- Having kids is expensive! There is "research" and even books (holy moly) on how having children is expensive. I disagree, entirely. We believe that God has a set "bank account" for each child you have. This doesn't necessarily mean GAP clothes and all the hobbies one child and parent desire, but this for us means (and we have also lived to see) that ALL is provided for and we truly lack nothing. The provision came AFTER having each child. Looking back we can see how our income increased after each child was born. Not before, but after. God has asked us to trust Him in this area and we have not been disappointed! There are certain "luxuries" we don't have, such as owning a car and being able to shop for new clothes each month, but these are minor, very minor to what we have been blessed with. Our children. There are endless ways to cut costs if one is worried about the financial aspect of having kids. From cloth diapers to breastfeeding well, to living on primarily hand me down clothes. It all depends on what you feel is important to have, what are your priorities and values?
- You won't get your life back if you keep having more kids. I am assuming that we are talking about the "life before kids" part. We never thought that having kids was just a side track or a rest zone for us away from our career. Or should I say, my career. As a stay at home mum and a homeschooler, I can't see myself returning to what I did prior to my kids. I was a stay-at-home mum, had 3 jobs and even studied Nutritional Therapy all at the same time, amongst other events which I led and participated in. However, THIS is my life now, for this SEASON of my life and I am looking forward to the new things, which this phase of my life brings. I am a mother. This is far more important to me than pursuing my career. I don't want to linger in the same season and place my whole life. This is my calling and I know that the things I used to do, I can do again, when the right time comes up. And IF I want to.
- You won't be able to travel. Our family is scattered around the world, so it's important for us to be able to travel, often enough. Like I sort of mentioned previously, God IS our provider. He has and will provide for another plane fare. God knows our situation, our desires, needs and wants. He is quite generous, His economy is something else and I am not worried. We live on one average income for a family of 5 and are currently saving up for a trip to Cambodia. I want to encourage you to pray, trust and give this area to God. You won't be dissapointed.
- We won't be able to accommodate you all when you visit, if you keep growing. That's okay, we'll book a hotel;-)!
- Your kids will be deprived. 1) emotionally and then 2) materially. 1) Yes the larger the family grows the less of one on one time we'll get. I believe that planning ahead and prioritising everyday will help in this area. We value family time, togetherness. I just have to make sure that each kid gets kisses and cuddles throughout the day and acknowledge them often. I'm not perfect and I have my bad days. However, the good, the miracles, the LIFE that is created and the good days out weigh the bad, hands down. God knows how many kids we can handle, I have to put my trust in Him. The kids do not stay young forever, they grow and we grow. Our life changes a bit to accommodate the next blessing we receive. That's normal. I do certain things differently with 3 kids than I did with 2, and that's okay. I still have to cook every day, so the fact is, whether it's a 1 litre pan I use or a 5 litre pan, it doesn't make a difference to me. 2) This is a matter of what each of us finds important and believes is important for our kids. It's not important for us that our kids get driven to one hobby after the other, and that they get the next trendy toy or snickers on the market. We value quality time and feeding their imagination, which can be playing sports together with friends and making kites out of plastic bags. Our two oldest do have hobbies, but to be honest, I might have to find hobbies in which all of our kids can attend at the same time, when and if we are blessed with more. And if it is suitable for us. I'm not worried and neither are they. What brings more to ones life, is it a soccer practise each week during childhood or is it a brother or sister for life? I believe that they'll be blessed in which ever direction they are called to go and if my eldest wants to be a professional Cricket player, so be it.
- The world is over populated as it is. This is a myth, yes you read this correctly. A myth. ..."In fact, the entire population of the world could live in the state of Texas, in single-family dwellings with front and back yards"... Here is a great link to Family Planning 10 Great Reasons - some liberating insight! There's truth in it!
- You'll have 19 kids before you know it. Not everybody who is open for having as many children, get 19 kids. We know about the Duggars and the Bates with 19 kids each, but realistically how many families who are open to having more kids, have 19? Not many. I know several families who are open to let God decide their family size and they ended up having 6. Some have 5, some 10, some 12, some 16... who knows. Some have 1 and some couples find it very hard to conceive. We are all different.
- "I grew up in a large family and it was difficult!" Everybody has a different story, we are not all from the same mould.
Full Quiver - Large Family
This post is about marital intimacy. I recommend that you do not read it, if you are not engaged to be married soon or married.
People around us often ask whether we are "done" with having kids. They ask this especially after they find out that we are parents of 3. To some folks, 3 is a lot, to others, it's not. We are living amongst the "a lot" kind of people... I'm generalising here, bare with me.
I could copy and paste great articles from "large family" blogs and explain why we are open for more kids but that would be copy and pasting, and not in my very OWN words. And there is MORE to it.
So here is our story, how we eventually ended up "wanting" more children after thinking 2-3 was a good number.
Before I begin with our brief summarised story about us, finding freedom after years of bondage in this area, here are some good questions and interesting comments we've got from family, friends and strangers. Please keep in mind, I am sharing our perspective, values and beliefs and I am not trying to impose this on other people. I hope you find encouragement and peace by reading our story. Comments are welcome.
Life is precious. Life is a miracle. Amazing...
I am happy that both sets of my grandparents didn't stop having kids after 1, because if that would have been the case, I wouldn't have been here, neither my mother, or father and more amazing people, including my precious gifts -my children. Life is a gift, a precious gift.
