"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

These crazy Catholic families

Day 2 of 7 Posts in 7 Days. Sorry for TWO long posts in a row. Tomorrow will be short[er]. Promise. ;)

Many of my friends have 2+ kids, ages 5 and under, so they have all kinds of funny stories about strangers' comments. "You've got your hands full!" Etc. So many people think it's crazy for couples to want more than 1 or 2 kids....and that just blows my mind.

Yes, being a parent is one of the hardest things I've ever done (honestly, foster parenting is THE hardest...but I digress). But being a parent is also the most fulfilling thing I've ever done.

When I was working full-time, I can't tell you how many times women said they were done after having 2 kids. Of course, this made me furious at the time because I was just trying to have ONE kid and it wasn't happening. [If you only have one or two kids, I am in NO WAY judging you. We all have our reasons and I certainly am in no place to judge.] But now that I do have my one baby and another one on the way, I can't imagine being at the point where I say, "Okay, I'm done!" Seriously. Maybe I'm crazy. And maybe it's a little different for me because my reproductive system is not exactly normal. And maybe being in the trenches of pregnancy loss and infertility has affected my perspective as well. I don't know. Even though my pregnancies are stressful, I honestly can't imagine not being open to more kids.

One thing I do know is that I've met so many people who regretted being "done having kids."  A few months ago a lady shared how she had her tubes tied and then they decided they wanted another baby. She's having to do IVF (which makes me cringe because 1. I'm Catholic and 2. helloooo why take the fun out of babymaking?! 3. it's so dang expensive and 4. I could go on and on but you know).

I don't think there's anybody who regretted having any of their children...even the unplanned ones. One of my good friends just found out she's pregnant with her 4th baby, and although totally unexpected (she didn't even get her cycle back after her current youngest), she is thrilled. Still in shock, yes. But she knows it's a blessing. And I think it's just a beautiful thing to totally surrender your fertility to God and let Him decide how many kids is best for your family.

Unfortunately, a lot of families have to deal with negative comments because they have a lot of children, and I really do think that's terrible. Big families (at least the ones I know) aren't irresponsible, and yes, they know how babies are made. Why do people care how many kids other people have anyway? They're not the ones paying the bills or raising them. I really think big families should be embraced and celebrated rather than criticized.

One thing I've been hearing over and over and over lately - by people of all ages - is that it's so expensive to raise kids these days. And while obviously it is an added expense because you do have to feed them, having kids does not have to be expensive.

Yes, you can choose to buy a bunch of clothes and toys, put them in several extracurricular activities that cost lots of money, and bring them on fancy vacations. If you have the money to do it, go for it. Doesn't bother me! But for some people (us! ahem), we choose to cloth diaper, breastfeed (God-willing), go on simple beach vacations, take advantage of hand-me downs, and only buy a toy or two for birthdays and Christmas. Landon is still quite a happy kid and doesn't know what he's missing. ;)

I've been reading up on NFP lately because although Logan and I have always been open to children whenever God says so (we did have to abstain right after losing Levi per doctor's orders), my stressful pregnancies are making me wonder if we have a valid reason to avoid pregnancy in the future at any given time. We would totally adopt, so that makes me think yes - it's not like we have the "children are a burden" mindset.

But I know that whenever Chase gets here, I'll probably forget allllll about how hard pregnancy is and will want to grow our family again regardless. And I know that God knows what's best for us anyway so perhaps it's just best to just trust Him in everything…it's kind of the recurring theme of my life. Hence the blog name.

Check out some good posts/books on NFP and being open to life and all that fun stuff….
Aaaand here are some posts on having a large family…

3 comments:

  1. Hi Jen, this is the first time I've come across your blog (thanks for your comment on mine!) and I think I'll be adding it to my reader! I'm so sorry to read about the loss of your first child. My husband and I used NFP to postpone pregnancy for the first 5 months of marriage then we started trying to conceive and had our daughter. We had planned to never use NFP to postpone again but then he was unemployed for a time after he graduated with his PhD and now we will be postponing for medical reasons for a while after two miscarriages. It's so, so hard and I also have difficulty understanding how people can ever feel "done" having children. Even if we had a major medical reason why we could no longer get pregnant, I imagine I still would FEEL done.

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  2. I think that's the beauty of NFP - it is there when we need it!


    It's definitely hard seeing people who could have large families (no problems with fertility and/or pregnancy) say they're "done."If only it were that easy for the rest of us!


    The 3 months we had to wait to TTC after Levi were so hard. Hugs to you!

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  3. This is a great post, Jen! You're gonna be right up there with the "big namers" here pretty soon!

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