A friend mentioned that they'd like to have baby, but can't afford one. It was then that someone else said that if you wait until you have enough, you'll be waiting forever because very few people ever feel like they have enough, they also mentioned that this particular friend really will be an awesome mommy. Of course, I think every couple needs to decide for themselves when is the right time to do something that big and important, but I also think there is a lot of wisdom in the latter comment. (And yes, she will be a great mommy too!)
Burden or Blessing
I wanted to tell my friend how wonderful children are, and how you would never say, while snuggling that precious little bundle, "You are pretty cute, but if I could do it again, I think I would prefer a bigger apartment, or maybe a newer car." It makes me laugh just to muse at that, it's just so ridiculously out of the question. I am reminded of when I was in the hospital with Athen, my third baby. I was in physical shambles after a routine C-section, and I could not even sit up on my own to get out of the hospital bed to go to the bathroom, let alone take care of a little baby, and particularly not while I was chasing the two toddlers that waited at home.
"What were we thinking?" I asked myself. "There is no way I can handle this much more work on top of the responsibilities I already have. Just because I can make a baby, does that mean I should have?" etc. etc.
You know how the mind works. When you give one little nagging thought an "open mic" so to speak, you've turned on a noise that will be multiplied and amplified to deafening levels. Well, anyways, I was mulling over all these things, and feeling pretty terrible in the early hours of the morning and for the hours preceding General Conference, which came on the hospital TV mid-morning. (That's twice now that I have had babies at conference time, and boy is that great timing, let me tell you! )
" Okay then, Heavenly Father. Since You like to address concerns and answer the questions Your children need answered by way of your prophet and apostles, then fine, try to answer this impossible situation," I half-heartedly, and not very reverently prayed as the music began.
I barely remember what anyone said. I remember feeling grateful for what was said. There seemed to be little tidbits of answers that uplifted me, though I'd have to look at my notes to recall anything specific from the half a dozen, maybe more, talks I heard that morning. I do, however, distinctly remember something else. It was that last talk, so it was our prophet, Thomas S. Monson speaking. He quoted a scripture, something that the Savior said as I recall,
"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I shall give thee rest..."
Yes, that hope filled docrtine, coupled with a dose of love and a testimony boost that this was REALLY a prophet of God, and the things he spoke were not only good, but true (this feeling coming via the Holy Ghost, naturally) was especially soothing to my soul, and then the prophet continued to speak, only the words from his mouth were not the words I heard in my head. I remember the initial surprise when the phrase in my head seemed to continue clear and unbroken, but did not match what was coming in my ears from the television, though it still seemed like the same source. "Whoa, this is the Holy Ghost," I recognized, quickly squelching the surprise so I could pay attention. The words continued and though I don't recall them all right now, my jumbled memory remembers these, or the gist of these:
" 'Where much is given, much is required', and the same holds true in reverse. If much is required of you, it doesn't mean it is a trial, it means you have been given much. The nature of a child is a blessing. You question if it was right for you to make this child? You did NOT make this child, I made this child, and I sent him here to you with full understanding of what would await him, and what it would mean for you. I'm taking care of you both. This is a rich blessing for, and nothing else, don't you forget that. And by the way, I love you."
It felt like a loving and merciful embrace, and a rebuke for my bad attitude all in one pretty package. It was so true.
I'm nothing more than a just a "lucky stiff" in this equation, and for that I am SO grateful.
How Many is TOO Many?
Oh gosh, I hope you don't expect me to have an answer to that heading. I just know that in my family, there were a lot of things we all did without, and some might attribute it to so many kids. I really don't know though. My sweet parents made their choices the best they could, like we all do. But I can say, and maybe this is just because I was the last, that although some of their most difficult and heart breaking financial stuggles came after I was born, I like to think that my family would consider that even if it was because of me, and I'm not sure that it was, but even if it was the case, that I was worth it. I hope that Heavenly Father sent me as a blessing too, and I hope my family would agree, and I hope that I don't just reap the benefits of their sacrifices, but that I can make their lives better too because I really love them a lot, and I'm so glad that they are my family.
Okay well, if you made it to the end of this long post, kudos to you, and goodnight. Thanks for your ear, or I guess your eyes in this case.