My husband and I decided once our first was born that 2 was a good number. I suffered from Hyper Emesis during my first pregnancy, so I was really O.K with that idea. Being pregnant was torture for me. We were on contraception and in "control". We lacked a "connection" in our love making and it wasn't until after our 3rd child was born that we realised what that lack was caused by. We discovered it in tears. More on that in a bit.
We decided that it would be a good time to start trying for our second child when our first was 2 years old. I suffered from Hyper Emesis again, but had a pretty good supportive network and managed through it, like I always do. After our second child was born, we were convicted in this area of marital intimacy, to let go of contraception (link to truth about birth-control), by my husband reading a great book on marital intimacy the way God intended it to be (Theology of the Body here by, Christopher West) and we then began with the Natural Family Planning method (NFP link here).
Just before our second child turned 2, I went through a long burning desire to conceive. However, we chose not to pursue our 3rd pregnancy until our major move to another continent was complete. For some reason, we pretended to be able to foresee the future and what it would be like if I would've been pregnant during that move, prior and post. We assumed to know. We conceived soon after our move and we were expecting our 3rd. The pregnancy was terrible and hard to cope with. My husband having a new job and without the most compassionate boss, we really went through a rough patch. It must've been the second hardest pregnancy so far, unbelievable. During my final weeks of that pregnancy, my husband got promoted (and a new boss!) and we moved into a rental house, which took off enormous amounts of stress and worry. God provided. The birth once again, was a reminder of why we put ourselves through that "torture". The miracle child, the blessing, the gift in our arms, amazing! So worth it. I would go through that "torture" again and again, because the life that comes from it, is worth bearing. Of course, it's different to say it and to live it. It's hard, it really is. During my worst, I'm thinking I'm stupid to put myself through this again, how bonkers am I!? I am thankful for friends and remedies.
Visit www.mymorningsickness.com for encouragement and ways to dodge morning sickness or to take the edge off.
Right after the birth of our 3rd, my heart longed for this not to be "it". This amazing precious gem, in my arms, this sweet child of mine... I began to wonder, how many more of these little miracles could there be? When will my womb close? Will we ever regret not having more kids...? Why is there a set time for child bearing and Who has the ultimate say? Not only that, but back to the "lack of connection" in our love making had a root, and thankfully a solution.
Before, there was no freedom in our love making. There was some sort of barrier, there was pursuing self gratification and no openness to possibility of conception. I personally, as well as my husband, suffered from baggage from our past that we had brought into our marriage. I felt then, that marital love making was not much different from outside of marriage, but had to trust that it was "blessed", nevertheless because we were married.
It was a really depressing time in my life and I felt very alone in my struggles, especially within the church. It seemed that since it was prayed over, and we were declared free from our past sin, we should've been able to go home and nooky-nooky with joy, as simple as that. I began to doubt my faith. We went through years of prayer, crying out to God, marriage counselling, and personal counselling to figure this thing out and get healing once and for all. How come I was ashamed, still, as a wife, blessed by God to make love to my husband? My husband is eye candy to me, don't get me wrong, I am so in love with him, I find him very attractive. But I couldn't engage with him in the bedroom. For years, I thought the problem was ME or MY history, or MY weight... but it was US. How come I wasn't healed from this, after so long? I even got comments from people close to me, on how I shouldn't dwell in the past sin, because I am new in Christ. Absolutely, but then why is there still a void? Intellectually I knew what was true, but my heart did not follow. Something was missing.
Eventually, We decided to abstain from coming together for long periods of time, until proper healing took place. It wasn't easy, and a very difficult journey to commit to, but there was healing in that time which needed to take place before we could come together again. I longed for intimacy that was truly blessed by God. We knew that something wasn't right, if this is truly good, then how come it feels bad, and wrong? Where are we going wrong?
Before coming to Christ, I lived a very promiscuous life. I met my husband during the final stages of my old self. But throughout our marriage, I really wanted to know what intimacy looked like, the way God designed it to be. We brought sex as we knew it from living in the world, before Christ, into our marriage, and then as new believers we realised it wasn't working. The way we unfortunately learned about sex, in the world, is NOT the way God intended it to be. Do you see the pieces coming together?
In the world, the focus is on one self. On self gratification, it's very lustful and just pursuing self pleasure. My prayer for the first 6 years of our marriage, was "God show me what love is meant to be, between him and I" It wasn't until the birth of our 3rd, when we realised that for me to be at ease and feel loved was by letting go of the "control". For us to have pure love making, meant that we needed to stop making it all about "me" or "us". Essentially, sex is very selfish. I get what I want, you get what you want and when we want it. The when I want it idea, especially comes in to play when thinking about conception. We had given up the idea of contraception which meant the chances of getting pregnant were high so therefor I felt pressured almost to be intimate when non fertile and just forget it when fertile. This made me feel even more used. There was no freedom to love each other freely. How can you, when all you are thinking about is yourself? What this often leads to is one or the other feeling like an object rather than desired or special. Where is the sacrifice, the submission, the love?
What we had realised therefor, is that to enjoy a blessed, pure and enjoyable intimacy, we needed to give up our control and really give ourselves to the other person. In the giving of ourselves to one another, we can experience the real meaning of the word 'love' in lovemaking. The other part to this is in giving up control, we are fully open to new life. Imagine making love that is free from everything.