Monday, 4 May 2015

The Second Child Snub

There's a very special baby dominating all of the headlines across the UK and indeed most of the western world right now.

And while the world has anxiously awaited news of William & Kate's new arrival without doubt, there is certainly a little bit less buzz around the new little Princess than there was 2 years ago when little George came into the world.

Of course the baby will still be celebrated, of course people will still be pleased to hear of its safe arrival...but nonetheless, the excitement is more muted than it was before. 

People are that little bit less interested.

If I've seen one comment on social media about how Kate is "Just another woman having just another baby" I must have seen a million of them.

And I find it quite sad.

This is something I can relate to, having just experienced the birth of my second baby.

When Tyne was born, I could feel the excitement of my family & friends in sharing in our happy news - people were keen to text their congratulations, everyone wanted to see a photo, everyone wanted to know his name, family members had competitions to guess the birth weight, there was an endless stream of visitors, we almost drowned in new baby cards and beautiful thoughtful gifts.

It was a lovely time....a time I always look back on with a smile, a real celebration of this new little life that we had so eagerly awaited.

This time people have still celebrated...but the excitement is more muted. 

And yes...without a doubt...people around us are that little bit less interested than before.

Of course I understand that people will naturally be less interested than they were the first time you had a baby...they've seen what your children look like, they're not seeing something quite so life changing as becoming a parent for the very first time, they already know what kind of parent you are.

But I can't help but feel a little sad about it - the texts have been drastically quieter this time, the cards have been significantly fewer.

Don't get me wrong, we have received beautiful gifts & cards from family members who have been just as thoughtful as they were first time around...and it's not about gifts at all. It's not about cards.

It's about sharing your joy with the people who are important in your life and the hope that they will want to share in it with you...that they'll realise that, although to them it may be just another baby, to you it's just as amazing and wonderful as the first baby was.

Whether it's your second, third, seventh or seventeenth child...all children are miracles in the eyes of their parents and each deserves to be welcomed and celebrated in equal measure.

No I don't expect the world to stop because I had a baby, I don't expect everyone to stop what they're doing to coo over him and congratulate me.

But a text to ask how he is would  be welcome, a visit is acknowledgement is nice. Always.

Even in supermarkets or out and about, the difference is noticeable - with our first child we were often stopped by well-wishers wanting to see inside the pram and offer their congratulations - when pushing around our second child with our toddler in tow it hasn't happened even once. 

Instead of any happiness at the sight of a new little person, all I've felt is a few sideward glances as I find myself in the way of somebody as I try to pass by with my little brood.

Even in general conversation with friends...there is so very rarely any mention of a second child. Nobody seems to want to know much about how they're getting on this time...I remember feeling that I was always answering the same questions with Tyne "How's he sleeping? Is he good? Does he eat well?"...this time I don't think I've answered those questions once so far...Nobody asks.

Of course people are busy with their own lives...I may well be coming as some crazy attention-desperate mummy-monster here but the point is it's not the lack of interest in itself that I find bothersome...I don't need other people to be happy for us...I'm happy enough for everyone! But more the lack of it when compared to how it all was the first time around.

So when it comes to the new Princess - I sympathised when I heard so many news reporters use that horrid phrase "Heir and a spare".

 Second child, fifth child, seventeenth child...Commoner or life is to be celebrated.

So welcome to the world little Noah and the new Princess...

You'll be living such different lives, you'll be on very different paths...but to your parents you will always be their beloved child. As precious and loved and every bit as special as the first.


Did you notice a change in reaction with subsequent children? As always, I'd love to hear from you!

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