Having Babies {in Opposite World}

having babies in opposite world 

I was scrolling through my facebook feed recently when a friend’s status hit me in the gut.  Melanie, a beautiful young wife, from my church (pictured above) wrote:

Aside from my close friends and family…

How is it that 9 out of 10 people who talk to me about my pregnancy have negative things to say?? The comments are endless and quite creative in their effort to convince me that I should not be as thrilled as I am. It is usually prefaced by “JUST WAIT……(insert: miserable experience/undesirable life change)” Although they have me well prepared for “impending doom,” for now I will continue to be convinced that this is the most beautiful experience of my life thus far!

And now I will bask in all the flip-flopping glory that is happening inside my tummy right now. You can kick this mama all night long sweet little one:)

Enter my GASP!   How is it that this young wife, who is pregnant for the first time, is encountering such negativity about her pregnancy?

And then I remembered back to my early 20’s and the prevailing culture that said – get your college degree before you have babies, travel a little before you have babies, your body is going to completely change after you have babies, have fun and live it up before you have babies, get yourself financially secure before you have babies.  Be a responsible adult and wait wait wait to have those children… 

And we did.

I was 27 when we had our first child and 29 when we had our second.  By my 30’s, I was experiencing medical trouble that put a stop on babies and I won’t go into it all here but I will say –I bought Opposite World’s mantra and I totally regret it. I wish I had started having babies much sooner.

My husband and I met in highschool and married straight out of college –we could have had children sooner.  But we had other goals and my biological clock seemed like it’d tick forever.  If I had known 29 was the cut off date for my body to handle babies safely…we would have started sooner.

But Opposite World.  It balks at couples marrying young and having babies young.  It says, “women had babies young in the old days – be a modern woman – go to college, have a career.”   

Opposite World says if you do have children, 1 or 2 is a nice number…and a family with  3 or 4 children is considered a large family.  And goodness, if you are pregnant with your fifth, you can expect the snide remarks like “you know what causes that, right?” or “Is this an oops?”  I mean why on earth would women want to have lots of babies?

But OH – this is not how God sees children. 

Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from Him. ~ Psalm 127:3

A reward? Then why are 9 out of 10 telling my friend of the impending doom she’s about face.     

Cause we live in Opposite World. 

Rachael Janokovic wrote a profound post over at Desiring God Ministries about motherhood – here’s an excerpt:

Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.

Christian mothers carry their children in hostile territory. When you are in public with them, you are standing with, and defending, the objects of cultural dislike. You are publicly testifying that you value what God values, and that you refuse to value what the world values. You stand with the defenseless and in front of the needy. You represent everything that our culture hates, because you represent laying down your life for anotherβ€”and laying down your life for another represents the gospel.

 And it’s true.  We live in a selfish culture where having children is a huge inconvenience.  I mean – how am I supposed to fit in aerobics, spa days, girls shopping trips and “me time” when I have children that need me 24/7.  And we look at these women in movies, magazines and on television – they are unbelievably gorgeous at 43 and birthing their first. They look like they have it all.  They gave their “best years” — their young years, to their career…and we secretly wonder – maybe they do have it all. 

Well – Women Can Have It All {In Opposite World} is a blog post for another day.

But for now, let me conclude with these thoughts.

Children are a blessing from God.  They are gifts.  I know on hard days these gifts feel like gag gifts. lol! But when we thank God for our blessings and we love, nurture, train and bond with our blessings – our lives are fuller. 

Defy Opposite World. 

If you are a pregnant woman, boldly declare your excitement for your baby bump! 

When you are in the midst of bottles and binkies and spit up and tantrums and sleepless nights – do not let the enemy whisper in your ear – “this is too much.”  Lean on Jesus and thank God for giving you SO much!

When the world says, you are too young. Remember Mary was young.

When the world says, you are too old. Remember Sarah was old.

When the world says, you don’t know what you are doing. Remember Eve – who had no role models at all…she just walked with the King.

We must shut out the voices of Opposite World and listen to the maker of this world

He says –be fruitful and multiply.

He says — children are a reward.

I believe him.

Now go love on your little ones and do something completely counter cultural (but just like Jesus) –lay down your life for another.

Walk with the King,


**Chime In: Have you experienced negative remarks towards your pregnancies? How did you respond? How do you show your children that you believe God –you believe they are blessings?



  1. Totally, Courtney. I wrote a post about this same issue called “Faith For Family Planning” on my blog recently. I am so opposed to the cultural negativity of having children, and sadly, it’s in the Christian culture more often than I like to see too. Children are a gift!

    1. I love this post and these comments. I became sick while in college and came home for a year then when it was time to go back I started getting sick again (probably stress). In December 2010 right before I turned 23 I got engaged to a man I met in my home church. I got a lot of negative comments about needing to finish school and shouldn’t be in a hurry to marry, which didn’t make sense to me being raised in churches that taught the greatest thing a women can do is be a wife and mother. After hearing that your whole life why would you wait on a degree. Anyways we married a month later and 8 months later found out that we were expecting our 1st (my husbands 4th because he has 3 from his 1st marriage). We just celebrated our sons 1st birthday yesterday and when he was about 6 months old I thought I was pregnant again and I remember when I found out I wasn’t my mom saying “good you don’t need to be” and it broke my heart, we aren’t in the best financial position, but still every child is a gift and due health reasons we decided not to do bc again, but let God be in control. A month later we shared that we were expecting again. Our second (and fifth) baby is gonna be 16 months younger than our 1st, I have heard all the negative comments, but after reading some of these comments I feel encouraged and hope to remember some witty comeback. Yes we do want more kids I hope for a tad bigger gap next time but not too long cause I will be 26 and hubby will be 37 this year. Children are an heritage from The Lord.

      1. HA! I was told when I was young that I probably wouldn’t be able to sustain a pregnancy. My husband was 35 when we married and he’d given up. We conceived ON OUR HONEYMOON. Celebrated out first anniversary with a 3-month-old. That boy is now 19 and has 5 siblings. There are 22 months between each child (we didn’t try for that it just worked that way). We homeschool, so they were all with me all the time, and people would ask me, to my face, “Are they all yours?” and when I said yes, they’d blurt, “You’re crazy!” I can’t remember many positive comments from anyone at any time. One lady at our church who had suffered several miscarriages walked up to me and spat, “I hear you’re pregnant again Have one for me, will you?”
        We have the best times (we get class discounts just by ourselves) and I learned to respond to the ubiquitous “You sure have your hands full!” with “I can’t think of anything I’d rather have them full of.”

        1. I get the “You must have your hands full” a lot and I usually just say, I do and I love it… but I like that reply, might have to steal it! XO

          1. I get the “You have your hands full.” comment a lot, which I usually just respond with a simple, “Yes, I do.” I don’t find it an offensive comment so much as I find it obtuse:
            *Of course I have my hands full, I have 5 children walking around and #6 is due in 5 weeks, and I only have two hands.*

          2. Oh yes I get the “hands full” comment all the time. And I only have 4. My reply is usually, “oh yes, full of good things!”

          3. Whenever I get the “You have your hands full” I always reply the same… “Better than having them empty”

          4. This is a great article – children truly are a blessing from God; however, I wish I could experience that firsthand. My opposite world is “I thought by now you’d have children.” People assume that if you don’t have children it means you don’t want them, not that you have been suffering for years of infertility. My hands are empty, but by God’s grace I pray that one day they will be full.

          5. This comment is for Jenna. You are not alone. By the grace of God alone, I have one growing up in our home and three at home with the Lord. I pray that you are able to continue to look to the Author & Sustainer of life to be the sufficiency of your life. I admire, greatly, your willingness to share your story… thank you.

            Blessings to all the mommies out there. It is immaterial how you became a mom: birth, adoption, marriage, teaching, a neighbor’s kid who loves you. We have been gifted with a holy calling on our lives. Make it count. <3

        2. When I get the “you have your hands full” comment, I love to smile and say, “yes, it’s a good hands full”! πŸ™‚ Wouldn’t have it any other way!

          1. Whenever I get the “you have your hands full” comment, I try to reply with something like “yep! full of bundles of joy and love!”

          2. I loved this! I have 5 kids, and I have heard all of the comments. The best was, “I got what I wanted the first time, so I didn’t need to keep having babies.” I replied, “I loved my first so much that I wanted more.”
            Jesus Christ spent his entire life serving others. So there’s nothing wrong with having children and spending time serving them.

          3. I have 4 children, 3 boys and a girl, ages 4,3,2 and 7 months. I get the “hands full” comment ALL the time! When I hear it I usually just say, “Better than empty ones.” and just smile. I am the second oldest of 15 children so I have heard just about every comment you can think of growing up. I thought I was immune to it, but it was totally different when the comments started being directed to me and not my mom. It has definetly given me a new HUGE respect for my mother and all she had to put up with from family, friends and fellow church members. I thank God for her kindness, love and patience that she modeled for me in the face of living the life of a family that is in ministry. (My father had a ministry to women that have been injured after having an abortion…not the most popular ministry. (c: ) I do not have the greatest support from my inlaws and do not live near my parents. Thank you for this post!! It is just so encouraging to hear others that feel the same about the beauty of children!

          4. Your positive response to “you have your hands full” is perfect. As a mother and grandmother I have often offered that comment but never meant it in a negative way – only as a way to connect from a place of experience and “knowing” the ups and downs that accompany the efforts of hands-on nurturing of little ones. I loved every moment of my motherhood years and relish even more the happy result of this investment – strong adult children raising adorable grandchildren.. So please don’t judge to harshly when someone remarks about the big job parents have …. not all comments like these are coming from a opposite world view…some of us are only wanting to offer love, encouragement and support from the same side of the world. The enormous responsibility of impacting our confused world with a generation that is clearly focused on who they are and why they are here is no small task – we have our hands full…it’s not a cake walk if we’re doing it right…of course the joys more than offset the challenges….but we need one another and even more the wisdom, favour, discernment and understanding that can only come from our Creator.

            Blessings to all you young mothers who are choosing to commit your lives to raising vibrant, engaged, respectful and God-fearing children.

          1. I had my friend make me a shirt that says, “If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart.” I have 4 children, first 3 in 3 years and #4 came just 2 1/2 yrs later. We are now 2, 5,6,8. And it is getting a little easier. I’m very happy with my crew! When I was growing up I wanted 6, my husband only wanted 2, we compromised on 4. πŸ™‚ They have been & continue to be a huge blessing to all of us! I did go to college & we didn’t get married til I was 24. My hubby told me for 5 years he wasn’t getting married or ever having kids. πŸ™‚ So I waited to for God to change either his heart or mine. Thankfully, his was changed & both our lives changed for the better! Though, my in-laws & my fraternal grandparents have had several disparaging remarks whenever we added a new sweetheart to our family, they have all since come around & love our kids without criticism for which I am thankful! Thank you for being bold to voice a positive Godly perspective!!!

          2. “I’ve got something worth holding onto,” is another elevator statement you can use.

          3. I dont take the comment β€œyou have your hands full” offensively, depending on how it is said. My mother used to always smile and say β€œI sure do, my heart just couldn’t hold all this love by itself.” I kinda took that but made it my own now I smile and say, β€œthere is just to much love in my heart for me to keep it all contained to just one.” Usually makes people smile.

        3. I married my college sweet heart and the month after the honeymoon we found out we were pregnant! I was thrilled:) I felt honored that the Lord chose to give us such a blessing and responsibility. My mother was excited and overjoyed, my dad was disappointed. I was upset by my father’s reaction, but the worst response was the Pastor’s. He told my husband we were going to regret not waiting…I was hurt that a man of God would say such a thing. A lot of negativity followed our precious announcement, but I trust in the Lord and I believe His word and what he says about our Children. My son Ezekiel was born on the 17th and we will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary in July. What a blessed woman I am. I will have as many blessings as God sees fit to give us.

          1. And at this, I couldn’t help but to laugh and think: “That there Elizabeth needs t’be in a Church where they have an actual pastor.”, . . .

        4. Sometimes the comment, “you have your hands full” is meant as a compliment. I remember as a single person I could hardly get myself to work on time; now I’m responsible for a household. I think people with less demands on them realize what an amazing feat has been accomplished and simply remark at the shear magnitude of the responsibilities placed on mothers with large families.

          1. Sadly, most of my negative comments have come from other believers, and that would include older ones too πŸ™ . I am so thankful to be part of an online world where I can rejoice with pregnant mums, and share in their excitement.
            I had negative comments with every one of my announcements – we were only able to have four, so it’s not like I was announcing my 13th baby … and even if I was???
            *sigh* … we wonder that abortions are so common, but the Lord’s people show no joy for babies.
            But let’s end on a happy note…. Congratulations to every one of you who are expecting another blessing! And, even though the young years can be a lot of hard work, make sure that you find JOY in every single day…
            I can vouch for the fact that the time FLIES by. I am now hanging on to every precious day with them – they range from 10 to 20 – and I want them still to be babies!!

          2. My husband and I got married at 25 after a very short dating and engagement–we knew this was the real deal and just wanted to start life together! 3 months later we were pregnant. I was disappointed (we had really wanted some time just to continue getting to know each other and enjoy each other before having children), scared to death, but also excited. It was a miserable pregnancy: months of constant nausea, vomiting and weight loss. Our first ultrasound at 8 weeks we saw our little girl doing flips in the womb. She won my heart. Our second ultrasound, we found out there were some issues and she may not live past a year. This broke my heart. At 6 months, I had severe toxemia and pre-eclampsia and was rushed to deliver. Over 7 months I lived in a hospital with our daughter 2 hours away from my newlywed husband. (But, oh the joys of watching her grow and develop on the outside. Her perfect, tiny little nails; seeing her eyes open for the first time at 2 weeks; holding her at 3; watching eyelashes grow; her tiny hand grasping my finger hours after birth.) Because of her special needs, we need nursing help at home most of the day everyday. I wonder, will I ever be alone with my husband again?
            Haha, I guess I understand a lot of things better after having a child. In response to earlier comments, waiting a while to have children so you can build your marriage isn’t a bad thing. Getting married in itself brings plenty of new things to adjust to and work through in building your relationship. A child brings many more. Yes, enjoy your freedom before you have kids. This isn’t a derogatory comment against having kids (at least not coming from me), just an encouragement from someone who has been there to enjoy every step of your life. It is true, for several years while you are a mother, you will have less freedom. It is only for a season and it is part of the self-sacrifice and living for others we are called to. Give being a wife and mother all you’ve got! There are so many rich blessings for years and generations when we do and so much heart ache and harm when we don’t.
            I often comment to moms that their hands are full. I say it because, well, they are. It’s an acknowledgement that being a mother is truly a full-time job. It’s exhausting, full of heart aches and struggles, pushes your patience to the line, but also many joys, laughs, memories–its a hand full…two hands full! We are raising the next generation, a generation of Godly young men and women who fear the Lord. That’s hard work! I can’t help picturing God raising us, his children. I am glad His hands are much bigger than mine. πŸ™‚

          3. My 3rd baby was born 4 months before my first child turned 3. 3 babies in less than 3 years, and my hands are full! πŸ™‚ And someone usually comments on that fact whenever we are out and about. But, just as others have said here, I take it as a compliment. And a reminder too, that I am a witness to Opposite World at what a “large” family is. For better or worse. And I hope it is for the better.

          4. Thank you for realizing that not all comments are negative. Many people are not looking to be hurtful and just don’t express themselves well. To those that do mean to be negative and or hurtful, I guess we can just show them that we are very happy with all our hands full of blessings. There are some days that 5 kids and counting are a little overwhelming and I love to get a sympathetic comment from another mom.

          5. I would agree that the majority of people who say “you must have your hands full” are not trying to be negative, especially if they are moms themselves or middle-aged to older women who have already raised children. In fact, they are probably trying to be empathetic, acknowledging the time, sacrifice and love it takes to be a parent. I have 3 daughters, two of whom got married young and had their first babies young. They felt put on the defensive quite a bit. Part of growing to maturity in Christ is to develop an unoffendable heart and to learn to have a sense of humor. Our response is our responsibility, and if we feel a need to talk about others or defend ourselves in a story that is negative about a fellow believer, I’m not sure we are glorifying the Lord or showing the world our love for each other, as Jesus commanded his disciples. We need to be dispensers of grace :).

        5. I have 5 children, the youngest being 26 years old. Even 25 years ago I got very negative feedback for having that many children. But I never felt insulted by someone remarking that I had my “hands full”. I took it as an acknowledgement that I was a busy mom. Sometimes I think we get offended too easily (like opposite world).

          1. I have four children. I agree, I have never felt insulted by the “hands full” comment. It has never even crossed my mind that people would be saying it to be negative until I read these posts today. I have even commented to other moms who have large families as having there “hands full”. Not saying it to them as a negative, but acknowledging that they were equally busy as myself. Lots of kids= hands full. People see you with your kids= stating the obvious. lol

          2. I remember our family being at a restaurant years ago. As we were walking out, my husband led with two of the kids, my oldest daughter (5yrs) followed, then I was last carrying the baby. This couple watched us walk by but didn’t say anything. My 5 year old looked at them and proudly announced, “We have our hands full!” We still laugh 13 years later. We have 8 children now…

        6. Kathy,

          I am so sorry to hear that the woman from church was so rude to you. There is absolutely no excuse for that.

          I do want to say though, as someone who cannot have children, that it is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. I cannot imagine a fate worse than infertility. I was raised to be a mother and finding out that I could not have children was a fate worse than death. I would NEVER speak to anyone the way that she spoke to you, but please understand the burden that she carries every day. I still cry when I see pregnant women and cannot attend baby showers. Please give her the gift of understanding even if she doesn’t deserve it. I imagine you already have, but I wanted to give you a little more insight into what she goes through every day.

          I would do anything to “have my hands full” — to receive the blessing of children. I am very sensitive on the subject, but it really hurts to hear that God says children are a reward as well. Does that mean that I am not worthy of reward from God?? I know that the author is just quoting The Bible, but it is a very hurtful thing to hear . . . I just want to remind everyone here of how lucky they are. There are thousands of people who would die to trade places with you. πŸ™

          1. Lisa, I don’t know if anyone responded to your statement about children being a reward/heritage from God. The Bible says that “the rain falls on the just and unjust”. This is why people “worthy” of creating a nation (Abraham and Sarah) could not conceive until God specifically and miraculously intervened and why the impoverished, young, unwed mother has 6 children. Please realize that you are JUST as special to God as ANYONE else! πŸ™‚

            Also, I know of at least a couple families who could not have children for years, and then almost immediately after adopting, conceived! Not saying it’s the cure. I just see God as knowing that they are the most perfect, compassionate, loving couple for one or more neglected, hurting child(ren). Once they filled their home with those blessings, God blessed the couple even more! πŸ™‚

            God has a wonderful plan for you!

          2. Lisa,
            As an infertile woman myself (I get pregnant easily, but miscarry at the 4 -8 week mark), may I encourage you? Please read Psalm 113:9 and Isaiah 54:1. God knows what He is doing. He gave us four beautiful children, in His perfect timing — through adoption. They are now 12, 11, 10 and 8. We regularly get stared at (the kids are a different color) and many comments are made. We have chosen to homeschool, because we believe that God specifically chose us to be the parents of these specific children. No way would I give over their little minds over to someone else for hours and hours each day. James clearly states that pure, undefiled religion is to take care of the widows and orphans. Frankly, I don’t see much of that in our churches today. My husband and I had already planned to adopt even before discovering that we could never have biological children. It was extremely painful emotionally, but God has used this experience to increase my faith and give me wonderful opportunities to truly “be there” for others who are going through the same thing.

            Be encouraged. No matter which way God brings children into your home, it will be HIS doing. Be open to His working in your life. It is very often totally unexpected, yet wonderful!

          3. The Bible does say that “Children are a blessing and the fruit of the womb is His reward” HOWEVER it doesn’t say fruit of YOUR womb. Adopting a child is just as much of a blessing to you from God as giving birth to a child. I’m not trying to diminish your feelings at all because I know how I would feel in your shoes and I know how devastating it would be. I just wanted to encourage you to consider adoption. Just as you long for a child to call your own, there are literally millions of children out there longing for a Mom to call theirs.

          4. . . . . thousands an’thousands because, . . . G0D is good, . . .

          5. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to totally change the topic of conversation. I just wanted to remind everyone of how lucky they are. Thank you to everyone who offered words of encouragement. Sometimes I feel so alone . . . I have known lots of people who have had fertility problems; however every single one of them has conceived.

            I too have suffered multiple miscarriages — 3 to be exact. My husband and I eventually did adopt and now we have been blessed with a wonderful boy (he is 10 now). I feel as if he was meant to be part of our family (he even looks like us – not that it matters, it’s just a neat coincidence) and I feel blessed to be his mother.

            As much as I love being his mother (I wouldn’t trade him if God Himself offered to give me 10 biological children in exchange for him), adoption has not filled the ache in my heart that I feel when I see a pregnant woman or a baby. I envy the women who are able to bear children . . . the women that are able to have a baby with the man that they love . . .

            My son has serious emotional problems and has been diagnosed as bi-polar. He does not seem to have the ability to receive love or to show love either. My husband and I have since divorced (the stress of it all was just too much) and now I worry that I will never find a man who will accept a woman who cannot bear children. I feel totally unfeminine . . . damaged . . . worthless . . . My body cannot do the one thing that a woman’s body is supposed to be able to do.

            In my last post I said that finding out I could not have children was a fate worse than death and I truly feel that way. I recently was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and I can tell you that I would gladly choose being sick over infertility. For me, I cannot imagine anything worse than not being able to bear children.

            Again, thank you for all the words of encouragement, it means a lot to know that I’m not alone. Sorry to bring everyone down, I know that is not the point of this message board. Please forgive me.

          6. PhillipGaley – Can I ask you what you meant? I didn’t understand your comment.

          7. Lisa,

            I am so very sorry to hear how your life has gone.

            I want to share my story, in case it helps you, or another reader, knowing my perspective.

            I am speaking as one who has daily chronic pain, which started while I was in high school. For the past 12 years I have been in physical pain for all of every day. It has gotten to the point where I can only work at a paid job for 10 hours a week, and even so, I often have to go home early because I am not strong enough to finish my hours.

            I have not yet started trying to have children, because I do not know if my health will continue getting worse, or if we will one day find its cause, and perhaps a cure. I am about to turn 29 and am surrounded by women who are either having lots of children or agonizing over their infertility and miscarriages. I am not yet brave enough to even find out if I can conceive because I almost dropped a curling iron on my lap when my legs briefly stopped working and I fell, yet again. Until we find out what is wrong, I do not want to put a baby at such risk. But I hope to have children one day, if I reach the point where I feel confident that I will be strong enough to take care of them.

            This has not bothered me much, although I am growing in my desire to have children soon. However, it has been very difficult for my husband, who has, from the beginning, longed for us to have children. So I do not think the biggest issue in determining deepest pain is “children or no children”, but rather whether or not God has granted ones deepest desires — what that person most yearns for.

            What is devastating for me is not being able to work, at a job or taking care of my husband or taking care of children. You mentioned that in your family, the highest calling and purpose of life was seen as raising children. Well, in mine, the highest value and calling is to accomplish “great things”. Some of my ancestors translated the bible into a new language, so hundreds of people could hear about God for the first time and be saved. These same people had many kids of their own. Another relative had an article published in a famous magazine, which changed (in a positive way) the fate of an entire region of a third world country, as she brought attention to an injustice and helped it to end. They tried many things, and sometimes it seems as if they accomplished everything they ever tried (although I know this is not literally the case). The spoken message in my family was to “serve God in any way He asks us to, no matter how hard it may be.” But the message that was conveyed stronger was this: “Serve God in extravagant ways. In adventurous ways. In ways that make other people around you stand back and say, “Wow. I don’t know if I could ever do that.” ” For me, it is devastating to not be able to follow in their foot steps, as I had always planned. To not be able to marry, raise kids, and save several hundred people from a terrible fate; all without being late at serving an elaborate home-made dinner; just like each of those who went before me. Over time they have accepted my health problems and have come to accept me also, but it has been very clear that my fate is a disappointment to my family. Even if they did not accidentally say so once or twice, I would still feel it strongly in myself. The contrast between what I am capable of doing with my life, and what was so clearly expected of me, is far too great.

            I was doing pretty great at following that other path, until I no longer was able to. It sounds like the same was true for you… that you were doing an excellent job of following the prescribed path for as long as you had it within your control to do so.

            But what I am learning is this: The message that my family spoke out loud was more correct than the one they lived out. We must choose to live for God, in ANY circumstance that He asks us to. In any situation He puts us in… even if it means the one that is the least impressive. Or least like what we thought was best. In my case, that means turning to Him each time I am discouraged by my lack of ability to prove my worth in all the ways I held most dear. It is not something I have perfected (which is also such a struggle for me… I so much long to be perfect at no longer feeling a need to be a perfectionist!). But it is something which God is teaching me is so important.

            It comes down to this. I have to love God more than I love the way that I always believed I was “supposed” to serve Him.

