Pregnancy can do funny things to a woman’s brain. That’s how I’m choosing to explain Jessica Alba’s comment that, “It feels like you’re really officially, really truly a mother when you have two kids.” She tried to clarify by further saying, “One kid you’re a mother for sure but two takes it to another level.” Unfortunately, the soundbite had been created. You’re truly a mother when you have your second child.
As a woman trying to have another child, that’s upsetting and depressing to read. It further emphasizes the idea that I’m failing at something. I’m not even a full mother if I can’t have another child. But obviously, Jessica Alba wasn’t trying to throw salt in the wounds of the secondary infertile out there. She was trying to say that more kids equal more work. Its more diapers and more runny noses and more bathes. Its more toys and more worry. There’s simply more going on. I think that’s a valid point and obviously a concern as you consider how to fit a second child into your life.
But even if I wasn’t trying to have another child, I think I might still be offended by the idea that I was less of a mother simply because I have less children than others. I don’t think its fair to compare us that way. It seems like one more way for moms to compete with one another instead of support each other.
So I’m not trying to harp on Jessica Alba. I realize that she didn’t say this to be rude or unkind. But what do you guys think about comments like this in general? Do they make mommy-dialogue even more difficult and foster competition? Or is it simply a fact of life that more babies equal more involved mothers?