How do you know when you're ready to have children?
With some of us it just "happens" before we're ready.
-Before the rings have been placed gingerly on our finger under G-ds watchful eyes.-
How do you know how many children to have?
Or if you're even willing to run for the role as a parental candidate?
Those decisions are all difficult ones to make.
There are no answers from us humans to aid with the decision to have a child.
For us, the only reason why we went for number three was to 'attempt' at creating a little girl.
Obviously G-d had different plans for us, and provided us with a busy household of boys.
Psalm 127:3-5 says, “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.”
But to go for a fourth is not an option for us.
Does that mean that God will be mad at us?
If so, then I guess it means he's really irritated with those married folks that have yet to give him even one little guy or girl to grow up in a world of discontentment, selfishness, and extreme materialism.
God declares that Children are a reward. And I'm not about to create an opinion on something that the Main Man Himself has declared His Word. It's okay to not have the desire to have children. It's okay to not enjoy being around children. It's even okay to roll your eyes and begin searching for a safer haven when you're heading out on a much needed vacation only to get stuck with a kid sitting in front of you on the airplane.
Sometimes due to medical reasons one can debate whether or not a child should be brought into the family due to your own health issues. (i.e. disabilities run in your family’s genes,etc, etc) But what if you were to put your trust into God? After all, He is in control and he'll figure out how to iron out the kinks-to arrange the details, so to speak. I remember a story I came across once (perhaps it was a blog, I can't remember) but it was about this girl in college who was going to get a hysterectomy because of the fact that she had a mental illness, it so happened to run rapid in her family genes as well. She ended up not getting one, later married, and would you believe she actually had a perfectly healthy happy child? All those sleepless college nights over her concerns about passing along a "deformity" and look, G-d took care of her child's well being!
So, when is the right time to start a family?
When is the right time to grow your family?
To go from One to Two..From Two To Three?
Oh and what about my career! It's really getting going now!! I can't start a family now, I need to make money..I still need to travel to Europe..
The Biblical answer would be to put your family first over your career.
Genesis 1:27-28 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."”
G-d says that children are a 'blessing.'
Now don't get me wrong, I don't think that you're "hurting" Him by not having children. If anything you're only hurting yourself because in the long run, children are the greatest blessing you can find. You would be missing out on so much. According to my faith, God blesses parents with years of enjoyment with their children, that cannot be compared to anything else. I would think that the only way you could make him unhappy is by your attitude and by not trusting him enough to give you the support you need when it comes to raising children. BELIEVE me, I need ALL the support in the world with my own buggerboos!!!
I was blessed yesterday with that type of enjoyment that you can only get from children:
1) Sullivan bit Jackson on the arm
2) Jackson told Sullivan that he doesn't like him anymore
3) Benjamin pulled out garbage from the trash can and tried trailing it through the kitchen
4) They cried that I served them ground beef with ketchup and peas and carrots for dinner (did I mention that there was also fries, garlic noodles, and strawberry applesauce?!)
5) Ben turns his face away from food when he doesn't "like it."
6) Sullivan woke up at 6:07am
7) Jackson woke up with a bad dream about being bit by a squirrel at 6:30 and didn't go back to bed.
8) Sullivan complained that he wasn't sitting in the "way back" with Jackson in the mommovile
9) Jackson whined that he was sitting in the "way back" all by himself
10) Benjamin refused to nap in the afternoon yesterday.
At the time it wasn't enjoyment for me. It was painful-hairpulling-counting-to-ten-overcoming the urge to just fall off the wagon into the arms of Sir Nic- fun.
But as faith says, it shows itself to you when you reflect. Times of reflection when you don't even realize that you're, well, reflecting!! OR thinking peaceful thoughts.
It showed up in the form of grocery store shopping with my three children.
Through the sweet reminder from a stranger, a woman passed her age of child bearing, looking down at the boys as they pushed their mini-carts down the aisle ramming into each other like cars in a stock car race.
She stops and smiles and says "how cute they are." "How precious it is to see such adventurous boys. Such passion for life,"she says to me as she looks down at them smiling.
"This is the best part right now," she says.
"This is when they need you the most."
"This is when they care about their mom." "This time right now is the easiest."