            For me, that means turning toward Him whenever I feel discouraged or sad or even angry that I have to file paperwork as my paid job, despite graduating from college with a 3.913 (out of 4) Grade point average. It means that I still cry out to God to “Please, heal me!”, but over the years this has become asking for Him to do whatever work He desires in me — in my heart or spirit or my body, whatever He sees most fit to heal. It means trying not to be bitter about not having the life I always wanted, and when I find myself bitter anyway, eventually turning back towards God. It means watching my husband suffer. Sometimes, when my health is at its worst, he has to dress me or take care of me as if I was a child in some other way. It is so heartbreaking to watch him do the work of caring for a child, without the joy of actually having the child he’s always wanted. But God is working in each of our hearts still.

            I still dearly hope that I will be physically well, and also able to raise children with my husband, one day. The part of this article that stung for me was reading about how “by not having a child in my early to mid 20s,” I was selfishly keeping “my best years” to myself. If these are my best years, I really do have a reason to go cry. And I have not yet learned how to feel truly satisfied with God alone. (It would be a great blessing to master that one day, instead of just feeling utterly lonely at those times.) My heart still aches for all of the people I would have helped if I had been able to, but I know that God is able to help them without me being involved. And I still will not be one to accept or pass on to others the accusation that “It took all of this torture for God to get my attention,” which infers that I am far more stubborn, or blind, than I know I am.

            But God has used this time of suffering to draw me closer to Him. I have learned so much during this time of inability to prove my worth. And whether I learn one day that the pain only existed for the life lesson, or was caused by some disease yet to be discovered that would have happened no matter what… it is worth it to have learned and grown in these ways. (Only, can it please stop, now that I’ve learned these things?!!?)

            I guess what I am trying to say in all of this, is this: I really hope you are able to have children of your own one day; or else able to adopt more children, including some who are healthier. I definitely absolutely hope you find the love that you long for. But so long as you and I are both suffering anyway, not knowing if or when it will end… please also turn to God. I don’t mean that as an accusation that you are far from Him. Only as an encouragement that, however close to Him you are right now, keep on leaning in closer and closer.

            Despite (and in part because of) everything I was ever taught, I believe this is the highest and best calling that we can have in this world. Leaning in close to God; learning to recognize and be grateful for the love He has for us; seeking to love, obey, and honor Him in whatever our circumstances may be (no matter how honor-less they are); and encouraging others to do the same. And that is something poor health, and even infertility, cannot take away from you or me.

          8. Apologies to everyone that I am also terrible at summarizing whatever I am trying to say.

            And Lisa, thank you so much for sharing your story. Your perspective is also very important. I don’t want YOUR VALUE to be lost in my very long reply.

          9. I don’t know if this fits in with the beliefs of all or any of the women on this site, but I believe that marriage is forever, motherhood is forever, and that means eternal increase. Meaning, you may not experience having your own children in this life, but you surely will in the next. For whatever reason, God has seen fit to try your patience and give you a heartbreaking challenge. While it might feel like a forever long wait, while you may have lost your children before you could raise them, those little ones are waiting for you on the other side.
            You will get to be a mother, but it might not be in the time that you want, it will be in the Lord’s time.

        7. I agree with Lisa… don’t be too hard on the woman at your church, for instance by telling us what she “spat” at you. She is coming from a place of terrible pain. Jesus calls on us to show compassion. I had 5 m/cs after my 3 kids and eventually a placenta accreta took my uterus. It is still (7 years later) very difficult to face and be friendly to women who can easily bear lots of kids. One thing that is often missing in conversations with women who have large families is humility.

          1. Adopt and you will conceive a “child of your own” is quite possibly the most hurtful comment one can make to a couple considering adoption. We did not adopt our daughter in order to get pregnant. The odds of a couple conceiving after adopting are remarkably small. Adoption is really no more loving than any other way to form a family. It just happens to be the way God chose to form our family!

          2. Carol – I am so sorry to hear about all that you have been through. I feel your pain; I still have trouble going to church. Seeing all the little kids running around hurts my heart, and if I hear one more person tell me that I should “get over it” or ask me “aren’t you over that yet” or “didn’t your adoption take away your pain”, I’m going to scream. People think that because we adopted our son that I shouldn’t still be in pain, but I still grieve for each of the babies that I lost — they were my babies! Just because I wasn’t able to give birth to them doesn’t mean that they were any less real. I still grieve for the babies that I will never conceive.

            If you ever need someone to talk to, please respond to this message and I will give you my personal email address or phone number. Sometimes it’s nice to talk to someone who understands.

          3. agreed… i have jokingly said that to very fertile friends myself… having fertility issues… i’m sure that she meant it as a compliment that your children are lovely and she would love to have one just like them!

          4. Speaking as a women struggling with infertility i can’t stand it when people count children as anything but a blessing

        8. Debbe,
          I can not speak for that woman in your church who “spat” at you. You must understand that the pain she feels , not being able to have children FAR out weighs your pain at a few negatively perceived comments about motherhood. I can say that without malice because as a now adoptive Mom you would not believe all the negativity that comes my way. As a woman who has struggles with infertility I can tell you that the pain of infertility runs so deep and so hard that you can not sometimes control it. It feels at times like the whole world is out to get you and that God does not find you worthy. In your heart you know that the world is not out to get you and that God is not punishing you but sometimes you can not keep those thoughts from creeping up. And one of those times in inevitably when someone you know is pregnant for the 5th time. Please do not take this comment to mean anything but that you are lucky, and to be honest, she may be unrealistically hoping you will turn and say, “okay, I would love to have a baby for you. Trust me when you struggle with infertility.. you so have silly thoughts like that. I used to think things like ” what is I found a baby on the doorstep” or “maybe that pregnant teen will randomly come up and ask me to adopt her baby.” or “twins, maybe she cant handle 2 at a time and will ask me to take one.” Trust me when I say I know how ridiculous these thoughts are and you know it at the time. But the desperation of infertility makes your mind think silly things. To hope when there is no hope. I understand what the article is saying and agree about the world not seeing children for the blessing that they are. But to that woman in your church, that is not where she was coming from. To her the complaints about these little comments would sound like the spoiled little rich girl who has everything, complaining about someone saying her car is the wrong colour. Her comment really is not relevant to this whole discussion at all as it really has nothing to do with a negative attitude about children, but quite the opposite.

          1. The analogy to a spoiled little rich girl is unfair. There are lots of deeply, personal painful things many go through. Taking them out on someone who is blessed is not okay, no matter what the pain.

            My sister-in-law was only able to have three children, though she wanted more. When I called to tell her that our fifth would be a girl (our oldest was a girl and we really wanted a sister for her), she was very cold and upset for a long time. It damaged our relationship because she was blaming me for a blessing I had received. We haven’t been able to get things back to the way they were, although I’ve tried. She hasn’t recognized the blessings she has, or could have. She could adopt, or foster children. They are wealthy enough that an international adoption is within their reach.

            The point is, we are all blessed in different ways. She and my brother are better off financially than we are. Should I complain about all the material blessings they have? Should I be jealous? I could be, but that only hurts me and my relationship with her. Just because I’m frustrated with my own circumstances doesn’t excuse me to be hurtful to someone else.

          2. So, so true! Most people cannot begin to fathom the pain of infertility. Improper behavior is wrong, but it can be so hard to get beyond the hurt that infertility brings. Jennie T., I urge you to cut your sister-in-law a little bit of slack. Have you grieved with her over her inability to give birth to another baby? Have you acknowledged her pain? Most people have no desire to weep with the brokenhearted, yet they take offense at our inability to be completely overjoyed and jumping up and down with excitement for their blessings. Please give your sister-in-law a little time and space.

            As far as adoption, it is unfair to decide for someone else that they should adopt. Who knows if God will lay this on her heart at some point in time, but adoption is not just what you do if you can’t conceive and you happen to have the money for it.

            It sometimes seems after reading these comments that no comment that is made to someone announcing a pregnancy is the acceptable one. That’s why I now just say, “congratulations. I’m sure you’re very happy.”

          3. JennieT – I have to say that I think your comparison of infertility to financial security is unfair also. I would rather live in a one bedroom apartment for the rest of my life with children running around than live without children in a mansion with the fanciest cars, boats and millions of dollars. I bet your sister-in-law would trade situations with you in a nano-second.

            Family is the most important thing in this life and infertility is devastating. I am sorry that your sister-in-law struggled with your pregnancy and that it damaged your relationship. I’m sure that is very hard for you and it is probably hard for you to understand also. Unless you have been through infertility you cannot imagine how totally devastating it is. If you could walk a day in her shoes I’m sure you would have more empathy for her.

            I COMPLETELY agree that infertility does not excuse you acting inappropriately to someone else and I personally try to never take out my feelings on anyone else — I would never dream of speaking the way that the “church lady” spoke to Kathy, especially to an acquaintance. I do have to admit though that I have slipped up and caused a fight with my sister; I let my feelings get the best of me (and she was insensitive to my situation as well).

            I really take exception to the comparison of infertility to financial security. I don’t think that the two blessings are even in the same ballpark. That’s why fertility clinics and adoption agencies can charge so much money; because people will pay any amount of money necessary to build their family.

        9. Can’t possibly imagine the pain that must come from having several miscarriages. I don’t think I could blame her for what she said, it would just make me cry for her. I hope that your church was able to offer her love and support.

        10. Debbe thank you for that! I’m going to reply with that very statement from now on! I have seven children and I get asked all of the time ! Sometimes when the older four are in school and I just have the youngest three people say ” wow you have your hands full” and I just smile and laugh! Because little do they know its less than half so it’s quite easy! I DO have my hands full but I truly love it! People call me crazy- but I wouldn’t want it any other way!

        11. When I make the comment “you must have your hands full” I am always expressing how amazed and impressed I am with the other mom. I only have two. One at 29and the other at 36. I waited to be stable, and had horrible fertility problems. I am so grateful for my kids, they are both miracles. Being a little older I have less energy so that it is why I’m amazed with big families. I hope my girls have lots of grandchildren for me, I can’t wait.

        12. I’m glad to see women with infertility coming out of the woodwork and to realize I’m not alone in these feelings.

          I’m sorry that the woman spoke to you like that, Debbe, but I honestly can say I would have thought it, though not said it to someone’s face. I have never felt so rocked to my core and shaken from my self-confidence as I have since beginning this battle with infertility. It makes you question your worth, your body’s basic ability to function, to do and live as you feel called to as a woman. I have never struggled with jealousy so much, struggled to be happy for my even best friends and other women that faced infertility–but it’s really hard for me. I want so, so badly to be happy for them. I try so hard to take down that wall of resentment, jealousy and heartbreak, and try to find joy in their happiness. Now that some of these friends are running laps around me onto their second child, while we still try for any child… it’s harder.

          I can put a smile on my face and ask the appropriate questions about how happy they are and how being pregnant is soooo tough (try really hard not to temporarily hate them when they complain about pregnancy or about how kid #2 is unexpected and they’re not happy she’s pregnant–oh this one had me going)… all the while breaking on inside–not for their victory, but for my continued failure, for my loss, and struggle to maintain hope that this might happen when each proves the opposite for me.

          Infertility makes you want to wallow in self-pity. In jealousy. In hate… for yourself, for others. Infertility has brought out some of the ugliest parts of myself and forced me to take a good look in the mirror at who I can let myself be…. or who I can work to become. The better side of me that occasionally succeeds in being really happy for someone one day, even though it will continue to be a struggle the next day.

          It is the hardest thing I’ve ever faced and even the encouraging comments seem to hurt… because it feels like friends and family just wants to put a bandaid over my problem and pretend it’s all good. My pain feels so incredible raw, yet unseen.

          Some Comments to think twice about:
          “You could always adopt.”
          “It will happen in God’s time.”
          “It’s just not God’s time for you.”
          “Maybe it’s not God’s will for you to have a child now.”
          “If it’s meant to be, it will happen.”
          “He just had to look at me and I get pregnant.”
          “Oh getting pregnant is so easy! It’ll happen in no time at all.” (….Thanks, but we’re 3 years into this process of trying to conceive.)
          “We got pregnant by accident! …. again”

          Honestly… I don’t want to hear how easy it is for someone to get pregnant. I AM SICK of people telling me it’s not God’s timing or plan for me to be pregnant right now. Even if God has another plan for me, I’d rather just hear:

          “I’m sorry it’s been so hard for you.”
          “Infertility sucks.”
          “I’m praying that God guides you through this.”
          “I wish you didn’t have to go through this.”
          “Thank you for supporting me through my pregnancy, even though you’re dealing with so much.”

          I would love to have too many kids by now. With each day, it feels like I’m running out of time.

          And for those that say I can always adopt:
          I know. We want to someday. It’s expensive. It is not a fix all and has it’s own set of challenges.

          1. PS–The times that I’ve said, “Wow, you have your hands full!” to a mom–it’s always been because I’m impressed by them and admire all the hard work it must be! My mom had three of us under the age of 6 and even put us on leashes so we wouldn’t wander too far in a store… I know we were a handful as kids, so I’m always impressed by moms who take on this challenge. πŸ™‚

          2. Thank you also for sharing your struggle. The more people who talk about what they are going through, the more I am able to understand.

          3. This breaks my heart! So sorry for your struggles. My best friend is having fertility issues, and I really appreciate your feedback on what to say to her.

            I, myself, married young. Had miscarriages, but healthy pregnancies too. During my 4th pregnancy my husband left and divorced me. You can imagine the comments I got. I never felt like I could relate to friends who had miscarriages, or worse lost young babies, because I had 4 healthy babies. And while grieving the ugly death of my marriage, I welcomed the life of a beautiful baby. I got no sympathy, no joy. I got stopped at target instead, to be informed that I was selfish and doing the world a disservice. Thankfully I found a church that lifted me up and helped me get back on my feet. But there were many times I asked God why. Why my best friend and her amazing husband aren’t blessed. Why I was blessed with something that feels so much like a burden. It’s hard. It’s hard every day. We had to move, our new church is great. But no one talks to me. I’m the one who screwed it up, the one who will never have what every happy family there has. And I guess ignoring is their way of reminding me. As if I don’t know.

            I’m so sorry. I love my children so much. I have and will always do anything for them. I thank God for them daily. But sometimes I read posts like yours and ask God – WHY? It makes no sense. I should have none and you should have many. I’d give anything for my kids to not grow up in a broken home. BUT we live in a very broken world. Hang in there.

        13. that is so great i have 5 kids of my own i love them all i wish i could homeschool cant afford it tho

        14. I am sorry to hear about that woman who kept having miscarriages. I walked in her shoes. I had one child and then suffered a miscarriage. I divorced and remarried. My husband and I tried for several years and could not have a baby. One night during church a woman named Jessie Overstreet, came up to me, wrapped her arms around me and said,”The Lord wanted me to tell you that you will have a little boy.” I was in heaven. I was going to have a baby boy!

          7 years later still no baby. Still I didn’t give up. My husband and I adopted a little boy who was 17 months old when we got him, and when we were standing there dedicating him to the Lord, God reminded me of what He said….I would have a LITTLE BOY! I have 5 children now and all but the eldest one are adopted. God knows who each child belongs to.

      2. The part I love most about your post as I’m reading this is the ladies who are commenting with step kids. I have 2 step children and so far none of my own. I constantly get comments about my age and having two kids. That is always quickly followed by even more negativity when my kids blurt out I’m step mommy. Being a step mom is way more then I thought I signed on for. It means being there for your children in all the hard moments and standing back when all the good ones show up. It involves time, energy, blood, sweat and tears. When I married their father it broke my heart when they asked to call me mom..it felt so good. My kids sat down and asked me one day about all the negative comments, and to all the step moms I wish to share my answer. “When mom gives you a time out, you know she still loves you right”. “Yes mom” my kids said. “Then what do I do?” I question. “You come back to us and read the bible and after were talked and apologize we go play”. I finished “I believe God told daddy how much he loved him and allowed him a second chance too”. I will never regret my choice to be a step mom and I am so proud of my husband for coming to the Lord and taking that second chance! I love my babies and I love being a mom, dispite my age and choice in husband.

      3. I love this post! My husband and I found out were expecting our first when we were twenty-one and broke. Our friends and family were supportive, but worried for us. Four months after she was born we found out about our second. Our family and friends made comments hinting that we should consider abortion. It broke my heart and we did our best to ignore them and hold on to our own excitement. She was born exactly 13 months after our first. It seemed like every congratulations we received was coupled with a comment on how hard it was going to be for us to care for them both. I got so tired of hearing it, I stopped going out any where. Through it all God was there. He provided and comforted and we raised two happy and amazing young girls. We are now the parents of four girls and yes we want more. The comments haven’t stopped, but my responses to them have gotten better. When people ask, “don’t you know what causes those?” I smile and say “yes and I seem to be quite good at it.” They are each a blessing and I can’t imagine my life without any one of them.

      4. I was faced with the same comments many years ago…I had 4 beautiful girls in 5 1/2 years, and was told I was crazy! After 6 years, we had a son, 3 years later, another son, I have to say, I was very crazy busy…in a good way ! But now, I can’t even imagine my life without each of them. They truly are gifts from God, and I’m grateful He trusted me enough to let me raise them. It may be hard…but just listen to your heart β™₯

      5. I have two children 14 months apart. For a time, it was very difficult (first three months), then it worked out perfectly. They are a girl and a boy (my number 2 and 3 children), and turned out to be the best of friends. Now they are 20 and 19 and are the only two of my nine (yes, nine!) children who never argue with each other. I think it’s just as easy to change two kids in diapers as it is to change one. You’ll become so adaptable you’ll amaze yourself!

      6. I come from a family of 9 and my friends, and people I’d just met, were always shocked that my mom would do that to herself. They were always like are there any twins in there? Nope! There’s a 14 year age gap between me (the youngest) and the oldest (my sister). I only have 1 so far, but the average in my family is 5 kids. So we’ll see. Our children are gifts from God. The greatest of all gifts. Some women have dreams of having a career and having a life before they have kids, but some women dream of becoming mother’s and having a life with their kids. That’s the best job in the world. The wonderful moments heavily outweigh the stressful ones in my personal opinion.

    2. Amber, amazing how the Holy Spirit is moving in the same wave over so many at the same time huh?
      Courtney, my sister in Christ and all of you women of courage, praise God that you stand up in righteousness and shed light to the Truth of Gods gift of children! My journey in the last couple of weeks has been quite transforming. There is so much ‘fear’ in people and it is instilled in so many of us through negativity towards pregnancy and motherhood. God’s word says, Perfect Love casts out fear. His perfect Love in us will do that when we fully trust Him and believe in Faith that His promises are true! So as for me, I am being told like Joshua was told, have courage. That, I am gaining, by His grace. I have a beautiful 5 yr old daughter, 2 babes in heaven, 2.5 yr old son, 1 baby boy in heaven, and now this year after complete devastation and trauma I am so honored and overwhelmed with joy to say, I am 23.5 weeks pregnant with a baby girl. I haven’t received any negative comments as of yet, and maybe that’s because I’ve been so vocal on how I feel about having children and wanting more. A dear, near and close family member kept telling my husband and I that we didn’t need anymore, and at the time I was pregnant with our son whom I lost last summer. This person found out the day of our loss and wept. Since that time has not mentioned anything like they did before. Sometimes a loss of life can really open our eyes to know how precious life really is. When those negative words come though, I know I can smile, stand firm and say with confidence, Gods gift to me, I am blessed! I’ve been reading Childbirth Without Fear, and can I just say WOW! I’ve been asking God to open my eyes to know why giving birth is so scary for so many and a ‘medical emergency’. He’s been opening my eyes and fear is a big factor… The opposite of fear is FAITH and LOVE. Thanks Courtney for the post and the Wild Child post too. That I sent to cousin who needed your encouragement.

    3. I tell my children regularly they are three of the most precious blessings the Lord has given me. I too was shocked with my first pregnancy and the horror stories that accompanied it (my labors were quick and easy:) . negativity doesn’t stop at pregnancy – how many times do parents joke about tearing their hair our and having the kids home with them over the holidays? I always let people know I love having my kids with me, whether my children are around to hear it or not. This type of negativity is cultural (I have live in 4 countries on 3 continents) -many cultures celebrate children. be counter cultural – start the change by letting people know how blessed you are! You’ll be surprised by their reaction when you tell them all children are a gift of God!

      1. Lorna, I appreciate everything that you shared πŸ™‚ Courtney, what a beautiful message for young mommas!! Thank you so much!!!
        My husband and I were blessed with 9 wonderful children and so far, 5 grandchildren. We are so thankful to the Lord for His blessings! With so many negative comments, we made it our goal for our children to ALWAYS hear how amazing they were to us! You are so right, we wanted THEM to hear how BLESSED we are and how we never could have done all that we did in life if the Lord had not blessed us with each and every one of them. When we heard things like, “Are they ALL yours??!!!” We would put on a proud smile and say “Yes!!” and giggle at their reaction. Then we would hear something like, “Wow! Better you and not me!” We would reply, “Oh, I am so thankful God gave them to us and not you!!” and gently giggle a little more, and say, “I couldn’t get along without all the older children and I would miss all of them SO much!” They would almost always go into some sort of story about how great big families are or how well behaved our kids are or how big of a help that they can tell our kids are. It always turned out to be positive. Well, almost always πŸ™‚ When we would move into a new area (we moved a lot since my husband was in the military) people would usually not know what to think of us at first, but after a few weeks in a new congregation or neighborhood, people would grow to appreciate our children and not be afraid of us anymore. Of course, most large families will not be large, as in 9 children large, πŸ™‚ but even a family of 4 or 6 children can be encouraged that people will grow to appreciate you and your family as they grow if you remain positive and raise sweet, loving, obedient children who are taught to honor the Lord.

    4. I am so blessed by this blog!! I am expecting my third child in about two weeks. My other children are 3 and 1. I work full-time at night as a nurse on the weekends and I care for my children during the week. It has been a tough pregnancy because of all of the negative feedback that I have been receiving while at work. It is hard to work at night as a nurse while pregnant, and with many other responsibilities, but the Joy of the Lord has been my strength. It is sad though to see how these that throw such negativity at you see their own children. I see mine as a joy and a gift! I don’t want them to grow up! I want to freeze these wonderful chaotic moments in time because it seems as if they are growing so quickly. I hear “just wait until they are in high school and rebellious, wanting to borrow the car and always on their cell phones”…. what they don’t understand is, not every child is like that. I am training my children to love the Lord, honor their parents and enjoy the simple things in life with their family by their side. It is not mandatory to buy your child a cell phone, in fact, I think in many cases it is more dangerous than good. I have faith in the scripture that says, “train up a child in the way he shall go and when he is old he won’t depart from it”. These are the times when we lean on the promises of our Lord and not the promises of the world. The Bible says we are a “peculiar people who have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light”… This includes our children!!!

      1. I was dreading the teenage years as well, because of all the horror stories I had heard. My daughter was an angel and a delight when she was younger. She is 15-years-old now, and more of a blessing and a treasure than I could have ever imagined! When I was pregnant with my son, I had a friend tell me I shouldn’t announce it until after the first trimester, because a lot of women miscarry in that time frame. I was appalled. Of course, I told everyone as soon as I could, because we were THRILLED! We had been trying for 5 years to have another baby (our kids are 8 years apart). If I had miscarried, why wouldn’t I want to share that information? Why would I want to grieve alone? Why would I have wanted to hide my pregnancy or let my baby pass away unknown? Celebrate children! Grieve the lost ones! Love and support eachother!

        1. Yea, I’ve always felt the sane way and have announced all our pregnancies as soon as I found out because I was not going to become a mother I was already a mother rejoicing in the blessing of a child. I was so glad that I did that because when I have miscarried I’ve been able look back with a thankful heart for the joyful weeks we had together and receive the support of family and friends who grieved with us We do not know how long any of the people we love will be with us. Every day is precious.

        2. I am 30 and 17 weeks pregnant with my first Baby, I announced I was pregnant when I was 5 1/2 weeks! I was SO excited, there was no way I could contain it to just my husband and I!
          I also had quite a number of people, both at work and at church, pull me aside and say that I shouldn’t announce it until I was 12 weeks pregnant, because then the risk of miscarriage is down. I said that I have no intention of miscarrying, and that I have 3 entire churches praying for me, my husband and my baby, so if I do it is truly Gods will, and I will need support, and who better than the people around me everyday. Most people have accepted this explanation but really it is my and my husbands decision when we announce it, I knew from 2-3 weeks that I was pregnant and a lot of my colleagues and friends had already guessed, so why not confirm it and celebrate!

          1. announce it? SO excited?

            If you wear a maternity top and a smile, . . . isn’t that a kind of announcement?

          2. does intention really play into it? Who “intends to miscarry”? Just because you “have no intention of miscarriage,” doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t happen.

            Wish you the best, though.

