Several months ago I overheard a conversation between two women in my ward. They were discussing how many children they were planning on. “I want 3,” said one. “I want three too, but my husband wants four,” said the other. Of course when I heard this conversation, I wondered to myself about how many children I would have. Actually, I think about this ALL the time. I always have- even as a little girl I would obsess about this. You would have thought that once I started having children that this constant fixation on having more children would have dissipated. It hasn’t.
When I heard those women talking, my head heard the words, three children and thought, “Hey that would be really nice. You would only have to go through one more pregnancy, one more labor and delivery, one more year of breastfeeding, and three more years of diapers. You would have more money, would be able to start going on vacations, get out of debt sooner, and have more disposable income. You could go back to school sooner; you could have a career, and begin to develop a sense of identity as a regular adult in society instead of one as a person who wipes noses and butts all day. In a few years you could go to bed at a decent hour, and wake up 8 hours later feeling refreshed and ready for the day. It would be easier to go out for dinner every now and then, go on a date, go to the grocery store, or really, to go Anywhere! Your body would have less stretch marks, probably be in better shape by avoiding those extra hard to lose pounds that pregnancy seems to inflict upon us, and your boobs maybe won’t sag to the point that you’ll have to tuck them into your pants.” Well, ok, my boobs are already a lost cause, but I digress.
INSTANTLY, and I mean, even as my logical self is thinking this, my heart yells NOOOOOO! I’m supposed to have more. I know it. I don’t see myself as the most spiritual person, but this is one thing that I am absolutely sure of. My kids are missing some siblings. The fact that they aren’t here yet, gives me the most unsettled feeling; to the point that my whole frame of reference revolves around when I will be having another baby. I can just see my children still stuck up there in the pre-existence, singing to each other in tacky costumes, “Don’t forget your promise!”
I don’t ever want to have more kids than I really feel like taking care of even if I was prompted to do it. I don’t want the older kids to feel responsible for the younger ones all the time. I don’t want the younger ones to feel like they were cheated out of having parents who had enough time and energy for them. I don’t want to lose my identity as a person. I want to have as many kids as I am happy taking care of. And I really hope that the number of children I am happy to raise is the same number of children that I feel are supposed to come to our family. Right now the number in my head is 4 kids. (???) But you never know what will happen in life, and that number could definitely change.
I think it is really sad when there is a family who didn’t have as many children as they wanted, and always feel bad about it. And I think it’s just as sad when families have so many children because they felt it was the ‘right’ thing to do, but the parents are completely overwhelmed in basically every way. There are certain people who have the right temperament to have really big families. I know I’m not one of them! You really have to let go of a lot of control in your life when you have that many kids, and I’m too much of a control freak.
Anyway, I’ve been rambling, but the point of all this is that James and I are absolutely thrilled to announce our third baby expected June 25th, 2010. I am really glad that we are telling people, because I can’t suck in my stomach anymore!
One thing’s for sure:
It’s gonna be a hell of a time, James!
(If you get that reference, then you and me can be friends.)
7 hours ago