I promised yesterday I would continue my chat on family planning.
I shared my experience on how I knew my family was complete at 5. I knew because my heart knew, and I was at the capacity of what I could handle without society stepping in.
I will never forget this episode on Doctor Phil. A mother of 9 or more children was being confronted for being a very fertile, but very horrible mother. 8 of her 9 children were in foster care and she was pregnant AGAIN!
Doctor Phil, asked her, “why do you keep having more kids?”
She replied “because, I just LOVE babies”
Doctor Phil shook his shining bald head, “but babies turn into children, and you ain’t so good at that part.”
Oh I so resonated with that woman, I just love babies, I could have 100 of them, back-to-back. Give me twin newborns & sleepless nights anytime, but throw in a toddler and a moody 12-year-old and I’ll be chain-smoking on an orange-flowered sofa bed with my hairless cats.
I really had to reason with myself that just because I loved babies, didn’t mean I had to give birth to anymore.
There are right reasons and oh so wrong reasons to have or not have more kids, and even though I think it should be a personal decision, I think some garbage creeps into our decisions. Good family planning, starts with a sound mind, a reality check and an open heart.
The 5 worst reasons to have another baby.
1. To save your marriage or keep a man.
Marriage brings children together, children do not bring marriages together! Nothing is as sexless, boring and stressful as children. It seems glamorous and the right ticket for a happy marriage but that’s a lie, and you need to stop watching so many tv dramas. Babies will put strain on your relationship, but if you are stable and strong going in, that strain will strengthen and deepen your relationship, if you go in broken it will not hold. Think of it like a bone, healthy bones that receive resistance and strain will strengthen, and the muscles around will strengthen and support. A broken or fractured bone under pressure and strain can snap.
2. To help you get your life together
I know this better than anyone how much having a child to care for can instantly throw you into maturity, I was 22 when I had my 1st. I have seen some of the most messed up people shine after having a baby. It really gives them the kick they need. That being said, this should never be your reason for having a baby, because it doesn’t always work. I have seen too many messed up people – who have babies – who they mess up -and it continues, generation after generation. Work on yourself and your problems before having kids.
3. Peer pressure – because your friends are.
We always seem to want what everyone else has, and we always seem to pressure one another to have what we have. To be honest, I would love for some of my friends to have as many kids as I do so I have someone to relate to, but I will have to do with chatting up the Hutterites at the Farmers Market. Peer pressure was never good for making decisions about sex and drugs in high school and it’s not any better for family planning either. It’s a decision between you and your spouse.
4. Because you want somebody to love you.
Let me tell you something about motherhood. You WILL have that child, pour all your love into them, then they WILL turn 13 and they WILL slam the door in your face and tell you all the reasons why they hate you! OUCH! Children come into this world selfish and they leave the home selfish. Yes, my kids do show me love and affection and adore me (before age 12), but parenting is very lopsided and you will always be pouring more into that child than they will give back.
5. Because you want approval from your parents, boss, or other.
The approval game is such a self-destructive game to play, so don’t bring kids into it. Your parents, your boss and your ‘others’ will have to suck it up and find someone else to have a baby to please them. You, on the other hand need to have a child because YOU WANT A CHILD. There is something about the “wanting ” of a child that will pour into their self-esteem from fetus, and help them feel secure and anchored from birth.
The 5 Worst excuses not to have another baby
1. Ruin your body
Old age will ruin your body, a car accident can ruin your body, donuts can ruin your body. Don’t hang onto what you won’t keep forever. Having a baby is worth the bulge.
2.Your finances. (within reason)
If you are a loving, devoted and stable human being, you can bring a baby home in a shoe box, feed it mashed up peas from a can on your lap from the back of your van, and that baby will grow up perfect! Babies don’t need a big savings account, their own room, or even a bungalow to thrive on. Money should never be a deciding factor unless, the lack of money has thrown you into poverty, causes huge mental distress, and dysfunction in your home – then don’t. However, if you just feel like you can’t because you’re not rich yet remember that a baby will grow with you and your finances and learning to live on little is never a bad thing for a child.
3. People will judge you
This was a big pressure for me going from 4 – 5 kids, because people were judging me at 4. People’s opinions cannot be the deciding factor in your future. If that were the case we should just all stay home and avoid judgment from any outsider.
4.Because you hate pregnancy.
This is a tough one, because if you have had a very hard brutal pregnancy, it can take its toll. I don’t know too many mothers who loved being pregnant, but remember it is a short season. 9 months to bring a life that could last 90 years – that’s a big return on a small investment. I am not talking about “high risk pregnancies” to be clear. I would never push a woman to have a baby if it could risk her life. My great Grandmother died in child-birth after having her 8th child, leaving my grandfather motherless.
5. Because you’re afraid.
Fear is very normal when it comes to another baby, or your first one. Will they be healthy? Will I be a good mother? Can we handle it? WIll I have enough love for both? All of these are normal fears and not a good enough reason to not bring life into this world. Once you see those sparkling blues it will ease all your fears.
These are just my personal opinions on the subject, and every family situation is unique, so I am not gospel, but just a reminder to shed the distractions of life from your decisions, cause it’s a BIG one!