      2. While I think it’s great that you’re so excited about your children, and you obviously are raising them well, I wouldn’t discount the possibility of rebellious teenagers. A lot more goes into behavior during those years than just the kind of parenting they received growing up. I had the best parents EVER but I know for a fact that between 13-16 I was an absolute monster! Luckily I grew out of it, but some don’t. Children are a blessing, but they also add a lot of challenges to life that shouldn’t be ignored as we talk realistically about our families.

    5. I am an older Mom, and a Grandmother now, and always felt called to have children and raise a family, and am so blessed to have 3 beautiful, healthy children who are all now grown Blessings. I never felt that they were anything but blessings and raised them as such! My own Mother was negative when I became pregnant with my second child, who was planned and spaced 2 yrs. and 9 mos. after the first. I had my third child when my boys were teenagers, and she too was planned. But oh, the comments. I stayed home with my children, and didn’t leave them with sitters hardly at all because I wanted to be with them.
      I didn’t feel deprived!! Why would I want to constantly be leaving them when their childhood goes so quickly? I enjoyed being there and it proved out that we all gained. I don’t have regrets about not being there, and all 3 have become the best children/adults that a Mother could have ever prayed for. Together with God we got through the tough times….together! The best times of my life were raising my children and I thank the Lord that He gave me that and blessed me. The world has REALLY changed in so many ways, and I suppose that the attitudes regarding children is just another of societies ways of “snubbing” GOD and saying…..” So what, about what you created and why……we want to do it our way!” It’s just a part of the ME generation: selfish and knowing better than God! Thank HIM that there are still some Godly young people doing it the right way…….just like my children are. God Bless all of you! Now God has blessed me with 3 wonderful Godly Grandchildren!

    6. Beautifully said. My husband and I have been married for 22 years and have 7 beautiful children, ages almost 20 to 1. I have heard it all. I have been a young mom (21) and an older mom (40). And every thing else in between. So many people are just down right rude. I am proud of our family!

    7. My fifth child is only six weeks old. You better believe I’ve heard negative remarks. EVERY WHERE I GO! Just the other day I went to the grocery store to quickly grab some pullups. I pretended not to see the two women gawking and whispering. My kids know that someone is bound to say I have “my hands full” everywhere we go. Probably more than once. The business owner giving us an estimate for new carpet said IN MY HOUSE, IN FRONT OF MY KIDS that I had too many kids. SMH. The worst is when it comes from family. I married at 28. We both wanted a big family so we got to it – before I got too old. Now I’m 34 and experiencing all kinds of health problems. But guess what. I want more children if God will give me them. And after I can no longer bear them, I really want to adopt. Jesus loves the little children. And so do I. They bring joy and love and make this world a better place just by being alive. Thank you for this article!

    8. This is also true for those who adopt. We have two bio and three adopted children. We love all five of them with all our hearts, but we have had many negative comments from friends and strangers alike. We just smile and go on loving these blessings that God gave us!

    9. I appreciate all of the comments re:what a blessing it is to have children regardless of age, degree status degree, financial situation etc.; however, coming from someone that is struggling to get pregnant, please be sensitive that it may ome across to those of us who can’t have children like motherhood is a select “club” that only a select few may enter. Reiterating how many “negative” comments you have heard after having the 3rd, 4th or 7th child you have had is a bit like the rich man bemoaning his tax status. Be grateful for just being able to have/love a child.

      1. I have a 2.5 year old son, am 31 years old and we have been struggling with getting pregnant again for quite some time now. Please be aware that saying things like, “Be grateful for just being able to have/love a child” sounds like you don’t think that women who already have children are allowed to grieve or feel burdened by some of the negative things that people say. That’s a pretty unfair assessment.

        I’ve kind of gone through it all, so to speak. I’ve miscarried, had the joy of a wonderful pregnancy and beautiful child, and I’m now suffering through secondary infertility. Nothing compares to the incredible joy of motherhood in the same way that nothing compares to the heartache, misery and, at times, despair of losing a baby or not being able to conceive one.

        The Lord has dealt us all different trials for His own reasons. We may need to learn and grow in some way from what we are experiencing. Telling someone that they can’t commiserate about negative comments that are directed at them because they have multiple children is just like telling them that their feelings aren’t valid and that their trials aren’t important. No one said that negative comments were even in the same league as infertility issues, so why are we comparing them?

    10. hmmm I had my first at 21 and my second 23 then had to be fixed because in both times I almost died. Thankfully god answered my prayers and let me see my babies but I decided not to risk a third time around and so agreed to be fixed a hard decision for my husband and I.
      I got the whole young speech thrown at me as did my husband and the your ruining your lives so on and so forth but I wouldn’t change it they are our blessings and we cherish them even when they drive us batty and we want to velcro them to a wall to get them to behave hehe.

      Some food for thought though and please I do have friends that have multiple children and I am really not trying to be insulting to any one just putting out something to think on.
      There are thousands of children that need to be adopted. That have no home , no one to love them, no family, often have gone threw traumatic events. Oh babies often are adopted but from the age of 2 and up it becomes more and more rare and over 6 very unlikely.
      My daughter came to me at the ripe old age of 10. She knows what it is like to feel rejection and bullying and sadly how mean some people can be.(yay public schooling >_<) But any ways she came up to me when we was talking about kids and said..

      I don't want to have biological children. … Well this gave me pause but I looked at her and asked why? .. and she responded with .. there are thousands of kids out there with no one to love them. They are pushed away and rejected I know what that feels like and you should to mom so why would I bring more children into a way over populated world when I could give that love and home to some of these children that have no one?

      I think I had to pick my jaw up off the floor that was about the most mature thing I think I have ever heard out of youngin.. but she is right and she got me to thinking about things that day.

      Now don't get me wrong I understand people wanting to have kids and so forth but before people run off and have a dozen or so perhaps they should think of the words of a young girl who has learning disabilities and yet showed wisdom far greater then many adults. A child is a child they all need love blood does not make them our children our hearts do. As someone who got tossed around from place to place and threw the system I too would like for others to stop and just consider a moment as beautiful as it is to have a child to feel it grow and move and give it life…. how beautiful would it be to give a home and love to a child that was left with nothing and no one? My daughter is turning 13 and she is still determined about adoption she asked me how I felt on this and I told her.. you might change your mind you might not but what ever your calling is and where your heart leads you and choice you make I will support you. Weather biological or not they will be my grandchildren and I will love them as I love you. She smiled and hugged me and told me she loved me perhaps her calling will be just that to take in some of the unwanteds that are left with no one either way I am proud she is mine.

    11. I have 5 children ages 30 27 22 20 and a 8 year old that was a surprise blessing at the age of 42 all children are gifts from GOD

    12. This was a nice and encouraging blog for me to read! I’ve been really struggling with the decision to have another child. I’m a Christian woman and I’m 26 years old. My husband and I have 2 healthy children and both were healthy deliveries. I always wanted a big family but my husband did not. We have compromised at 3 kids. We would like to start trying for number 3 very soon but I’ve become consumed with fear! With the world waxing worse and worse I keep having thoughts like, “It would be cruel to bring a child into the world now” and “What will they have to suffer through?” Or “They don’t stand a chance at giving their heart to the Lord in a world like this.” I’ve been so torn on what to do. I also ask myself “What does God want for me to do.?” Scriptures about ‘children being a blessing’ and ‘we shouldn’t fear’ come to mind. I guess I should fully trust the scriptures. Any advice and prayers are appreciated! God bless!

  2. I so often get tongue tied when people ask me about my family size (only 3). Short interactions just aren’t enough to convey how blessed I am by my children. It grieves me that so many people feel children are burdens not to be celebrated.

    1. My first child was conceived while on birth control at age 20. I felt it was “meant to be”, from then on 4 more children came to me and my husband, 1 did’nt make it to us but in the end we have 3 lovely boys now ages 11,10,6 and a girl age 3! I thank god for them everyday, even thur hard times they are the reason Iam here, my job is them, to raise them to be great in this world! Teach them ALL i can and more so when the times comes for my husband and I to leave this world they are able to go forth strong!!! I remeber when the 2 older boys were little, there’s a 18m difference so they felt like twins! I would get so many stairs and funny looks by many people. I thought it was my height iam only 4’10 , but when the looks continued while pregant with #3 it wasn’t my small height, it was “why are pregant again?, you should be careful, omg are u done yet?” So much negativity my thoughts were “forget this” iam gonna show you. I raised those kids so well so far, I get many complements on their behavior and manners (thank you, please, may I, holding doors open-no one does that anymore) Every times someone complements me its another reasurence iam doing something right! And it FEELS GREAT! GO on ladies have those babies if it is meant to be it will be, you were given a gift never should we defend our god given right!!! oxoxox

      1. Nichole – just another 4’10” mama of 3 chiming in! Oh the stares I got because my belly was bigger than I was tall! I can’t tell you how many people asked if I was having twins and just wouldn’t take no for an answer!

        1. I was 4’10” when I was pregnant with my babies, too. Way bigger around than I was tall with baby #1! I got the comments “you don’t need anymore”, “don’t you know what causes that?”, etc. Some comments were very, very annoying and invasive. However, they were countered with great comments from those of older generations “It is so nice to see such a large family!” (We raised 7 – 4 of our own and 3 adopted.) Like for Nichole, the comments on their behavior thrilled me and my husband. I don’t understand people that have babies and then act like those children are in the way of their lives. The children ARE our lives. I feel blessed to have had my babies, those that lived and those waiting for me in Heaven.

          1. Ok, everyone keeps saying they get asked “don’t you know what causes that?” and now I’m confused…it’s just sex, right?

          2. I birthed four children in six years, and I heard the question “don’t you know what causes that?” a million times at least. I used to blush when asked and make some change of subject. Then I heard the perfect come back from a friend who was expecting her fourth. I jokingly said, “they know what causes that you know.” And she said, “Yes, we know….and we like it…ALOT!” I laughed so hard. I wished I had used that one because it certainly turns the tables and embarrasses the one who asks you such a silly question. If I wasn’t post menopausal I would consider getting pregnant again just to use this one!

          3. The best reply I have heard for the “don’t you know what causes that?” came from a father of 12. He said, “We do! But we’re beginning to wonder about the rest of you . . .” A quick response that showed how negative the original question is – they are implying that no one who had a choice would want more children.

      2. I too I’m short (4′ 10″) and the ugly remarks and looks I got with all four of my pregnancie as well ….I’m so blessed with three boys (12, 9, & 6) and our baby girl (3). Thankful I started early and can enjoy them. God is good. I still get looks and now just mostly …”these all yours and you homeschool AND live in a camper!!!!! ” I always seam to take thier breath away LOL!

      3. So nice to hear and see that children are valued by some people. I come from a what is now considered a “crazy large” family: 9 brothers and 1 sister. Got married when I was 18 and had my first 9 months after our wedding. I was 19. Then came 3 more: 5, 4, and 2. I am 26 and am very short too: 4’11”. I get a lot of comments like: “you have your hands full” from strangers. I work full-time right now and the comments I get from coworkers are almost hurtful… They think I’m crazy for not using birth control… I don’t regret a minute of any of my pregnancies, births or children’s lives. They have taught me humbleness like no one else was able to.

    2. I have seven children and I was approached often by others about my family size. The most typical remark, even from total strangers, was, “You’re not going to have any more are you?” with the clear message that I should not even consider it. My favorite response to any and all was said with a big smile on my face, “Oh, I hope so!” It always shut them up immediately And I always walked away giggling to myself. I made a point of not wasting my energy on being upset by them. They just don’t know what they are missing!

      1. I think the reason you and many others with large families get that reaction is that you are putting such a big strain on the environment. It puzzles me that large families are often Christian families, and we are the ones who should be taking care of the planet more than anyone. Why is there no acknowledgement here that having more than one or two kids is extremely irresponsible on an environmental scale?

        1. The Lord gave us the earth to Multiply and Replenish. I have two and would have more if I could like she stated. I disagree with it being a strain on the environmental scale. Sex is not just for fun–too many people take it too loosely.

        2. Kelly, your comment certainly doesn’t fit here. I know more “large” families who are adding to, rather than putting a strain on the environment, by doing things such as gardening, making their own clothes, recycling various items to use them for other things, making all sorts of homemade products that most people would drive to the store and buy instead of doing themselves. In general, I see large families being a lot more creative with resources and willing to work harder to do things themselves than smaller, more self-centered families who only have one or two kids for the purpose of having more for themselves and creating a more comfortable, convenient environment in which they expect other people think for and serve them.

          1. Actually, Natalie, your comment is also out of place. Most moms here are commenting on being judged for having large families, and here you are, making the same sort of negative judgements about small families.

        3. I can’t speak for everyone here – but I think the fundamental difference is that humans are not seen as a burden to be born by the environment around us but as a contributing steward that helps in productivity & care.
          It seems as though most people commenting are pretty clear on their ideas that God is the one blessing them with children – a clear idea from Scripture – so then, the concern is not that they’re having children, but how we are raising them to steward the earth. That idea is not irrelevant to this discussion but it is a separate topic. You seem to conflate the two ideas because of your underlying assumption that more people equals not caring.

        4. How on earth is having more than 2 children harmful to the environment? Its actually much less wasteful because all the food gets eaten, all the clothes are re-used, the gas in the car is being used for more than only 2. Not to mention what a waste a huge home is with only 4 (unless that’s all God sees fit for you ) Consider that God gave Jacob 12 children, I believe God knew better than to strain His planet. πŸ™‚

          1. Deanna, this comment is in response not only to your post but to this forum in its entirety.

            It is harmful to the environment because there are currently 7 billion people inhabiting the planet and the earth does not have the resources to sustain humanity indefinitely. Regardless of how environmentally conscious a family is (and for most families, environmental consciousness is not a priority and/or they do not have the financial security to make it a focus), a family with 5+ children will undoubtedly consume a huge amount of resources. As someone else commented, it is not just a family of 5, but of hundreds or thousands, as your children will have children who will have children, etc. Regardless of how fast the population is currently growing, even if it stays at its current level the earth cannot sustain it. It is hard for most people to care about the planet on such a large scale, especially when they won’t be here anymore when global warming, water shortages and food production issues start to make a more serious and direct impact on society. But it really hits home when you consider what the world will be like for your grandchildren, and pretending these issues do not exist promotes a dangerous level of ignorance.

            Furthermore, such vehement opposition to abortion, and a belief that God intends for young women to have many children while sacrificing their careers and financial security, promotes the idea that young women and teenagers who are unfit emotionally and financially to raise a child should do so anyway. This leads to children growing up in unstable homes with a far increased likelihood of addiction, abuse, mental illness, etc., increasing the general strain on society as they rely on government dependence.

            In my humble opinion it is far more responsible to wait until you are a in a comfortable and secure position to raise a family, even if that means having two children instead of five. If you want to have seven children with limited financial (and environmental) resources to support them, that is your decision and I probably will not change your mind. But I do feel a need to voice my opinion here for uninformed readers struggling with what decision to make.

          2. This is a response to Sara.
            The family is the basic building block of society. The breakdown of the family has wreaked havoc on every sphere of life. Children ARE a heritage from the Lord. They are not just numbers to be cast away for the sake of the general welfare. Now this is a complicated situation we have found ourselves in in America, but it is not without a solution. We want to be free, but we have refused to obey God’s law and so the government has gladly made itself out to be our god. Make no mistake that the government is a harsh taskmaster. It’s better for us to obey God’s laws than man’s laws. What I think you’re getting at, Sara, is that you would like to see America start enacting some laws to prevent people from having kids just like China. Kill babies just to save the environment, just to save everyone else, right? Because people will not be stopped from making babies, unless they are sterilized. But that sounds a bit too Nazi-ish. Now maybe you think I’m taking this all too far. But this is the inevitable conclusion of what you believe. And it is evil. The only solution is that God gives this nation the grace to repent of rebelling from His ways and return to serve Him. If you have read about the Exodus you will remember that the Hebrews were greatly multiplied while in bondage in Egypt and God provided for them for 40 years in the wilderness. He will provide for His people and will bless the land if we obey. It’s a scriptural promise.

        5. Why should Christian families be “taking care of the planet more than anyone?” Everyone on Earth uses it; we all have the same responsibility. And, in fact, the Lord said to “multiply and replenish the Earth.” And by that, he meant having children and raising families and building the kingdom of God. It is not environmentally irresponsible to have more than a couple of children – environmentally irresponsible is driving places we don’t need to, erecting buildings over animal habitats, using chemicals…NOT having children.

        6. I am honestly puzzled by your statement that it is “extremely irresponsible on an environmental scale” to have more than one or two children. What facts bring you to this conclusion? Family size is a poor/incomplete indicator of true environmental impact. The large families (more than two children according to your definition) I have encountered are very resource conscience. Frugality and thrift are the attributes they practice. They make do with less, they make their resources stretch, they reuse, they re purpose, they hand items down, they buy used or make it at home, they share, they take care of what they have to make it last as long as possible, they contribute to their community. True Christian families are commanded by God to raise children that value their environment with an attitude of stewardship. Being “green” is not just a pop culture buzz word or fashion choice, it is a way a life. Speaking from my own experience, the primary fallacy of your statement is that it implies that families with fewer children will always consume less and/or have a smaller negative environmental impact. This is obviously not true. Is food your concern? It has been long established that hunger is primarily a distribution issue not a production issue. What key information am I missing that makes someone’s choice (regardless of faith) to have more than two children environmentally irresponsible?

          1. ….. think about in the far future. What if you have 5 kids and they have 5 kids and they all have 5 kids… eventually there will be too many people to live on this planet…

        7. Actually, although this is the way people are educated, overpopulation is not turning out as they predicted. In fact, many countries are facing a declining population – Japan, Russia, Spain, just to name a few who are already there. Most of the developed world is very close. Canada, where I live, is promoting immigration as the way to avoid this.

          I became aware of this when I worked on a government project and then I did some research on my own.

          1. Australia also has issues with a lack of population increase, and has for some time. The government here has offered for 10-15 years a “Baby bonus” where each Australian citizen is given $3000-5000 for having a child. This was to encourage people to have a third child, “one for mum, one for dad and one for the country.” Yes this system has been taken advantage of by some women on the low socio-ecomomic side having babies to get the money, but as a whole it has been used by everyday women to assist with the initial costs.

        8. That is actually a myth. Many societies are in very bad shape due to smaller populations and not having enough younger working people to help care for the elderly. There is a wonderful documentary called Demographic Winter that explains it very well. In the US, we don’t even have a replacement rate going.
          Furthermore, most large families are much better at reusing and recycling. We are a family of 9 that lives in the same size house that most families of 4 live in. We also put out less trash than most of our small family neighbors. We re-use baby equipment, toys, clothes, etc. We also garden, compost, and raise chickens. We cook from scratch and use very few pre-packaged foods. I also make some of our cleaning products that are environmentally friendly.

        9. AGREED! That is a huge reason of why we are happy with our one baby girl (by adoption)… we are open to adopting more, but our God-given roles as stewards of Creation made it easy to close the door on biological children. Most of the Christians I know skew “be fruitful and multiply” to fit their bloated views on biological reproduction, when it was *never* made as a universal command in Scripture!

        10. I’ve heard the environmental argument when people get their noses all up in the Duggars business. (Yes, I know they are on t.v., but that doesn’t mean that they are asking for millions of micro-managers. haha!)
          The answer I gave to one person was, “what about the family with only 1 child driving the gas guzzling SUVs?! At least the Duggars are bringing well-behaved children into the world!” (Disclaimer: Not saying that only children are always spoiled.)
          Also, we have to remember that the President probably damages the environment more with one trip on his private plane than one large family does in their children’s lifetimes!

        11. It puzzles you? Well, even to take but one example: look at the large and many areas of forest fires, . . . are you able to entertain the logic which shows that, if families were living in those areas, . . . there would then be no forest fires, . . . h-m-m-m?

        12. God created the earth to use (with due respect to it’s value as a creation of God’s of course). And the more people there are, the more resources there are. Resources are not things, but rather ingenious ideas. Oil was not useful until someone came up with a use for it. The more brains we have, the more resources we’ll have. And there is plenty of space on the earth. No worries about that!

      2. I have to comment on this as well. I have 5 blessings and JUST discovered I’m pregnant with our 6th. My husband makes 6 figures so we can afford to buy many “things” if we choose. We use cloth napkins, towels, diapers (that have lasted years btw). I don’t have paper products at all other than toilet paper. We are blessed beyond belief with handed down clothes for all my children that then get passed down to other families. I shop consignment for myself as well. We live in a modest house with multiple kids per room. We don’t use a dishwasher, I often hang clothes to dry & have an efficiency washer that I only run with full loads. We keep the thermostat a little on the chilly side in winter & warmer than comfort in the summer. Our kids share and share alike, using their imagination for inspiration instead of plastic toys. We recycle & compost & support local farmers. ALL of this we do not because we have to but because we want to take care of the earth given to us. Now think, if we instill these beliefs in SIX children & they have children (God willing a few will be priests) what an impact we will have on SAVING the earth! But I beg the question…what is the earth if there is no one living on it? I’m reminded of people who save their wedding china for something special or to pass down to their kids, not realizing the gift was theirs to begin with. Remember, there are no promises of tomorrow, though we hope & plan.

        That being said, I am so grateful to have read this post…we haven’t been brave enough yet to start telling our news but this encourages me. It doesn’t matter what others think or say & they can only insult you if you give them permission, right? I only care what my kids think about our family size & we are constantly telling them that this is THE BEST job in the world to be loved by so many children. Gotta just let the comments roll off & pray for the person that makes them. I have received so many beautiful, sweet comments from other strangers that I truly cherish them & remember them instead! And, I try to pay it forward as well-we should always encourage other moms, if they have one or 10 that they are doing a great job!!!

        1. Hi Amy
          I also have 5 children. I had 7 pregnancies in 14 year. I lived in Naples, then in Virginia beach and then in Perugia. In Italy people always stopped me and asked if we ha a TV or not!
          I’ve always had lots of negative comments. All you say above is true and you are to be congratulated that you live so eco friendly. The selfishness of children in homes were there is only one or two children is unbelievable and also the reason for so many divorces because they don’t know how to share…God bless your family!!

        2. Hi Amy,
          Your family sounds like my family! There were six of us-and boy did my mom get some comments when she had her sixth! She was 45 years old with her last, and he was the biggest blessing of all. Her choice to have two little boys at the end of her child bearing years gave me the opportunity to practice taking care of small children, and opened my heart to hopefully having my own large family. We too recycled everything, shopped consignment, raised and canned our own food. I was never aware of lacking in any way. On the contrary, the work that we put into our garden, into our little farm, into one another, taught me to work hard and to be thankful. I am so proud of my mom for having all of us, and for caring for us in such a conscientious manner. Her own mother disowned her when she got married, and cried when she quit her job to have her first baby, my older brother. I am 25 now, and my youngest brother is 7. I personally felt so proud to get married, and can’t wait to show my mother her first grandchild. :)I know she’ll be an amazing grandma.

  3. If I had listened to opposite world I would have never had my children as I went thru menopause at 29! So when I hear young married couples say they plan on waiting to have kids until they are in their 30’s I try to encourage them not to as you never know if you are one of rare ones in your family to will have issues.

  4. When my husband and I got pregnant the 3rd time (miscarried after our 1st) with twins, we got tons and tons of remarks. “I certainly hope this is it.” “Wow, you better stop.” “You might get multiples again.” Not to mention the invasive questions about infertility (which we didn’t even have). Sadly, our daughter was stillborn. Thankfully our son was okay. So now we have 2 kids here and 1 in Heaven. When I tell people we want to have more I get so many comments. “Really, you want to try again? What if you lose another baby?” “Isn’t 2 enough?” “Wow, that’s a lot.” It seems if you want more than 2 kids, you are a freak. Sad to me. I honestly feel sorry for those people. They are missing the blessing. They are also missing the faith we have in God to bring us more children if that is His will or to carry us through if something happens again.

    1. Ashley, I’m so sorry to hear of your losses! I know the pain of miscarriage, but can’t imagine the pain of stillbirth. I know it must go even deeper. I’ve been pregnant four times, but only have two children on this earth (a boy and a girl). When I shared with a Christian woman that I wanted at least one more, but I was afraid of losing more babies in the process, she told me that maybe I just needed to be content with what I had. That was like a punch in the gut. Am I selfish to keep trying when loss is a possibility? I’ve decided that the answer is no. It’s not selfish. If God is leading you to more children, we have to put our faith in Him, and trust that He will take us on the journey as He wills. I think you are exactly right! I know you will be blessed in your faithfulness, and I hope He blesses you with more children, too!

