01 July 2008

Something You Should Never, Ever, Ever Do

Parents should never tell a child that he was an accident. It is not a nice thing to do. Don't do it. In fact, don't tell ANYONE that the child is a surprise because word might get back around to that child.

I say this because I've read a few blogs lately in which female writers post about their recent accidents and how it took them a while to come to grips with things and be happy. And all I can think is, "One day you're child is going to read this and feel very unwanted. Not nice at all."

I have a very good friend (no, I'm not talking about myself. My parents wanted me, thankyouverymuch.) who was a surprise baby, and her mum often told her, "When I found out I was pregnant with you I just cried and cried because I was so upset. But now I'm so glad you're here and that you are a part of our family." And do you know what my friend heard? "I didn't want you at all." That's what she heard.

It's not even okay to say, "No, of course you weren't a mistake. God doesn't make mistakes, and obviously he wanted you here." Because still the message is, "I didn't want you here, and God forced his will upon me."

I've heard one excuse which goes like this, "Well, I wanted people to know it was an accident so they didn't think I was crazy for having another baby so soon." Let people think you're crazy. First of all, it's not really their concern if you decide to have babies 10 months apart. Your body, your family, your decisions. Second of all, it is much better for people to think you are crazy than for your child to think he is unwanted.

As you can tell, I feel very strongly about this.

Don't ever tell your child that he is an accident. If he asks, LIE. It's for the greater good.


TheMoncurs said...

I think whether or not you let it be known is very much a personal decision. A surprise baby so soon after another baby is a really hard thing and some people don't want to go through it alone. I don't think you can pass judgement on those people who are looking for a little sympathy and support at an emotionally and physically difficult time in their lives.

My mom and sister were unplanned babies. Both have long since gotten over it and their mothers both frankly speak of the joys and difficulties each have brought to their lives. I think I prefer the honesty. Knowing how hard my mom had it when my sister and I were 14 months apart has taught me how to space my (intentional) babies. And my mom is a cautionary tale about the importance of birth control even as you think you're way too old to get pregnant (my grandma was 42).

Of course you have to be careful about what you say, but at the same time, give these women some credit. They're having a rough time and reaching out for help. I won't begrudge them that.

Janssen said...

My dad was a surprise baby and my grannie was one of those "I cried and cried when I found out." My dad knows this and doesn't care. Because then he grew up to be her totally favorite child (which he also knows).

I hope that I'll never have a surprise baby and have to worry about how to respond, but I hope even if my children knew they were unplanned that the way I treated them when they were actual children, rather than just a pregnancy, would reassure them that I was glad they ended up in my family.

Sherry said...

Okay, I've done some thinking. And I definitely agree that it should be a personal choice. But I do think it is important to note that your kid might not ever get over it.

And that's not to say that there is something good about somebody who can get over and something bad about somebody who cannot- people are just different. And some people handle things better than others.

Jon said...

I tell everyone I was a teenage pregnancy.

Because I was.

(Though my mom had been married for about 17 months by the time I came along...)