Friday, June 18, 2010

Don't Make This Mistake

Don't make the mistake of ending your years of fertility because it's so hard having littles. You look at big families and think: I have a hard time with just my (one, two, three), I can't imagine how they do it with all those kids!
You're forgetting one major variable in the equation. Kids grow. It was so hard when Elena and Chloe were little. Even though I only had two kids; I had no helpers. Now I have seven at home and 6 of them are helpers. Four can do almost everything I can do. And they don't groan when I ask them to change a diaper. They fight over who gets to.
While I'm nursing and cooing at my baby, four kids are doing their school work independently. (It's not all independent, but it's not all 1:1 either, like it was in Kindergarten and first grade.) I take a nap every afternoon while Julia, Daniel, and Lydia are napping. While we're all napping, the four big kids play games or "house" together. I couldn't do this when my kids were younger. My nap was totally dependent on theirs. Now, if they wake up, the big kids entertain them while I snooze on.
I don't have to figure out how to entertain two bored children while I grocery shop. I have six children who are getting groceries with me, while I read the list and keep the baby happy.
My life is easier now, not harder.

Don't quit too soon! I can attest to the many blessings you miss when you do.


Mrs T said...


And just because tubal ligation or vasectomy can be "reversed" doesn't mean it will work like it did before you PERMANTLY decided to end you fertility.

I wish I had heard this advice 4 yrs ago before I tied my tubes. I am "whole" again thanks to a great Dr but after over a year of trying we are still childless from my reversal. :(

debhmom3 said...

I send out this plea to every single person when I hear they are going to end their fertility. I ended mine under great outside pressure to do so and both my husband and I agree it is one of the biggest mistakes we ever made. Sure, I can get a reversal and fully intend to do so, but the damage is done and reversal certainly doesn't come with any guarantees of more children. More children may come through adoption, but that is no reason to end fertility either. I would wager to say, based on the people I've met that 90 percent of people who do something permanent regret it within five years. So very sad. Enjoy your beautiful baby and all your incredible children. You are doing a great job!

Faith said...

I couldn't agree with you more! I am MUCH more relaxed this time around than I was with Justus and had a 8,4,3,2,1 year old and a newborn. My house is cleaner and things run smoother. My kids aren't even as old as yours are and it is still MUCH easier!

MamaMahnken said...

I have been saying this same thing a lot recently. People see 5 kids and they think 5 completely helpless and dependent people, but obviously that is not the case. More kids equals more blessings and more fun - who wouldn't want more of that?

MommaofMany said...

I totally agree! It was the hardest with two, but after that life got easier and easier. I've eight now and hardly have to do a thing. The children are all doing/learning and eager to help!

michelle said...

This will probably be deleted but I have to say it: please also keep in mind to let your big kids be kids too--not little parents. That's my biggest beef with the Duggar's-- how the older kids are raising everyone over age 1. Also, while its great that so far the older ones like taking care of baby--it might not always be like that. Teenagers are a completely different breed of people and may show contempt for constantly changing diapers while Mom coos at baby.

I am a nanny for 4 kids- 13, 6, 4, and 3-- and while one may instantly think "oh, I bet the 13 year old is like a 2nd babysitter!" --nope. It's a rough job, and she adds to the roughness on bad days by terrorizing the little kids. I realize its partially a parenting flaw, but I have to keep in mind that she is a teenager surrounded by sippy cups, naptime, and yo gabba gabba. I would be unhappy too. Please--just remember that while its great to keep having all these babies bc you have "helpers"-- remember the helpers have feelings and needs that are totally different from the baby or toddler.

Chas said...

Wonderful, wonderful post! It makes my heart ache that much more for many more children. :)

Ginger said...

Do the Duggar kids seem unhappy to be caring for their siblings? Have you met the Duggars? I have and the older kids totally enjoyed their younger siblings, much like my olders who are totally crazy about their baby sister.
My oldest is the same age as the terrorizing teen you care for. Does her selfishness appear to making her happy as you suggest it will? In my experience, and the Bible certainly testifies to this, selfishness does not produce happiness, but misery. That poor teenager who chooses to be irritated with her younger siblings, rather than seeing the blessings that they are, is missing out terribly. I wish she could spend a day at my house and see how nuts my olders are about my youngers and the joy that results. My life is easy, not because I ask my kids to do this and do that for me, but because they beg me to let them hold Julia, change Julia, push Julia in the stroller, etc. I don't ask them to do these things. I want her all to myself!

Chas said...

I feel that you seem to be looking at this through very worldly eyes. I have a 13 year old as well. If I let her fall into the trap of being a very unhappy, self-centered, miserable, worldly teen (that will one day be the same type of adult)... then I have failed. We are to raise children that love to serve, not be served.
The world tells teenagers (and everyone else for that matter), that it is all about them. The Bible tells us it is all about Jesus. BIG DIFFERENCE! Jesus served!
What better way for my children to learn to serve than with their own siblings?
We have to be separate from the world, not like it.

Faith said...

My job as a mom is not to cater to my children's self-centered attitudes or make things all about them. Doing so would greatly hinder their growing self into becoming the type of godly young person I(and God) want them to be. Life is not, despite what the world wants us to believe, all about US. My goal as a mom is for my children to learn to love serving other's. What better way to do that than starting in our own home with their own loved ones? What kind of wife or husband will I be helping to create if I allow my tween/teenager to be indulged in a self-serving attitude instead of looking to serve others? The best thing a wife can do for her husband is to serve him, the marriage will be a healthy one if both partners are doing such!

Also, I do not force my older children to do things for the youngers. The olders enjoy helping the little one's get dressed, doing their hair, etc. I just encourage that desire in them as much as I can.

MommaofMany said...

My 14 year old (and the 13,and the 12 and 11, etc) would be thrilled to have a baby around the house. In fact, they ask often if we might be expecting! Children who are brought up in a home that doesn't allow selfishness to thrive are totally different than those allowed to wallow in the selfishness that is so prevalent today.

As for making the older kids raise the youngers:

What's wrong with teaching responsibility? Is it wrong to teach a child to look out for others rather than themselves all the time? When, oh, when did responsibility fall from grace?

I'll admit there is some danger in a larger family that the older two or three children will be well trained, while the younger several are undisciplined. In our home, I strive to make sure to call upon the youngest person who can possibly perform a job. We adjust the chore chart often to include the youngers in harder chores and advance the olders in their skills.

We also do many activities together that are focused on the interests and talents of the older kids. They are not forced to watch Yo Gabba Gabba all day. I wouldn't put a toddler in front of that garbage! Instead of watching TV all day, we are out gardening, taking care of and spending time with the animals, riding horses, going to the skateboard park, etc. We are engaged in many activities AS A FAMILY, not each-to-his-own activities. That encourages selfishness.

I was taught very little about homemaking as a young girl When I married, I had no clue how to run a house or cook a nutritious meal. I felt like a failure and spent many nights crying about my failure. How much better it would have been if my mother had taken the time to teach me. I wish she had. My daughters and sons know more about cooking and cleaning than I did at 20. Their spouses will be blessed because I have taught them to look to others needs and be able to fill them.

Ginger said...

Just googled Yo Yo Gabba. My lands, who watches that junk?

debhmom3 said...

lol on Yo Gabba Gabba. I would rather hurl myself off a cliff that have that on my television!