Par Happy mummy le 20 September 2014 à 01:51
It might be cheesy to say having children opens up your eyes, but it really does. I'm sure it's different for everyone because we're all on different journeys, but for me, there are two things in particular that having children taught me.
1- Being a new mum helped me understand unconditional love.
When my first son was born, I loved him immediately. This is a normal response for a new mum, to fall in love with her baby. It was only later that I realised just how much I loved him, and how, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't rationalise my feelings. When William was born, he didn't do anything. He didn't thank me for carrying him for 9 months or give me a little "hello" present. He didn't have any exceptional talent that I could be proud of. If anything, he was actually more of a burden (although it never felt like it): entirely dependant, unable to feed on his own or move by himself. Taking care of him was a 24-hour job and it wasn't easy. Yes, this is what all mothers do, but at one point I realised there was no reason why I should feel anything for this newborn baby. In a way you could say he didn't deserve to be loved.
Yet, I loved him. Not like I love my friends or my husband; I loved him with an unconditional love. It is very difficult to explain, because it is not the kind of love that is taught, but one that is felt. I can only say that I knew, then, that no matter what he'd do or what he'd say, I would always love him. I might not always agree with his choices, but I will always love him. The same is true for my second son, Ezra. There is nothing he could do to make me stop loving him just as much as I do.
This is such a powerful truth for me. I don't need to do anything for God to love me. I don't need to prove I am worthy of His love. Even if I am totally dependent on Him for everything, He doesn't consider me as a burden. No matter what I do, no matter what I say; He loves me, always and forever, with a love that will never be shaken. Like the way I love my children, and possibly even more.
2- Seeing my sons grow up helped me understand that mistakes are ok.
When William took his first steps, he stumbled. There were a few falls, bumps, and tears, before he could walk confidently. Never once when he fell did I think it was hopeless. I knew that every time he tried, he was closer to that condifent toddler walk.
This is just like us when we exercice a spiritual gift. We don't get it right first time. It is ok to make mistakes along the way. In fact, I believe mistakes are a necessary part of the learning process.
Now that William is learning to speak, I can see it even more. He can say a few words, but doesn't pronounce them all correctly. Some words he doesn't know how to say yet. But as time goes on, he is able to speak more and more, and we now understand most of what he is saying. I know it will take another few months before he can speak properly, and that's fine. We are not disappointed when he doesn't get it right, nor do we feel ashamed or angry. It's actually the contrary; we love watching him learn! We love hearing him improve day after day and being able to see just how much progress he already made.
If this is how God sees me when I practise a gift (and I know it is!), then I have nothing to worry about! I used to be so fearful of making mistakes that I wouldn't even try. Now I know that God will never think "I wish she didn't go for it", but "I am so proud of my daughter". Even when I do get it wrong. Because I am still a learning child, and because He is the one who teaches me.
Par Happy mummy le 25 August 2014 à 23:33
If you know me or if you've read my little presentation, you know I was still very young when I had my first child. I have a few friends who are also parents, but the majority of them are still "only" husband and wife (not that there is anything wrong with that, and it's great that they get to enjoy being together!) But we are getting at the age now when most are thinking about starting a family and it is a subject that oftens comes up in conversation. This got me thinking - is there a right time to have children?
Couples today tend to have children much later than past generations. This is mainly due to the fact that it is taking longer to complete a degree, and that it is becoming increasingly harder to find a job. It used to be common for the wife to stay at home while the husband was going to work, but now most women are starting careers too. There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is money, of course. When both (future) parents work, the household income is higher. Now, as Christians, we shouldn't focus on money; but that doesn't mean it's wrong to earn a good wage! God likes to bless His children and I praise Him for the families than get more than enough and are able to spend money on things that they like. It's true that babies can be expensive. Therefore, financially, it might seem like a good idea to have children slightly later in life. Once one or both parents are working, it certainly lightens the burden of buying all the necessities - not to mention the expenses that come when the children get older. This is why I can understand why some people would want to be settled financially before thinking about getting pregnant. From this point of view, it certainly does seem like a wise decision!
Biologically, however, our bodies are meant to have children at a young age. I don't mean as a teenager, but it is a known fact that fertility reduces with time. I find it ironic that nowadays couples start wanting to build a family around age 30 when it is at this age that fertility starts to reduce considerably. Many studies suggest that the best time to conceive is around age 20-25, when the odds of getting pregnant are about 25% each month. In our mid 30s, the odds are already half as much, and keep decreasing as time goes on. It's important to note that it isn't just the time it takes to get pregnant that worsens, but also the number of miscarriages and stillbirths. Indeed, nature seems to indicate it is better to have children at a young age.
So... is there a right time to have children?
I don't think there is one good answer to this question. Every couple is different; what will work for one family will not necessarily work for another. I can only speak for myself and explain why Mat and I have chosen to start a family in our early 20s. Aside from the biological side of things, there was also a calling upon our lives. We knew since our teenage years that God would make us parents and we both had the same vision of a large family. Sure, things haven't always been easy financially. But God has provided for us and we've learnt to live on little money, so it isn't a worry in our lives. Plus, being parents doesn't have to be as expensive as people make it out to be. And although I do understand the idea of wanting to be financially secure before having babies, it doesn't seem like a strong enough reason for me. You could be going to uni, but once you graduate, will you take a job? Once you have a job, will you go for the promotion? Once you are promoted, will you want to buy a bigger house? A bigger car? Move again for a bigger garden? By the time we've ticked all the boxes, it might be too late to have children... Besides, in 50 years from now, I want to look back on my life and be happy with my choices. Will I regret not getting a job earlier? I don't think so. But I know I will remember the days when my children were young and growing and all the memories we will have built together. This, to me, is what matters. Not the material possessions that we can't keep in Heaven, but the children we will strive to spend eternity with.
(I really like this verse :)
"Children are a heritage from the Lord, offsping a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one's youth." - Psalm 127:2-4
Mat and I are hoping to add to our family in the future and we have a million reasons for wanting to pursue our parenting calling. However, I realise that it might not be the right thing to do for other couples. I think the best thing to do for people trying to decide when to start a family is ask God - you really can't go wrong when you're doing what He wants!
Follow this section's article RSS flux
Follow this section's comments RSS flux