      1. Ashley, I am sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine a stillborn baby, my heart cries for you.
        Leah, NO you are by no means selfish! I struggled with infertility all through my 20s. God blessed our home with five children through adoption. My husband was laid off in 2009 and I joked that we would probably get pregnant now. That was in March. In December we found out I was about 12-14w pregnant. In June of 2010 we welcomed our first biological child. Imagine my surprise when in 2011 I found out I was expecting again. I was so very excited. 10 years with no babies and now 2 in two years! A few weeks later we discovered I had an ectopic pregnancy. I had to undergo emergency surgery and have my right fallopian tube removed. I needed more fertility hurdles… I suffered through two more early miscarriages and then became pregnant again. It was so hard. I wanted this baby as much as I wanted the last three, but I was scared to death. Emotionally I was spent. That first sonogram was probably the hardest thing I’d ever done. When he said the tube was clear I cried. When he showed me the little heart just a beating at 8w I bawled! Next month I will deliver a son. I’m so glad I did not give up because of the fear and heartbreak. I pray that you will be blessed again and that you will find peace.

        1. Thank you for saying that, Julie. And congratulations on your soon-to-arrive baby boy!!! Even though I’m choosing to move forward, words often stick with you, so I really appreciate your words that will drown out the others. Enjoy your little miracle! πŸ™‚

    2. Ashley, you actually have *4* children — 2 here, and the 2 who died before birth. Praise God for all of them πŸ™‚
      I too have had miscarriages, but never a stillbirth. I can’t imagine carrying to term and then losing a little one. You have such courage, being willing to allow God to be God of your fertility — don’t let anyone take that away from you! Our children are always blessings, whether we get to raise them here or if they are our cheering squad in Heaven. And He knows the perfect plan for your family πŸ™‚

      1. Sue, I was going to say the same thing! Ashley, you are a mother of 4! I can’t imagine losing a child. I fully and truly believe that each life is a gift from God; married, or not; born living, or not; first child, or eleventh; each and every one was cared for by God before they were born (Isaiah 44:2). Your heavenly babies were spared the trials of earthly living. They have that gift. As Christian parents, our goal is to help prepare our children for heaven. So, no matter the outcome of any future pregnancies, we are always aiming to add to the glory of God, and His Kingdom. It is not selfish to try again. It is the exact opposite! How selfless to put your heart on the line again, because God wanted to grow His Kingdom further. May the God of life, healing, comfort, and love be with you and all mothers as you walk forward in faith and His will for your lives.

        1. I am a barely 18 year old single mother. I got pregnant last year before I was married. People asked me why I just don’t abort the baby ad continue living my life or why not just give the child up for adoption ( people thought that wouldn’t be too hard since I myself was adopted but boy are they wrong!). They could not figure out why I wanted so badly to keep this baby even though it was going to mean that “my life was ruined”. It was not easy! I got so big that I could not claps my hands in front of my belly and little old women and little kids would have to ask if I was having twins! To this day I still say she is the best “mistake” of my life. I stepped out of God’s perfect plan for our lives and had a child before marriage, but she is the biggest blessing! She is now 9 weeks old and has brought me more joy ( and less sleep lol) then I have felt in my life!

          1. I too was adopted and got pregnant before we married. This was ten years ago, and it seems it was more taboo then? They told me, I’d never go to college. That I was ruining my life and my boyfriend’s(we married about 2 years later) and that having a child would be the worst thing I could do. That my child would end up back in foster care, just like his mother. That my husband and I marrying wouldn’t change the fact that we as a couple would never make it past 5 years of marriage. Here is my response to all of that. Let your heart be your weapon of determination. Love those who are mean, for they obviously need it, but stand clear so as not to hurt yourself. Encourage those who are filled with negativity, and this will encourage your soul as well. I am grateful eternally that I had my children(3 here and one too precious to grace this earth) because at 26 I had cervical cancer. No more for me, but I’m happy with what I have.

          2. Yes, Kelly, your daughter is a blessing and I encourage you in your motherhood journey.

            Many years ago, I found myself in your position — in my teens, pregnant and unwed. Like you, abortion wasn’t an option. I wanted my baby very badly. In my young mind, I reasoned that the baby might be the only child I might ever have. How could I know then just how true those feelings would be. Never again was my body able to have a viable pregnancy and bear another child. My husband and I have been married for 23 years. In 2007 at age 42, God opened the door for a precious baby girl born in China to become our daughter. Eight short months later, my older daughter — the child born when I was sixteen years old — was killed in an automobile accident, leaving behind her husband and two young daughters. I miss her every single day.

            Love and cherish your sweet baby girl. Every day with her is a gift from God. He is our Redeemer.

    3. Ashly,

      May the Father bless you richly and give you the desire of your heart!!! I am the mother of 5. My mother was shocked when I got pregnant so quickly after the wedding (7 weeks) and not happy. Our daughter is the only one that I could carry to term. I am grateful every day that we didn’t wait. We have lost 11 babies in the last 22 years. We chose adoption to expand our family and we have adopted a sibling group of 4. It is challenging but oh so rewarding!!! May the many blessings of the Creator be yours!! Shalom!!

    4. Ashly, I’m so sorry for your loss and so happy for your gain. But I can’t help but notice that you said you have one child in Heaven. But you have two. The one you miscarried is waiting for you to return to them. What a glorious reunion that will be. God bless you and congratulations on your family.

    5. I encourage you to keep having children. Everyone of them is a blessing. I have 3 children and 3 miscarriages and 1 on the way. I know in heaven that those babies will be waiting for there mama.I think how blessed I was to be the mother of almost perfect people. They did not have a lot of lessons to learn here on Earth before getting to return to live with their Heavenly Father. God Bless.

      1. Thanks for being open. Having miscarried twice and carried to term once I have been afraid to conceive again. Thanks for being willing to state your pain, loss and joy with pregnancy and miscarriage. It gives me hope for the future.

    6. Our first baby was miscarried and our 2nd son, after years of infertility was such a miracle@ He was conceived naturally with no fertility meds. But he was stillborn when I was 33 weeks pregnant with him. We were so devastated. We got pregnant with our now 1 year old just a couple months later and no one ever said anything directly to me, but I know it was said about me that maybe we should not have more kids. But I am always telling people what a blessing that BOTH my boys are. They are both miracles and gifts from God. All children are. No matter how long we get to have them here on the earth with us, they are blessings. And I know that they are waiting for us in Eternity and when I get to be with Jesus, I will get to see my 2 kids in Heaven. I am so blessed that I get to have their little brother here to raise. We will be trying to have more kids and we will see each of them as a blessing no matter what!
      See, my hubby and I got married while we were in college and I graduated a few months later. He graduated a few years later and we both went on to Graduate school. While in Grad school we started trying and that is when we discovered we have fertility issues. It took us 3.5 years to get pregnant with Gideon (my son who was stillborn) and then 11 months after that his little brother, Silas, was born. I was 29 when Gideon was born and 30 when Silas was born. I wish that we hadnt waited so long to try. We waited 5 years before we started trying. I am not saying that going to school was wrong for us and we always looked at children as a blessing, but I always wonder about the children we missed out on because we decided that we wanted to wait. I know that I want lots more children and because of my fertility issues, I dont have much time left. But that being said, I believe that all children are blessings and that they are our greatest ministry.
      I cant wait to see the further blessings that God gifts to us, for no matter how long we get them here.

    7. I am so sorry for the loss of your miscarried baby and your stillborn daughter. I have been there, too. May Our Father bless you as He sees fit to do and bless the others with the grace to respect His decisions in your life and the life of your family.

  5. Children are a gift from God and it is too bad more people do not see it that way. It hurts my heart to see on the news all of the talk of abortions and how our society is so selfish. I’m trying my hardest to keep God in my children’s lives so they make good choices but they are up against so much peer pressure out there from others who are not as strong in their faith. Babies are a blessing from God!

  6. I just have 1, he was born when I turned 31. I didn’t marry till I was 26 and my husband is 9 years older than me. I finished college & got my degree that way if something would happen to my husband, I can support myself and my son. I wanted more kids but I guess God didn’t want to bless me with any more even though we are financially able to care for more than our 1 son.

    1. Maybe you are meant to have more children. I believe adoption is the ultimate proof that Christians love All of Gods children. By bring a baby/toddler into your home and loving he/she with all your heart regardless of biology is beautiful, self-less, and proof of the gift of unconditional love God gave mothers. So many babies lives are being taken before they even had a chance and many more are given up because they parent could not provide. If Christians like me and you want all women to either keeping their babies or giving them up for adoption. Than the people who adopt them should be the Christians who would be devastated by the thought of abortion. My belief is yes, we should and I believe God give many people the foundation to do exactly that, make a difference in someone life forever.

      1. Why does the child adopted need be a baby/toddler. There are lots and lots of children older than toddler that need adopting. Lets not forget they need our love too.

        1. My husband and I waited until a few years after college to get married and another year to “try”. Four years later and we still have not conceived any children. At times it is hard to watch many young couples say “we’re waiting” or act as if there is so much to enjoy before the horrific burden of children. We now have several foster children. While I love them like crazy, they are still not “mine.” In the end, no children are ours anyway. For however long they’re with us, they are His children, and He’s blessed us with the privilege of raising them. I am sad that many people only think of adopting from a crisis pregnancy or a foreign country when there are 3 preteens in my house right now waiting on adoptive families. While I regret believing the lies of this world, our Heavenly Father has a way of bringing glory to Himself through any situation. I am blessed to have been in this particular circumstance. One day some of these children or others conceived naturally will be a permanent part of our family.

      2. I so agree!!! My husband and I decided before we got married that we want as many children as God wants us to have. We got married a week after I turned 19 and he was 20 at the time. LONG story short, I’m 24 now and we’ll be having our third child this July. (He was a Marine so we didn’t conceive our first until I was almost 21…stinkin’ deployments! Lol!) Anyway, with this being my third pregnancy in the third year, my body has taken a beating, (one I gladly bear) but I have some injuries that need addressed after this one is born. SO…we’re hoping that this is some time where we will be able to adopt!!! We both have such a heart for it and can’t wait until God opens those doors for us! I’m glad there are others who feel the same way I do =) I believe that children are a blessing from the Lord! And they don’t always have to come from your own womb either!

      3. Adoption is far too expensive for us to consider. Hubby is possibly facing a lay-off in the next few months. I have several friends who adopted and spent over 10K to do so.

        1. As an “older” mom (I am now 50) I’ve been reading some of the comments. My husband and I married (he’s 6 yrs older than me) right after I graduated high school, I was 18, and much to the chagrin of many of my teachers and Christian friends. I was the “gifted” one in the family and it was assumed I would go to college to be a Dr or something of the sort by most people. My husband had decided we were not going to hinder God’s “gifts” to us so 9 1/2 months later (many were counting on their fingers I’m sure..but I was a virgin!) our first daughter was born via C-sect as she was stuck in a breech position. Over the course of the next 3 yrs, I lost 2 other babies and my mil convinced my dear hubby that I should go to college and get an RN degree as a “just in case something happened to him”. While in school AND on birth control pills, I became pregnant with twins, began bleeding at 5 months, lost one twin and had to stay off my feet for the remainder of the pregnancy. God blessed us with our 2nd daughter on Friday the 13th πŸ˜‰ just before our oldest turned 5! Two yrs later (while on birth control again!) I became pregnant with our 3rd daughter (began spotting again @ 3 mos). With all the trouble we had, I was 26 yrs old, had been pregnant 6 times, had 3 live births, the drs recommended I have a tubal ligation. I cried and cried. However! When our youngest daughter turned 10 (I was 36) we adopted our 3 sons out of the foster care system from NWAE.org (from Oregon state) our boys were 2, almost 5 and just turned 6. The out of pocket cost to adopt out of foster care was $0! Oregon paid for my husband and I to fly from Florida out to OR to get our sons and the motel for 3 days and the flight back home for 5!. For car rental/food (we had to pay up front and send them the receipts). I can’t imagine my life without them. They have truly been a blessing and we tell them all the time, that although they were conceived and birthed in one family, God always intended for them to be Burkhardt’s!

          1. It’s not that easy if you live in Oregon. Even though it was a cousin adopting my sister’s 4th baby, it took almost 2 years. The other three are back with my sister. Oregon really prefers kids to be with their parents if at all possible.

        2. Hi KellyK, don’t let the fear of the price keep you from what could be God’s calling in your life. That was my husband’s greatest worry about adoption. But there are ways to adopt without the steep price tag. There are also grants available, and there’s always fund raising. It took us nearly two years to adopt our little girl (our second child, first adoption). And all told, in that two years, we spent about $8,000. Yes, it was expensive. No, we did not have that kind of money. All of that money was raised from our wonderful friends, neighbors, and relatives. Yes, it was hard work raising that kind of money, but it was completely worth it! But as I said, there are other ways to adopt that don’t have the price tag. If you feel that urge to have another child, but can’t physically, look deeply into adoption and pray, pray, pray. If it’s meant to be, God will open the doors. But if it’s not meant to be, there are blessings to having just one child as well. God bless you in your journey.

        3. My husband and I went through all the classes we needed for adoption. We then found out we were pregnant so adoption has been put on hold for awhile! However, I wanted to respond to you saying that adoption was too expensive- international adoption is quite expensive, but adoption here in the states is relatively free (at least here in Massachusetts). The state wants these kids to go to good homes and families and because of that they pay for most all the expenses involved. I hope you’re able to expand your family however God decides!

        4. I just had to chime in on the expense of adopting. We have been married 24 years. We have 10 kids. I gave birth to 7. We adopted one, are in the process of adopting another and have fostered a very special needs boy for over 10 years. It cost us $70.00 to adopt. We went through the state foster care system. The only expenses were the $70 filing fees to finalize the adoption. The children we added were 2 and 6 at the time. If you want to be open to older, special needs or just any child who needs a home and loving family, you can afford to adopt.

          1. Right BUT I know my husband, who will be 50 in July has no interest in adopting a child with special needs. He kaiboshed adopting even before we had our son. Not only is adoption costly but they also make you jump through so many hoops to be approved to adopt. They ought to make parents whose children have been removed from their care jump through those same hoops. It’s More than I’m willing to dedicate my time and ability. I’m recovering from surgery right now as well and it’s a given my husband will get laid off in the next few months as he’s low man on the totem pole at his job.
            So therefore the responsibility of supporting my family will fall to me once again. If I didn’t have my RN degree and license and we had to rely solely on my husbands income, we’d be in trouble and most likely homeless.

        5. Not so! Most states will pay you to adopt foster kids! I know for certain the states of Indiana and Illinois will. Check into your states foster care system and see. I think in my state, my husband and I would pay a $50 filing fee and thats about it. Most of the time the state will offer to continue to pay out the stipend that you would have gotten had the child stayed in foster care.

        6. -KellyK: I normally don’t comment on posts/blogs. I usually just enjoy reading them and the comments. But, after I read your comment about the responsibility of supporting your family falling on your shoulders or you’d be in trouble or homeless, I just had to reply and tell you what’s on my heart. First of all, I’m sorry to hear of your husband’s impending lay off, and your surgery. My heart goes out to you, and prayers for you and your family to the Lord. But…the responsibility does not solely fall on your shoulders. God gives us everything we need. God takes care of us, and will never turn His back on you.
          -Mathhew 6:31-33 : “Therefore do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
          – If your husband loses his job and you have to go back to work, go back to work praising God that He has not forgotten about you and blessed you with a wonderful profession. Go back knowing God is with you still, and will never leave no matter how bleak things may seem, or how great things are. For no matter how great our life may be, we always need God, and now matter how bleak, we will always have Him. We must put out that flame of doubt and worry that comes creeping up when things look dim: extinguish it and turn your eyes upon Jesus. Throw all your burdens and cares on Him, for He is the ONLY one who can help. If we have faith and take care of what’s important to God, He has has promised us, PROMISED US, that he will take care of what is important to us! God has never broken a promise, ever.
          – I will keep you and your family in my prayers tonight that God will heal you from your surgery, bless you with children if that’s what you truly desire (all things are possible through Christ who strengthens you), and will deliver your husband from his job loss to turn his eyes upon Jesus and set his sights on things that are above, and know that God will take care of things on earth.

        7. Please don’t rule out adoption because of cost. Some adoptions (local foster) can be free and the in some cases the county will even provide a monthly stipend until adulthood. There are so many ways to fundraise for adoption! My sis-in-law Julie Gumm wrote a book called “Adopt Without Debt” that explains in great detail how you can fund your adoption. We’ve already raised several thousand dollars and have only been at it for a month or so! God will provide if you are ready to provide a family for a child!

        8. My parents have adopted 10 children from Ethiopia. They will be getting 2 more from China soon. They have gotten every dime back in taxes. If you are in the US, find someone who is knowledgeable about taxes and have them walk you through it. Obviously, you might have to borrow the money initially, but will be able to pay it all back once the adoption is finalized and come tax time. πŸ™‚ Finances don’t have to be a road block. Just a hurdle.

          1. Don’t adopt just because you want another child. The only reason to adopt is because God is calling you to raise a child you did not give birth to. I am told that some adoptions are happy experiences, where the child fully integrates into the family and doesn’t have any serious problems growing up, but my own experience is not that way. We adopted two boys who came to us as foster children at ages 6 and 3. They are now 19 and 16. I will not go into all that these boys have put us through since they have been with us. We have loved them and treated them no differently than our biological children, but they repay us with ingratitude. The older boy has cut us almost completely out of his life, only contacting us in order to visit his brother. The younger boy plans to do the same as soon as he can legally move out. As painful as it is, I do not regret adopting them, and I would do it all over again, because I believe God put them in our family for a reason–to give them a chance at eternal life. I pray that someday we will be together in Heaven with everlasting joy.

      4. I agree we have a duty to all children. But I am (frankly) offended by the people who feel the need to say “we have ____ number of kids, ____our ‘own’, and ____ adopted”. For those people fully embracing adoption, all the kids are your “own”, whether they share your genes or not. To feel the need to point out their differences of origin is to push a wedge between you and them. People who have to mention their children are adopted are looking for attention. Either you accept your children as they are and who they are and where they came from, or you don’t.

        By all means adopt and share your family with those who need one, but don’t do it as an “obligation” and don’t do it for attention.

        Children deserve parents who want and love them.

        1. I second what Lauren said. All children, whether they be biological, adopted or foster, want and NEED to feel claimed, like they are an integral part of the family. I have seen lots of adopted kids/family groups where you can’t tell whether they are all bio or not. My amazing sister in law has adopted 3 and is waiting for finalization on the last 2. All the kids are related one way or another – shared parent or cousin. And my sis in law struggled with infertility for over a decade before these kids were brought in to her life. They are all about a year apart, sometimes a little closer. And looking at them, you couldn’t tell that the kids were adopted. They are joined in love and it shows.
          In my neighborhood growing up, two sisters with their families built homes and lived two blocks apart. Both sisters adopted after having several biological. One sister’s adopted son felt included and loved while the other sister’s adopted kids were not treated very nicely. Their physical needs were met but the mom always pointed out they were adopted (not in a mean way, but as a point of fact) and over time, more and more of a wedge grew. I don’t even know if the mom in that case is aware of the fact that her adopted daughter feels like she doesn’t belong but I know she feels that way.
          My own mother had six children and fostered another 5 cousins on and off for over a decade. Every time we as a family went out, she was asked “are they all yours” and instead of just saying “Yes” she would point out “all except those two” or “that one”. It made my cousins, who already felt disowned by their own parents, feel as though my mom was erecting a wall. As a foster parent myself, whenever those babies or kids come into my home, from the minuted they get in our car, or step through our door, they become “MINE”. I’m not replacing their parents, but I am reinforcing to them that they are loved and safe and accepted. That being away from their bio parents isn’t a punishment. I think it is really really important that parents who foster or adopt or become a step parent, view the children as theirs, no if’s and’s or but’s. If there is a distinction in the parent’s mind, chances are the kids will know and feel it.

  7. We have three, but still found people would make comments like ‘Don’t you have a television?”

    I just went to the supermarket with my youngest, almost 2 yo. An elderly gentleman said to me as my precious boy waved was waving goodbye to everyone we saw. “I don’t know why young people have children anymore, the world you are bringing them in to”

    1. That reminds me of when my husband and I were dating. I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I wanted a houseful of kids. I told him this and he said, “Well, I don’t know about bringing kids into this world…” I was like, “Oh, ok, well this is a big ole waste of time cause I’m going to be a mom!” We talked about it and he decided it was the right thing… delivering our 7th child next month… I got my houseful. LOL

      1. I know exactly how you feel! I’ve always felt called to be a wife and a mother. In school, people would ask me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” or “What do you want to do with your life?” My response was always the same. I want to be a wife and a mother.
        God has gifted me with musical talent, and so many of these people would get upset and say, “Don’t you want to go to college, or American Idol, or Broadway? There’s so much more to life than being a wife or a mom!” It always broke my heart to hear those terms being used as derogatory labels. I believe that children are a blessing from the Lord, and I want as many as He thinks I should have. I’m 19, and the guy I’m seeing right now just might be the one, but he only wants 2 or 3 kids. πŸ™‚ We’ll see! πŸ˜‰

      2. I can relate. My inlaws are completely unsupportive. I was told to abort if he had Downs, two was enough, you don’t need anymore, MIL speaking, “I was smart I stopped at two.” The list goes on and one. I have six now. I have five boys and one little girl. I get a lot of the you must have your hands full. I say yes, but my heart is much fuller. My inlaws still make comments of you know what causes that. I finally spoke up and said yup and we are darn good at it apparently. We are happy. We home school, and we raise our own food. It is a good life. Maybe I will be blessed with another. I don’t know. I surely would not mind.

        1. Wow, that’s sad. I have a brother with Downs and couldn’t imagine the thought of killing him because of his chromosome count. Let me just be on the record saying, if you have a child with Down Syndrome, do not abort them. There’s nothing more abominable in my eyes than the practice of abortion, but even then there’s a special place for those who choose to abort simply because of a handicap. I’m glad you have the sense to ignore bad advice.

          1. I absolutely don’t agree with aborting a child because of a handicap. However, I have come to see that not everyone who does believe in doing so feels the way they do for selfish reasons. I know people, especially in the older generation or in other countries (but also here, and now), who have seen so much mistreatment and mockery of handicapped children that they feel they could not in good conscience bring a child into that kind of suffering – better they be in heaven. Personally I don’t agree; however, it has been eye-opening to me, because I had always assumed that such people simply don’t want to be bothered with caring for a handicapped child. But that is not always the case; it’s easy to judge, but we don’t always know people’s reasons like we think we do.

  8. I love your “Opposite World” posts. Please keep them coming! We need to be thinking from a Biblical perspective!

  9. This is a beautiful reminder. I once heard that children do not get in the way of your work; they are your work. I try to keep this in mind when I am at home during the day πŸ™‚

    Also, it is so true that the world puts such little value on children. It makes it even harder to be a mom. In reality, we should be praising mothers and offering support. So sad to see that it is just the opposite.

    I am pregnant with our 2nd right now, and I am due at the end of May, and since the beginning of this pregnancy (and especially when we found out it was a boy – we had a girl first), people keep asking us if we are done. I just smile and say, “I hope not! But it’s up to God.” People usually just smile back – I hope they are thinking good thoughts!

  10. Spoke straight to my heart!
    I think it’s terrible how i’ve allowed other people to chime in with the amount of children my husband and I should have. When I now understand, it’s not up to us, it’s up the Lord who will blesses us with the amount he had in mind for our family. Thank you for writing this one out Courtney!<3

  11. Oh my how I needed this post tonight! We just put our 6 children to bed for the night and literally said “Phew, another day in the books!” I’ve been feeling exhausted and overwhelmed with the responsibility of it all. Our children are 8,7,5,4,2, and 10 months. We get ALL the annoying/rude/inappropriate comments and questions. We are a Side show when we go out in public. People count heads. I’ve heard one person turn to her friend and say, “I’d kill myself if that was me.” But we know we are blessed. These babies are precious. Thank you for this post to remind me of that!

    1. Mandy, my kids are almost the exact same ages as yours except my oldest is 9. I know how you feel! People were so rude to me when I was pregnant with my 6th and even after. The worst comments came from family. Now they joke around and seem to expect that we will have more.

      1. I’m so happy for you ladies with so many children. I hope that can be me one day. I’ve had 2 miscarriages and 1 stillborn baby and am now pregnant with our 4th baby. Children are such a blessing from the Lord and I am so thankful for each child we have been blessed with even though we have none to care for yet. We strongly believe that this child will make it and we will be able to raise her! Don’t take your children for granted, there are many of us that would like to be in your shoes!

        1. Kirsten, I come in agreement with you today, God protect and preserve this little one in the womb and bring her forth at the appointed time to live and serve you all of her days and bless these parents who have trusted you and continued to have faith in trying times, Lord may you reward them with many more children. Amen
          Ex 23:25 And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.
          There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfill.

        2. Kirsten, I have a friend who required hormone therapy to conceive and carry each child to term. If your doctor hasn’t explored this possibility with you, ask.
          And Amen to Abigail’s prayer.

      1. I am also pregnant with our 5th and our oldest is 6 too! Glad to know I’m not alone – even though people in Opposite World sometimes make it seem like you must be a circus side show! I worked with a friend at a yard sale recently and a man asked if this was my first or 2nd and when I said 5th, I think he said something about “being crazy.” My friend (who is single and doesn’t have children) said “Just smile and nod, right?”

