07 May 2013

Things Denise Has Been Pondering: Altered Family Planning

I always figured I would have a family with at least three children. I didn't plan on depression being in the mix. 
I know that there are some people who think depression is more of a personality choice rather than what it actually is: an illness. Depression is a scary thing. I think one of the reasons I just love the Bloggess (http://thebloggess.com/) is that she suffers from depression and anxiety and she's open about it. She helped me start to understand what is means to be clinically depressed and how that is different than being depressed.
My mom came up this weekend for a quick, surprise trip. As I was expressing some of my concerns and fears my mom said (paraphrase): You may want to consider how many children you can handle. It's okay to have one child. Don't feel pressured to have more just because your family or friends have more or say you should. Figure out what works best for you and Tyson.
This advice surprised me. My MOM was telling me that it's okay for me to maybe only have one kid. My MOM (and by extension, my dad) who teased me from when I went to college about hurrying up and having grandkids.
Some people might think that this is selfish, to not have more kids. I would say to them, be grateful you don't have the same mixture of problems that we have. Now, I'm not saying that we'll never have more kids. I am saying that I am in no rush to have another. Having kids close together works for some people. Some people say that you should have kids close together so they will have friends, or so they don't have only-child-syndrome, or any other number of reasons. I am saying that right now my family is dealing with something pretty challenging and I need to focus on my husband, William, and my master's program.
I am glad that no one has been saying anything directly to me like "So, when are you having more kids?" or "So-and-so is having another kid. What about you?" It's hard enough dealing with my altered family planning and trying not to get down on myself about not having another. I hope that things improve enough so we can have another someday. But if not, the Lord knows what is best for Tyson and me and we are trying to be more faithful that He will direct us where we should go and what we should do. 


Jay and Abbey Rowley said...

Denise- you and your mom are 100% right. It is no one's business when you have kids or how many you have. We have felt that pressure lately and it stinks! And I agree with you that there is a big difference between feeling depressed for a time and clinical depression that lasts a lifetime. I do hope that your situation will allow for all the children you desire. If that's only William, then that's a perfect family.

Tiffany said...

Your mom is awesome! And right. How many kids you have and why or why not is no one else's business. Unfortunately in our family, at some point you will be bugged about when the next kid is coming. Believe it or not they've actually gotten better! Just ignore the people who ask and know you're doing what's right for your family. It's also fun to have some snarky comments ready when those questions come up, that might just be me though. :)

I have someone very close to me who is constantly criticizing my family size and it drives me crazy! I just have to remind myself that no one knows what's better for my family than me and Nate.

Hang in there. You're a wonderful mom and wife!

Laura said...

So I haven't looked at blogs for a while, but I am now, and I have to comment on this. You're right—it is no one else's business to discuss how many children you have or when. But eventually someone will make it their business. When that moment comes, be confident that you and Tyson are doing what's right. It will still hurt, and it will still make you question yourself, but you'll also still know that you and the Lord are working together to do what's best for everyone. (And trust me on this. I got it about marriage first and about children later. Nothing like someone asking you when you're going to have another baby the same week you have a miscarriage!)

As far as the number of children, I dreamed of having a basketball team plus substitutes. I cried, I was angry, I questioned God's love. But now, looking back, I can see that we are blessed to have two children and we are blessed to have only two children. I can't say that I would have been a horrible mother had I been able to have more children, but it is/was hard enough to be a mom to just two and still fight depression. Of course depression is only part of the total picture and there are likely many, many other reasons why two children was our perfect number. I do know that Heavenly Father knew better than I did what I could handle and what our family needs would be. Pray and trust your feelings. And keep trusting them, even when you're crying.

Love you!