I'm doing Conversion Diary's 7 Posts in 7 Days, which means I'll be scrambling for material (and, yes, phoning it in) this week. I also went to see a dear friend's newborn this morning, and I've got babies on the brain, so I figured, why not start the week by talking about them?
Polite people would never dream of asking, but I guess they might wonder: are there more Mosher babies coming down the pike?
The answer: no, not right now, for reasons. But also: someday, maybe.
It's such a complicated and personal question, isn't it? So many personal issues and so much discernment go into answering it. And I know there's privilege in my feeling like I *can* venture to answer it in certain ways. We're both open to the idea of more children, we could afford them, and it's likely we'd be able to conceive (although of course there are never any guarantees). Those are important things and I'm grateful. But on the other hand the prospect of adding to our family right now is daunting. We're not ready, and we think it's okay.
We live in a community where people have many children. I know that in the common perception WE have many children, but no. I'm talking MANY. Seven or ten children, very close together, and you've never seen anything like these parents. The spouses seem able to communicate by telepathy, and each of them is always carrying a small child around, and they're calm as anything. It blows my mind. I mean, I'm sure that at Mass (where we usually see them) they probably appear more collected than at 5:30pm on a random Tuesday, but still. The parents of the big families amaze me.
But with friends of mine who are my age and have a small handful of kids like I do, I discuss the idea that maybe everyone isn't called to have all those kids, that maybe we aren't. You should see the joy that some of these families have in their many children. It's beautiful: such a witness to God's goodness and to the inherent goodness of each new life. But at the thought of having a baby less than two years after a previous one, or of having another one annnnny time in the near future after having four in 4.5 years, I don't feel joyful. I feel like I want to cry, or maybe crawl in a hole and sleep for a year.
And maybe that's okay. Is it a weakness on my part? Perhaps, and I'm willing to own it. We all have weaknesses. But I feel like the gift God has given me, as I've struggled and loved my way through seven years of parenting so far, is the ability to let go of fear surrounding this issue. Could I mess it up? Theoretically. Do I trust him to help me avoid messing it up? Well... yes. I guess I do.
So here we are, marking time, and every month we pray and decide whether to mark time for another cycle. Sometimes a small person vomits at midnight or I wake up with the second migraine in a week and we just know, and sometimes the discussion is longer and deeper, but Bryan and I have remained on the same page so far. More kids? Maybe someday. For now? It's God's game as always, but we're voting no.
Doesn't mean I won't hold a friend's cuddly warm new baby every chance I get, though. I loved doing that today.
(I won't lie. I also kind of loved handing her back and coming home knowing I will get to sleep tonight.)