Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Alrighty...I'm calling on my friends for their answer to my thirty-something question!

What is it exactly that takes a well established, full-time working mom that has had her turn with an infant or two(up all night, breastfeeding, colic, baby flu, poopie dipes, the dreaded vaccines, etc.) to suddenly face a day of longing for a new baby?

It will continue to baffle me that the moment I think I've arrived at that settled "I'm Done"- that darn yearning creeps back up to get me. It's so frustrating! Are there just some baby-lovin' moms that NEVER totally feel done?

Or is the fact that my oldest is too big too hold and now wears a size 12 and my youngest is reading and swimming and dying to call me "mother" that's just making me nostalgic?

I do love a little bubba..all smelly and soft and cooey.

*sigh* What's a mom to do?


Steph said...

Sheesh - Gary and I just had this discussion two days ago...so hard to know. But then eat mexican and be sick for 6 hours and that cures the longing for me!!! NO MORE MORNING SICKNESS!!!

Tiffany said...

heh... I've got no answers. First of all, you said a thirty-something question...that counts me out. LOL Second, my youngest just turned one...and for some crazy reason...I already want another.

Anonymous said...

I know....on the way to our" fabulous and fun family vacation" I asked Matt how you end up being the Dugger family. Do you start out wanting 18 or whatever kids or do you get to 9 and say why not double in size? I guess she has never had the"done" feeling- is this what happens when you are undecided? -you end up with 18?????


Devin said...

I think if the Lord is giving you a true DESIRE--i.e. leading both you and your husband at generally the same time to want another child, for the right reasons--then that is something to be followed, no matter where you are in life (having older children included!)

I completely struggle with this too, and I have three kids 4 and under! Do I not have my hands full enough? Yet that desire never goes away, it is always in the background, sometimes stronger than others. I have to remind myself that I can't just have another baby 'cause of the cute little teeny clothes, or the baby smell...they don't stay that way, after all! :-) That is what I mean by the right reasons.

I think it has something to do with getting rid of all the baby things....all my friends who have EVER done that get pregnant within the next year. *giggle* And that's the honest truth!

Charity said...

Thanks guys!

Devin...your comment brings about an interesting question. What exactly are the "reasons" to have kids?

Just curious. It got me thinking.

Charity said...

or rather, "right reasons".

Devin said...

My personal opinion?

Wrong reason:
***To have another 'baby'.***

Babies grow up to be children who require tons of work, physically, but mainly spiritually. They don't stay 6 pounds for long.

Do you want another CHILD I think is a better question. Another person who you are willing to train up in the love and admonition of the Lord; to take hours and hours of time out to correct and to discipline; to feed, clothe, and shelter (basic things, obviously, but things that will stretch a budget even further that what it is stretched currently); to teach at home or reinforce what s/he is being taught in school each day; to teach scripture and biblical principles until they actually 'get it'; to protect from others and the harmful things of the world?

I could, I'm sure go on and on....it is just a HUGE responsibility, obviously!

I have just seen it too many times in my own friends' lives--mom has a 2 or a 3 or a 4 or a 10 year old (doesn't matter) and misses 'that baby smell', so "it's time for another one!"

This decision affects so many things in both our lives and our current children's lives--I just think there needs to be proper WEIGHT given to it, not something that is flippantly decided.

By the way--I also believe that if the Lord is leading you to have another, whether you have 2 or 12, He will provide the means, grace, and strength you need to actually have another one!

Just curious....agreed, or no?

Charity said...

Well...I guess I don't necessarily "disagree" with you. Maybe it's the undertone of the way it's put that concerns me.

I really personally feel that whether you have a baby or not is ulitmately in the Lord's hands. Many women who tried and wanted to have children for all the "right reasons" that you've stated are barren.

Just as many women who are selfish and careless-have a household.

Having children is a big responsibility. It can often feel like a burden. It's frightening and concerning...But, I've come to realize that if I have one successful day with my boys it's not because I planned and timed it all right. It's only because of God's power in my life.

I guess I've done the "do I want to have a baby profile" before and even with all the "right reasons", I was unable to have a child...another year, God took that baby to heaven. I or my motives were never really in control of any of it.

So...for the time being, I do consider the family dynamic and the appropriateness of the timing. After ten years of being a mom, I can't NOT consider the ramifications of raising a man for the next generation. BUT...

God created them cute, and small and smelling fabulous for our enjoyment. I don't have a problem factoring that into my decision also.

I'm personally pleased with my friends when they find joy in the lighter sides of wanting a baby. ANY desire to appreciate God's creation in human life is rare today and so desperately needed.

Probably if we could share face to face we would agree totally!

Charity said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charity said...

