October 31, 2010

All Work & No Play Makes Moms Question Fertility

Since the birth of our third child under three years old, I've been debating what our next course of action would be concerning our fertility. This issue is such a sensitive one in our post-modern day after the rise of feminism and the birth control pill (and other reliable methods). Even in the Church the issue of fertility is treated as a private matter between each husband and wife and each couple is convinced of their individual position (which is necessary - I'm not here to point fingers or take sides). There is a delicate balance of obedience to "Be fruitful and multiply," and personal responsibility with a clean conscience.

When Jeramy and I were considering each other for marriage, he brought this issue to my attention and made his views known. At that time I reviewed the Biblical texts that discuss this, looked at all of the examples given to us in Scripture and decided to trust God that He opens and closes the womb as He sees fit and we would therefore not prevent conception.

Now that I have my work cut out for me, so to speak, I'm strongly reconsidering my previous decision. I want to continue to trust God with our fertility because I believe what God's Word says -- that He is good and He does good, and that He is trustworthy. The difficulty lies with the work and the stress involved in the discipline of my children. I'm an only child and I never had to deal with constantly fighting with a sibling for anything. Everything was either mine or my parents. There was no one else to blame when handprints in red paint ended up on the white walls. But with Moriah and Lily, both toddlers, it's almost like having twins. As soon as I discipline one for misbehaving, the other goes right behind and commits the same offense! They are always coveting the each other's toys and I am constantly acting as a referee. It's exhausting and it often makes me angry. I'm not the parent I envisioned when I was a single person and that makes me sad.

But when we take the time to go out and do something fun, I have a lot of joy watching them have fun! I could have stayed with them in the Creation Museum for hours watching them marvel at the different sights to see. Tonight both Grandmas and I took them to a Reformation Party at church and they had a wonderful time. Anytime I've taken them to the park and they slide down the slide and swing and watch ducks, etc. it's great! Really! But when we're at home, all day, the work beckons me to get it done and it must get done. Laundry piles up. Floors get gross. Tables must be cleaned. Bathrooms must be sanitized. Babies must be nursed. Food must be cooked. Errands must get ran. And it's the same thing every week. Sometimes it feels like adding one more thing is almost an imposition on any time there would be just to relax. Time for reading, blogging, sewing and any other hobbies is reduced and must be stolen away from sleep. Oh, if there was more time to do fun things as a family, then maybe this issue of fertility wouldn't be such a hard one.


The Culbertsons said...

Meggan, it is not an easy decision when it comes to fertility. We believe children are a blessing, but we also believe the Lord gives us wisdom to determine the number for our family. We have always wanted a big family (6 has been our number) and recently the Lord has been leading us to consider adoption. We believe that adoption is also something the Lord would have believers to do. That is just a few of my thoughts - praying for you as you are in a very hard season right now!


The Roses said...

I am praying for you. Is there anything practically speaking that any of us can do to help?

Erin said...

Meggan, here's an article that you might find helpful: http://titus2.com/corners/9-00-m.htm Be sure to read the whole thing, its long, but has excellent advice.

Also, what do you think has caused your discouragement and wavering of conviction? Are your expectations (for yourself, your house, your children) too high, causing you unnecessary stress? Are there sin attitudes in yourself you need to address, such as pride, selfishness, or laziness, that are contributing?

(((hugs))) Being a mom IS hard, whether you have 1 child or 10! It can be so discouraging and disheartening to realize your not the mom you had hoped you'd be - I think every mom has been there! But don't give up hope - God is always at work in us, transforming us. Seek peace, act in love, and trust Him. Please call or come by if you need anything at all!

Leah said...

I am sure it is hard to leave it up to God...
It must be a struggle. I am sure I can't relate too well to your struggles, after all I am not a mother yet.
But one thing I find that helps when being a sister toward little ones is to always be cheerful. Even if I am really angry, 'acting the part' of a happy person seems to make them obey better and helps them be more cheerful in return. I don't succeed all the time for sure.:-)

Moriah is growing up so fast. Before too long I am sure she'll be helping you around the house and making it a lot easier. ;-)

But between now and then,
I am a praying for you, Mrs. Anderson.


Meggan said...

Thanks all for your prayers and encouragement. It means a lot to me, really. :-)

Lydia, thanks for the offers to help. It would be proud and inconsistent for me to say that I didn't need it. What kinds of things might you be willing to do and when would you make yourself available?

Erin, I read the article and it was very helpful. To your questions, yes - all of the above. And I'll definitely keep in touch. :-)

Leah, thanks very much. It is helpful and not necessarily fake to "put on a happy face" even when I'm not. I have found it particularly helpful during moments of discipline. Just b/c you're young and not yet a mother doesn't mean that people like me don't have valuable lessons I could learn from you. :-)