    2. You are blessed indeed! Your hard work will pay off in the end…and one day you’ll look back and miss these hard days…keep it up! πŸ™‚

    3. I have six children too and have had many commnets when people count how many get out of our vehicle. My husband and I have never doubted that children are indeed a blessing. Yes, we get tired, but that never changes our minds. Children are a joy and a gift. God has plans for each one and it is precious to train them and see as God stirs up the gifts He placed within them.

      1. I second what Rebecca said – “some of us are counting because we’re happy to see you.”
        I have an 8 month old son, and my husband and I hope to have many more, despite pressure from our families to conform to the societal norm of two children. I am an organist at a Catholic parish, and it gives me great joy to look out into the pews on Sunday mornings and see moms and dads with 4, 5, 6, or more kids, all sitting in the front. Their families are beautiful, and typically some of the best behaved children in church.

    4. I count. I want a large family and I have no examples in my life to show me how to manage a large family in public (or at home). I count because large families make me happy and I want to imagine myself in that mother’s place. What will it be like when I have that many sweet children trailing after me, pulling naughty things off the shelves?

      Please don’t let the negative comments get you down. Some of us are counting because we’re happy to see you.

      1. Rebecca I would dare to say that counting with a sweet smile or nice comment is not the problem, but unfortunately it usually comes with a look of concern or judgment. I just gave birth to our 6th and our oldest just turned 9 a month before she was born so we get a lot of comments. However the people who count or ask with a smile or encouraging words or they themselves had a “large” family and it brings back memories for them do not bother me. =)

        As for comments made to us, we have had the “do you know what causes it”, “better you than me”,
        ‘I would go crazy”, but when we announced our 6th pregnancy my dad made it clear he did not agree with our choice to have more kids…I heard him out for a few and then I finally asked him which one of your kids would he like for us to get rid of? Of course he said none, and that’s not what he meant. I simply replied that we felt like each of our kids was ablessing and we want a large family, he didn’t really have anything to say then…

    5. We have a 8,7,6,4,2, and twin 1 year olds. I would encourage mommies in this stage to look at the comments from strangers as a way to minister both to your children and to the stranger. Most people don’t mean half of what they say. They just are so unfamiliar with such a sight that they blurt out whatever they have heard someone else say. There are unfortunately the very deceived ones with just down right rude comments too. However, even these need to see the joy in your face and smile of your lips as you sweetly praise God for your blessings. Your children also need to see you not cringing at every comment or ducking away. Be careful of the message you are sending them too. Praise God infront of them for them. You never know who you might impact with your obvious joy and peace. I have had people come up to me and tell me, ” I see you here often and I have been watching you. I love seeing you with your children.” I am as flawed as a mother can be, but thankfully God has allowed them to see some good from Him as they watched. Let us use this opportunity to be savory salt so the world will want to know more of our source.

      1. Right on Laura! Your comments are right on the money. I’m expecting #4 now (oldest is 6) and have had mostly positive comments from strangers and family alike. But you’re so right about using the negative as an opportunity to witness to strangers and to our own children.

    6. Mandy, I had 6 children in 8 years with 2 miscarriages. All of mine were C-sections! I tried to have the first two natural, but the doctors said that I have a heart shaped pelvic bone. People just kept making comments, but I LOVED being pregnant. I miss that time, as my baby is now 9 and my oldest is 17. Where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday that I was feeling just like you Mandy, exhausted from running after kiddos! But they have been the BEST thing that has happened to me!! May God continue to bless each one that has children, even if it is only one, and that we bring them up in this world so that they may know of Him!!

    7. Mandy, don’t let it bother you. I have 8 children. We are missionaries in Thailand, and I learned to count in Thai by hearing people count my kids! It used to really bother me. What bothered me the most was the negative comments. I didn’t want my kids to feel like they were just a burden, so I prayed for God to show me how to respond to the comments. When people would say, “you’ve got your hands full”, I always just said, “it’s a good kind of full”. I often felt so overwhelmed with caring for everyone, and then the sad day came that they started leaving home. First our daughter went to America for college 2 years ago, and then our oldest son got married this past December. I thought it would be so strange only having 6 at home. Then as we traveled home from his wedding, we had a tragic car accident. My 12 year old son and 9 year old daughter went home to Heaven that night. Now how I wish I could hear people counting to 8 when they see our kids. How I long to be too busy caring for my little ones. With only four at home, the house seems too big and quiet. My 11 year old is so lonely without his brother and sister. So, when people comment negatively and the day seems too difficult, just remember how blessed you are! We don’t really know how long we will get to enjoy our little treasures. They will soon grow up. Just enjoy them!

      1. Kristi, I am so sorry for your loss. I pray that God will bring you and your family His comfort and peace as you wait for your reunion in heaven. I never got to see my son before he left this earth. Although I love the children I have now and I am grateful for my life and would not want to leave it, sometimes the waiting feels like too much to bear. It is in those moments that God reminds me how short our earthly life will seem from the other side of eternity. I pray that He will bless you with more of His presence and strengthen you when this feels like too heavy of a weight to carry. Thank you for sharing your story.

  12. One of the things I find the most interesting about people “putting off” parenthood so they can fulfill their dreams, is how much they are limiting themselves!

    My husband and I are in college right now, with two young kids. Yes, it’s harder but it’s not impossible! We still travel a lot, even with kids. I still get to be involved in church activities.

    I still get to have all the experiences I dreamed of, provided I properly manage my time and make sure my family comes first. The only difference is, I have more people to share these experiences with than I did before I got married and had my kids.

    People are so worried that children will limit them, when really they are limiting themselves when they say “kids have to wait, so I can enjoy myself.”

    Thanks for your encouraging words! I had my first at 21, and so many people shook their heads at me for choosing parenthood so early. But I wouldn’t have it any other way!

    1. I understand and commend your ability to raise a family so young but its not always possible for everyone. A lot of people don’t meet their spouses so young or have the finical backing to make it possible. I have endometrioses and was told I should have children early or I would never have children. As God planned, I met a man who already had two children from a previous marriage and I thought it was divine intervention. I had already decided that I would adopt if I could not have children of my own. Being a mother means more than biology to me and I had made peace with my decision. Than one unexpected day we found out I was pregnant and I feel very blessed and overjoyed. My daughter turns 1 in two days and I had her a 28 and she my miracle baby. We are still considering adoption because it just feel right to use. I have come to believe that people should not rush life or the gifts it may bring you but trust in Gods plan. If women or families want to wait or not to wait to have a family than they should do what feels best for them.

      1. As we try to swing the pendulum back a bit from the decades of “get your life in order before having kids”, we need to be careful to differentiate between the idea of deliberately choosing to hold off on child-bearing, and the understanding that there are some for whom God has another plan. It is just as detrimental to swing too far in the other direction, making women who haven’t found a spouse yet or who are unable to conceive right away feel unnecessary guilt and frustration. It is just as wrong to cause a young person to feel pushed to marry early solely for the sake of starting a family as it is to discourage them from marrying as early as they feel is right for them. I believe the best we can do for young people is to equip them to feel God’s nudging in their lives and allow them the freedom to act accordingly.

        1. I agree, Lesa. It’s hard for me to read large family blogs and posts about having lots of kids because I suffered many miscarriages in my early 20s — no explanation. I suffered deep depression and struggled for many, many years (oh! How I wish I had a godly mentor, an older woman who could have helped me through that time and to battle fear and trust in the Lord. How I wish we had been in a church that fed us and really believed in the goodness of God and his power!) God gave us our miracle when I was 38 years old, she is 3 1/2. I see posts from moms with many kids and my heart just breaks — I wanted it so much and feel as though my time has passed (I struggled again with postpartum depression after my daughter was born, and wasn’t ready right away to try for more kids.)

          1. Kim I know exactly how you feel. I always wanted at least 4 kids if not more. My husband and I got married young but waited until he was done with college to have children. We started trying when I was 26. After 4 years of infertility and 4 miscarriages I was finally able to carry a baby to term. Sadly that pregnancy was a heterotopic pregnancy. I had one baby in my uterus and one in my right tube. My tube burst and I had emergency surgery. I am so thankful that the baby in my uterus was unharmed and my miracle baby arrived 7 months later. When he was 3 years old I became pregnant again, this time without the help of doctors. At 10 weeks I was in terrible pain and went to the er. The baby was in my other tube and it had burst. I had emergency surgery. I had lost my 6th baby and now I was barren too. I don’t know why God chose this life for me and there are many days that I’m just heartbroken that my son won’t have siblings or i wont have that daughter i always dreamt of. But I try to focus on the hope I have that one day I will see and hold those 6 sweet babies.

      2. Thank you so much for this. While I would have loved to have started a family younger, I didn’t meet the right man until recently, and now I’m 29, and we’re getting married. It’s much later than I’d planned, but I’m so glad that I didn’t jump the gun with the possessive depressed guy who made me feel bad for having friends, for working, or even for visiting my parents, or the guy who followed him, who didn’t care about offending people and made me feel bad for caring about others’ feelings.

        I think it’s just as unproductive to make normative claims in the other direction. I still want a large family, and I hope it’s possible for me now that I’ve finally found the man who is surely, so clearly, and so wonderfully meant for me, and who will be the most loving and amazing father.

        1. The same thing happened to me. I didn’t meet the right guy until I was 30, so we got a late start. After trying for a year we had one when I was 32, one at 34, one at 36 and now I’m expecting my 4th at 38. A late start doesn’t always mean you can’t squeeze in a bigger family. Also after spending my 20’s wanting to have children and be married SO badly, I’m extra grateful for my sweet sweet children.

          1. I to am grateful. I had my first beautiful baby girl at 37, then miscarried two babies that I can’t wait to meet in heaven one day, had my second baby boy at 40 and my third miracle baby boy at 43. I prayed for a wonderful husband and God answered, I prayed for children and God answered. My husband was fifty when our last baby was born, conceived after his dad’s 50th birthday party …..(We call him the gift that keeps on giving. ) I have been told what wonderful “grandchildren” we have and I just smile and say thank you they are a blessing. We home school and my husband works from home so he can be with our children too during the day. I love spending all day,everyday with my kids. It makes me sad when parents dread summer break and vacations because their kids will be home all the time. I pray they will see their kids as a gift from God and not as a burden to their busy lives.

    2. I had my first at 21, second at 23, third at 26, and the fourth is due in September. We, too, went through college with babies (a couple times) and while it is more challenging, it can be done. Now, with that said, I still have not finished my degree, but my husband has two masters and is currently serving the Lord as a pastor. God is good, even when times are tough. Faith and prayer has kept us going through the harder times. Praise be to God!

  13. Amen! I married at 20 and had five babies between 21 and 37. Honestly, I think that most people just don’t think about how the things they say really come across to others. They are usually trying to be amusing, I suppose, but it does get tiresome hearing the same old lines. Add to it that we have FIVE BOYS and people start assuming that we must have been trying for a girl to keep having so many. I get sympathy comments about having “only” boys and comments such as “Five boys? Oh my! Bless your heart!” To which I reply, “Yes, they do!” πŸ™‚

    1. I loved this article! God has richly blessed us. We have seven sons, have lost a little girl who is waiting for us in heaven, and are expecting again…due in about a week (not sure if this one is a boy or girl, but doesn’t matter! πŸ™‚ The looks and comments that we get when we go out…swimming, grocery shopping, etc. usually make me laugh. “Wow! Are all these boys all yours?” “Do you do a lot of babysitting?” But as long as I can say to them that they are blessings from the LORD, and that HE has given me the strength to raise them, then I feel that I have witnessed of HIS power and ultimate plan in our lives. <3 Hugs to all you brave mamas!

    2. I have 4 boys, 9,7, 3, 15 months and people keep asking me if we are going to try again ‘for a girl’ I would love to have a girl, but I feel very blessed with my boys and if we have another baby it will be because we want, and feel called to have another baby, not because I’m chasing a girl. I have started to tell people that I have nieces and so I spoil them when I see a cute dress I just have to buy. Also I like being queen of my castle πŸ˜‰

  14. When I was pregnant with #4 I was excited, but when I told my mum all she could say was, “I’m happy for you but have some concerns,” and went on to list them all. The main concern she had was because my eldest son has autism and a developmental delay of a 2.5 year old (he is 6). She’s a Christian and I just wish she could have been truly happy, remembered that children are indeed a wonderful blessing, and brought her concerns to God, instead of to me. I’ve since had #4 (our first girl) and would still like more. My husband isn’t sure, so please pray for him that he’ll be more open to the idea. I keep reminding him that “where God guides, He provides” because he starts to worry about finances, a larger vehicle etc.
    When people tell me I have my hands full, I tell them that my heart is even fuller. That usually stops some of the negativity.

    1. Maybe God was speaking to you through her? Maybe she did take her concerns to God and God told her to speak to you about them.

      At least she is involved in your life and cares for you.

  15. I’m pregnant with blessing #5……….after starting our marriage with 6 years of primary infertility. Each new positive pregnancy test now is an absolute delight. I often think back to the days when my arms were empty and I longed to be pregnant just once.

    Now we get all the negative comments. It absolutely amazes me that people are so negative, and so open about their distaste for large families.

    I figure if God calls children a reward (which He does!), I’m not going to refuse them. Many people ask me if we’re done after this one………because you know, I’m almost 34…..”ancient” to be having another………and when I shrug and say I’d welcome as many more as God sends, their expressions are priceless.

    Anyway, loved your post. πŸ™‚

    1. Melody, that is a wonderful story!! I didn’t meet my husband until I was 33, so our first daughter was born when I was 34. πŸ™‚ Our 2nd daughter was born 18 months later,and then due to my husband losing his job and a major move to another state, I didn’t get pregnant again until last year. I miscarried at 9 weeks. Thank the Lord, I am now expecting again – 3-1/2 months along – and so looking forward to welcoming another precious baby into our household! I am 42. I would like to have had more, but am so happy for the ones the Lord has blessed me with!! It truly is sad how many people have adopted the world’s viewpoint of just one or two. Enjoy your precious children and I pray you have a safe pregnancy with this one!!! πŸ™‚

    2. Rebecca ( mine is expecting #4) your post reminded me of a pastor who said,” Children seem to be the only gift from God that man rejects.”
      My daughter has 11, 37 yrs to 16 yrs. and my son has 3, and I have 14 grands and 6 greats, and 3 more on the way. I am jubilant! Love all these babies and children and young adults. I am an only child. God has really blessed me. Looking unto Jesus Heb 12:2,

    3. I just happened upon this blog and whoa, what beautiful mothers I’m hearing! I am now 56, a mother of 6, and down to one “child” in the house – our son who will turn 16 this week. There were crazy, exhausting days, unorganized, busy days, sleepless nights because of fevers, nightmares, fears….AHHHH, but there were those beautiful eyes sparkling at us EVERY day, those wonderful giggles, hilarious remarks and questions (“Mom, do “nakes” hop? He was trying to say “snakes”!)…..there was laundry and sticky fingers, Mickey Mouse in the VCR player, there were prayers and teaching them about Jesus (or TRYING to – many, many interruptions at prayer time!) What an amazing time it was…and now QUITE quiet in our house! I wondered, many times, if I was going to get through this fatigue, this pregnancy, the constant busyness, the doubts and fears….and you know what? We, with our gracious GREAT God, almost have this family raised! They are wonderful young people -ages 28, 26, 23, 21, 20 and 16. If I had to do it over again, I’d trust more, play more, not be so particular about the house. Keep your eyes on Jesus, beautiful Moms; He will get you through! P.S. I heard the saying, pertaining to parenting, once: “Rules without Relationship = Rebellion” Loved that one! Keep on talking to those pre-teens and teens, have fun, joke around and stay interested in their lives!! Blessings, all!

  16. We’re working on adopting #4, and several people have made it pretty clear that they think we’re nuts. Good thing I’m not too concerned about what they think! Thanks for writing this series – I have loved it.

  17. I am currently expecting #2. I haven’t really received a lot of negative comments per se, but I have received comments because we are having a boy (our first was a girl) and that it’s perfect because we now have one of each. We definitely want to have more kids … I am very thankful to have friends that are currently expecting #4 or #5. In many ways I wish we had started earlier, but due to my career choice it wasn’t really an option (as it was, our first was earlier than we had planned but we wouldn’t trade her for anything). Children are such a blessing.

    1. The same thing happened to us. We had a boy then a girl. One lady from our church, who oddly enough wanted more kids but couldn’t because of medical issues, said “One of each, now you can be done.” Can be? Oh what a relief I don’t have to “go through” pregnancy and caring for another baby again?? What if I would have had another boy? Should I not have been happy with the blessing God gave me? I replied with,” Oh I hope not.” God knows exactly what will fit with our family. It could be one boy and three girls, or five of each, or maybe we will stay a family of four. No matter what, it will be perfect for us.

    2. Our first was a girl, the second a boy, so we heard that same comment — now you have one of each. My response then & now (20 years later) is that they’re not salt and pepper shakers; I don’t need one of each! Ironically, we now have 3 sets of salt & pepper shakers (so to speak)! Because half of ours are adopted, and we live in “Amish country,” we don’t get much of the criticism, and certainly not the head-counting (there are LOTS of big families out here).

  18. Despite sleepless nights and days, being a mom is the best thing I have ever done. I didn’t wait by choice, God made the choice for me. I had my child at 37. I would gladly welcome another at 44 if He gave us one. Its the best and most rewarding “career” on the planet! Just a side note, most people have a problem with us having only one. The “magic” number must be somewhere between one and three. πŸ™‚

  19. Reading this post was such an encouragement to me! I have 4 children, ages 5, 3, 2, & 11 months, and we get all those comments. Our life has never been “easy”, but they are each a blessing and precious gift from God.

  20. Oh that makes me so very sad. Children are a gift from God and being pregnant is the most amazing blessing. If I could have had 100 children, I would have. I would have suffered the morning sickness, the pain, the heartburn, all of it just to feel the miracle of life growing inside of me. Pregnancy and parenthood are proof of His grace and love and power. If you’re pregnant, be boldly pregnant. If you’re a new mother, listen to your intuition; God is whispering in your ear. If in this thing called motherhood, you hear Opposite World telling you things that don’t feel right to your heart, then listen instead to the Word: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2.

  21. Wonderful post!! We have 5 and the comments are hurtful. But I have to say that as of late I have had a lot of people say how awesome it is. They stop to compliment the kids and overall have had positive things to say. So there are people out there that are supportive. Sadly they are just few and far between.

  22. Thank you so much for this. This is what I needed to hear. My husband and I have 3 children and people, even family have made the comments about us being done and not having more children and how would we handle them, because our family outings can be crazy. But we want more. We like that things can be crazy and we can get loud. Our children are with us such a short time. We want to bring more children into this world for God’s glory. If it is His will then it shall be. It’s very hard to hear comments about having more and then coming from family is even harder. Thank you for doing what God has laid on your heart. It is such a blessing.

  23. Oh Courtney, I needed this tonight.

    I had my first when I was just 18 (two weeks after high school graduation) and my second when I was 23. My husband and I have been working our rear ends off trying to get to a “stable” place. I have a college degree, but have opted out of the work-force to be a stay-at-home mom. We are constantly facing others our age (we’re both 27) who have waited to start families and have their own homes, financial “security”, and seem to have it all together.

    I’ve had the urge to have another child (or maybe more), but we are hesitant because we’re STILL trying to buy our first home, etc. Just tonight, my husband and I discussed whether or not it’s BEST to have more kids, when there are so many things we’re trying to accomplish personally & professionally.

    It’s such a difficult thing to live in a world that doesn’t understand His heart, and even harder not to conform.

    1. Keep your head up. God supplies everything in his time. With every child I had ( I have 5 on earth) our living situation seemed to get worse and worse. The month I found out I was pregnant with #5 was the month we signed papers for the house we are buying on a 15 yr owner carry contract. God supplies ALL our needs. I have had negative reactions from people starting with my 1st. I had him a few weeks after I turned 19, I was told my life was over. I have gotten one negative comment after the other, the worst of them was with #4 when my husband was told he should punch me in the stomach and be done with it. We stopped telling people about the pregnancies at that point. I have PCOS and was told at 15 I would not have children, I have 3 in heaven and went through 3 yrs of infertility between my 1st and 2nd child. The comments are hurtful and finances can be hard. But if you are faithful to God he is faithful to you. It amazes me that the same people who give some of the worse comments are some of the first to tell you they are sorry when you lose a baby. I watch my 5th baby and her personality amazes me completely. I could not imagine my life without her. my babies are 10, 6,5,3,1. I consider each one a blessing and a miracle. We experienced our 3rd miscarriage here 2 weeks ago and thankfully have gotten nothing but support. I feel I need more support through pregnancy as I know where my angel babies are and that they are forever safe in the Fathers hands. Pray without ceasing and trust God in all things. To God be the power and the glory forever!

    2. you are so wise to think about the facts in front of you. don’t feel pressured to do anything like anyone else. you and your family are yours to make decisions about. don’t feel like you have to have kids now OR that you have to wait. do what is right for you and yours. the children that you have NOW are more important than the children you might have in the future. make sure the ones you have with you now are going to be provided for and safe before all else.

      God does provide, He provides finances AND common sense. thanks for being a sane voice here.

  24. AMEN Courtney! Thank you for being so bold and sharing with us! I started having children right away but listened to the LIES of this world and my husband had a vasectomy. We regret it terribly!!!!! We look back and wish we would have searched Gods word not mans. We are by Gods Grace seeking a reversal thru the Lords Heritage Ministry…. If anyone has also made this mistake please contact this amazing ministry for support and funding from like minded Christians!

  25. My husband and I are looking forward to spending 49 years in our marriage. God gave us so much fruit (7) to be exact. Four daughters and three sons. They are the joy of our life. People would always come back and say, “How can you afford them?” I would always come back and say, “How much is enough?” People have the tendency to think their children need the most expensive clothes, toys and education. Actually all they need is lots of love and food. My children never went hungry or naked even though my husband was a pastor and money was not plentiful.
    I would take the children for their doctor’s visit and would be encouraged to take pregnancy prevention classes as if I did not know how they got there.. God tells us in His Word that Children are the heritage of the Lord. How better to build more Christians than to have them.
    Today, all of my children and their mates and children serve and love the Lord. What a better legacy to leave this world than this.

  26. We have 5 (ages 12, 10, 6, 4, 2) & our 6th baby due in May. I often feel like we are here for people’s amusement & disgust only. Heaven forbid something go wrong or one of them cry when we are shopping too…that’s when we really get the obvious stares & countless rude comments. Just a few weeks ago my littlest dropped a jar of jelly on the concrete floor at the store…the whispers & stares were hard to ignore. It’s hurtful. BUT, that being said…I feel sorry for the people who miss out on the blessings that come with children because they choose not to trust God’s plan for them …whether it be 1 child, many children, adopted, fostered or natural. For now, just trying to live how HE wants us to live. I’m NOT going to stop taking ALL my kids to the store or to the library because others think I have too many or that we are too noisy or whatever. I love my bigger than most family & I’m so very thankful for them!!

  27. I’m currently 13 weeks into my first pregnancy with twins. I’m 25 years old and just recently married in June 2012. This wasn’t planned but I had stopped my birth control for medical reasons so we all know how this happened. I’m very excited, as is my husband and most of my family. I’m glad I’m not the only one who hates gettings remarks like “Wonder how that happened?” Or “Did you plan for 2?”. God has a plan for our lives and sometimes others don’t like the way it fits into theirs. My boss is a little upset that I plan on taking 12 weeks maternity leave in November. From the day I found out I was pregnant, my first concern has been and will continue to be my babies. Some people are just too hung up on degrees and careers, but what does any of that mean of you don’t have a family to share it with. And in your case, you had no clue at 18 that you wouldn’t be able to have any more kids after 29. Well said πŸ™‚

  28. This is timely bc I just found out I’m pregnant with number 4 and the negative reactions (from family) have already started. :/

  29. Courtney, I was one who bought into the “kids? Someday…” mentality. I knew I wanted kids, but I was too busy being in my twenties, and didn’t have a husband, and didn’t want the responsibility. Partly, I think I was scared of failing my children the way my mother failed me. When I met my forever husband, just shy of 10 years ago, and we fell pregnant 3 weeks after our wedding (we lost those babies, twins, very early on), I was still scared, but ready to trust God. We had our first baby in 2006, followed by babies in 2008, 2010, and 2011. The last one was a complete surprise for us, as I’d felt so strongly that our family was complete. But there we were, with a 7 month old baby, and one on the way. The prevailing negative responses were something I felt I couldn’t handle until I had my own heart and mind in the right space. So we didn’t tell anyone for ages. Even those who love us dearly, reacted with almost horror. Mainly from a place of concern, as I was struggling with managing three children. But here we are, and all of my babies are an absolute gift. My body is broken from bringing them into this world, and they are absolutely worth it. I wish I had started earlier, but I also recognise that God had to bring me to Him before I could be entrusted with these precious gifts.

