The other night while watching a terrible movie I decided to get out my crafting supplies and make a festive garland to hang on our sad window treatments in the living room. I have a lot of red in our living room(s) so it mostly looks like a kindergarten attempt at decorating. But I was pretty happy with it. I don’t mind having juvenile looking crafts adorning my walls.
I’m also working on some homemade gifts for Simon, which was fun to start. I have a problem with Pinterest, and bookmarking all of these awesome ideas I have for future crafting togetherness. Since we don’t have tv I’m pretty sure we’ll have plenty to keep him occupied once he’s of scissor-holding age.
I have a friend of a friend, who has an awesome blog and has two-under-two adorable kiddos. I met Grace only once in person I think- but she is one of the best friends of one of my best friends, so due to Replying-All to daily emails, we’ve gotten to know one another. She, like my other friend, is Catholic, and in a recent blog post, she addresses the question of being “done” with having kids. I mean, she has one of each, so done deal, right? Well not so much.
I have several friends that have repeatedly explained to me their beliefs on welcoming and raising children in the Catholic faith they subscribe to, and it only took about 3 or so years of me staring blankly at them and saying “Why????” before I finally got it. And by I get it, I mean- I totally understand and see where they’re coming from in accordance to the Bible and whatever. I also think these people are more brave than “irresponsible” (that’s what some people say), and they are certainly more brave than I. In the most recent post, poor Grace mentions how intrusive the question of being “done” with having children is…especially piggybacked onto the “was it planned?” when referring to pregnancy. I do understand answering intrusive and rude questions, particularly the “Are you getting married?” question that I was asked repeatedly when one year into my relationship with Gabe, we got pregnant. Though my feelings on marrying Gabe have changed (p.s. I would like to get married this year, more on that later), I still know what it’s like to fumble over a response to a question that is quite frankly none of someone’s business, and then be incredibly PISSED off by my own attempt to answer it or failure to answer it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought to myself, “I should’ve said this…”
On the flip side, I’ve also been the person that SAYS those things, and also thought afterwards, “Damn it, I shouldn’t have said that.” So I get both sides of that too, I guess.
But what I really wanted to address in regards to Grace’s post is:
I think that most people who don’t view child-birth, rearing and welcoming the same way that observant Catholics do, I think they (we) are a little obsessed with planning. I mean, the whole deal about having a kid when I wasn’t expecting it- whoa did that throw me for a loop. And so now, I keep thinking of ways to steer back onto a path that I can see. Create some sort of strategic plan for life. Perhaps baby number two will come when Simon’s in preschool or out of diapers, or not throwing some sort of shit fit over not being able to get out of the cart at Target. At any rate, I feel even more strongly now, that I want (see, WANT) next baby to be on my terms. It seems like a lot of people want all babies to be on their terms. For financial reasons, timing reasons, selfish reasons, not-so-selfish reasons. But there are reasons everyone does what they do.
And here’s the thing. If someone asked me (and they do) if I’m “done” having kids, my answer is almost always “no.” I’m never offended by that question, but I think that’s because I falsely believe that I’m in control of the situation. I like to think “Yea, I’ve got a handle on this planning thing.” But look, I have a blond SURPRISE asleep upstairs listening to the whooooshing of ocean sounds. I hardly expected that to be happening the way that it did. I’m not “done” I don’t think. But what makes me think that I have any sort of part in making or not making that happen? I mean, yea I know where kids come from and the basics of birth control (which I take and I love science for making that possible for me). But, I don’t know- there’s a part of life that isn’t up to us. And I believe in women’s right to choose what they want and when they want it. It’s not my business to make those decisions for anyone else, but DAYUM those are the hardest decisions to make. Evar. (A for emphasis)
I dont’ know, it’s a complicated thing to really write about, but definitely a discussion I like to have. I particularly like to have this discussion with Catholic people who are open to sharing their experience and hearing my opinions because I so enjoy hearing those of others I’ve encountered already.
I have asked people if they were “done”, just as people ask me, because I wrongly assume that everyone else views their life the exact same way I do. I think, “One boy, one girl, you’re done! Perfect family! Start a 529 plan for both of them and get back on the treadmill so you can be a hot mom and never experience the horror of pregnancy again!” So all in all I think my main response to Grace’s post is– I think people are asking this particular question because they lack the faith and bravery that you do and they don’t understand the things you believe. They have no way of knowing this because (in my albeit limited experience) most of the people I run into are more like me: trying to plan life away- time the kids, time them around careers, money, time, developmental stages, etc. It works for some people. Even when I was just thinking about it now, I like the idea of that kind of plan. I’d like to know what’s coming down the pike.
But man-oh-man, surprises are the best.
Even when preceded by 9 months of body/hormonal hell and 6 months of feeling fat after that.
And I wouldn’t have written any of this post, for fear I was jinxing myself if I wasn’t absolutely 100% sure that I am not currently pregnant at this moment in time. Thank you.
So the letter will be postponed yet again, due to my incessant rambling. Apologies.