Since this is mostly my family blog and Jon and I mostly have things figured out about our marriage, I don’t blog too much about his change of beliefs and how it affects us, but one thing on my mind lately is children.

When we were engaged and an early happily married, and both Mormon, couple we wanted six kids two years apart. (Just a note that we are now and still a happily married couple.) We had our first child right after he graduated because we felt he would be done with school and able to provide for the family, at least hypothetically. In the following 15 months we had around 5 months of employment with 4 months of unemployment and 6 months of underemployment. It was a sucky time in our financial life and hard on our marriage, but luckily we were pretty use to being poor students and didn’t have a very expensive lifestyle. No car payments, no house payments, one child whom I  breastfeed and made the baby food for not only ’cause it was cheap but because we felt it was the best for her. I was also able to get student loans and grants to help our poor circumstances, though we never had to use the loans at that time.

As the months of underemployment stretched on we realized it was around the time we had wanted to start preparing for another child if we were to stay on our “one every two years” plan. Instead of praying for employment we started praying about our family and whether we should have another baby. I think Heavenly Father answered our prayers by providing Jon his employment at UNLV. Not only did he have gainful employment, at just less than twice what we had ever made in a year combined, though we were very poor so it wasn’t much by some standards, Jon received health benefits immediately, which allowed me to get pregnant nearly immediately and have Eden in the summer so I could do Fall on-line courses after I had her. It was a miracle to me, and one of the few times I’ve felt very guided by the Lord.

Fast forward two years. In the Fall of 2006 it was time to start thinking about another child. I was just finishing my degree so it wasn’t necessary for us to have a child before August and we weren’t sure if we were ready for another one at the time since two seemed like a lot, then Jon dropped the bomb that he no longer believed in the teachings of the Church. It was a shaky time in our marriage and even now, nearly three years later, we’re still figuring things out, though it’s with more love and compassion, rather than anger at the betrayal.

Which finally brings me to my recent thoughts.

Jon and I have be discussing whether we want another child. We both agree that we don’t want one while living in our current house. I feel overwhelmed with the things we have here and the four of us, to bring another child into it would be no doubt very overwhelming and difficult. Plus I worry that if we stayed here too long Jon would actually give the three children the master bedroom because we can’t fit another regular sized bed in there with the bunk beds. 😉

Then there’s the fact that the reason why Jon wanted so many children has changed. I don’t want to completely speak for him, but I can say that the belief that we need to multiply and replenish the Earth and bring as many spirits into this world is not something he believes in now, so the reason why to have a lot of children is not there, besides the fact that we like our big families.

Jon’s not sure if he wants another child and though I know I want another child, I’m just not sure I want to bring one knowingly into a religiously divided home. Some might say that I still can insist that they be raised in the church and only give Jon his one Sunday a month with them, two when there are five in a month, just like I do with our girls, but I can’t. I feel like the situation is different. It’s more like I’ve knowingly married a nonmember who does not agree with my beliefs and want a child with them. Wouldn’t that nonmember be entitled to a full 50% of that child’s Sundays and religious teachings, not just 25%? Granted together we’re trying to raise free-thinkers and children who choose their own religious identity, but I know that they are influenced more by the fact that they attend my church on a regular basis. I know Jon would like 50% of the Sundays, but I just can’t, and I know it hurts him that I don’t let him have 50% of the Sundays.

The rules would change for this third child.

Last week I went through our baby clothes. I’m giving half of them away because we simply can’t store them all for the what if’s. What if we have another baby and what if we have a girl?
It’s more like, what if we never have another baby and what if we never get out of this house?

I’m contemplating long term, less hormonal, birth control because I don’t like taking a pill every day and I’ve decided I don’t like having hormones in my body that don’t need to be there. It’s the long term part that scares me. I haven’t had a child in 4 years, but I don’t want to say I won’t have another child in 4 more years. What I’m contemplating can be removed so as to allow me to get pregnant sooner, but to make that choice is still hard.

I long for a baby in some ways. I’m so young and able, something I know some woman  aren’t, yet here I am not giving birth to any more beautiful children, watching and holding my friend’s children and not enjoying those first couple years of my own infant and toddler.

I will say I am happy with my two girls. I’m not sure how I would home school if I had one or two little ones to take care of also, life seems so overwhelming without adding others to the mix.

A part of me wants to write this down just so it’s been said and there is no wondering why I’m not having more children, and possibly why I may never have more. Some might already understand, most, if not all, would hate to be in my position of a “lost” husband, but I love him and he is one of the most important people in my life and I know he loves me.We both want the best for one another and our children, even if that best might be different in our own, individual eyes.

I happy with my little family, and even though it may never be bigger, I’ll try to glory in the children I have.

3 Responses to “Children”

  1. Jonathan Blake Says:

    By way of explanation, I don’t believe in having as many children as possible anymore. I look at the poor children around the world and I want to help them somehow. Having more of our own children would divert resources from children who suffer to those who don’t exist yet. I also worry that we will spoil our environment through population pressure. The Earth can’t handle six billion people who live like Americans.

    Anyway, I’m sorry that my change of heart makes life difficult for you.

  2. Nice Niece Says:

    I’ve been mulling over what I wanted to say in this comment.

    First, I think it is amazing that you are able to put these feelings into words. I’ve decided that you have a talent of communicating.

    Second, I feel like you’ve described exactly how I feel about having more children. Although I usually say that we’re done because of my injury (which makes healthily carrying a fetus nearly impossible), there is really more to it than that. I feel like I bore our three boys in good faith, believing my husband’s misrepresentations of himself at the time. But over the five years since the birth of our third son (and my injury), I’ve had time to really see my husband for who he is. While he is a good man, he is not the kind of man that I want more children with…not the man I thought I married. I feel, like you do, that I’d be making a conscious decision this time to bring a child into a divided home. I just can’t bring myself to do that now that I know what I do.

    Third, I also feel like you and I can identify with each other when it comes to the pregnancy/newborn stuff. When I went in to have our third son, it was with the full intention that we would be having one or two more babies later on down the road. I was completely unprepared to “be done” with pregnancy and babies. It literally took me years to feel comfortable with the fact, and I still can’t say that I’m completely “at peace” about it. It feels like I’ve been somewhat robbed of my chance to experience those things…I find myself wishing that I would’ve been able to cherish my last pregnancy/newborn more. I wish I would’ve known that it was the last time.

    Fourth, I have the Mirena IUD and I love it. Feel free to email me about it if you want a personal testimonial. 😉

    Fifth, I must concede that you make a good point about having more time to homeschool the girls because it’s just the two of them. Sometimes I remind myself that because I only have three kids, that I’m able to spend more time with each of them. It’s the Quality over Quantity idea.

    Sixth, thank you a million times over for writing this. I hope I can have the courage to follow suit on my own blog….

    Seventh, P.S….Love you!

  3. Lacey Says:

    Thank you so much Nice Niece. I think the hardest thing is coming to terms with possibly not having another baby. I really just want to experience pregnancy and birth one more time. I know I’m blessed by having experienced having two babies, but I didn’t know what life would throw at me, and that I might not have any more and I really want just one more, but I’m going to need to really pray about it, and I know Jon would most likely support me in my decision of not having one more, or having one more.

    I suppose I don’t feel to courageous writing about it. It’s just my life and most who read this know about Jon and I’m sure suspect that we have conflicts and have to seek compromises. It’s just the way life is for us.