Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Why We Don't Have "a Number"

{Disclaimer: No, this is neither a pregnancy announcement, nor a prelude to a pregnancy announcement.}

I think we're all familiar with the litany of questions:

When are you going to get engaged?

When's the wedding?

When are you going to have kids?

When are you going to have another?

How many kids do you want?

With our girly girl and boy's boy, Charles and I have our "matched set." We have our one boy, one girl. All we need are a white picket fence and a dog. We're set.

Except that we're not. As Catholics who are doing our best to live according to Church teaching and to conform our lives to Christ's will for them, we do not use contraception. And contrary to what society might want you to believe about us, we're not uneducated/repressed/lacking a television. I will leave my thoughts on NFP (mostly positive!) for another post another day, but I will say this. I assume that we're not done growing our family. At a minimum, our family doesn't "feel complete," though I'm not entirely sure what that means either.

The problem with having "a number" of kids we'd like to have is that, consciously or not, it shuts God out, at least a little bit. We're telling Him that we have a better idea than He about what would be best for our lives. And yes, He can work miracles and make happen what He wants. But free will and Providence, they're dancing a complicated tango, you know?!?

When people ask how many kids we want, Charles and I can honestly tell them that we don't have a number; we're taking it one at a time (hopefully!). We've been so so blessed thus far to have not struggled with infertility or secondary infertility. We have not had to mourn pregnancy loss. I have had healthy pregnancies and easy deliveries. We're both in good health and have a stable home life. But most of those things could change at any time. Or maybe God is itching to surprise me with multiples or . . .  there are just so many wrenches that life can throw in our way. Having "a number," for us, would change the way we handle those twists whatever they may be.

Not having a number. Using NFP. Being a follower of Christ. In a very real way, each of these is challenging, in part because they are so counter-cultural. They ask us to give up control. They ask us to let go of the perception that we are running the show. We have to let someone else steer, and that is hard in a society that believes that if you want something done right, you do it yourself.

Instead, we trust. We trust each other. And more importantly, we trust God. Not our will, but yours be done, Lord.


  1. Not Catholic here. But we've never had a number either! We just take the babies as they come and re-evaluate our family as it grows and changes. We have always said we want the number of kids we can support...emotionally, physically, spiritually and of course financially. I'm feeling like we are "complete" at the moment...but we will see:) God really knows better than us.


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