OKAY...I should re-read before I go ahead a put through a comment! :)

Ultimately what I'm trying to communicate is that in my years of life I've learned that my desire is to "control". I make a list for everything and usually that list is for me to see what I can manage and what seems appropriate.

As God has grown me and continues to do so, I'm learning that it's more important to take the posture of humility. Bending low before the Creator and submitting to what plan HE has for me. Prayer, Prayer and more Prayer.

Less trying to decide and figure things out on my own-especially things I don't really have control of.

Mr. Harmless said...

The best reason to have more children is so that you have plenty of spares...

Anonymous said...

OH MY WORD....spares? I just laughed out loud-

Charity, I could not agree with you more in your post-only through His power in and working through us are we able to do this calling-it is not how prepared or organized I am for the next day-it is Him and only through His enablement in my daily life that makes the day "work" and you know what?, a lot of days just don't "work" like I want them too, but again, it is His wisdom and power that I have to cling to on those days. He is the one in control because He knows the end result--He has an ULTIMATE purpose for my family and a story that he wants my kids to tell-so if he gives us more or takes from what I do have-it is HIS story that he is working through this family. And for the record, in light of these past few nights of teething, poopie diapers that fell off during the middle of the night and covered their wearer, crying and more crying, I am so thankful for my blue-eyed cutie! It is hard work, BUT it is good work!!


Mr. Harmless said...

On a deeper note (than my last comment)...

If we were to get Biblical while addressing this hypothesis, the Big Truth is that you should desire to have children. They are a good thing and a blessing to your home and to your family.

The Bible never says that you should get all of your ducks in a row, whether those be monetary ducks or philosophy of parenting ducks, before you have children. It just says, "have them", "have lots of them", and... "they're good!"

(Don't take my word for it, though, look it up for yourself.)

Also, I have never thought of my boys as a responsibility or as work. In fact, when they were babies, I didn't think of them that way. I have had one of them for 10 years, and I still don't think of him that way.

Wanting another baby, because you want another baby, sounds like a great reason to me, and if missing that baby smell helps you to refocus on what is really good, then ... so be it.


Charity said...

Wow..this generated alot of interesting conversation!

(Especially in my own home...I had to ask my sweet hubby how he has come to the fact that children aren't "work"??? He has a great explanation but I'll leave that to him.)

It's really go me thinking and re-thinking about how to view new additions to the home! I'm mostly just asking God to teach me His ways and to allow me to submit to His will with joy..whatever He's got planned.

I definitely agree with you, though, Devin...it sure is MORE than those cute little outfits!

Thanks guys!

Sandy said...

hm....some great posts! I have been recently grappling with these thoughts. While I believe that I want another child, I have often thought of the work it is to get them here, and then to raise them! But more than anything I enjoyed reading the different ideas on the subject. I believe that we as women get "baby lust" for a reason. I think that it is God given and very special. I consider myself a very practical person, but I still have these thoughts. I don't understand Matt completely though, not any work, huh?? I am sure he can has a great explanation!

Mr. Harmless said...

The key phrase is, "...I have never thought of my boys as a responsibility or as work..."

In other words, that is not what comes to my mind when I think of my boys.

For example, if I were to go hiking, in one sense it is work when you are hiking. You have to work your legs and work your heart, it takes sweat and endurance, but because I enjoy hiking, I don't think of it as a work, I think of it as a past-time.

The same is (and should) be true of parenting. Sure there is work involved, but it isn't a work to me, it is a joy, it is a blessing.

When people bring up work when they are talking about their children, it reminds me of a guy who is offered a piece of cake but hesitates and says, "man, I am going to have to lift that fork, all the way up to my mouth... I just don't know if I am ready for this cake yet! It is such a work!"


Just like the cake, anything that could be described as work with children, completely pales in comparison to the joy and blessing of the children.

I guess my real point is that parenting should not be considered a work. If it is, there is something wrong, because God never describes children that way.

It is because of the selfishness in my own heart that I have ever considered any ministry to my own children as a "work".

Charity said...

Well...that explanation was okay but I do think it's hard work to raise kids...just like hiking is hard work but I think it's the "attitude" that you have about doing the work that is important.

There is joy in the work.

Anonymous said...

Yes...to "work" is not a bad thing-just because it takes work to bring forth or accomplish something should not imply that the work is somehow bad or hard. Work means that effort has to be involved-and I do believe that it takes a lot of effort to raise children-sometimes it will require more physical effort, and sometimes more emotional and spiritual effort, but in any case, you DO have to give and sacrifice. It is "work" for the potter to fashion and sculpt a piece of clay, but he/she (must be politically correct here) does it willingly, because they enjoy the work-it is good work. It is effort for me to get up early after not sleeping at night to fix breakfast/hair and love on my kids, but I do this work because He who called me to do it is faithful, not out of a wearisome obligation or duty. Like Charity said, the attitude of my heart while I am doing these things is what is important and what will shape how I view this real-life effort that I am doing each day.

