• Wed, Aug 10 2011

Jessica Alba Will Truly Be A Mom When She Has Her Second Child

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?

(Photo: People)

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  • Kate

    Well as a mother of two I kind of get it; two is a much bigger commitment to the lifestyle and the responsibilities. When you have one you get a break everytime they have an activity or nap.

    • Leigha

      As an only child who outgrew naps at around 1 1/2, grew up in a neighborhood with very few other children my age to play with, and quit swimming lessons (my only preschool activity) after only 1 or 2 days…let’s just say that’s not true for all kids. I’m sure I was quite annoying, especially since I had a tendency to talk pretty much incessantly.

      Plus, if you have two or more kids, they can at least play together. If you have one, and they don’t feel like playing by themselves (which gets boring fast, let me tell you)…have fun.

  • VelveteenMama

    Isn’t that akin to saying all moms who have one child, even those who CHOOSE to have an only child, really aren’t mothers? More kids = more work, that’s just basic math (number 3, conceived after 1.5 yrs of trying and a loss, has put me almost over the edge, it doesn’t make me a ‘real’ mother, it makes me ‘real’ tired). Unfortunately, she’s probably not the only one who thinks like this, she’s just a celebrity so her sound bites get publicized. Also, unfortunately, it does feed yet another faction of the pervasive mommy-wars.

  • LaLa

    Ugh! I hate when people say things like this. I have one child. I want more but after a year + of trying, still no baby. I don’t tell people this cause, you know, who likes a Debbie Downer? But it’s still happening. So it sucks when people say stuff like this. My sister (3 kids) and sister-in-law (twin boys) both tell me this kind of crap all the time. Exact quote “What you have doesn’t even count as motherhood.” Now, I’m not saying that multiple children isn’t hard work. I’m sure it’s exhausting. But it doesn’t make you more of a mother. It makes you more tired. I might have only one child, but I’m a mom and a damn good one. Stop taking out you’re exhaustion on me cause I have a slightly easier time of it. If anything, I wish I had a reason to be as tired as you.

    • Lindsay Cross

      LaLa, I’m so sorry to hear about your struggle. I know what its like to be trying to have your second. Its a really tough situation, especially when you have unsupportive people around you. I wish you the very best of luck! And I completely agree, all of us who care for and love children, one or a dozen, are mothers. There’s no need to compare or qualify.

  • Kiki

    This poor girl. She cannot catch a break from the busy blog world. She makes a comment about how she’s ‘starving’ when she’s trying to lose her baby weight, and suddenly all the bloggers are harping on her about how she’s such a terrible role model for promoting ‘starvation diets’ (who’s NOT ‘starving’ when they’re dieting? I’m always ‘starving for some Doritos or something…. sheesh). And now this comment – of course being a mom is harder the more kids you have! Duh! A mom of six would probably look at a mom of two and say, ‘Honey, you have no idea.’ I get the impression that Jessica Alba is down-to-earth girl who tries to be ‘frank’ in her interviews and just doesn’t come across as polished as everyone would like her to. Give me a break! She immediately tried to explain her comment after the fact, but since ‘the soundbite was already created’, everyone’s got to harp on her for it. New headline: “Jessica Alba Pointedly Insults Those Struggling with Secondary Infertility”. Relax!

  • xobolaji

    gulp. i have 2 girls, and i’ve totally said this. and i definitely appreciate being shown the error of my ways. cheers, xobolaji

  • DebMoore

    I have 1 child and I sure feel like a mom. Good to know I apparently am not a “real” mom. I wonder how my daughter feels about that……….

  • teresa

    That’s really not true. It is a lie for people to believe siblings play nice together. All the do is fight. When you have your second child it’s a whole new ball game. As far as someone like Jessica Alba she will never know how hard it is to be a mother for she has nannies, housekeepers, maids, and all her other paid servants to do all the sh!t jobs of motherhood! All she has to do is enjoy her kids and spend quality time with them. She recently said on a interview that she didn’t look at being a mother as a job. Well I wonder why?