Friday, July 17, 2009

Five is Just as Important as One

*Disclaimer: This post is not meant to invoke pity or suggestions. I'm writing it to get it out of my brain and then maybe give you a chance to relay your own experiences with any similar situations. Just so ya' know...

It's interesting, you know, the difference between the first baby and the fifth baby. When I had #1, friends/family threw me three baby showers. Makes sense, right? We're poor, it's our first, we have no baby gear, etc. Totally works. My second baby, a friend threw me one shower. Again, it made sense --I had most of the baby stuff; I didn't need much. In fact, since I was having another girl, I remembered thinking "I don't really need a baby shower."
Then I had a boy, and three separate people wanted to throw me a shower! But nobody did. I remembered feeling a tad deflated at the promise of showers and not getting any. I'm not the type to throw myself my own shower, though, so it was okay, but not really, because that time I actually needed one --or would have appreciated one. It was my first boy, you know? But I survived. I did.
By the time I had #4, most people were just freaking out I kept having kids. Why would anyone throw me a shower? It's just another kid. No one offered. And again, it was okay. I already had the boy clothes.
And holy cow, now I'm having ANOTHER one. What is wrong with me? Why would anyone get gifts for this kid? He's just another one, right? Just another kid to add to the bunch...

The reality is that I don't want or expect baby showers for my babies anymore. I'm not that selfish (honest). I truly have everything --and what I don't have, I can afford. It's not a big deal. But what I do long for is the excitement that came with my first. Excitement from relatives, friends, acquaintances, etc. Sure, sure, I know the birth of the first is a HUGE deal, but what I'm asking is, why isn't a huge deal for the fifth kid? He's still an individual, a child of God, a human being of worth, whom we will love just as much as we love our other kids. Why isn't his (or the fourth's or the third's or the second's or the sixth's or the tenth's) upcoming birth as exciting for people?

But then I thought about it: Why isn't an author's 121st book as exciting as the first? Why isn't the 30th trip to Hawaii as exciting as the first? Why isn't a director's 43rd movie as exciting as the first? Yes, it's good, it's fun, it's important, it's an accomplishment, etc., but there's just something about the first.

Why is that?

Anyway, I've tried really hard this time around to ignore the rude comments that have been thrown my way. I've been told over and over "You're having ANOTHER one?!" as if it was involuntary or evil or an insult or something. We have family members who are literally upset with us for having "so many kids." I have friends who think I'm sincerely insane. And although I know they are all directing their thoughts and words towards Brandon and I (as the parents), I can't help but feel that it's being directed towards my baby as well --as if he will always be a number (ha! #5 --I guess on the blog he will be, eh?) and not the beautiful person he is/will be. You know -- our son.

[Ooh! Ooh! It's like when an illegitimate child was/is branded and blamed for his own birth --as if he actually had something to do with it! People are so stupid, sometimes.]

So, regardless of any excitement coming (or not coming) from outside my own world, I'm going to cherish every moment with this little guy. And if we have a sixth? Or a seventh? I'll do the same then. I'll continue to ignore the protests, the rude comments, and the eye-rolling. I mean, come on! It's not like they have to have my kid! Nor does it mean they have to raise my kid. I'm doing it --and whether it's hard or not, I'm going to do just fine.

20 comments:

bythelbs said...

But he's not just YOUR kid. It takes a village, you know! *snort*

Baby showers are a pet peeve of mine. You get one for the first. Then MAYBE you get another one for a new gender. Other than that, your friends will give you gifts if they want.

And if it helps, I'm more excited for your #5 than I was for any of your other children.

madhousewife said...

I don't like when people make rude comments or roll their eyes at people having more than a couple kids. When I hear someone's going to have another baby, I think that's awesome for them--but especially awesome that it's not me.

Sometimes you do need a baby shower for your 7th or 8th kid, though, because all your baby stuff is worn out by then. :D

Christy said...

I agree with you 100%...some people were cut out to have more kids - if you aren't one of them - then those of us who are accept that you only have 1 or 2 kids and we don't say anything to you (well, maybe we do! ha ha!)

I can't wait to get the comments and eye rolls. Heck, I am 30 and can't even get #1 - but I do plan on 5.