    1. I like what you said about (God had to bring you to Him before you could be entrusted with those precious gifts). if there was a like button I would have clicked it..lol

      1. Thank you, Jessica. I’m glad my four babies have a Jesus-loving mama. Imperfect, human – but a mama who strives to walk with Jesus and isn’t afraid to seek forgiveness for her sins.

  30. Love this post Courtney! Derek and I got so many comments while I was recently pregnant with #4. They would of course ask us if it was a boy or girl and when we would reply that it was our 4th girl they would say to Derek “Oh I am so sorry…you poor thing!” We LOVE our girls though and cannot stand when someone says that to us. Now the question is “Are you going to try again for a boy?” Someone even asked me that in the hospital the day I had Lainey!! Lol. Anyways…thanks for this post! I love being pregnant and I love our 4 girls and I would gladly have more!! Children most definitely ARE a reward from God!! πŸ™‚

    1. Kristy, I get the same type of comments but I am pregnant with our fourth boy! People will ask me if I’m disappointed that this baby is a boy but I tell them I’m thrilled. I figure that God thinks I’m hormonal enough for the whole family. No need for another girl! πŸ˜‰

  31. Hi Courtney,

    I get negativity ALL of the time!!! I am a happy mama of 5; my 5th was born almost 5 weeks ago. My 4th was born 16 months ago, so you know people in “Opposite World” look at me like I’m looney. Even before that, when we had 3 and I was pregnant with #4, the question I got all the time was, did you just always want a big family??? What made it worse in their eyes was that my husband and I decided we would begin homeschooling while I was 5mo. pregnant with #4. So people really thought I was from Mars–here I was happy to be having a 4th child and thrilled to be at home with all of my children all day. Shocker!! What they couldn’t see is that I’d had a miscarriage before I conceive child #4. What they didn’t know is that 2 of our children had been in public school and we were so glad God showed us a different way. They had no idea.

    I think you have adequately captured what has become a frequent encounter in my life. I VERY rarely can go out of my home without someone questioning me: Are you finished having kids? What were you thinking? I bet you have your hands full, huh? Are all of these kids yours? Are you trying to make a baseball team? soccer team? basketball team? . . . .and on and on it goes. The worse part is that these conversations always take place in front of my children. These people are questioning their existence IN FRONT OF THEM!!! I want to scream: My children can hear you!!!!!!!

    I often have to whisper quick, fervent prayers that the Lord would season my tongue because my children are also waiting to see what I’ll say. I try to be kind, I try to smile, I try to respond with something like: Children are a gift and when God gives us a gift we say “thank you.” But the truth is, sometimes I fail. It is hard to be ridiculed when all I want to do is go to the library or pick up groceries. But with all that said, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I am so thankful to God for the way He’s blessed me as a mom.

    1. I homeschool too, they really do look at you like your crazy. I love to have all the time with my babies. 5 might seem like a lot to some people but it just doesn’t seem like very many to me, I find myself counting heads all the time thinking their all there, good! Wait, that doesn’t seem like enough really thats five, that’s it?!

  32. I get many of these comments having my 3 small children ages 5, 3, and 20months. I was also very young when I got married and then when we were pregnant with our first. Married 10 days after I turned 18, had my first baby girl 5 months before my 20th birthday. I went to college during this time, graduated a few weeks before my second was born. I love the comment that was made about limiting yourself by thinking that you will be limited by children. My kids are most definitely a huge part of my calling. I have always known I wanted to be a mom ( I begged my parents to adopt a baby for me, to be my baby, when I was about 8). While I have other hopes and dreams, my children are my first. I’m not done having children and while it can get annoying at times I try to give others the benefit of the doubt and keep my answers honest and loving towards those who like to comment. I often get, “she’s got her hands full” not always said in the kindest of ways and I reply “yes I do, but there’s never a boring moment and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.”

  33. Ditto to hearing the “you know what causes that right?” After 3 babies in 3 years. As though no one would ever do that on purpose! Lol!

  34. Yes! Amen! I totally agree! At 19, as the oldest of 13 single birthed, biological siblings (plus two angle babies), I’ve heard every “joking” insult in the book! It’s very rude and disrespectful to hear people make negative comments about children! Lord willing, I would LOVE to get married and have my first child (in that order) in the next few years! β™₯ Not because I am from a big family, but because we’re women, like it or not, that’s what most of us were made for! (Granted God did make some women so that they remain single and/or childless, but most were made to be wifey’s and mommies!)

    1. You don’t know how much I needed that Brittany! I started reading this article and the posts from it. My sister has 6 children and my brother has 4, but I’m the single one in the family. I look at people that have families and sometimes wish I could be blessed like them. I don’t understand people who are negative about pregnant women–God designed each of us for a special plan, and each child is a gift from God. Futhermore, God has a special plan for each child He has created. Shame on us and others who make jokes and put down women who are fulfilling God’s calling for them by having children!

  35. I was blessed with four living children..I lost 2. I would not have changed anything. I did not start my family until I was 28 but because of medical reasons. I use to go shopping with them and my niece and nephew who were the same ages as 2 of mine. People would always tell me I was brave to do that. My thought was I always do it with 4, 2 more is not any harder. I believe that God blesses us with all of our children and we should take them with us all the time and enjoy them.

  36. When I was pregnant with my fourth, I told this lady that my husband works with excitedly about the news. I figured she would congratulate us, but she looked at me disgusted. I dont remember what she said but it had something to do with ruining my husbands dreams of ever moving to the wilderness. I told her that he was with me when it happened…lol…I didnt do this to him or by myself. I said it jokingly but it really hurt my feelings. My husband and I married with two children of our own and then had two together. I feel overwhelmingly blessed and so undeserving and yet there is a part of me that yearns for more. I love being a mom and a wife (even though I am so not the mom and wife I would like to be yet) I love homeschooling our children. Another thing is that my husband is a lot older than me. His two are grown up and living on their own. I feel that people look at as weird because of my husband being so much older. I feel they look at us even more so (disapproving) that we have two little ones. I feel like the option of having more is out of the question only because of his age. I dont like the option taken away sort of speak but I am grateful for the ones we have. The joy they bring soo out weighs the not so fun stuff of motherhood.

    1. You do not always need to feel like your husbands age is going to stop you. If He plans it, it will happen. My step dad became a new dad at the young age of 61. He is 21 years my moms elder. I am so glad that my little sister is here. If more kids is in His plan for you, age cannot stop Him. He will let you both know when you have are “done”.

  37. This breaks my heart to read this! Children are nothing short of an amazing blessing! I found myself with a surprise blessing at age 42. My oldest was grown with two of her own children and my youngest at the time was in high school. I got such negative comments from most and it sometimes broke my spirit. The worst thing someone ever said to me was “I would just kill myself if I was you”. So sad…… I call my bundle of energy my surprise blessing! She is almost 5 now and loves Jesus so much, and I know he is head over heels about her!

  38. I love this post! I have 6 children, ages 13, 11, 9, 7, 3, and 7 months. The kids are used to the stares and comments unfortunately. Every now and then we hear a positive comment which is encouraging. I bought into the lies of “opposite world,” for awhile, even finishing my college degree with small children because I was told that I would be crazy not to. What foolishness. If you are a mother, that IS your high calling, and what an amazing calling it is. I’m in awe that God would entrust these precious little souls to me on this earth to lead and guide.

  39. This article is amazingly truthful. I love blogs like this that speak with conviction. I recently wrote a post about what God has said about children as arrows in a quiver. I hope you don’t mind me placing a link to it here. I just think that it echoes exactly what your are saying and I’d love for you to read it and let me know what you think about it.

    I look at my girls often and as I stare into their faces, it brings so much joy to my soul that I literally thank them for coming to our family. They LOVE hearing that and will return a huge smile and a you’re welcome mom… I feel I was born to be a mom!!! I felt that when I was pregnant with my 2nd child and with my 2 year old under foot.

    Motherhood is an astronomical blessing! Period. Joyce Meyer said that there is no such thing as “just” a stay at home mom, she said that being a mother is a High Calling. She said that you could be raising the next world renowned Evangelist or the next quiet lover of people. How awesome of a privilege is that?

    Here is the link to that post. http://www.mommytheteacher.com/2013/01/are-your-children-arrows-in-your-quiver.html


  40. I loved the story, but mine is different. People would ask us why we didn’t have children yet. Most not knowing that we were pouring all our time and money into infertility issues. It took us six years and no known cause was found. We spent most of our savings before we had our first son. We then miscarried and spent more money on treatments that did not work. God directed us to pursue adoption. When our oldest was almost 10, God blessed us with another son by adoption. Both our boys are gifts from God and we love them. We get comments all the time when people see that our boys are 10 years apart. Sometimes we tell them one is adopted and other times we just let them think what they want. Their comments do not bother us at all.

  41. Oh, Courtney, this post literally brought tears to my eyes. Right now I’m holding my sweet 6 week old, he’s my 5th child in 5 years and I’m 27 years old. I hear so many negative comments when I’m out in public, and truthfully many days I’m completely exhausted. This post was so encouraging. I know the Lord says children are blessings from him, but sometimes it’s hard not to listen to what the world says. Thank you for this post!

  42. I just had our 3rd son 12 weeks ago and while I was pregnant we had a lot of negative remarks. We have two wonderful sons and when people asked us if we knew what we were having, our reply was a boy! (Actually I still get this when they see the baby is a boy) To which we heard, “Another son”, “3 Boys”, “We will pray for you”, “Good Luck with that”, and my personal favorite ( that was sarcasm) “I’m so sorry for you.” These were all said with the tone of 3 boys = death or I wouldn’t wish that on my enemy. Yes, my husband and I would love to have a little girl but if its not meant for us I trust God in that choice, and I love each one of my son’s.

    1. I’m currently pregnant with my 3rd girl and I get those same comments!! And of course everyone asks if my husband is disappointed. As if he’s not going to love our third child as much as he does the other two because it’s another girl. I also get comments about paying for 3 weddings, etc. There’s plenty of time to be concerned about that, why not just enjoy the moments while they are little!! Plus, God has always provided for us so far, why would he stop providing now.

  43. I am a young Mum with 4 kids. I get looks and comments all the time about how I must be on drugs or stupid. People judge me without knowing anything about me. My husband and I have been together for 12yrs and best friends for 17yrs.
    When I was expecting our 4th (our 1st son), it felt like no one was excited. I would get comments like, ‘Again? Really?’ ‘Glutton for punishment?’
    No one came to appointments (apart for my husband), I felt like I was getting in trouble for wanting a big family.
    I have even had a stranger slap me on the arm when she found out my age and how many kids I have. I actually hesitate talking to nice people up the street because I fear their comments and reactions.
    Our family is happy and healthy, we are not perfect – the kids are like mini tornados, they run and play in mud and splash in puddles. But people forget that’s what we used to do, as a kid if you were clean then you weren’t having fun.
    Sometimes we are too loud, and the kids argue, but at the end of the day they would do anything for each other. They swap vegetables so no one has to eat the yucky ones, they help each other wash up and they motivate each other (and me too sometimes) when things seem too hard.
    We are Blessed and Thankful.

  44. When we had our third child, everyone it seemed, told us to either get my tubes tied or a vacestomy (sp) for my husband. We were young (25) and so we bought into it. My husband choose to do it as it was easier on his body then mine. Fast forward four years and I regreted it so completely. I would cry out to The Lord for forgiveness, healing , a miracle. I desperately wanted another child. I knew there were children that were missing from our family. Today I am forty and The Lord has lead us down the road of adoption through the Department of Social Services. I am grateful for my second chance.

  45. I love this post!! We have a two year old and an 8 month old, and I honestly thought we were done. But lately I have been looking at other extremely happy Christian women who have lots of kids and think, hmmm…maybe there is something to this lots of babies thing ? πŸ˜‰ I do love babies and would have tons- but we are very limited in space. We have a two bedroom condo. We’re praying about it, but currently cannot decide whether to have more kids!!

    1. One of the most joyful families I ever met had 7 children living in a very small 3 bedroom house. The bedrooms were tiny, but they had 3 girls in one and 4 boys in the other. The living room had one couch ( if I remember right), and they managed to fit a table big enough for 9 plus guests in the small combined dining/kitchen area. I felt so loved and welcome in their home. The children were so kind and loved to serve. As they are all teens and early 20’s now, they travel worldwide together doing mission trips. The four oldest, just recently led a wonderful children’s program that my little ones got to be part of. I have 4 children under 5 yo, and sometimes I wish we had space for a homeschool room, or some other nicety, but then I think of that family and I know that space does not equal joy, love and togetherness do! And with creativity and God’s blessed provision for the children He loves, we have all that we need!

      1. Thank you for this. I need to remember this when I get anxious or impatient about moving to a bigger house. We have four girls 17 months, 4, 10, and 12 in one room. I often think that our homeschooling will go so much better when we move. Really it will just be more space to make messy! I will be grateful for the space but while I wait I will be grateful for the closeness.

    2. Just as encouragement, we have stretched our 1 bdrm house to be like a 2 bdrm and we have 5. it is a small space but it is comfortable and we are all happy including my ten year old who keeps asking when are we going to have another. πŸ™‚

  46. Thank you for this. I do not have children yet but have always felt that my calling was to be two things; an accountant, and more importantly, a mother. I think what most hit home was the excerpt from Rachael about being a mother is a calling. I think that is what a lot of people (mostly family) don’t completely understand. It is not just the fact that I am wanting to “rush” into having children it is that I feel God is calling me to take a step back from what has kept my life more busy than it should be and invest in one of His most important gifts to us.

    I already have many comments to wait and to get some quality time with my husband and get the career sorted out and I needed this tonight to help know that I am not alone in the reality of this opposite world.

  47. We are blessed with 3 beautiful children and I have received many negative comments. The end of january we got pregnant with our 4th and no one was happy for us and then I miscarried and if that wasnt heartbreaking enough the comments that followed made it even worse. Children are such blessings from God.

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss and all the negative comments. Just try and remember your sweet baby is not truly lost, and you will get to hold that precious child. I’m so sorry for your loss it is very hard, I have 3 with the Father myself… *hugs*

  48. I came from a family of 7 and whenever we went out we got all of those stares and comments when we exited the vehicle, but honestly we relished it. We couldn’t understand what people did when they only had one or two siblings. I am sure that people had many negative comments but we were happy and my mother never let it bother her. I am pregnant with #3 my other two kids are 2yr and 1yr and yes I do get all of those comments, especially when we say that we want to have as many children as God will allow. For the most part I think people don’t understand the joys of having and coming from a large family. Large families have different priorities and do different things out of necessity but that doesn’t make it bad. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, we wore hand me downs, we couldn’t go on fancy vacations but we had so much fun with each other that it didn’t matter that I didn’t have the newest gadget or trendiest clothes. I had he most amazing childhood and I hope I can give the same thing to my children (hopefully many children πŸ™‚

  49. Thank you Courtney this was a great reminder for me. I have been married almost seventeen years and we have 4 children ages (6 1/2, almost 5, almost 3 and 7mo) and number 5 is on the way. My husband and I will both turn 41 this year. We tried for 8 years before having our first child (for us it was all about God’s timing, not our own). So I’m sure you can imagine the comments we get. Our response is always its all part of His plan.
    God Bless

  50. I hope me being a man posting on here does not offend or embarrass any of you ladies but I felt compelled to comment. I am impressed and inspired by your experiences and stories. When my wife and I married she was 19 and I was 24. She received snide comments about her age many times. We were ready for that commitment and didn’t see any reason to wait. Some even assumed we had to be getting married because she must be expecting. Nearly 10 years later I almost wish that was the case as some medical issues have as yet prevented us from becoming parents. One of the things that brought us together is that we both have a strong desire to have a family and we would have started right a way had it been God’s plan for us. We find the ‘opposite world” philosophy insulting and sad. I just don’t understand how anyone can not see how beautiful the whole experience can be. I can’t think of any greater blessing than to be a part of such an astonishing miracle. What a blessing ladies like you are! I have shared this this article and hope it ends up in front of a young woman’s eyes somewhere and it changes her perspective. Once again thank you.

    1. Thank you for your reply, I pray the Lord blesses you both with a family someday. And thank you for sharing the article!

    2. Thank you for your loving support of women doing their best to serve God in the best ways they can. God Bless.

  51. I was truly convicted tonight and truthfully a little fearful, but must remain trusting in God’s perfect plans for me and my husband. I am 27 years old and without children, married for 2 years. You see, I got pulled into the trap of lies before I ever left high school. My parents convinced me that a college degree was necessary and not just at any college but at a Christian University. Along with college came a ton of student loans which are costing more than a mortgage payment and so the chances of me staying home with children appear slim right now. One thing I know is that God is faithful and His provision is sufficient! I long to become a mother, hoping and dreaming of raising a family of our own. This article reminded me that waiting til the time is right is rather selfish and I am the one missing out on God’s biggest blessings.

    1. I am 28 and just got married almost a year ago. I wish I could have met & married my husband sooner, but we married within 8 months of the day we met. At first we thought we should wait for children but within only a couple months of marriage we went off the pill and decided to trust God’s timing. We are still anxiously ready to discover that a little one is on the way, but it hasn’t happened for us yet. My husband is in school right now, I still owe about $5000 in Student loans from my Christian college ($15,000 already paid off), and he owes about $12,000 in student loans as well. People have told us it would be wise to wait, but we are trusting God’s wisdom rather than the wisdom of this “Opposite World”.

      Until you find yourself expecting, throw yourself into paying off the loans. (I spent 3 years paying $500 a month and it paid off BIG TIME!) But trust that God’s timing is best, and He will always provide! It really will be okay if your little one arrives while you still have debt. The great thing about society today is that loans almost always consolidate, and you can almost always lower your payments. Yeah, it means you’re in debt for longer. But it also means that longer time can be a time a great joy and blessing!

  52. I’ve always wanted children but it took until I was 36 to have my first. I had to wait until God sent me a husband first. We were only married a month or 5 weeks when we found out I was pregnant. My daughter is 4 months old today. We are leaving it in God’s hands when we get pregnant again.

    I remember the negative comments people made about being pregnant and then about the birth. Only a few people had anything positive to say about birth, and natural birth at that. As horribly painful the contractions were I would do it all again. And tell others that even if they are painful you actually forget the pain. The body doesn’t remember it at all!

    Maybe today’s women can learn to curb their tongues and not pass on the negative to those coming up next. It would only really take one generation of women to stop it.

  53. I am just about 9yrs into my marriage and we don’t have children yet. I was told by doctors that I wouldn’t be able to have children without medical intervention, so 6yrs later after all kinds of meds and procedures, we decided it best to wait on God. When my husband and I got married (18 and 19) people just knew it had to be “shot gun” now I get the infamous “when are you guys going to have some kids”. Recently I was asked this same question with the soon following, you’re not getting any younger, wait any longer and you’ll be high risk. It bothers me when people try and place fear in my heart about pregnancy and motherhood. I firmly believe that children are a heritage and reward from God and I happen to think that pregnancy is one of the most beautiful gifts God could ever give to women. This is what keeps my mind focused. We’re always going to like in “opposite” world, but it is what we choose to allow to be planted in our hearts that will make roots… It would be nice if folks would keep their opinions to themselves, but the reality is they won’t.

  54. Oh my I had so many negative reactions to my first child. My husband and I choose to marry when we were 19 years old, and concieved my son at 20. I was in my senior year of college, and I did finish college and get my degree. However, I had so many looks, and “Babies making babies” comments. Sometimes it felt like I was some teeanage high school drop out due to pregnancy. However, it didn’t stop me. I’m now 23 and getting prepared to give birth to my second child. I am very thankful for my wonderful blessings. πŸ™‚

  55. Amen & amen. Thank you Courtney so much for these words. I married ‘young’ (20) and waited until I was 25 to start trying to have children and was 26 when I gave birth to our first. I’m 27 now and think of the little ones God may have sent my way if I had been willing. I too see that many in my church do not truly see children as a blessing, but as an inconvenience. Thank you for being bold enough to stand up against opposite world. Wish I had been reading your blog when I was first married. =)

  56. There is so much glorification and idolatry of pregnancy in popular culture right now – not motherhood, but pregnancy. There is so much consumerism, fashion, beauty, celebrity news, etc associated with it, but not with mothering those babies afterwards. I almost feel like some of the downtalk and negativity we receive from people on pregnancies is some kind of reaction against this, because a lot of people are sick of seeing “baby bumps” glorified and given so much attention everywhere they turn, as if pregnancy is a mode for attention or a beauty accessory, rather than the natural family-building gift it really is.

  57. Opposite world- what a place…
    We have had six children. our first is waiting for us in Heaven and we celebrate her daily. she would be almost 11. My in-laws balked every time we said we were pregnant, yet were amazingly supportive, were there for each birth. But they were so influential over my husbands heart that he jumped at the chance to have a vasectomy while I was pregnant with #6 when they offered to pay for it. I still don’t want to admit that we are done having children- I love each of the gifts we have and I learn so much from them. But opposite world- even with the people you are closest to and love the most, can be a difficult place to live!

  58. My husband and I take care of a young pregnant girl who is giving her baby up for adoption. She believes that children are so precious that she sought to find the Christian couple that God had designed just for her little girl. She found them! We are thrilled and so thankful to be traveling this journey with her. We have four of our own and who knows what the Lord has in store for us? We’re open to the possibility of more. Let people talk all they want. If they’re watching the love in your family and the joy that Jesus brings, they’ll wonder what they’ve been missing (I’m not talking about those who are unable to have children, but those whose attitude is Opposite World-like).

    1. This is beautiful! My husband and I are of firm belief that if we are against abortion, we will also be open to adoption, and we will also reach out as much as we possibly can to those women who find themselves pregnant with an unplanned child. Whether single or married, and whether she decides to keep the baby or give up for adoption, we feel we are called to be a support system for those women! So grateful to see an actual example of that happening. We really haven’t seen that in the world around us.

      1. We adopted three infants to form our family, as we were infertile. Married at 18 and 20 yrs. old in the 1970’s, we waited 6 years for our first daughters birth. What joy and fulfillment to the longing we had for a child! A son followed 28 mos. later, and then it was 10 years later until we were able to adopt again. That baby, our daughter, was the delight of All our lives. I was 38, and I enjoyed every single day with her. We home schooled from mid-elementary forward, and our relationship has been extremely close. When she was 16, she met the young man who is now her husband at a Christian leadership camp. They lived hours apart, so spent two years communicating and growing a strong friendship and love for one another. You can imagine the shock when our daughter told us she was pregnant. They had planned to marry this summer, but instead, we allowed them to marry last fall. They are 19 and 20, both in college, and he is working two part-time jobs. Both we and his parents support where we can and where God leads us. Their beautiful baby girl was born a few weeks ago, and their maturity and approach to being Godly parents blesses me. They had been raised in Christian homes, had not been rebellious, simply fell into sin temporarily. That temporarily rebellion to God was a wake up call that they admit they are now grateful for, as He didn’t allow them to go years in secret sin. My experience in Opposite World has been that those of us who have been lifelong Pro Life advocates sometimes realize we also must extend grace to those within our families and churches when these situations occur. As a mom, I had to deal with disappointment, shame, fear and sadness, forgiveness and a loss of ‘our’ dreams for our daughter. God has now shown us He will make beauty from these ashes. We love our daughter and son-in-law more than ever, and our granddaughter is an absolute gift to us all. I believe we as Christians must come to grips with the fact that OUR plans are not GOD’s plans. I find some parents in our church have withdrawn from us, partly in fear for what could happen with their own children. I probably was once one of them, God forgive me. When we try to see life’s situations through His eyes, we begin to find our way to His plans for our lives. I have been humbled, but even more, I have been blessed. God is good. Always!

  59. I am preggo with my fourth baby who is due any day and I could not be more thrilled to have another blessing from the Lord, despite a difficult pregnancy. I have three boys (we don’t know what this baby is) and the overwhelming response I get is that if this baby turns out to be another boy, it’s no longer exciting…somehow my inability (or “failure”) to give birth to both genders somehow lessens the value of ts little one’s life. And I am hearing this in Christian circles!!! As a doula and childbirth educator, this is shocking and saddening. I work with mommas on a daily basis who have struggled conceiving, hav elite reagent pregnancy and birth scenarios, and I am privileged to witness the entry of these little lives into the world. I am sorry…I don’t care how many children you already have or what gender they are. EVERY pregnancy, every life is a CELEBRATION! No need for negative comments, opinions, or sharing horror stories, we mommas need to lift each other up and provide encouragement and support. Because, as difficult as pregnancy, birth, and parenting might be, its our greatest ministry as women!

    1. THANK YOU for posting this! I have 3 boys and two girls and it seems everyone is against my sweet boys. I have stopped doing birthday party’s because we have always invited all our family and friends, about 60 people. I threw my 1st daughters 1st party when she turned 3 she is 5 years younger then my oldest and is my 3rd child. I would barely get 2-3 people to my boys birthdays and rarely did they ever receive a gift ( not that gifts matter), When I threw my daughters party I invited all the same people I always do to end up having 53 people show up showering her in expensive gifts. the very next 2 birthdays were my boys (my youngest ones 1st) and there was no one for one and 2 for the other. I am so done with people favoring one sex over the other. I love all my children equally, I would just like a presence with no presents, that would at least let them feel important. but this is why I have stopped birthday party’s. If my boys aren’t good enough then neither are my girls. So we have private party’s with my Best friend who always shows up and we don’t invite anyone anymore.

