Wednesday, July 4, 2012

One thing you should NEVER do...

"…is have children right away after you are married".  This was the advice recently given at a wedding shower I was at.  It was funny hearing that advice. My sisters and I exchanged glances because, of course, all of us had children right away.  Before I get too deep into this post, I want to make sure to clarify two things…

1) I do not think there is ANYTHING wrong with waiting a year/two/three to begin having children if you and your spouse have discerned that is the best course of action for your family. 

2)  I understand there are many people, some who read this blog, who would like nothing more than to have children right away or wanted nothing more than to have children right away and that has not been their reality. I understand there is a LOT of pain involved in that reality and I think it is important to name that before I continue…

Now, I would like to continue…

The person that commented 'whatever you do you SHOULD NOT have children right away' said it with such passion and such conviction that it took me back a bit.  However, I must admit, in the past two years, I have sometimes wondered what my life would have been like if my husband Aaron and I had waited a year or two.  If we had time to just be desperately in love with no HUGE responsibilities.  I wonder how much fun it would have been to have the freedom to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted.  I wonder what our marriage would look if it didn’t constantly feel like I have the flu because of two pregnancies.  I wonder sometimes, when we fight (and remember, we FIGHT), when we don’t sleep, when we hand off a sick child back and forth, and when we try to figure out exactly how we are going to afford to have two babies under 2…I wonder if maybe we should have waited.  Those thoughts are few and far between, rarely had, but, to be honest sometimes, I wonder- 

Then, today, I had a significant revelation.

I have been pretty sick/tired/cranky this past week.  I don’t do well at the end of pregnancy and I am not doing well right now J  So, because of that, any plans that we ‘could’ have made on this fourth of July were canceled, in favor of just have the day off, hanging out around the house.  I actually fell asleep at around 2:00 am this morning, so I was able to get a good solid 4.5 hours of sleep in before Baby Aaron woke up.  When he started talking from his crib, I went and got him and brought him into the ‘Big Bed’.  Our little family just hung out in bed for about an hour or so. Lil’ Aaron is at this adorable age, where he giggle, wrestles, and adores both his mom and dad.  He just learned to give kisses and it is so funny when he leans in, his mouth WIDE open for a kiss (gross).  After snuggle time, we went out into the family room and hung out there.  At around 9:00 am it was nap time for lil’ A and the husband suggested after we put him down that we take a nap as well.  Lil’ Aaron fell asleep right away and Big Aaron and I went back into the ‘Big Bed’.  There, we watched an episode of Downton Abby together, we joked around, we talked, we snuggled.  It was SO NICE to have my husband, with nothing to do, for a couple hours, just us.  And this is where the realization comes in. 

Because we had children, ‘right away’ we have HAD to learn to love each other selflessly.  We have HAD to learn to be patient with each other.  We have been FORCED to learn to be forgiving, as we have to forgive each other multiple times a day.  Because we had children right away, when we have moments that are ‘just the two of us’, when the baby is sleeping or with grandparents (thank God for grandparents) and pregnancy sickness is leaving me alone…we truly APPRECIATE the time we have together.  Every moment that we have together is precious, even ten minutes before bed, being a ‘couple’ I notice and cherish.  Having children right away has made me so aware of how special my husband is and how much I love our time together.

When lil’ Aaron woke up we went shopping together and then set up a pool in the backyard.  Lil’ Aaron and I swam in the kiddie pool (Big Aaron would have, but he said it would have sent us too far over on the ‘white trash’ scale if all three of us were swimming in a kiddie poolJ)  We set up speakers outside and enjoyed cooling off in the water as the heat scorched the lawn.  It was pretty much perfect.  Grammy and Papa came over to take lil’ Aaron to a party while the husband I got to spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing together.

My point is, we are better people for having children right away.  We are a stronger couple.  We will have a stronger marriage.  For us, having children right away is a sacrifice at times, but pretty much just a huge blessing.  I couldn’t imagine our life without the fusing of our love through our child with God’s blessing. 

So, I'm saying, if you are able to, understanding many people are not,  having children right away is totally the way to go.  TONS of people will think you are strange.  Lots of people will try to convince you not to.  The world will tell you it is a foolish choice for your marriage and for your children.  BUT, simply put, all those people are wrong.  Being thrown into the selflessness and commitment and teamwork that having children brings will do nothing but make your marriage stronger (with prayer, patience and a lot of love of course).  And I HIGHLY recommend it! ;)

And like, for real, you get to have one of these!!!


  1. I really had to comment!

    We waited 4 years to have our first child. She changed our lives - and not always for the better is seemed. We, as a couple, struggled mightily with the adjustment from doing whatever we wanted to having to consider someone else. There were many times, for many years, that I wasn't sure we were going to make it.
    Now, said child is the oldest of 6 and will be 19 next month. We, as a couple, are stronger than we had thought we could be: but it was a LOT OF HARD WORK to get here.
    I think, if we were to do it again, knowing what we know now, we would NOT have waited. You were so spot on - having children right away does make you appreciate being a couple more. I, for one, will be remembering this wonderful post the next time this topic comes up!
    Glad you had a great day together!
    (and your husband cracks me up! he is one funny dude!)
    blessings for more peaceful and peace-filled days

  2. Thanks so much Karen! It's funny, because while I think it is just fine to discern waiting to have a child, it is pretty amazing the amount of people that think you are doing something WRONG if you have a child right away. For us, it has been tough to learn how not to be selfish (I had about thirty years of doing things, 'my way' before the lil' dude got here)- but that journey we have been on together...and I honestly can tell that everyday we get a little better at it. And yes, the hubster totally cracks me up!

  3. Thank you for this post. I am getting married in 9 days and just today I woke up thinking about the fact that we want to have kids right away (God willing...) and being that we are in our 30's also, we are not young, but I was worried this morning. Thinking maybe that's a mistake...maybe we should wait just a bit? Your blog was from the Holy Spirit for me! Thanks for posting!

    1. YAY Erin! I just popped over to your blog about being single in a married world. I only read the first post, which was the last post, which I think was from like a year ago? Anyway, it reminded me so much of my journey to Aaron :) How fun!

      Not gonna lie- being married and having a kid after being single for so long and pretty much getting used to my own way of doing things has been a FASCINATING journey in what it means to be selfless (and to think, I didn't really think I was THAT selfish before)- but so awesome! Plus, it will help get me to heaven, which I am all about!

  4. Love this. Our first was born just before our second anniversary and we waited that year because there was no way we could afford for me to stay at home and it was that important to us. (Besides, the cost of daycare and working costs would've made my salary pointless anyway.) I'm so glad we didn't wait longer because motherhood truly changed me in ways I needed to be changed. And now that I know people who struggle mightily with the burden of infertility, I'm glad we didn't wait a long time. I have to wonder how much of this infertility increase is due to waiting too long and/or contraception, you know?

    This also partners nicely with the modern advice that you should NEVER get married young. But like you said, the longer you wait to get married, the more selfishness you have to 'undo'. (Obviously, not a choice for many and that's okay but speaking more about the whole cultural mindset of needing to date for years on end and live the party/single lifestyle for a decade before you're 'supposed' to get married nowadays...) Great thoughts, Mary!!

  5. Mike and I had kids right away too. We often think about what it would be like if we had waited. But, we have to remember that we didn't plan Ellen, and we like it that way. God gave us her when he wanted to. And he gave us a pretty good gal! I was hoping you could write a post on how you decided to have another one. Mike and I have been talking about it now that Ellen is almost one, but we are terrified. We almost hope we have another surprise, because I don't know if we could ever make the decision! Help us ;)