And - I think every baby is exciting...i will think that your 10th will be exciting :) *snort*

Cardalls said...

I think it is awesome you are having 5 and 6 and 7 (if you feel so inclined). The thing is...it really is nobody's business but yours and Brandons and the Lords when and if you have more kids. More power to ya girl if you can handle it...way to go!

Dave and Kathryn Dodds said...

I'm so happy that you're having #5! I think less and less people are willing to have kids in the world these days and you'll be totally blessed for your sacrifice! AND #5 will add such a fun new element to your house and all of your kids! I think people are missing out that could but won't have more kids. Dave and I are on #3 and we keep hearing all kinds of comments because the twins are just 2...It's kind of crazy and I think, why aren't people cheering us on? We're supposed to be on this earth having families right? And I obviously think I can somewhat handle this, or I wouldn't be doing it! I have this feeling Heavenly Father would LOVE to help me know how to raise #3.Anyway, that was my venting for the day! I'm so excited for your baby boy!

evitafjord said...

Around here, people have been making comments since #3, which I think is insane - 3 kids is a SMALL family in my book. Anyway, I had a shower with 1, 4, and 5; mostly because no one else around here has babies so they shower every one even if it's the same parents and they secretly think you are crazy. My youngest 2 are the only ones their respective ages at church and we've only had 1 other baby born since my last one 2 years ago. We had 2 showers for #4 - one at church and then the ladies at hubby's work threw one for him (I wasn't invited!!) The ladies at my work threw the one for our #5, but again, they celebrated everything. Lucky for us because we gave up after trying unsuccessfully after #3 and gave everything away (plus he was the first boy), then did the same after #4 and really needed the stuff.

Kim said...

What I love is how vocal people are! Like you wear a sign on your belly "HEY I AM HAVING #5 HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT MY CHOICE?" Seriously who do they think they are! I think you are a great mom and you are a smart mom and you will know when your family is complete, until then YOU GO GIRL!

April J. said...

I agree all babies need to be celebrated, they are a precious gift, one that is often taken for granted. While I still get rude remarks and eye rolls, I get a lot of positive remarks and smiles. Each has what they can handle for some it is one and some it is many. #5 will bring something to your family that will be treasured beyond words that wasn't there before!

Tammy said...

I had the same reaction when I had my third...in three years. However, each is precious in their own seperate way. I have a fried who has 13...yes...gasp...thirteen children!!! She loves each and every single one and they are a fabulous family. I love each and every one of their kids. 5...not so bad!!! I think it's great you are able to have so many. We wanted 6 to start out with but my body couldn't have more than three. Don't listen to people...they haven't got a clue. Besides...if you didn't have this child he/she would hae to go to another home and it could possibly have been theirs!!!! Little one is better off with you as a Mama!!!

Annette Lyon said...

Honestly, I think it's considered an etiquette thing. You just don't GET more than one shower EVER (somehow you did) unless it's an opposite gender because the entire POINT is to help the parents get the gear. It's not the celebration of the child so much.

But I do see your point. #5 is just as important as #1. Even if they're wearing hand-me-downs. ;)

tamrobot said...

I'm anti-multiple baby showers. But that's probably just because I'm always on the giving not the receiving side. Also, you should try to disregard the people who express such disbelief about you having so many kids. I honestly believe it's just their insecurities about having that many kids. I really believe that when people do the eyeroll or say "you're insane" is really "please don't ever make me watch/babysit all of your kids if you want them to come back to you alive." :)

Also, as a side note: I don't think you're crazy, I KNOW you're crazy. j/k.

PS We're having a blast with #1. I just came back from rock-wall climbing with her.

Summer said...

I totally agree! Every baby should get "showered" with things just for them. And no matter how may kids a woman has, they always need more baby stuff. :)

Anonymous said...

