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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Maternal Confidence and Subsequent Children

Wife of a Rockstar, posted about homecoming, bringing her older adopted kids home, and the lack of enthusiasm and interest among her social circle as compared to when a new baby is born. As I followed the comments, it was suggested that the lack of enthusiasm was more related to the number of children she has and not an adoption issue: less celebration for subsequent children

I only have three boys. That's a lot less than Rockstar and his wife and many of the families that replied to her. I noticed my first son was/is showered in gifts from everyone we know. My second son also tends to be showered, too (at his birth and subsequent birthdays and holidays). I did notice a major decrease in material gifts for the third son.

But my third son benefited in many intangible ways. Along the way, I became a more confident mother. My third son didn't have to deal with my new mother anxiety: should I hold him or will I spoil him. I was a confident breastfeeding mom, confident in co-sleeping and committed to babywearing.

My third son never had to put up with me doubting my own instincts, testing how long he could cry and being trained to be an independent sleeper. By the time I had my third son I knew not to let him cry. I knew to carry him. We had a family bed and didn't expect him to sleep through the night. My third son got the "best" pregnancy and birth. I was confident that ultrasound, amniocentesis, vag exams and other invasions of the womb were not the way to go. I was confident to stay home and birth. I was confident to surround myself with people who valued a non-materialistic pregnancy (doulas, midwife and friends) and provided me with emotional and spiritual support. By my third son I was more spiritual aware and concerned with passing on our heritage. He was my only son to be honored with a traditional welcoming ceremony to the Jewish community. After his birth, I didn't report to work for 7 months. And, he came with me when I finally did go to an office. I returned to work by 12 weeks with the first two.

My third son may not have had as many gifts, but he reaped the benefits of my prior maternal experience!

PS-He has plenty of toys because we never toss out anything and he may be the most appreciative.


Courtney said...

How true.

I actually was thinking a lot about that comment as well. I agree, I do think it has to do with how many children I have. I see that each one is less important to others, yet for me, the more I have, the more exciting it is!

I so agree on this post too. I have become a better mom with each one.

Catalina said...

I LOVE reading your blogs because they always seem to encourage me when I need them most. I definetly can't wait to have the "less materialy fortnate" but more fortunate experience wise kids ... I've been daydreaming about it and will never forget how you told me that my next delivery can be what I want it to be. I will surround myself with the same type of people ... and I'm looking forward to Instant Nursing with the next one!

I think the more kids you have, the more family you have down the line ... there's nothing I want more than a big family that cares for and loves eachother .. God did say, "Be fruitful and multiply" .. LoL :D

S.A.M. said...

That was lovely! Thanks for directing me here. I think that baby three got a really good deal.

I hope that if I have any more babies I'll be able to be a more relaxed mum. I'd also like to do more baby-wearing, I love the idea of them being so close and comforted all the time. I tried with my daughter, but severe back problems made this very tricky. We're still breastfeeding though two and a half years later, so we did ok with that, lol!

leeshink said...

spot on with this write-up, i like the way you discuss the things. i'm impressed, i must say. i'll probably be back again to read more. thanks for sharing this with us.

Lee Shin

riveraaissa said...

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