Since my last blog post about my struggle with depression and circumstantial infertility, I’ve had many people reach out to me. Several are either in similar circumstances or have struggled with infertility in the past (either circumstantial or biological). Some were in the opposite position – became parents before they were ready. Others resonated with my struggle with depression.
I think people are responding so strongly because I’m talking about things so many people are thinking but are afraid to discuss openly. I’ve realized recently that I really love talking about those things which most people are thinking about but afraid to discuss openly and when I do, they love to talk about it. If we feel alone, we don’t want to say anything to prevent further isolation, but if we know we can’t be alone in what we’re experiencing, why not let people know, “Hey! Me too!”
As this was the most feedback I’ve ever gotten from my blog, I decided to compile some of my thoughts based on those who responded in this three part blog series.
Waiting to Be a Mom
I’m addressing this topic first for several reasons. For one thing, it is a position that many women are facing and yet, one few feel comfortable talking about. I was super nervous to write my first blog post about my desire to become a mom and the struggle in having to wait. I talked to my husband and best friend about it a lot before I finally decided to click “publish.” I’ve gotten more responses to this topic than any other.
For another, it is becoming much more commonly an issue for women. Women these days are proven to wait longer to have children. The average age of a first-time mom in the U.S. is currently 26. In 1970, it was 21.4. Considering there are teens out there having babies, you better believe there are a lot of women in their 30’s and even 40’s having babies for the first time to even out that average.
Why are women waiting so long to have children?
Do a quick web-search of the topic and you’ll find it’s because women are focused on their education and career in their 20’s, so they are getting married later and, therefore, having babies later. The economy is also projected to be a factor. The all-time high number of births for the U.S. was in 2007 and it quickly dropped thereafter. We all know what happened to the economy around that time…
Finances are a big reason my husband and I are waiting. Hearing from many of my readers, it’s the same for them, too. So, no matter how many people tell me, “Don’t worry about the numbers, God will provide,” I can’t just shrug my shoulders and say, “ok.” There’s validity to what they are saying – we all must trust God for His provision every day. At the same time, we are all called to be responsible with what God has given us now. It’s a balance…one I fight in my mind daily. If I’m concerned about having enough for grocery shopping today, how much more is that a concern with children under tow?
Money is not the only factor we need to balance. We also have to balance our time and priorities. I’ve been extremely busy, lately. In fact, so busy, I had to take a few things off my schedule. Once we start our family, I will be taking a lot more off my schedule. I spend a lot of time at my church serving teenagers. I believe it is what God has called me to do…for now.
Once I have a family, my children will be my ministry. In fact, I have had more than one person say to me, “But God has called me to spread the Gospel. Would He really ask me to sacrifice that for a family?” My question to you would be, “Who is meant to prioritize ministering to your children?” My belief is that parents are the primary ministers of the Gospel to their own children, and then hopefully other adults in their life will help reinforce that message. For children whose parents’ are not believers, Christian parents have the opportunity to minister to these children as well when they come over to play with their children or carpool between school or extracurricular activities. Just like we need to acknowledge and adjust to balance our priorities now, when we become parents our children are our priority and we need adjust likewise.
Seeking God’s Kingdom
Deciding when to start a family is no easy task. Women are seen as more than just homemakers and mothers today than at any other time in history. We are empowered to be leaders in industries women wouldn’t dream about entering in decades past. I think this has caused many of us to feel sheepish when we say, “But I dream about being a homemaker and a mother.” Or guilty when we say, “I love my career but I also want to be a mom fully involved in my child’s life.” I would encourage women to seek God’s Kingdom and do whatever it is God has called you to do, when He calls you to do it. If it’s to be a stay at home mom, a full-time ministry mom, or a career mom trust in the voice of God…even if His voice is saying, “Wait just a little bit longer.”