Accepting The Gift Of Life Means Accepting Sacrifice

 

My husband and I were talking recently about baby number five, or rather, the possibility of baby number five. I am having some minor surgery in August under general anaesthetic so we are currently using Natural Family Planning so that there is no chance that I could be pregnant when I am put under.

After that, we currently have no justifiable, well-grounded or serious reasons to use NFP to avoid a pregnancy. That prospect is both exciting and frightening.

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I’ll admit, I’ve been clucky for months and love the idea of a having another baby. My husband, however, is not quite as excited. He said: “I think I’m too selfish to have another child.”

I didn’t reply straight away, he could actually be selfish – but he’s not really because he has welcomed lovingly all of our children and takes time out to make sure that they spend quality time together. Last week he bought us McDonald’s for dinner as a treat because he wanted to reward our eldest two children for their excellent school reports – or he could have just hit the nail on the head as to why people choose to have less children, if they have any at all.

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We live in a culture of selfishness. Already with four children we are seen as freaks, yes we have been told this to our faces, because that’s just too much work.

It is. Having four kids is a lot of work, but I think even new parents expect that. It’s the ongoing personal and individual sacrifices that are the hardest to swallow, at least in my opinion. By having another baby we will be sacrificing (again!):

  • Sleep – what is sleep anyway right?
  • Free time – which we don’t have anyway!
  • A social life – unless it’s a play date, mother’s group or activity at the school, we’re not there!
  • A belly button – I lost mine when I was pregnant with Master 7 and it’s never returned! Obviously this is a greater analogy for the physical sacrifices and suffering childbearing mothers endure but hey, I’d rather have my four healthy children than my belly button.
  • Respect – if we’re already freaks with four I’m not sure what we’ll be with five…freakier?
  • Ready cash – babies cost money, but it’s more the ready cash to spend on luxury items I’m talking about here. Oh, you got the new iPhone? I’m still using the model from five years ago but, it’s never failed me.
  • Friends – real ones will stick by us, but the others will fade into the woodwork. It might seem sad at the time but I have learned that it’s for the best.
  • Career – well, I don’t have one anyway but if I did…

The list could go on. Yes, accepting and welcoming the gift of life is fraught with sacrifices and the two go hand in hand. But if we are blessed with another baby we will receive:

  • Another baby – I love babies and our kids are desperate for another (actually they want twins…). Another member of our family who is unique, special and loved. Another character to raise, nurture and guide along their earthly and spiritual journeys.
  • Humility – I think humility is about realising our limitations and recognising when we need God’s help. I know I need a lot of God’s help, and learning to include Him more in my life is a very good thing.
  • Patience – nothing fosters a virtue quite like having a house full of noisy, unpredictable and enterprising children. One day I might even be able to say that I exercise this virtue!!
  • Fortitude – when things are tough, families just keep going and come out the other side with more graces than they started with.
  • Jewels – if children crown our marriage I assume the more kids we have the more elaborate our crown!
  • Grandchildren – more kids = more grandchildren! And maybe I’ll even get to meet my great grandchildren!
  • Unconditional love – the kind God has for us. I experience this every day in my children and on bad days, this reality is one I cherish.
  • Memories – a lifetime of memories that alternatively make us laugh, cry, cringe, grimace and blush.
  • Selflessness – being a good parents means that I think less of myself and more of others.

So whilst having baby number 5 may be fraught with sacrifices, I think the graces and blessings far outweigh them. If and when God blesses us with another child you can bet I’ll be thanking Him, and wondering once again why He willed that I should be a mother.

 

 

Filed Under: BabyFamily LifeFeaturedParenting

About the Author: Emily is a former ACPA award winning editor and journalist turned stay at home mum and blogger. She lives on a farm in regional NSW with her husband and their five children where she spends the time she should be doing housework reading books and writing posts.

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