Um, easiest? Do I need to run through my list again?
"This is when they still talk to their mom," she says, and then follows up with, "enjoy the noise,the constant motion, all of their mini actions, because you never know what they'll turn out to be like someday. And someday they may not want to have anything to do with you. They may not want to return your calls, or come running to you with a problem."
Someone could take that as sad, or dysfunctional, that her boys don't have a speaking relationship with their mom. I mean, who doesn't want to speak to their mom? Who doesn't want to have a relationship with their children? Unfortunately, I know quite a few people that live their lives that way.
It suits them fine.
It's dysfunction, it's sad and it's part of life.
Which is why I'm glad to have found my faithful reflection in the Frozen section of aisle A4.
Because I don't know if they'll turn out to be "okay." I don't know if we'll have a good speaking relationship when they're adults in their 30's. I can try as hard as I can, but that doesn't guarantee success. I could display perfection and never make a mistake as a mom (HA!) and that still does NOT guarantee well rounded adults.
I have to just enjoy the now. The hectic time when they come running to me with tears of pain when a toy isn't shared. When they "lose" the race up the driveway on their push pedal trikes. When they don't want to eat their peas and groundbeef because by doing so will make their "tummy hurt lots a bits!" When they have a nightmare of being bitten by a squirrel. When they feel alone because they enjoy staring at the stars whereas their friends would rather throw around a football.
This is the time that they actually communicate every ounce of who they are to me. Every piece of them, every raw emotion isn't yet tainted by the costumed world you start to see as you develop into adulthood. As each year moves on, as school years advance they will begin to pull away, to become their own person. The loose veil of innocence unravels like a childs favorite blankie with each year that passes.
I had my reminder of how they are a blessing to me. I had my questions answered about "how will I know I'm ready to be a parent?" "How will I know when it's time to have another one?"
As of Late, I've been dealing with another new type of question. Actually I've been faced with this question for the past 15months:
"How will I know when I've maxed out my credit limit on children?"
I know that children are a gift from G-d but how much is too much? The Bigdogg and I create added anxiety over engaging in sex because neither of us want to "have" another child. There is birth control such as the pill, and now that I'm no longer part of the Sir Nic club that could be a thought. However, I did conceive Jackson on the pill. Yes, a story for another time, but I have to say that I am of that 1% that can actually GET pregnant with birth control.
But am I ready to permanently close that chapter on my tubes? To cauterize the anxiety from ever creeping into my uterus again?
That's the conflicting issue I face. I don't want another child. I know the stress of having three. I live it every day. Blessings and all, I don't want to abuse my limit. Just because the credit limit is open ended, doesn't mean I should max it out.
From a faith stand point I have to remember that it is thru G-d that my household has been built. To maintain the outlook that we can do it ourselves, without faith, is just another frantic attempt that will demolish over time. To base life on "our way is the best way we don't need to believe in the unknown," will only lead to a foundation based on material prosperity and social acceptability. With that approach, it's no wonder many homes have their foundations crumbling beneath their feet.
I think to myself that I will be going against His will should I have a tubal ligation. But I have sinned with other things..and I am not admitting perfect. Rather the opposite. I am admitting that I have yet to learn.
The crossroad of this question for me is that even though I do not want anymore children, even though I ask that my womb be closed, am I ready to surgically close it doing it my way? It seems so permanent- regardless of if it's me or Bigdogg-to be snipped, cut, or tied. Taking faith out of the equation, I still don't want anymore children. But to block it, to grow scar tissue around the tied strings, seems so empty.
Like a good book that you never want to finish, although you're on that last chapter, I'm struggling with whether or not I want to put that book up on the top shelf, to never have the option to read it again. Even though I don't want to read it ever again, just knowing that it's there for me, should I want to read it, is comforting.
Welcome To Crustybeef~
My appointment is Nov 1st to talk with my OB about removing my lovely cyst surgically. AND, to take apart the bridge that has been the gateway for my three eggs to make it thru the tunnel of my fallopian tubes to give me the fun blessings that I am so grateful to have. SO GRATEFUL in fact, that I am not willing to remove the status of middle child by making a fourth.
So I will continue to count my blessings.......
and I'm stopping at three.
How do You Know When You're Done?