So in case you’re not already aware, or have not gleaned from the title, my husband and I are delighted that we are expecting our fourth baby.
We are delighted, truly, but that’s not all we are. With each of my pregnancies has come the onset of fear and guilt and an uncomfortable level of concern about the opinions of others. Fear about sharing time, about affording all of my children the very best we can offer them. Fear that we’re blissfully unaware that we’ve already hit our limit and that this next one breaks us. Guilt that we’re being selfish, we have a great thing in our beautiful children, surely we can’t possibly be appreciating what we have if we are trying for more? And finally, those opinions! Why does this matter to me? It normally doesn’t. Perhaps due to that aforementioned fear and guilt? I’m already on rocky ground as far as my opinion of myself as a mum so maybe any nuance of disapproval from Mr. Joe Public validates all those feelings?
From my mummy friends I understand that this isn’t abnormal but I cannot help but think it somewhat tarnishes what is such a brief but magical chapter in our family’s story. I consciously have to step out of those feelings and try and engage with the beauty I’ll see in this when I look back and reminisce over bump photos or the video of when we told the kids for the first time.
I want to leave the fear and guilt behind but I know I can’t do that without acknowledging why they’re there. I think the reasons for them are two fold.
- I want to get this right. I have one chance to raise these kiddos and I don’t want any of my decisions to impact them negatively. The guilt about getting this wrong is tantamount to the weight of the responsibility at play and there will never be a time when that responsibility doesn’t scare me on the daily.
- Losing what we have is worth fearing. This is what I really think is at play here, what we have is so great. Our children bring us so much joy and have shown us love on a level we could not have even imagined before. It’s hard to feel you deserve something that hurts so good. We get to share our world with our favourite people, they’re healthy and happy and asking for more feels like tempting fate, lets not make too much noise or the universe will notice we don’t deserve all of this and take it away. This fear is illogical and its irrational but it is in direct relation to quite how grateful we are for all that we have.
So, sweet baby, we’re at the start of this beautiful, daunting, adventure to meet you. We already love you so much and cannot wait to find out who you are.
All our love, you’re family.