Ok, I'm done, I'm sure I have work to do............


Devin said...

Ok, first of all, let me say that I think I may have been misunderstood. I truly meant no negative undertone....it is hard when writing and not being able to speak in person, because you truly miss the inflection of the conversation! I think if we had spoken in person about this we would have been agreed right away.

I think that we are basically thinking along the same lines--we are just saying it in different ways.

I meant in no way that there isn't joy in those 'baby' things, such as smells and teensie clothes...on the contrary, there is tremendous joy in those things. I just truly have a deep conviction for the deeper reasons of having children because of the way I have been taught--that children are a gigantic responsibility and great privilege given from the Lord, which is not to be taken lightly.

I think if you could sit in just ONE week in my young married's Sunday School class, (which we have attended for the last 4 years) you would completely understand...our teachers have 15 children, 8 in heaven and 7 living, ranging in age from 23 to 3. So, yeah, they are big on having lots of children; but with great privelege comes, in their words (and true to my belief as well) GREAT responsiblity. We are to be responsible stewards of what God has so graciously given to us.

That's all I was saying...that the deeper reasons need to be considered. Not that the other 'lighter' (for lack of a better word) reasons NOT be.

My problem is with what Sandy so affectionately called, the 'baby lust'. I have that constantly, and I have 3 children under 4! I long, right this minute, to have another child, another baby...and my youngest is 18 months old. I really struggle with this, which is why I lend so much weight to 'if the Lord is leading BOTH you and your spouse'. Where will it end for me? I don't want to end up like the Duggars! :-) But, I can see how someone could get there. If that baby itch never goes away, do I keep following it with no other considerations given? That's why I pray everyday for the Lord to guide us both in the same direction at the same time. If we are both being led that way, then I see no other choice but to follow the Lord's leading and trust Him for the outcome, whatever He chooses to do.

And, on that note....I, too, believe that we are only allowed the children that God wants us to have. I have one in heaven too...and it was the most difficult thing I have ever had to walk through in my life. My arms are empty right now, when I should be holding and nursing and smelling and cuddling my 5 week old child...and that is incredibly difficult for me.

Why God didn't allow me to have that baby I will never know. I believed that I was having that baby for the right reasons too, but God saw fit to take him despite what I thought. But, as you stated, we must recognize that God is in control. It is totally up to Him. He gives...in my case, three wonderful boys so far....and He takes away.

I do understand the point that Matt is making about work. But, something can be classified as 'work' and can be still be very rewarding and fulfilling.

My husband is a carpenter and does a very physical job everyday. He builds all kinds of things...and it is tough. But he has such a sense of fulfillment doing it as well. It is great seeing a project finished--his work come to completion. Very satisfying. He loves his job, but it is still 'work' to him.

I must tell you....being a mom to a 4, a 2, and a 1 year old boy is TONS of work! It is rewarding, it is joyful, the blessing FAR outweigh the difficult times...but it is a lot of work.

However, I am in agreement with Matt. WORK shouldn't be the first classification that we would put onto parenting. I see his point there.

Anyway, so those are my thoughts, spelled out in a little more detail, which is apparently something I should have done the first time and we wouldn't have gotten our wires crossed! I hope you can understand a little better now where I am coming from, and that I meant no ill before.

Charity said...

Devin...please do not feel "ill thought of"! I couldn't have imagined when I was thinking we were having a private chat about this baby thing that it would have become such a hot topic! Wow, Huh?!

I knew with this, it was just a matter of wording because it is so obvious that you love your kids and the Lord so much. Sadly, that is not the case with everyone and I find all too often people (myself included) see these choices independantly from the Creator Himself. It's a good reminder to us all that as my friend Lori reminded us...it's His story lived out in our lives!

I have to say...this has been good for me. After the loss of my last child and the belief that I had to work out all the details, I had given up my hope for more children.

Now...Who knows? :)

Devin said...

Well, good. Whew...hot topic is right, huh?!

I will definitely keep you in my prayers as you both contemplate this decision! :-)

Mr. Harmless said...

I think that this post needs to change its title from "Hypothesis" to "Theory"

Troy & Sherry said...

hey friend-
i only have one baby and love that baby with my whole being - i can't even imagine yet having another one to love htis much but i look forward to all that God will bless us with -
we will be praying for you guys -
good thing God is in control :)

jillybean said...

Charity, Please tell me how things went. I am thinking about you!

Thank you for your words of encouragement! I think of you often and always look forward to hearing what God is doing in your family and through your ministry!