Sunday, June 12, 2011

4, 2 and New!

Eden turned four Friday, Josiah turned 2 in February and our next baby is due in July. Our new family slogan is: 4, 2 and New! Larry and I couldn’t be more thrilled about the blessing of our children. We thought going into our marriage that children were not even possible so to have 3 in 5 years is a HUGE blessing. Unfortunately, others do not see things in the same way we do.

I have had lots of comments from strangers lately that are troubling. Maybe it’s because I’m in hormone overload, maybe it’s that I’m oversensitive. I feel that people should be cautious about how they speak to others and that personal matters are just that…. personal. So you can imagine how upsetting it can be for people to question our future plans for children when we don’t even know ourselves what God has in store for us.

When people find out this is my third baby I’m often asked, “Will this be your last?” or “are you finished?” These questions can be a little unnerving. Why strangers want to know our family plans just seems nosey to me. If the questioning stopped there that would be one thing. Sadly they don’t. I’ve had someone ask why we would want a third child since we have a girl and a boy. So if one of our children would have been the other gender it would have been fine for us to desire having another child, but this baby wasn’t needed because we have reached the ideal. And it gets better, I had the check out lady at a department store tell me, three was a lot and I should stop.

We’ve had lots of people ask if we knew how we got pregnant. Like we haven’t figured it out yet!  If I feel especially sassy, I’ve replied with something like, “We’ll yeah, we have. With 3 babies in 5 years we’re quite good at it!” I figure if people are bold enough to ask that, then they should be ready for my response.

I wonder how people would feel if I went to a couple that only had one child and asked, why aren’t you having another? Don’t you think your child would want a playmate? Or if I asked a couple that chose to be childless, if they felt selfish for not having a baby. You can see how rude that would come across. I’m sure families in those situations are probably asked those kinds of questions and feel the same way I do about boundaries and strangers crossing them.

What I attempt to do when I’m faced with these kinds of questions is to not get irritated, but use it as an opportunity to share the truth of the Scriptures. Psalm 127:3 says, “Behold children are a gift from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. So I tell these strangers that Scripture tells us children are a blessing. I love each of my blessings and look forward to what God has in store for our future.

So how would you respond?


Anonymous said...

You have a beautiful family. God has paired you and Larry together and I love seeing you two parent together.
You gotta love the south! Someone asked me the other week "Isn't it time for you to get married?" I told them I hadn't found a man rich enough yet. ;)
This post spoke to my heart about not worrying about being judged and about juding others. Love you!

Steven and Candi Manning said...

I feel you Angela, people tell me all the time that I must be done because I have a boy and a girl and how lucky I am that I only had to be pregnant once. It's hard for me to know how to respond to those people. I appreciate your heart to love people even when they're not being the most loving in the their questions, great reminder that our heart should always be to point people to truth.

Nicole said...

How funny and frustrating.
We were just talking about this today and I agree with you that every child is a gift and the blessings that come from having them are incomprehensible. One can never truly anticipate how a child will impact the course of one's life.

Morgan is going to be 10 and Autumn will be 3. They are 7 years apart because we had difficulty getting pregnant a secomd time. We actually gave up trying, gave everything away and then were delighted to find out that we were expecting.

Since my second pregnancy was difficult many people have said that maybe we shouldn't have more children but I struggle with this everyday. In my heart I wonder if that is really something that I morally and ethically have a right to choose.

Is it up to me to decide how many children I should have? Is it really anyone's decision? I am not so sure.

People often ask "Can you really afford it?" What do they mean by this? Metally? Emotionally? Spiritually? Financially? Should my purse really dictate what blessings I can bare??? This mentality assumes that children are a burden.

I must admit that I feel that I am more of a burden to their free spirits than I care to even think about. Who am I to tell them that they don't have time to pick the dandelions? When the guys came to mow our lawn the other day My little one asked "Mommy, why did those guys vacuum my flowers???" My 10 year old tried to tell her they were just weeds...and I wondered... Did I do that??? Why did she feel the need to change her sister's perspective? Is this really what I want to teach my children? Shouldn't they have the freedom to enjoy all of God's creation and to appreciate the beauty in all things?

Sometimes I wonder... how many times a day do I tell them no? When all they want to do is explore the marvelous world around them that God has given, it seems unfair that anyone should keep them from doing so.

Clearly the people who say,"maybe you shouldn't" don't really see children as blessings. If I were to ever decide that I didn't want to have more it would be so that I could give the two I have a better life. I have to wonder if that would really be the right decision.

If you ask them, I am sure they would choose the love and affection of another sibling over any material desire or need they could possibly ever have.

I guess the bottom line is that one should pity those who do not see the riches laid before them.
They have no idea how poor they really are.

Harriet said...

Angela I feel your pain. Been there heard it all. From strangers as well as family. There are times that even I have my "what was I thinking moments", but I remind myself that God is in control.

I tried hard to figure out a good response but most people just want to share their opinion and aren't interested in yours so I found that a kind response was more effective than trying to find a way to make my point with them. They weren't going to "get it" anyway.

And yes you do sound hormonal, but that is ok too. Smile and show them how much you love your children. That is the best you can do to influence your critics.

You are truly blessed to have these three wonderful children. God is still in the miracle business.