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Hopefully my last post will explain a little bit of the infrequent posting around here.
Despite the hard things and inconveniences, there is so much good. I feel blessed that I have this opportunity again.
Today I was helping out at Miss A's classroom party and was a little stunned with a comment by another mom there. She observed that I have a lot of kids in a short time when I told her I have two at home and one on the way. My kids are all between 2 and 3 years apart (the muffin will be 2 1/2 exactly when our new arrival comes) and I feel like I've had time to recover and regain functioning and even relax a little between each baby. And although I was slightly surprised by the comment, I've kind of been preparing myself for that very thing. I've felt hesitation in sharing our news this time, even with some of my dearest friends, for diving into the waters of what may seem to some a "large family".
The weekend we found out was the same weekend as general conference, and one of the messages that confirmed the promptings I'd felt months before and reiterated this blessing was entitled "Children" by Neil L. Andersen. One of the greatest lessons I took away was that, "we should not be judgmental with one another in this sacred and private responsibility." I couldn't agree more, and I admit that I have work to do in this area. I have friends who passed the 4 kid mark long ago and are currently busy caring for large families with amazing dedication. I also have friends with empty arms who wish the path to children wasn't such a difficult one for them. Growing up and thinking about the future I never thought about the stresses that accompany family planning. In my naivete I assumed that marriage and kids was just the way things went, never foreseeing the amount of prayers said or tears shed when growing a family. It's been eye-opening and humbling to be in the child-baring years with my friends and seeing all of the struggles that accompany the journey to motherhood. I have gained a new perspective and a softer heart for all who are on this path in any stage of their journey.
Rachel Jankovic, a Christian blogger, was also quoted in Elder Andersen's talk, and her words were extremely validating to my current feelings.
“[Growing] up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood. … Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get.” She then adds: “Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.”
Right now, I feel grateful for this perspective. There will be more curious souls who feel the need to comment on our family planning, I'm quite sure. But the opinions of others don't really matter when it comes to matters of the heart.
Thank you for all your well-wishes and congratulations. You're the best!