need to collectively agree to stop the judging. Is the child(ren) safe, loved, and taken care of? Then enough said. How that happens is none of our business. We continue to not use special detergent, not go out of our way to buy organic, I will nurse until I or the baby want to stop, contribute to the landfills with way to many disposable diapers, and although I love making things for the baby most likely it will get mostly hand-me downs from my first two. It's OK. Yes it kind of sucks that FIVE of us will be living in a 2 bedroom apartment but it's not forever. To my kids it is simply home because we live there.


FRANNIE said...

I sounds like you gave yourself your own pep talk :).

You know what you want, you've done the drill twice before, everything will work out. :)

Here's to number 3 being just as awesome as your first two, complete with non-organic food, disposable diapers, and hand-me downs!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Frannie...good pep talk! If you only knew how many people (at least me) looks at you as a great mom, something to aspire to, you'd be laughing. :)