"Gilbert put his arm about them. 'Oh, you mothers!' he said. 'You mothers! God knew what He was about when He made you." — L. M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams
When I was a young girl I used to dream of having a big family in a big house, with lots of pets and land to roam free.
I devoured any book that involved big idyllic families, and fantasized about my own future family often.
When I met my husband at 19, I knew he was the perfect man for me. We had similar dreams for our futures, and we were eager to make them come true. We didn’t waste any time, getting married and having children young.
As time has passed and we’ve grown and matured together, we have learned the reality of our dreams. My husband is a youth pastor and I wanted to stay home with our kids. Reaching into my childhood fantasies, I realize that in today’s economy my dream house would cost at least one million dollars. My dream dog sheds a lot, and my husband and I are both allergic. Not to mention the houseful of children, who eat and wear clothes, both of which are expensive.
My husband and I have both had to look at our dreams and face our reality. It’s meant living in apartments for most of our marriage, and only recently moving to a rented townhouse that is 1,000 square feet. It’s meant evaluating our career goals and our future plans. And it’s even meant having the “talk” about how many children we could actually afford, and personally handle. Because kids are not only financially draining, they are emotionally and physically draining as well.
When we first were married we dreamed of having at least four children, but we didn’t envision ourselves living in a cramped three-bedroom townhouse. We didn’t envision the amount of effort it would take to properly care for and love four children. To give each child the love, attention, and dedication that they individually deserve.
This past year, I have battled my dreams and my reality. I have felt both used up and drained, and also longing for more.
As my kids have grown, I have been faced with a tough decision: do we have more kids, or do we stop? Do we wait and see, and perhaps have a large age gap if we do change our minds later?
My husband and I have wavered in our desire, but I have always felt unsettled in our decision to not have more kids.
And then, a few months ago, a childhood friend posted on Facebook that she was having her third baby. I have read many birth announcements on social media, it’s that time in my life. But this announcement really struck a chord. I felt a strong wave of jealously, and tried my best to shake it off.
Still, throughout the weeks I continued to think of my friend, and continued to wish I too was having my third child. I really wanted this, and I felt there was no better time than now.
I shared my hope and dream with my husband. We are both impulsive people, and that’s not always served us well. Yet in some of life’s hardest decisions, we have jumped in with both feet and never regretted it.
So, we jumped in with both feet.
I bought pregnancy tests in bulk, and began excitedly and nervously hoping and praying for our future.
One month after we had made our decision to try for another baby, I had the results I was hoping for. We are expecting our third baby!
Not only that, but our third child was due on our sixth wedding anniversary. To add to the excitement, the baby was due in May, the same month that our older two children were born. To have two May babies seemed a coincidence, but to have three May babies seemed like fate. A gentle whisper from heaven that each child was sent at the perfect time.
We celebrated with our two daughters, and our families and friends. It all happened so quickly, I barely had a chance to let it sink in.
The past year of indecision finally washed away, with the permanency of our decision finalized by our positive pregnancy test, and the feeling that we had made the absolute best choice.
There is no question, this third child will be our last. The family I have always dreamed of has been fulfilled, and I feel like it will be complete with our third daughter, or perhaps our first son.
Either way, we will be celebrating in May 2017.