With time and practice, generally things get easier, right? And after 5 times of sharing with others that a new baby will be joining us, I’ve gained no more confidence or really any new joy in telling others.
Don’t mistake this in a lack of excitement on my part in anticipating the June arrival. Don’t misinterpret it as shame, regret, or frustration on my part. We’re joyous. Indeed, this one involved a tad more forethought than the last two (not that either of the girls were complete shockers).
JJ loves telling people. He tells strangers. He tells neighbors before the stick is even dry. So, generally, he gets all announcement duties. Or I slough it off to friends. I’ve had KLR share with the girls more than once, citing that it’s easier for me if she does it.
I. Have. No. Idea.
I have a friend (probably more than one) that relishes telling friends and family, and does so immediately. I whoop and cheer when they do so – the news of a new baby is generally exciting, and I think more people should do it more often. But when it comes to my moment of glory, I get trigger shy.
It’s probably the way I tend to hate the spotlight, right? My private, inward nature that doesn’t habitually share anything about my own life?
Mmmhmmm. That’s it.
I’ve narrowed down the source of my angst to a few options. First, it could be leftover grief or emotion from the first time we shared the excitement, only to have it deflated a few weeks later, even after we were in “the safe zone.” Perhaps I don’t want my reality known for fear that history will repeat itself. I didn’t mind others sharing our grief or knowing our hurt, but it’s an experience I’d rather not repeat.
The other reason I shy from sharing could be related to the judgment I tend to internalize (real or invented, I’m not sure) around our family size. At least 8 times out of 10, when we tell someone we’re expecting the comment will be along the lines of “don’t you know how this happens?” Um, no. Could you please draw a diagram? Clearly we’re messing it up.
By now it’s clear that we’ve decided to have a big(ger) family, a choice that both of us had come to a while ago. For us, 4 has always been in the plans. But that’s not the norm, as 2.5 (1 on the west coast) maxes out most. Kids are a lot of work, and people have a hard time understanding why we invite exceedingly more chaos into our already big life.
Explaining to someone why you want to have several kids is just as hard as figuring out why you want to have kids at all. Often there are no words, just this sense from within that this is the direction we want to head. We’ve had great experience with bigger families. We love the closeness and camaraderie we see with large sibling groups. A guaranteed formula for easy parenting and perfect children? Never. But it’s the chosen method for which we’ve opted.
Deep down, I fear the forthcoming frustrations of parenting and, by choosing a non-traditional route, I hate that I might be loosing my right to vocalize them. I can hear the echos of, “well, you chose this, so now deal with it.” We do choose it, but not because it’s easy, but because we think it’s good. We fully anticipate challenges; we only hope that having hair at age 45 will be an attainable goal. My prayer is that our Village will support us in a way that doesn’t foster complaining but rather gives space to the same sentiments that parents of 2 kids might endure. They’ll just hear them from us twice as often.
Because, like this story began, just because you have time or experience on your side doesn’t mean you reach professional status. Some things don’t get easier, but they do get better.