Just Like My Splinter Then?

Children are fascinated by babies and my family is no different.  Now that our family is set to grow once more conversations about babies is something we seem have every day.  We’ve always been age appropriately honest with our children about the “facts of life” and feel happy that they know what they need to know.

My two youngest daughters love playing babies and there’s normally a baby shoved up their jumper when they’re pregnant and then it will just be pulled out and appear when it’s born – if only!  But the other day my youngest daughter (6) announced that she was going to have her baby, this was new.  She then asked me “does it hurt?”.  Now my immediate answer would be quite different to what I would tell her!

My mum never really talked to me about her births until after I had had my first child.  She only said to me to “listen to the midwifes and do as you’re told”, now this I have taken with me through all 5 of my labours and it gave me something to focus on.  I have been extremely lucky with my labours as they have all been quick and relatively stress free but it’s different for everyone and everyone has their own story to tell.  For some it’s magical (sorry I’m one of these, seriously you’re creating life!) and for other’s it’s a living nightmare that seems to never end which they want to forget and never go back there.

So I settle on “yes it does, you need to be strong and brave”, happy with that!  “So just like my splinter then?”, err not the reply I was thinking I’d get.  At that moment I thought my heart was going to burst, children have a wonderful knack of making you smile unexpectedly.  How do they do that?  The thing was she was absolutely right, I’d told her a few days earlier when I taken a splinter out of her finger she’d been brave and strong.  To her that was something painful that she’d been brave through, essentially that was exactly what I’d said.  Simple when you’re 6, she was happy and carried on playing and I took that as a good mummy moment.  Happy Days!

How Many…..?

As the mother of 5 wonderful children, soon to be 6, why do I constantly find myself making excuses or joking about how many children I have? I remember when I was pregnant with my fifth child I didn’t go around telling people as I proudly did with my first. It’s not that I wasn’t as excited but people’s reactions were not always positive and left me feeling angry rather than proud. So I find myself in the same situation again approaching 4 months pregnant with #6, up until now it’s been a wonderful secret between me and my husband but my ever expanding belly meant it was time to tell the children. It was a wonderful moment and they were so excited about another brother or sister. One daughter announced it to the whole class and my youngest would tell anyone, more than once, that “mummy had a baby in her tummy”, their excitement was infectious.

People seem to think if you have more than 2 or 3 children then you’re “mad” or “crazy” and should get yourself a television. Someone once asked how I had time to paint my nails, seriously.  I have had positive comments usually about them wishing they’d had another but on the whole it’s complete shock and surprise that I would even think about another child as I already have 5. This is where I find myself making excuses and justifying why I am. Why do we get so caught up in what other people think, it doesn’t affect them and I’m not asking them to help with childcare.

The fact is (my husband repeatedly tells me) it doesn’t matter what other people say or do, at the end of the day when you close the curtains it’s the people in the house that matter. Simple. Be pregnant and proud, whether it’s number 1 or 10.