Do you ever wonder if you want the things you want because others have them or if it's because it's what you really want? And if you do really want them, do you want it because it's what's best for you and what Heavenly Father wants for you or if you want it in-spite of what's best for you? And when trying to figure these types of things out do you ever talk yourself into circles so many times that you are so confused you don't think you'll ever figure it out? That is how I feel right now.
Nate and I have one kid. One cute, cuddly, funny, smart, happy, growing little boy that we absolutely adore. I had always thought I wanted somewhere between 5-7 kids but now I'm not so sure, which is not really what I'm confused about, I'm sure that will figure itself out when we get that far. I'm confused about when we should turn a family of 3 into a family of 4. It seems like for forever I was sure that I wanted my kids 2 years apart. When I had Bud I had to have a c-section so wanting to have my next baby vaginally means Bud has to be at least two years old before I give birth to the next. Nate and I planned early on after Bud was born to have the next baby in late spring of 2011. Sounds simple enough right?
Plans change and desires change and life changes which changes other plans, and this is where the circle talking begins. Now that Nate has changed his Major he will be starting his Masters (hopefully) immediately after his bachelors is done, as in he graduates in May of 2011 and starts his masters in May of 2011. If he gets into the school of choice his first semester of his masters will be 16 credits. To me that sounds like a lot. It also doesn't sound like a great time to have a new baby. Plus we will have to move within 6 months of him graduating. So we talked about planning for the baby to come between his last two semesters of his BFA. Sounds reasonable, but that means I would have to get pregnant in the next two months. I don't know if I'm ready for that.
Part of me feels selfish but another part of me feels justified. When I got pregnant with Bud I gained 15 lbs in the first trimester. I got several talks from multiple people about how I shouldn't use pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever I want and let myself go. I don't think those people know what it's like to feel like you are starving all day long. Bud wanted to manifest himself as a boy VERY early and consequently I felt like I had a hollow leg and gained 15 lbs just trying to eat the hunger away. I still have not lost that weight and the idea of another pregnancy like that SCARES ME TO DEATH! I do not do well mentally or emotionally when I gain weight. That's the part that feels justified for not wanting to get pregnant yet. The part that feels selfish is that recently I have been working out, (fairly consistently) and I have started to notice a difference! Good news right? I haven't lost any weight, but I have lost inches and I'm loving it. No drastic changes can be seen but I feel encouraged to keep going. Doesn't sound selfish, it sounds healthy. But still I feel selfish focusing on my body so much that it sways me to not get pregnant at a time that might be best for my family. All I can think about is getting skinny again and in those moments I choose that over having another baby. Sometimes I would rather look good and have a hot body for my husband to admire.
That's not all though, the decision making gets even more clouded. Raise your hand if you've ever gotten baby hungry because every one around you is pregnant. Most girls reading this are probably guilty of it in even the slightest passing thoughts and moments of insanity. Dang those hormones! Right now two of my best friends are pregnant as well as two sisters (one of which is pregnant with 2). So I see them experiencing this together and I think oh how I want to experience it with someone! When I was pregnant I had 4 sisters all pregnant at the same time but they all lived so far away and I only saw one of them once during my pregnancy (well twice but I didn't know she was pregnant the first time). I went through it alone in that sense. It didn't break my heart, but I see my two friends experiencing this together and I think how fun would that be?! (almost as ridiculous as a bunch of 17 year-olds getting pregnant just to get pregnant at the same time as their friends, except I'm NOT 17, I'm married and it's not THAT ridiculous)
But wait ~ There's more!
On the flip side of that I have some family members that for whatever dumb reason think their daughter was nuts for having so many children, and think we are nuts for also having more than 1... maybe 2 children. And I don't mean nuts in a "gee I couldn't handle it but good for you" type of way, I mean nuts in a "what is wrong with you and why are your priorities so screwed up?" type of way. They just don't get it. I'm not ashamed, but that doesn't mean I want to have to deal with their disapproval of my righteous desires. I dread the idea of telling them #2 is on the way so much so that I had a dream (it was slightly weird although come to think of it not nearly as weird as others) where I was asked (or rather called) to adopt a baby. I was so concerned about not wanting to deal with them that I decided we would never tell them about the new baby and always have someone to babysit that kid when we visited them. Even lucid and conscious, this idea still remains an enticing solution to what will someday be reality. But anyway thinking along that particular line got me thinking what is the rush to have another kid so soon? Why not wait until Bud is 3 or 4 and Nate is completely done school?
So in case I've lost and confused you (I often confuse myself)~
- Once Bud is 2 we can have a V-BAC and they won't be too close in age but will be close enough.
- If we don't want to have a baby during Nate's masters I have to get pregnant NOW and my body is just too important and I just want to get skinny and be hot for my husband and I'm vain.
- If we wait too long Nate will be swamped with school and it will be too hard and too much will be going on so we should get started soon.
- If I get pregnant I will have to tell my family eventually and I just don't want to deal with that. (I'm still trying to talk Nate into the whole babysitting idea)
- My sisters and friends are pregnant right now, maybe I should get pregnant too so we can be expecting buddies!
- Truly, honestly and in all sincerity, what's the rush?
Those are the circles have been talking in lately. And perhaps some of you might laugh at me for saying this but, this is hard stuff to figure out!
I think one of the things that makes it hard is that when we first decided to start having children
it was definitely not a prompting I was waiting on or asking for, nor was I really thinking about it yet. It was inspiration from the spirit to start thinking and talking about it, and when we knew what we wanted and when we wanted it we prayed to know if it was the right time.
This time it feels like we are just using numbers and dates to figure it out. I'm not sure why. I was not swayed by anything to think about it, but since we got the ball rolling with #1, well, I don't really know what I expected to happen with figuring out the when for #2. It just seemed so much like something you put on a calendar; I'm sure it shouldn't be like that so why did I think it would be so easy?
Since I'm already thinking about it on my own this time perhaps I instead of figuring out WHEN AND THEN PRAYING I should be PRAYING TO KNOW WHEN?
I know having children is a righteous choice regardless.
Dallin H. Oaks gave an address once titled "Good, Better, Best".
He said, "As we consider various choices, we should remember that it is not enough that something is good. Other choices are better, and still others are best. Even though a particular choice is more costly, its far greater value may make it the best choice of all."
Having another child is good regardless, but for the reason above I don't just jump into because it is good. I want to do what is BEST for our family.
I would love to hear your own stories and experiences on this or similar type situations, or anytime when you've talked yourself into circles trying to figure out what is best.