Tag Archives: motherhood
6 Sep

My mom had a heart attack yesterday.

She’s stable and in the hospital now…but what a hellish day.

I ended up in the arms of my sponsor’s mother. I lived with her this summer and she became a sort of extra mom figure for me.

She reminded me of the beginning of Scott Hahn’s book Hail, Holy Queen. When he talks about the bond between mother and child. There is something about that bond that is unbreakable, indescribable, incomprehensible.

She’s my mom.

She carried me in her womb and then in her arms when I was a child.

She fed me, changed me, clothed me, provided for me.

She taught me to love Jesus with all my heart.

She bought me books and taught me how to love reading and learning.

And even though she wounded me with her words and actions when I became Catholic…that’s okay. It doesn’t take away from who she is or everything else she’s done for me.

A few hours later I ended up crying on the shoulder of my friend with the new baby. Who just happened to be feeding her baby when I walked in. Somehow she managed to hold me and keep feeding little E at the same time.

Somehow my friend who used to be silly and flighty and irresponsible and care-free has turned into a mom. Watching her care for her little girl has helped me appreciate my mom for the care she has given to me. For the things that my mom gave up for me.

Everyone tells you that being a mom is a joyful thing and it’s just the best thing in the world, but no one tells you that it’s a sacrifice. That it’s heartbreaking at times. That you give up friends and hobbies and late nights out because all of a sudden you have a tiny person or persons that need you.

I was going to tie this in with Our Lady somehow, but now I’m crying and I’ve rambled so much that I can’t quite sort it out.

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Should I Use Contraception?

24 Mar

Let me begin by saying that my fiance and I desperately want children. We both love kids, we love each other, and we both feel that we’re ready to start a family (as soon as he gets back and I finish school so we can get hitched!). Honestly we’ll probably be pregnant within six months of getting married.

But.

Neither one of us comes from a large family. I have two siblings, and he comes from a (very) broken family, so he has a couple half-siblings and a couple step-siblings, but no full-blooded actual siblings – and he’s older than the others so he grew up as basically an only child.  So that’s doubt number one: neither one of us has any experience with being a member of a large family.

Then there’s the experience I have with large families – growing up, my best friend was the youngest of eight. Her parents forgot about her a lot. My family gave her a lot of rides home from church. She struggled in school because no one had time to help her with her homework. They would go through a drive-thru and forget to order her something. She told me once that she loved her siblings, but sometimes she wished that she’d been born first, because then maybe her mom wouldn’t have been so tired of raising kids by the time she’d had her. I don’t want my children to ever think or feel that way. 

I’m small – five feet tall, ninety pounds. My family has a history of long labors, miscarriages, and difficult pregnancies. Can I put myself through that? Would my body be able to handle more than a few pregnancies?

Would I ever be able to work again? I love working, and while I want to stay home with my non-school age kids, I don’t think I would be a good permanent stay-at-home mom. I get antsy, stir crazy, and quite frankly, a little nuts when I don’t have work or school or some reason to get out.

BUT.

I don’t know that I agree with the concept of “planning” my family. I’ve seen how God’s will transcends my own plans for myself, so how much more so will His will transcend my plans for my little ones?

Where does being a good parent start? I used to believe that my parenting choices would begin with the conception of my first child, but lately I’ve been thinking that maybe they start when S and I choose whether or not to use contraception – after all, we will be in charge of whether or not a life is created. Is it really our place to choose not to create life?

And then there are the parents I know who limited the sizes of their families. They used birth control for years until they felt ready. Then they struggled to get pregnant because they’d waited. They managed to have two or three, but always longed to have more children. My own mother just said the other day that she wished she had had more children – that she wishes she hadn’t been so worried about money that she’d thought her and my dad couldn’t “afford” more kids.

So what are your thoughts? I know what the Catholic Church teaches, I’ve seen the “Biblical” reasons both sides of the situation give, so that’s not really what I’m going for answer-wise. I’m really looking for personal experience.

Did (or do) you use contraception?

Do you regret your choice?

Why?