Everything is always special when it first happens. It's a new, fresh experience that you're excited and anxious about because it's never happened to you before. I think it's natural for people to become familiar with repeating occurances, but at the same time, it still can be "exciting." You asked "Why isn't an author's 121st book as exciting as the first? Why isn't the 30th trip to Hawaii as exciting as the first? Why isn't a director's 43rd movie as exciting as the first?" Well, it is just as exciting. Just because the 121st or the 30th, even the 5th, is something new and exciting that you should be proud of and excited about. In the case of written or artistic achievements, works deep into the artist's career are special because they can show how much they've grown and developed as an artist, and it's just another way to put forth their message to the world. With children, the 5th is just as exciting because it's he is own person; he is an individual that, with the proper love and discipline, will grow up to be a great addition to our society.

This all goes back to people's opinions and judgments. It doesn't matter if people aren't excited, or even become puzzled, over your 5th. That's just human nature; people will speculate and contemplate the lives of other people. Some are just curious, others want to be nasty about it. The Internet is allowing this, as people look at each other's blogs, facebooks, twitters, etc. But I'm digressing.

What matters is what YOU and YOUR HUSBAND think. You two know what's best for the both of you and your family. You two also know what you are able to take on. And if you can handle 5 kids, more power to you! It's just becoming more uncommon as our society changes. But know this: families can be of all sizes and people, as long as they are functional, healthy, and loving.

Anyhow, congratulations on your fifth baby! Hope all turns out well and that you continue to do what is best for you and your family.

Gio, Judi and Boys said...

Congrats for #5! I would have if I could have, but I only got 2, and I feel blessed for what I have. You and Brandon are excellent parents and wonderful people and the children that you have or will have are lucky to call you "Mom" and "Dad". Like I always say...enjoy the moment!

Ann said...

I'm also anti-multiple showers....sorry. I had 2 showers for my #1 and none since. I think that's the way it's supposed to be. And my first 2 kids were not the same gender. All that's left to buy for another gender is clothes. I don't need a shower just for clothes. Anyway, that's just my opinion on showers.

Now excitement....that's another story. Nobody has been as excited about my 5th baby as me, hubby, and the kids have, of course. Other people just don't really care after #1...it's old hat. I'm fine with that. I enjoyed the excitement and anticipation and joy the other 4 kids experienced during my pregnancy and birth of #5. That's all that really matters anyway, right?

I, too, wish people would just refrain from their snide remarks and eye-rolling, but unfortunately that's never going to happen.

I try to remember my own advice to my children....."Does it matter what anybody else thinks?" Of course it doesn't. I know you know that....but it can get hard to remember when you're hearing what everyone else thinks all the time.

I'm excited for your #5. Can't wait to see what another one of your boys will look like! :) Love you!

Alison Wonderland said...

The shower thing is actually a big pet peeve of mine. I'm all about showers for a first kid but NOT after that. (Except in the case of a late unexpected baby or something like that.) Gifts, absolutely, but not showers.
As far as the big deal thing, I don't really have an answer but you do it too (we all do). You said yourself that you weren't really ready for this one. And I'll bet that you didn't get this close to having #1 without having the whole nursery set up. I know I didn't.
It does seem a little sad for the later babies but I think it's pretty well offset by calmer, more relaxed parents, avoiding the pressure that's inescapably put on the first children, and so on and so forth.
As long as you love him and do all you can for him, I think it will all come out in the wash.

Mr. Liebhardt said...

Hello third-cousin!
Although I do not have any sort of experience with the subject of having multiple children/baby showers, I thought this post was as good as any to say "hello" and I got my mission call! I will be serving in the Washington DC North Mission. I report to the MTC on September 23.
That's basically it.
Your blog is rad.
E
PS I'm child number five in my family and I'm HAPPY for you and the rest of your family.

Cristy said...

Wait a second, wait a second... you're having ANOTHER one?! :)

Michele said...

I am jealous of all the people that have had baby showers. Even though this is baby #7 (baby #4 biologically), I have never had a baby shower. And now after 3 girls, I am finally having my first boy. But with 3 step-sons, I don't think that people think about that it's my first. Or that as a single parent my husband didn't save one single thing from when the boys were babies. Even if you don't have another one though, I think there should be some sort of party or get together. Every life that comes into this world should be celebrated.

Michele said...

And I too am sooooo over the comments about having another one. If you're not paying our bills or living in our house then be quiet. I just love to hear my family say how I shouldn't have any more and I should just deal with the ones I have.