  60. Beautiful post. I am an *old* mom – we have 7 (26-11). And two grandchildren. Oh you sweet young moms! You have no idea how beautiful you are when you are dragging your broods around town and trying, trying to keep them all together. It goes by faster than you will ever believe. Take all the joy you can from these days. You are doing as God asks and the joy is yours to keep and cherish and remember.
    Be counter-cultural, have children while you can. They are gifts and you are blessed to have them.

  61. I am a 75 year old grandmother. I had my first child when I was married 1 year, the second, 13 months later. When I was 41, I had my 6th child. My husband and I had little money, but they grew up without what kids have today, but we loved all our babies, and still love our grown children and our 13 grandchildren and 4 greats. People thought we were crazy. Today as I write, my firstborn is a nurse, my second a pastors wife, my first son, a surgeon, the second son served 20 years in the Air Force and retired a Lt. Col. and is now a missionary in Alaska. My next son is a certified Scuba instructor and underwater photographer. Our last baby all grown and is a missionary in Hong Kong. We are thankful for our family. So you young mothers, don’t listen to others. You and your husbands do what you want in family. Ojnly once did a lady tell me when I was expecting our last baby that she was glag it was me and not her. My answer, ” Me Too”! I have no regrets.

  62. Courtney~
    Amen Sister! You have brought much glory to the Father with this post- Amen! A dear friend of mine tagged me in your post because of my new book “Redeeming Childbirth.” I am excited to share this with my readers- I know they will be blessed! Thank you for joining in and proclaiming truth and exposing how we as a church culture have bought into a lie. That is one of the reasons I wrote it! Amen… oh I am just so excited!

    Blessings~ Angie

  63. I did not read all of the comments that are posted. However, if you let the comments of others prejudice your choices on having children then shame on you. I have 4 (grown now) children that have been and continue to be the greatest blessing in my entire life. (3 grandbabies now also) We never even thought about financial issues of having children. There has always bee room at the table for 1 more. We didn’t “plan” any one of them. We felt so blessed every time we knew we were expecting again. We made our choice to not have more after the 4th. Never let other people’s judgments influence your choices.

    1. Karen, your words are a breath of fresh air. “Never let other people’s judgments influence your choices.” I see this as going both ways: the choice to have more children or the choice to wait and not or not have any *more* children, and it’s so refreshing to hear a nonjudgmental voice.

  64. So much wisdom here! My husband and I have not used any form of birth control since September 1988. We are blessed to have 20 year old girl/boy twins as the result of IVF. My life with these children has been exhausted, crazy, full of ups and downs, and I am so blessed to have been successful in having these two now young adult children. I try not to wince when people have said, “You’re so lucky; you got one of each. You can stop now.” Yes…God blessed us with two, and they were a handful for many years. I would have loved more. I think the crowning insult came from a woman that was nosy enough to ask about birth control, and wagged her tongue when I answered, saying, “What if you get pregnant again?” I just stared at her…she’d heard my story of how it took four years of disappointments and feeling unworthy, and then the ultimate intervention of IVF, costing around $15,000. She didn’t stick around long enough to hear what I’d do if I got pregnant again: I would rejoice, I would be thrilled. It could only make me happier. My advice? Have your children as soon as you’re married and emotionally ready to have them. Have as many children as you want. One at a time is easier than multiples, but you’re definitely in for an adventure if you have multiples. Love them, treasure them, and if someone insults you because you actually enjoy being a mother, stare at that person with uncomprehending eyes. Say that you’ll pray for them as they cannot fathom your joy. Then move on and enjoy your family.

  65. I recently suffered a miscarriage after 7.5 weeks. Not many of my coworkers knew. One who had found out while I was gone asked if what he had heard about me was true. At first, I didn’t know if he was referring to the miscarriage or the pregnancy. I figured he didn’t know that I had lost the baby and I was right. He kept looking at my stomach and back up at me. I told him no. “Good,” he said. I then told him that I had miscarried a week later, which he proceeded to say he had never known of that and never intended to offend me. I told him no offense was taken. I found it odd, and strange, and hurtful, very disrespectful, mean, and rude that he would think it good me not being pregnant. Then I asked him why he felt that way. He asked how many children I have already. I told him about my two sweet girls. He said that’s enough for this day and age. They cost too much, and they are hard enough to raise, and it’s just too difficult in this with three or four kids. That’s just too many. It’s almost selfish! He never said that outright but I could hear it between what he WAS saying. I don’t know what god has planned for me, but if it is more babies, them my arms are open and waiting! I’m just 24 with a 4 year old and a 1 year old. My husband is 27. We were both looking forward to the child we lost, but it’s waiting for us with God. There will be more babies! Children are a blessing and debt is a burden. Why then are people constantly burdening themselves with thousands upon thousands of dollars on credit cards while waiting years to have one of the greatest blessings ever?

    1. Meredith,

      I just wanted to say I am so sorry about your loss. People, even nice people, often do not know what to say about miscarriage. That man was not nice, though. Please grieve your sweet one and don’t let anyone tell you that your baby doesn’t matter or should not have been born. That is completely wrong.

      We are blessed with 8 living children and have lost 4 babies to miscarriage. There was a stretch when 4 out of 5 pregnancies were miscarriages. It was very hard but it gentled my heart and helped me to look to the Lord for strength and comfort because I was pushed beyond my own ability to deal with the sorrow. To our surprise, I was able to carry the last 2 pregnancies to term and I had babies at age 41 and 42! The youngest is an 11 month old son. Now that I”m 43 I really doubt we’ll have more, but we are open to another child if the Lord so blesses us.

      God bless you and may He bring you another child in His timing.

  66. Our first son just turned three and has a rare metabolic disorder (which all our children have the potential of having since it’s genetic). Our second son will be eight months old this week. Almost every time I take them out in public someone tells me that I have my hands full. And people that know our oldest has a rare disorder thought we were nuts for having another baby. I love being a mom and hope we have a whole house full!

  67. Hello there,

    Interesting article. Good thoughts.

    I had a one-year “career” of teaching 24 kindergarten children in a large school.
    Five days after my “big career,” I gave birth to my first-born son.

    I have 13 children. No twins, all various, incredible births. All birthed by me…(I checked on adoption once, but they told me that I already had too many children)! Hmmmm.

    Had my first at age 22.
    Had my last at age 44.

    After number 11, I was feeling a bit tired. I prayed for longer time in between.
    One year went by, two years went by…I was starting to get concerned.
    THEN, we found out we were expecting number 12 (big Yay!!!)…and shortly thereafter, number 13!!!!

    The one ‘break’ in there had me concerned that I would receive NO more blessings.
    So glad that didn’t happen. I nursed, and trained and taught and loved…and the laundry pile was worth the work, believe me. No negative comments from me to other mothers having babies. I think it’s GRAND!

    Now, with the 5th one about to get married….well, it just keeps moving steadily in the opposite direction – one by one, they are leaving for college or marriage.
    It seems strange that on some days, I only have 5 at home. How did I get here??? After 13, and only FIVE at home on certain days?? Ah, I’m going to miss them…but I know they will be back to visit.

    Time is moving quickly now….they all love each other, they all love their parents, and they all love the Lord.
    God entrusted us with THIRTEEN souls! I was amazed every time He said, “Here, here’s another soul that I want you to raise/train/love.” Little ol’ me, and I have had the joyful opportunity to be a part of this big, happy, crazy, wonderful family!!! I am NOTHING, a bit like Peter in the Bible – impetuous, impatient, testing the waters, and excited to see that God loves me and He can use me in SPITE of myself.

    Negative comments? Many…but who cares? “They” who say the things, are missing the blessings…I will not be lonely in my old age, for sure and for certain! πŸ˜‰ We already have FOUR grandbabies, with more to come. We enjoy a lot of good talk-time in the living room; we have Bible time together each evening (except Sundays because we’re in church throughout the day); we are blessed to have hard-working, loving children.

    I love it when an older person has seen us at the store, and says, “God bless you.” and I can reply with a joyful smile, “He HAS!!” πŸ™‚

    God is good. Trust Him.

  68. January 2012 we lost our 5th baby. I have 4 very healthy children at home. But my heart still aches for that one gone home. I wish people could understand that children are a blessing and that He will take care of His own. I would love to have more if the Lord entrusts me with them.

  69. Wow! Thank You so much! I have felt guilty for so long, and I have felt so overwhelmed with my children forgetting why they are even here, because they are a gift..yes sometimes a gag gift, lol. Boy do i have stories..lol.
    I have two daughters who were both not planned, but we were trying for. Then my last daughter was born July 13th 2010, and soon after found out I was pregnant and had our son August 2nd 2011 Ever since I have had him, I have had a fear that I can’t seem to shake loose, through Christ I have grown, but still get snagged by the devil..and fear is in my heart… I have wanted 13 children for along time, and yet have grown a fear in my heart that I cannot take care of 3!! When I found out I was pregnant with my son, I cried and cried because I was Not ready for my third! I just had a baby. And to hear truths like how i was reminded of, Mary and Sarah, and Eve…A peace comes to my mind and my heart. Thank you so much.

  70. What a great post and reminder of the wonderful calling of motherhood! I have three children – 3 year old, 2 year old and now a newborn. I get so tired of the comments about my hands being full – yes, it’s busy but I am so thankful that God has blessed me with these children. I married older (at 32) and had my first child at 36. I am so thankful these boys are all healthy, smart, beautiful and most of all – mine! The latest news about the abortion doctor trial just breaks my heart and turns my stomach. We so need to pray for our society and listen to our Heavenly Father and His love for children.

  71. I find this all very interesting as I married at 22 and received an unbelievable amount of negativity about “giving up my freedom”, but I knew that God meant for us to be together and the nay sayers could go on their merry little way. Over 2 years later we’re happily married with no children and happily so to that one as well. We’ve gone to many lengths to prevent getting pregnant including, though I despise it, hormonal birth control. We’re not ready in our hearts or out on this physical world. After hitting many many many bumps in these last two years we’re living with my parents. They would be devastated and angry should I become pregnant. We have all sacrificed a lot to send me to college in my desired field, one which I believe God put me here with the purpose of doing. I pray every single day. Sometimes during these talks with God children do come up as I’m so torn if it’s even the right thing to do at all with the over population and the vast amounts of evil in this world. I do put it all over to God and I know that regardless of any pill or condom or surgery should HE see fit to make us parents it’s going to happen regardless of our human preventatives. Should that happen that child will be seen as God’s gift and there will be nothing anyone can say to change that.

    To real reason I’m commenting though is that this made me think about things that have come out of my own mouth and how I should reform my speech and way of looking at it for other people. And for those wandering how a motherless woman wanders to this page specifically… a FB friend who is a yr younger than me with 3 children had it posted. I just wanted to say thanks for making me realize I have some work to do on my thought process.

    1. I am also childless, but enjoy the blog! I know that I’m not ready for children yet either, but I do agree with you! If God wills it, it will be done – whether or not I’m ready! lol. But yes, I think we all could be kinder with our words to anyone in any situation – pregnant or not πŸ™‚

  72. My daughter and her husband have been blessed with 7 children. Each of these children are loved, well adjusted children that love God. Each child is unique, having different personalities. Each one knows that they are special. Every day is an adventure for all of us. We never know what will come out of their mouth. It is difficult not to laugh at some of the things they say, but they are not afraid to say what is on their mind. Their wisdom amazes me. Those that are old enough to read, read book after book.
    People started making remarks to my wife and myself after our third grandchild was born. They said things to my daughter and her husband also, but mostly to us. After the fifth was born, people started to ask us if we okay with our daughter having so many children. We replied that each child was a blessing from God and we could not be happier with the situation.
    After the seventh child was born, people started backing off from their remarks, because they could see how well adjusted the family is. My daughter and husband are doing a remarkable job.
    They have lost two babies from miscarriage, but hopefully we will have number eight in the near future.
    God has blessed our family with these wonderful children. As long as God is pleased with this, I am too.

  73. Kids are of course a blessing… But I think the reason for the negativity is because people are not prepared for how difficult parenthood can be until they actually become parents. I try to stay away from negative comments when someone announces a pregnancy, let them have the joy and excitement! But I will try and relate as a mother when they face struggles, as we all do. I like to let them know they are not alone! To pretend that parenthood is this magical wonderful thing all the time gives a false impression and makes those of us who struggle at times feel completely inadequate and like we are doing something wrong because our experience is tougher. I have a special needs child and rarely do I ever complain about not having a spa day. My struggles are so much more than that. Even the usual day to day tasks are completely grinding. So go easy on those who seem to complain too much or who don’t appreciate their kids like they “should”. Every person copes in their own way. It doesn’t mean we don’t love our children. Every mother questions her abilities at some point and no one is alone in that. If someone takes solace in the fact that they are not alone and can laugh at the fact that we all go through crazy things with our kids – I think it builds a sense of community through understanding one another. πŸ™‚ http://www.thismomsgonnasnap.com

  74. I actually got the opposite, especially from Christian women, because I chose not to have anymore children. “You aren’t going to have anymore children?” “But they are blessings from God.” Or, “People are selfish, and they don’t know what they are missing, and they must not like children.” These words can be just as rude and hurtful.

    1. Thank you for this. Each one of us has the right to the decisions we make. Some can’t have more, some want to have as many as they can no matter what and some choose to stop after 2 or 3 because that is what they feel they should do. But sometimes I feel that the parents with a string of children can actually turn their noses up at those of us who choose to stop having children as much as the ones who turn their noses up at those who have a “whole baseball team”! Yes, CHILDREN are a blessing. No where does it say in the Bible how MANY that should be. I think GOD left that up to each one of us to decide. We need to be respectful of every ones choice.

    2. Thank you for this response! When my husband and I married, we planned on having several children, we had 2 live children and a miscarriage between the two of them and they are 20 months apart. The second pregnancy nearly killed me, and I now suffer from a somewhat debilitating autoimmune disease that they can’t even name. I love our children, and perhaps in the future we may consider adoption, but for now, my body can barely handle the stress of the two precious little bundles of joy we do have. Right now we have made the decision not to have more, because we don’t want to leave our children without a mother just to attempt having more children. I greatly admire the women who are able to gracefully raise their 4, 5, or more children, right now, I am not one of those women. My mom also had only 2 children, and we attempted to adopt 2 little girls through local foster care, but in the end it nearly tore our family to pieces and it took us and is still taking us time to recover. I absolutely believe adoption is a good thing, but we need to be careful to discern what specifically God is calling us to! God’s commands are his enablements–however, man’s expectations are not God’s enablements–and we need to be careful on either side of the equation–I think the key thing for us to remember is that we need to raise the children God has given us well. For me, having more children would potentially reduce or even eliminate my ability to be a mother, I cannot be a very good mother if I am bedridden or hospitalized because my organs are shutting down. I choose to raise my very precious and beautiful little girls as best as I can with God’s help and trust that if God has a different plan, he will make that clear. We continue to be open to and discuss this, but for now we are at peace with what God has for us right now. One more thing, I know an amazing couple from my daughters’ therapy clinic, they foster 5-6 children at a time. She is a retired police officer and he is still a firefighter. They have 3 grown children, and when she was working at the police department, they decided that when their children were grown, they would take in some of these kids to help them. I think sometimes we think we have to raise all of our children at once, and that doesn’t have to be the case. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts on this subject πŸ™‚

    3. Thanks for this. I was just about to leave a similar comment here.

      I knew from the time I was 6 years old that I didn’t want children of my own. I completely lack any desire to have kids. It’s not my calling, and that’s totally fine.

      Or it should be totally fine. I resent being thought of as a lesser Christian just because I don’t want kids, like the Rachael Janokovic quote in the middle of this post implies. Yes, motherhood is a calling, but it’s not every woman’s calling. Motherhood is not a desire I was ever given, so I know it’s definitely not my calling.

      I’m not sinning or being tempted by “the world” or “worldly thinking” because I lack the desire to bear and raise children. And I’d appreciate it if other Christian women would stop judging me that way.

      I think it’s wonderful when a couple has tons of kids. I think it’s wonderful when a couple has one or two and decides that’s enough. I think it’s wonderful when a couple decides not to have any kids. It’s a personal decision, and no one should judge either side for their family planning choices. I certainly don’t.

  75. Although I agree that women should not be negative about a pregnancy in general, or see children as burdens, I can’t help but wonder if these comments about “impending doom” were more cautious warnings about how incredibly difficult those first few weeks and months can be for a new mom. Having a baby was a really difficult and dark time for me due to a little one who cried constantly and I became seriously sleep deprived to the point of deleriousness. (If that’s a word). I was depressed and lonely and wondered why my child was so needy and upset all the time. I wish SOME one would have told me that it may not be rainbows and lollipops to have a newborn. I cried constantly and had a very hard time adjusting to motherhood. But maybe if someone told me it could be “bad” for awhile I might not have believed them. I think we do young moms a disservice by romanticizing pregnancy, motherhood and child rearing. It truly is dying to your own life and giving it up for another.

    1. To be clear I agree with your post as well as how God talks about children in the bible… That they are a reward. Moms should be encouraged if nothing else!! My point is that there is room for being realistic. I think that is helpful. It may be perceived as being “Debbie downer” but it would’ve been helpful for me to tell me having a baby may not be what I expected πŸ™‚

      1. You are right. But there is a difference between being realistic and being critical. To tell a mother that it will be hard is truth. But to cast rude comments her way, like “You know how that happens, right?” is just condescending. We should offer hope, love, and encouragement rather than criticism. And that applies on both ends of the spectrum–no kids, only a few, or a whole slew of them!

        I personally am convicted that my husband and I should be willing to have as many children as God chooses to bless us with. I also recognize, though, that God sometimes leads people to prevent pregnancy–either because of their health or because he has some sort of career/ministry plans for them that a large family might inhibit. That being said–I believe all Christians SHOULD make this decision based on the Lord’s leading rather than on convenience. And while some who choose none (or 1-2) kids have done so, I think far too often the choice is made out of a distrust of God. And yes, some who have 7-8 kids are doing so out of selfishness. I suppose what I really mean to say is that we don’t always know the heart of those who’ve decided differently than we believe. And it just may be that God has led them to the choice they’ve made.

  76. I don’t remember many negative comments when I had my first 3 in my first marriage, but when I got remarried later and I “started over” we got negative comments due to our age. We knew we wanted a baby even though I was 41 and my husband was 48. Some people thought we were crazy to start over at our age, and because our others were much older and we would be done raising them in a few years. We are having the time of our lives with our daughter, and enjoy it so much more than we did with our older kids. Being older, and having other kids grown up, you realize how fast it goes and savor each moment more. And also because we had a miscarriage before her, we realize how precious she is. I wish I could have had this perspective when I was younger. I was probably a little more of one of those complainers then. I see friends on FB complaining about babies not sleeping through the night or whatever and my perspective is very different being older. It is such a short time of your life, just enjoy it because it will be gone too quick.

    Things are very difficult at times having college, highschool, middle school, and toddler, and with them all having their own difficult issues at times, but there are so many great times too. The children are not the burden, but dealing with the house repairs, car repairs, finances, and everything that takes time away from the kids is more the burden. I would have more kids if I didn’t have so many other things to deal with. I think some of it depends on what your husband is like and how much he helps, your energy level, what all other things you have to deal with, etc. I have 5 in our crazy blended family, but would have more if I was younger and other things were different.

    1. I was somewhat in your shoes, with two children (born when I was in my early 20s) and then, years later (when I was 39 and 40) two more — all from the same marriage. No miscarriages, illnesses or medical treatments. That’s just how it happened. We had one to three children in college for 20 years straight. One of the older children (a daughter) graduated with a Ph.D. from Yale at the age of 34 with our youngest child, who was getting his bachelor’s degree at the age of 21. We loved having our “two sets” of children. Strangers couldn’t figure us out when we had two teenagers and two babies. They asked if our older son and daughter were the parents of the younger daughter and son. We all had a wonderful time together. I have fond memories of seeing our son surrounded by the girls in his high school who were admiring his baby sister. But I made it a point not to turn our older son and daughter into substitute parents. We were blessed, when we had two teenagers and two babies, to be able to afford live-in help. We all were able to enjoy the babies and there were five of us available to help care for them. Our four children are now adults, and they remain extremely close. They give a lot of support to each other. Our older son’s wife is about the age of the younger children and our younger daughter’s husband is about the age of the older children. (The older daughter’s husband is her same age and the younger son, 29, is still single.) The entire family, including all of the in-laws, loves being together. I always believed that having a baby at 40 is not a big deal but I wondered how it would be to have teenagers at 55 or 60. Now I can say I did it, and it was wonderful. I’ll be 70 this year, and it still is!

  77. That’s why God intended us to have babies younger! Trusting Him is the key to everything. When we start using birth control, our hormones and our lives become one living for man’s purpose (opposite world). Plus, many women DON’T KNOW BCP’s, IUD’s, can creat spontaneous abortions when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterus. Something I had to learn later in life also after suffering issues with fertility! Natural is God’s path in life for Him. Artificial contraception is opposite world!

  78. I loved reading your perspective, however I’m hurt by one of your paragraphs. Your line: “I mean – how am I supposed to fit in aerobics, spa days, girls shopping trips and β€œme time” when I have children that need me 24/7” in particular was hurtful. I’m sorry you’ve had people judge you and make inappropriate remarks (the comments are wrong, I’m not defending those people), but I’m saddened you chose to also disparage those women who are choosing to wait to have children. There are legitimate reasons why some women and couples choose to wait to have children – maybe they want to be more financially secure or move to a residence with room for so many children, but that’s not our place to judge. So while I wish that women wouldn’t judge pregnant women, those who favor large families shouldn’t judge those women who are delaying parenthood. And while God does see children as honoring Him, he also showed in the bible women who didn’t have children and women who worked. I’m sure God values all of our roles and knows how to manage each woman’s heart individually.

    1. For me it has been hard dealing with those who have large families who have judged my husband and my choice to stop with our third son. I have had 5 pregnancies and lost the first at birth, and one miscarriage between my last two sons. I love my three boys who live with me more than my own life. My husband and I have worked hard to raise them up in the Lord and to do right by them. ALL of my pregnancies were “Gifts from God in spite of my best efforts” –LOL because the first was actually a product of a college rape. Pregnancy was never joyous to me, but the babies were always a blessing……and I adore my children.
      With my last pregnancy, my life was in danger and my husband and I decided that a vasectomy was the best choice for our family…..better to prevent another pregnancy and be around to love and raise the three boys God decided to gift me with than to risk having the round number of 4 that I had always dreamed of. I have many times heard the hurtful words of friends who believe we were wrong to make this choice and that we were “limiting” God’s power in our lives.
      I can say that because our family size was limited that we were able to take other people’s children into our home on many occasions. We helped raise my best friend’s 4 children with them in our home 20 hours a day for most days over the span of years. We have had 2 of my son’s friends move in with us and have the benefit of a Godly home while things at their own home were out of control. We have had the opportunity to help young families financially when life got tough–something we might not have been able to do with more children of our own. And we have three boys who love the Lord and their family…..even tho they are definitely teenagers at this point.

      I personally hate the “mommy wars”. Being a Godly parent/mom is hard enough without the condemnation on either side. I didn’t have my first till I was 23 and in college, but that was because God hadn’t given me the gift of my husband yet. I didn’t meet him till after that point, and he has been a blessing to me. We as mom’s need to support each other and the choices we make…..Just my two cents.

      1. I think that you still agree with the spirit of what Courtney was sharing. It’s not the spirit of the age to accept and welcome children as a blessing. You did, and God gave you 3 children, but you had a choice to make. Nobody could ever condemn you for making a choice, because you had good reason. It’s those who selfishly choose to refuse a blessing that personally saddens me more. May God bless you, and remember it’s God’s opinion that counts, not the judgement of others. Hugs.

    2. I agree with you, Hillary. That sentence struck me, too. We have 2 children, spaced 6 years apart, and don’t plan to have more (if God sent them, we’d welcome them…but we’re not “trying.” No birth control, but I think God wants us to understand the bodies He gave us, so we use Natural Family Planning) Why do we only have 2 and why did we wait so long inbetween? Because we’ve never been financially secure. I have never taken an aerobics class or been to a spa and don’t appreciate the assumption that I would choose to selfishly spend money on myself rather than my family. For some of us, having 2 is a huge stretch financially.

    3. Hillary, you point out the issue that is bugging me here quite accurately: grace and acceptance need to be given toward ALL. those who choose to have many or those who choose to have few or those who choose to have none and at whatever age all of those choices are made- those are ALL personal decisions that no one on the outside should criticize.

      when you ask for grace and acceptance you must be willing to give all of that as well.

