When Do You Say When? Having Babies, Building Families (Part Two)

The conversation started here.

I so appreciated the comments generated a few weeks ago from this post. How amazing to see how God has worked in each of our lives. Thank you to all those who shared their stories!

Making Assumptions about Another’s Fertility

One thing that I was struck by was how much we don’t know about another woman’s situation. We make assumptions. We think we know. We judge why she has so many children or why she has so few. And while we can have similar experiences, we can’t really know how that experience has impacted that particular mom and that particular family.

The outside world has lots of opinions:

  • Don’t have more children than you can afford.
  • Birth control is wrong.
  • Not using birth control is stupid.
  • The world is overpopulated already.
  • When are you going to have more kids?
  • There are so many unwanted children already, why make more?
  • Are you lazy that you don’t want more than one child?
  • Why are you having more when you can’t manage the ones you already have?

Or my personal favorite,

Don’t you know what causes that?

Whew. The clamoring voices just never stop. Everyone’s got an opinion. And heated debates can arise from discussing those differing points.

What Children Really Are

However, one thing that I know to be true is that children are a blessing from God. I know this experientially and I know this because God has said so.

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Psalm 127:3

Our attitudes about children play a huge part in the decisions we make in life. Children are not decorations or pets. They are people. They are eternal souls. That truth is what makes this question of family planning so important. This is not a casual question. This is life, not stocks and bonds.

Yet, when life feels urgent and intense, when the dirty clothes are piled high, when the whining is stronger than kryptonite, it can be hard to remember that our children are a gift. And we need to have this truth firmly planted in our consciousness.

How do you remind yourself that your children are a gift from the Lord?

How do you experience this truth in your life? Share it with us in the comments!

The conversation continues…. Part Three

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Comments

  1. My miracle baby, Addyson, has a story all her own… one filled with sacrifice, struggles, and healing. You can read more about her miracle story here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/addysonwroblewski

    The fact that I get to see her smile each day is how I experience this truth in my life.

  2. That verse in Psalms is one I reference regularly. I have a friend with a quote above her sink that says “Grant me Patience to handle my Blessings”. I loved it and wrote it down to remind me that my children are blessings when I’m having a rough day.

  3. Garden Gal says:

    I'm reminded that is a gift most often when I feel like "escaping" to my previous life of freedom, money, eating out, going on vacations, hanging out with friends, etc. It's then that the reality hits that I could have chosen to continue with all those things & more, but I would never know my son, the wonder that he is, & ultimately, the way God has changed me so incredibly much just in the 2 years that I've known my son.

    It makes me wonder who I will be in 2 more years, 10 more years…. and I can't wait to see who God molds my son to be as well as any more children He chooses to bless us with.

  4. Briana Almengor says:

    There’s nothing better than sleeping babies, so every night I go into see mine before I go off to bed. While there are plenty of other moments during the day that I look at my kids and thank GOd for the gifts they are to me, there is no moment I more cherish them than when lying in bed all angelic like. I have to fight the temptation to wake them up and squeeze them to pieces.

  5. Okay, first, so do you tell people, “No, in fact, I was wondering what caused this epidemic in our home. Could you explain to me how this happens??” Do share. (or ask your sis to tell us!) :)

    Next, I put the Pete Townshend song “Let My Love Open the Door” on as loud as our cheap computer speakers will go, and we all dance wildly on my king-sized bed. The kids (and I) pretty much steal our dance moves from the Charlie Brown characters (in the Christmas one where they are all dancing like dorks). It’s in moments like these that I laugh with them and utterly delight in their giggles. P.S. My middle child thinks the words are “Come ON, Open the Door!” which he bellows out from the bottom of his lungs, or “I WANT to OPEN the Door!” Either way, add that thick 3 yr old tongue and lisp and it keeps me laughing long afterwards.

    Yes, they are blesings indeed. And it IS easy to forget when they are driving me crazy at times, but for me, I just have to keep reminding myself to ENJOY them. It just goes by so darn fast!!

  6. JessieLeigh says:

    I am so inspired by my own children’s spirits. The fact that, as flawed as I am, they want to be with me. In my most failed moments, when my voice is raised, my temper short, and patience even shorter, these precious gifts come pile on my lap to snuggle. My son tells me “Giant hug for Mama!” and I am so humbled by their constant, giving love– a love I am often undeserving of. That they view ME as a gift, as something to love, is amazing. How could I not realize the value and sacredness of these precious lives with which I have been entrusted?

  7. My sister seems to have a vivid memory of how I answered that question. Jamie?

  8. Maybe this sounds selfish…. When I forget what a blessing I have, I go on Facebook and visit all the pages of people I went to high school with, who are still single and childless. And I think of how empty my life would be if it were that way (not saying they think that, but I would). When I think about the other side — NOT having my children — I remember pretty quickly that they are blessings. Even if they do like to try my patience on a regular basis! I also get giggles and kisses everyday too. :)

    Curious — so what do you say to people who ask you why your family is so big, or make other insensitive comments?

  9. I do have to remind myself that my blessings are blessings… but most of the time we’re so busy enjoying them or helping them grow that I forget to worry about what others think. We do get comments on how many kids we have, but we just smile and move on… my kids are learning the different comments and have their own answers. I love when the comments are positive. My kids also notice when they are being counted and are quick to help the stranger figure out how many there are…

    We do count our blessings… every time we get in the van to make sure we have everyone! :)

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

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