In case you haven’t heard, moms are against moms, ya’ll. Today’s flavor comes to us from the latest Daily Mail controversy piece called, “The mother who says her unplanned third baby will wreck her perfect life,” because if a mother said it, pitchforks will be raised. The title goes on, “… and her dreams of sending her children to the best prep school”. Wealth bashing! Poor baiting! Let’s hammer this thing out with a few truths.
1. Having a baby, any baby (a third baby!) will necessitate a new normal. If you aren’t planning on this child and even if you are, there will be a moment when you think, “oh crap, what did I get myself into?” The fact is, things will have to change and that will take a minute (or more) to settle into your brain. This is just as true of a much longed-for, planned-for pregnancy as it is for a surprise. Nobody wants to admit out loud what nearly every mother thinks for at least half a second at some point in her pregnancy: oh shit. In nearly every case, that sentiment is replaced almost immediately with YAY BABY, but for some people it takes longer. It’s okay. It’s okay to feel ambivalent about something you will eventually love so much you will spend days awake while lovingly cleaning their vomit from your hair. It’s even okay to be unhappy at first. It is okay to feel things.
2. Money is a factor in raising kids. This is one of those things people don’t like talking about. Some brush it under the rug with faith, “the Lord will provide” or willfully ignore because their biological urge to procreate is that strong. For some, all their resources are in place so it doesn’t matter anyway. It’s still a cold, hard truth that children require space, food, care and education and if your family plan is a condo in the city with only enough budget for two tuitions and your public school is crap, you have the right to be unsettled if you find yourself surprise pregnant with a third baby. Babies are not free.
3. Wealthy people get depressed too. The mom who wrote this article comes off like a rich jerk for lamenting the loss of a luxury life her third child will hasten. The sadness over not being able to wear diamonds at the gym springs to mind. One thing that kept pinging my soft spot was the possibility this woman is suffering depression. When you are in a dark state of mind, nothing about your lifestyle matters. You could have a tiger on a gold chain and a tray of champie and strawberries arriving at your cabana, but if you’re under the fog of depression, nothing on the outside matters. Everyone is a human person with feelings, even jerks with $1200 purses.
4. If you are having sex, you can get pregnant. The mother who wrote this article had suffered infertility, miscarriage and undergone IVF treatments, some of which failed. She thought she was immune to pregnancy. I understand this. I didn’t have quite that hard of a time, but the only pregnancies I ever had before my current one seemed to be willed into existence by my very desire for them. When it happened effortlessly with this third baby I was honestly surprised. I shouldn’t have been. I’m happy with my situation though and not only love my third, but wish the 4th was still here. BUT. If this is not the case for you, and a baby would “ruin” your life, get permanent birth control because pregnancy is a possibility if you don’t.
5. The Daily Mail isn’t the place to brain vomit. I mentioned above nearly every mom has private feelings of doubt, if only for a second, about any given pregnancy. It usually stems from fear or anxiety or is simply the ripples of something monumental and life changing setting upon your reality. Fleeting, deeply personal thoughts are not permanent, but the internet is. These thoughts do not have to be shared in a rag mag. Not every whim or opinion breezing through your mind needs to be expressed at all. (Take it away, South of 1-80!) This was the trouble I got into by publishing a stream-of-consciousness writing exercise last week. Lesson: Not everything in your head needs to come out.
6. Yes, a third child may ruin your life. So might a first child or infertility or a tornado or government shutdown during your trip to Yellowstone. Anything can “ruin” your life if you let it and conversely, nothing can ruin your life if you don’t let it. Get some inner peace and accept your life, friend. I get it because I’m a control freak too, but the only thing you can really control is your own attitude.
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