    4. I agree with Hillary. I am 30, divorced, childless…and the happiest I’ve ever been! πŸ™‚ I do believe that children are a blessing, and would be honored to someday be a mother. However I am disappointed that in the meantime, I should be looked down upon as an Opposite World girl for going to the spa, having an amazing career that I’m passionate about, and waiting to have children. Thankfully, I have amazing parents who taught me that I could do/be anything, and that independence and intelligence are nothing to be ashamed of. To note, my parents were married young and had us children young, but they were very practical and realistic when sharing the pros/cons with us. πŸ™‚

    5. Thanks for your comment, Hillary! I am a mother, but didn’t bring her home until we were in our 30s and married almost 9 years. We had good reasons for waiting and absolutely do not regret it. I agree with you… it’s interesting that the author was getting after those who are negative toward pregnant women/mothers, but is so quick to belittle the role of the women who choose not to have children for whatever reason. Some of the most influential, loving, and selfless women in history (and those I know personally) did not have children and I actually think this helped them be even more available to others and to serve their communities in profound ways.

  79. I am an older mum, I had my baby when I was 40, i didn’t get married till I was 37, I had always loved children, but having one of my own, I soon realized was a big responsibility. He was a big baby and I have health problems so I decided one was for me, i would have loved to have more children, I feel it makes you more of a family. My baby is now 18 and cycling with a French team in France, filling his dream.

  80. I so needed this today. With being pregnant with #6 we get it all. People even ask my children if they are sad mommy’s having another baby?!?!? WHAT? Why would that make them sad? They get all they need and some. I know my calling was to be a mother who raised her kids in the word and not the world. THANK YOU THANK YOU for the reminder πŸ™‚

  81. Oh my gosh yes! I have a 15 week old, and I got so tired of comments about how my life was ‘over’, that I would never have any time for myself, and to be prepared for ‘all the crying’ (to which I would respond in mock horror ‘Oh my goodness! Babies cry? Why has no one told me this before?’

  82. I don’t disagree with this article… but I have a different view to offer. I agree whole-heartedly that children are a blessing. I believe that God desires for most people to have children. I have seen several different families, two specifically, where the children are NOT being well cared for in their homes. Regardless of how many children there are, parents need to honestly reflect on how well they are able to care for the children they have before they continue to bring children in to the world. I don’t just mean financially either! I mean each child being given the time, encouragement, and affection they need. I have seen families in which this isn’t happening, and the home is not being taken care of, the children are behind in school and are suffering from neglect…. why have more children then? I DO think that sometimes women want to get pregnant because, despite the kind of care children need, the mother does receive a whole lot of attention while she is pregnant.
    Honestly, it breaks my heart to see these children suffering because their parents are trying to “prove” that God will provide no matter what, or because they like the attention they receive while being pregnant or because they have a large family.
    Again, I am NOT against large families. I am one of three children, and I have never considered that a large number… I just feel that it is important to make these decisions carefully. I believe that if we seek God’s will, he will give us what he knows to be best for us.

    1. I am a mom of 4 (ages 12,10,8,6) and a L+D nurse. While having children raised by loving parents is what I know you are talking about, I also see a heavy dose of the flip side. Women having multiple children with multiple daddy’s with the only concern being how much free stuff (from formula to car seats)they are going to get and how soon can they get state aid to pay for their latest addition. While I also believe “affordability” should not be a deterant to having children, their should be a certain level of overall financial concerns that comes with the decision to have more children. Some of my personal negativity comes from thinking, “I am here working so you can use my tax dollars to fund your extra-curricular activities.” As a mom who takes scripture seriously, I believe we are to be set apart… that means we should not be having children and proclaiming we are doing it in obedience only to have the state fund our families.
      Children are a blessing. I love the stories from seasoned moms who tell what their children are doing now making a difference/ contribution to the world. Thank you for your positive example.

      1. I agree with you Danielle. Especially this “that means we should not be having children and proclaiming we are doing it in obedience only to have the state fund our families.”

        I too am a nurse and see this every day where I work! Young mothers who are mostly concerned with how they can get free stuff. They then have more babies who are on the dole and I think that same thought, that I’m working so they can be free-loaders off the system. They’re dressed better than me and have the latest iPhone and drive a Cadillac and I’m driving a rusted 10 year old Escape with 169,000 miles on it.

    2. If you believe in God’s will, why don’t people leave their family size in His hands? I never really have understood this reasoning. I don’t mean to be unkind, truly, or judgmental. I really don’t. But, really… There’s a disconnect here for me. How is it that folks who say they have faith and trust in God’s choice for them feel like they still need to make the decisions themselves? Do they not really believe He is present and caring and watchful in their lives, doing always what is best, in the little things and in the big things, like in the all-important matter of bringing children into the world? Is their a line where the faith and trust stops — a line which is different for everyone? What am I missing here?

  83. This just helped me so much! I am 23 years old and almost finished with college. I have been married for 2 years come Aug and I really keep feeling this heavy longing in my heart to have a baby. I have been trying so hard to ignore it because my family is the type that finds it unacceptable that I would want to be a stay at home wife and mother. My commen sence pushes on me to wait but my heart is heavy with the desire for children and a large family. I have come across many verses in the bible encouraging people to have many children because they are a blessing but from our society’s view that is out dated. I think now I will spend time in prayer about and listen to the only voice who matters. Thank you so much

    1. You are so wise! God will lead you to do what is right! My family, too, has encouraged me to wait because I’ve only been married for about a year. But I also know that as soon as I’m actually pregnant they will be elated! Hopefully your family will be just as supportive when that time comes!

  84. This was probably my favorite blog post yet. An eye-opener and convicting. I’ve been the one saying “just wait” to other women. πŸ™ ugh. I have one child, that’s what God has given me and I do see her as a blessing. She’s amazing. Thank you for opening my eyes to what I say to other people about children. I need to use those words as encouragement and to build up.

  85. I am so glad I stumbled upon this because I face the negativity almost daily. I am a 30year old mom of 7 and everywhere I go people comment or stare. The braveness of some to be so rude in their actions and words is incredible. Sometimes it hurts and makes me cry but most of the time I just tell myself and my children that we are proud to have so many to love and enjoy. When others findout that I homeschool, it opens a whole new can of worms. Thank you for giving a bit of encouragement to moms who don’t deserve to be put down for loving and taking care of their children. Children are a gift from the lord.

    1. I was raised 1 in 5 and we used to get those stares as well but I will say I am grateful that I was not an only child because as adults we are able to lift each other up and help when no one else can and to Home school makes it much better Your kids will be grateful for your love and Devotion

  86. I met this a lot… I could t be around those negative people when I was pregnant. I was scared to death when we got pregnant because I didn’t feel ready at 23 and when I told people the first thing everyone kept saying was “oh you shouldn’t tell people this soon, it’s too risky” then that only fueled my depression in pregnancy because I was scared that if I did the lose the baby I would be relieved because I was so scared to have one yet. On top of that we didn’t have much family support because me sister inlaw has been unable to conceive. My Husband and I felt like black sheep for daring (we didn’t even try to get pregnant) before she did. It was very rough but God knew what he wa doing and after I starte to get over the depression we were blessed with the 3rd love of my life, our son Ezra

  87. I absolutely Love your message .When I was 18 I got married and by 19 we had our first child by the time I had my 3rd child by age 24 my youngest was 4 weeks old I went to the doctor for being sick .Had I waited til I was older I would never had children I was 24 married and 3 babies under 5 .I ended up having cancer of my uterus and missed my daughters first year of life .Life has never been easy as our family has endured my many surgeries over the past 12 years and NO ONE could have ever given me the strength to keep pushing other then my 3 Beautiful daughters .Anyone who meets my children ask me How did I do it How did I make my 3 the most wonderful unselfish and most considerate children .I have no answer except to say that God has and is in control of us and I Thank God each day for them .Do not be fearful of having children when you feel like you are ready .Not everyone deserves to be a parent but the ones who really go through life without children are the ones I feel bad for .God said in His word be fruitful and multiply I am grateful for my girls and believe me it is awesome when your kids bring home others that you can fall in Love with as well and can treat them as your own as well.Let us lift one another with encouragement and for this I say Thank You

  88. I did enjoy this post as I honestly believe that children are a blessing from the Lord. I always wanted a large family until I got pregnant. I didn’t meet my husband until I was 25 and we got married when I was 27 so I didn’t have the option of having children young. Unfortunately, I have faced the opposite criticism, where I deal with horrible side-effects from the pregnancy (on my second now at age 30) and people make me feel like a terrible mother because I don’t enjoy it. I definitely don’t go around telling new moms how horrible I’ve had it because they look at me like I have two heads and tell me that even when they were puking their guts out with morning sickness they were sooooo excited about being pregnant. I think, for myself, I had to come to the conclusion that God calls CHILDREN a blessing, but He called child-BEARING a curse. I definitely applaud those women who are ecstatic about having children at age 45, but I wish people didn’t look down on those of us who struggle throughout pregnancies. I love my children (my 2-yr old and my unborn) but I am definitely looking forward to the day I am no longer pregnant…and I don’t think that makes me a buyer of Opposite World’s philosophy (I hope not, lol).
    Thanks again for the post.

    1. Amanda I understand! I’m onto my fifth pregnancy and am trying not to be terrified, I dearly love my babies but pregnancy is a long hard slog for me, much as I love the kickers =) amazing what we live through for the little darlings! May God give you strength and uphold you in His hands =)

    2. I feel much the same way – I find pregnancy difficult, I frankly don’t enjoy it very much. For that reason I am reluctant to have a lot of children – although my husband and I would like to have at least four or five! I do struggle with the idea of letting go of family planning and just seeing what happens. I just don’t think I can cope with being pregnant all the time!

      I then feel guilty – like I am being selfish by not wanting to have children until my body stops conceiving. Am I getting in the way of God blessing us? Or am I being realistic, knowing that I couldn’t cope? I am not sure…. I just don’t know quite what to think.

      1. Took me awhile to realize that we have no control over “family planning” no matter if we choose birth control or not. I know many friends who got pregnant on the pill, while nursing, or b/c they missed one pill. The opposite is true too. I did not do any kind of prevention for about 3 years before I just got pregnant with my 3rd at 35. God is the only one who can control if/when we have children. Just because you are not “family planning” does not mean you will be pregnant all the time. πŸ™‚ God will give you the blessings He chooses for you.

      2. And just because you ARE family planning doesn’t mean you WON”T be blessed by God in spite of your best efforts….all of my pregnancies were in spite of my best efforts, and I take every one of them as a gift from God. I think that those who say that our efforts at family planning “limits” God’s ability to work in our lives have a low opinion of God’s power. God gave Mary a virgin birth….surely He is more powerful than the pill or a condom!!!!

      3. You are not selfish for wanting to care properly for your body, a temple, and for your children, the blessings that you already have. You are being wise in thinking and measuring and weighing all of the various aspects before making a decision. It is NOT selfish to make sure that you are able to be a good mother to the children who you have already had. It *is* selfish not consider all of the pertinent aspects (financial and physical primarily), become pregnant, and then depend on others for everything. Not that other people shouldn’t help you, but *they* end up being the ones bearing the brunt of your “duty” to God which is backwards!

        I was the oldest child in a large family and this is what happened many times during later years of my mom’s pregnancies. I ended up being the one caring for my siblings and for the home and this just wasn’t right. My mom had no right making me pay the price for her presumed obedience to God.

        So YES, you are being realistic and honest and listening to the body that God gave you and making a wise, informed, realistic decision. Please don’t give in to false guilt and pressure from either direction. This is about you and your body and your family: no one else’s.

        1. Anonymous, I’m sorry that happened to you. I’m the oldest of 7, and I loved taking care of my little brothers (although I sometimes had resentment as well). At the same time, I have also looked back, and I’ve realized with maturity that I wasn’t doing nearly as much as I thought I was. It’s unfortunate, too, that my mother didn’t share that she was doing many, many things for me as well. My older children help with my toddler, and, because of my experience as an eldest child, I make sure I thank them and ask them for help.

  89. Look at all the amazing testimonies you have received here. Clearly this is a topic that touches all of us and we thank you for sharing your message!

  90. I really needed this, today! Thank you! I am 43 and was sure that I was done having children. The Lord has chosen to bless me with Number 8, due in early November. My husband’s job isn’t very lucrative and we struggle to get by. Our family and even our church family is full of negative comments and it makes it really hard to be positive, sometimes, about our “overflowing quiver”. It is the most wonderful thing to encounter someone out in public who says “You have such beautiful children! You are blessed!” It doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen and I try to hang on to those sweet comments when others are putting us down.

    1. Congratulations on #8! I hope my husband and I are just as blessed as you! I used to want 5 kids–and people thought I was crazy. My view has now changed so that there’s no number that I want to reach. I really just want as many kids as God will give us! And the thought of that being 8-9 kids sounds oh so exciting, even if I know it might be overwhelming!

  91. So well said! My husband and I have 3 children so far, with our first 2 very close together. My husband is the oldest of 10, so I often get the question, “so, are you planning on 10?” I have learned wisely from my mother in law to respond with, at least they only come 1 at a time, but it still bothers me… Why is it their business anyway?

    Thank you for taking the time to write this and bare all. It’s so good to see someone talking about this topic!

  92. I’m 25 and desperate to start having babies. I want at least four and when I tell people this, they are so shocked! I have a Masters degree and am supposed to want a career, to want “more than that”. More than what? More than what I feel I’m meant to do, what I believe I will be really good at?
    It’s nice to know there are other women out there who agree with me, even if I hardly ever meet them in person πŸ™‚

    1. I’m 26, and I also feel I’m ready to start having babies! Thankfully, I’m getting married next spring. I feel like my career is just a placeholder until I can have a baby, and I want at least 4 πŸ˜‰

    2. I sooo understand! My biggest dream has always been to be a wife & mother. At 25 I was still single and decided I needed a back-up plan. So I started pursuing my master’s degree. While working on it I met & married my husband (just under a year ago) and decided to let the master’s degree go so that I could focus on being a wife. I’ve still taken a class on the side, but have no intention of finishing the degree. I’m now working until that amazing day that I find out I’m expecting (which I soooo hope is very soon!), and so many people –solid Christian people–treat me as if I’m an abused wife because I gave up my degree for my husband. I try to tell them that the degree was only a back-up plan because I was single, but they rarely buy it. I try to tell them that being a wife makes me A THOUSAND times happier than does being a student, or having any great career that my degree could have led to. But they always look at me with pity, assuming I’m just trying to convince myself of it. I get so frustrated with those people, but I’m still confident in my decision. Anyway, I hope you can soon begin your journey toward your four bundles of joy!

  93. I’m really enjoying your “Opposite World” series. Keep up the good work. I really appreciate this post. We, mommies , have so much to be grateful for. I often wish that I had started younger so I could have more kids. They are the best thing that ever happened to me. I’ve learned more about love from them than any other experience I’ve ever had.

  94. Having found out last week that a surprise #5 miracle is on it’s way, this post was timed by God for me!!! Thanks Hun =)

  95. I needed this so very bad. While I definitely heard my fair share of negativity with pregnancy #1 (especially when people learned of my desire for med free birth and breast feeding and used me to work through their own traumatic experiences), this pregnancy has been much worse. I’m in grad school, and I’m pregnant with twins (9 weeks). In the few weeks we’ve been ‘out’, I’ve heard ‘better you than me’, ‘I’m so glad it’s not me’, ‘your life is going to be CRAZY’, ‘did you plan this??!’ (Yes, I did extra kegels and double ovulated. Really??!) etc. And these are moms, *not* other students in my program! It has seemed to me that people view children as the unfortunate byproduct of marriage, rather than a natural continuation. It hurts having to defend the existence of these little lives.

  96. Courtney, Wonderful message. So true and so needed. I truly must remind myself what a twisted, backward society that surrounds me. We are presently waiting for our adopted daughter, we have three biological children (and are in our 40’s) We look crazy to the world but I am so glad I know and can proclaim God’s truths!!!

  97. This is near and dear to my heart. I have written on this in 2 places on my blog. I have 5 girls and have been blown away by comments-especially by our own family members. Some people have even tried to tell us to “try different things” to get a boy. Really? How can people be so bold? It hurts me deeply that we have gotten so much negative feedback. My 2 year old was born when i turned 40 and that was a tough one. People were downright mean. She is such a sweet soul and huge blessing to our family. I cant imagine life without her. But the whole pregnancy was filled with anguish. My mother in law who had 6 began saying to people who had negative comments, “which one do you think i should give back?” That quiets people quickly!!
    Thanks so much for you wonderful post, encouragement and just being you! God bless you,

  98. Thanks for this. I am pregnant with my 3rd at (gasp!) 35 (some woman at church actually acted like I was a hero for having a baby at 35). I too had my first at 27, although that was just under 3 yrs after getting married so I don’t feel that we waited unusually long time; I just married at 24 instead of 21 or 22 like most of my friends. For some reason God chose for me to wait almost 6 years after #2 for #3. . and I still have had people ask me if this was a “surprise,” were we still “trying?” (That is NOBODY’S BUSINESS!, but yes, been waiting for another for about 4 years). Worse was my mom – she’d been telling me since I had #2 that “2 is enough in our society” even though she had 5!!!! She refused to speak to me about my pregnancy for several weeks after we told them we were expecting. I tell that to say that even good Christians get lulled into believing “Opposite World’s” mantra; if we hear something often enough, we start to believe it. Thanks for your insightful posts.

  99. Wow I so love this post. Our culture today just doesn’t seem to get that all children are blessings so matter how and when God brings them. My husband & I had our first after a rough start for him we decided we would expand our family through foster care. We now have added a precious little boy to our forever family. I am so glad we followed His lead to adopt! I could NOT imagine God putting our family together any other way.

  100. Thanks! I needed to hear this I am pregnant with 5 and feel like I need to hide it because of negative people.


  101. Great post, thanks for the words of wisdom! I had my first baby at 29, but the short line you wrote about Sarah being old really made me smile big time knowing, I’m really not THAT old. πŸ™‚

    I was just at my sister-in-laws baby shower yesterday when I commented to one of my friends that, “…I’m a mom now, I can’t go out and party like I used to.” Her respond to the new mom-to-be, “…don’t listen to that, sure you can! Just look at my sister, she goes out partying every weekend.”

    Now let’s look at her sister. She goes out every weekend, drops the kids off at her mom’s house not only when she goes out to party but, when she has to get to her full time job because her husband is also working, she’s always looking to do dinner dates with friends, on facebook and texting nonstope and then she wonders why is that her kids won’t listen to her or that they’re “out of control.” HELLOOOO! Could it be that maybe you’re not taking the time and responsibility to actually be a mom and raise them?

    Oy! πŸ™‚

  102. Loving this series and this post!!!! Definitely preaching it!!!!! Thank you for doing this, your blog, speaking out!

    I am guilty of a lot of what you talked about in this post. Being negative, usually in a jesting way, bt none the less negative. What blessings our children are!

  103. Hi Courtney!
    What a great point about encouraging young women to flourish in their baby making years! I completely agree that we need to help people see the positive aspects of childbearing and raising them. That hardships are a normal part of growth and life, and to be expected but not the focus. “living well” to me, means to learn to embrace the good, and handle the bad well. Now if I may make a point consider that many women who “choose” to have children later, or less children, or no children (GASP!). Often have reasons, not excuses. Often people have mental road blocks that they need help navigating through in order to get over fears, or past experiences, or maybe they have a very hard childhood. I realize that God’s design is for people to have children and reproduce, and teach them God’s ways, but that’s the ‘ideal’ not the real world we live in (look at all the messy storiees in the bible!). Healthy parents make healthy children, but the reverse is also true.
    Bottom line- it’s in part responsibility of the Christian women’s community to encourage other women in the way of womenhood and mothering because the “world” has taught them the wrong way (Jesus is the way the truth and the life), and if Christians are representing the gospel we should be teaching gracefully in “truth and love.” Not pointing out what they are doing wrong, they may not have the life skills and experiences yet, and in my humble opinion, their are plenty of people who SHOULD prayerfull wait, and be taught what a healthy family is.
    …And in the meantime, travel, drink lattes, go to the spa and enjoy life πŸ˜‰
    Kelsey MacMaster

    1. I agree on this front….Having had emotional scars in both my husbands and my past, our first few years of marriage and parenting were a struggle. Fortunately we made being good parents a priority and our children have managed to grow up healthy and secure. I do believe anyone not ready to put their children as a priority should wait…….I see too many children suffering from “party” moms……..

  104. Thank you for this timely post. I am a pastor’s wife and currently pregnant with our fourth. Even church members say things like, “This is it, I hope” or “you do know what causes this, right?” I have trouble sometimes conveying to them all just how much these blessings mean to me and my husband. I wish they could all read this post!

  105. Courtney,

    I Just Want To Tell You That You Were Definitely The Hands And Feet Of Jesus This Morning For Me. i Am a Mommy Of Five And Have Yet To Turn 30. i So Feel Like An Oddball In This Culture And Satan Has Used It To Question My Abilities, But My Children Are a Reward And Not a Burden. This Is My Purpose, My Calling. Thank You For The Wonderful Reminder In This Sometimes Desperate Life Of Mine! And For Renewed Hope!


    1. Hang in there little ones. I had similar things with my six. My youngest is now 21 and doing great. You are blessed with the most wonderful opportunities to be with the babies. That time goes way too fast. Enjoy it while you can.
      I was asked all the same things and looked at in the same way. I am currently 53 years old and in my last semester of my bachelor’s degree. Degrees will wait, children won’t. God bless you all.

  106. Thanks for posting this. I have 5 little blessings ages 8 down to 1, and encounter this opposite world all the time. It is frustrating, and I want to say to them…”My children have ears and they can hear your negative comments!!” That’s what bothers me the most. I usually try to respond to a complete stranger who feels the need to comment when I have all of them out, “You have your hands full”, ….or something like that, with a “yes but Praise God my heart is much fuller” I have also been known to respond to the “you do know what causes this right?”….with “yes as a matter of fact I do, and it’s FUN!” lol. That seldom gets a response back, but I don’t say that where my kids can understand…:) Praise the Lord he’s the only one we have to answer to and he’s thrilled with our families no matter how big or small he plans them to be!!

  107. I can not thank you enough for posting this. As a mother of 5, it is exactly what I needed to hear today.

  108. I love this post because I have three kids, I always knew I would have three and my mom was not supportive and she was far from happy when I told her I was having my first. EVEN though me and my husband have and still are going thru a rough time, I would not change my life or what I have gone through for anything in the world. IF anything, I would go back and found this site so that I would have the wisdom that GOD gave us that lies in all of us. I get the constant, “oh, wait until your children get older” (I have two girls) and I am constantly battling, oh they are going to sneak and lie, have attitudes… etc…yap yap yap. SHUT UP, I was just telling one of my best friends the other day, stop wishing, saying negative things about my children and on my children. SO I declare today that I pray that I will have the strength to get up and read the bible to my children and let them know whats right and whats wrong because even though I had my children right after high school, I do not want them to make the same mistakes but I also have the power of prayer and faith that they will not. I love this series because as women of god who are definitely striving to be better and do better, we have it hard trying to stay focused on our family and (ESPECIALLY ME!) NOT conform to this crazy and evil world we live in! thanks Courtney ~ πŸ™‚

  109. Thank you so much for sharing this!!! Being a young wife and mother, this is exactly what I needed to hear!!

  110. Your post is a blessing to me. While I am now the mother of 4 sons ages 15, 16, 19 and 20 – the comments about being a young mother with more than two children remind me of similar comments directed at me. As I would usher my brood through the checkout line at the grocery store I would hear comments ranging from ‘is she crazy?’ to ‘it’s not fair to the kids to have so many.’ Our oldest was 5 when the youngest was born. Our parents advised us to stop, as we wouldn’t be able to take our kids on nice vacations if we had more, wouldn’t be able to give them all the THINGS other kids would have, wouldn’t be able to give them each their own bedrooms, etc.
    I often heard the comment, “Well, God bless you . . . . “. I learned the best response from me was “Thank you, He already has!”

  111. You are so right! I am the oldest of 6 and my mom always got all sorts of horrible comments. I recently did a post on it here: http://thetexaswalkers.blogspot.com/2013/03/why-i-should-not-have-6-kids-like-my-mom.html where I talk about refusing to buy into society/satan’s lies about children. I am so thankful that so many young Christian women see the stark difference between what God says and what the world says, choose to side with God, live like it, and then share the wisdom with others. Thank you for sharing!!

  112. Thank you for this Courtney!

    It’s actually “opposite” for me in this circumstance… I had a rough preganancy. I struggled with preeclampsia (horrible migraines, high blood pressure, and significant fluid retention) so anytime someone acts me about pregnancy I share that with them. My motive is not to scare them away from kids, but now I realize that is exactly what I’m doing!? Oh no! I need to twist it into a positive. The outcome was worth the hardships and I am so very blessed to have a happy, healthy, and handsome 1.5 year old baby boy.


  113. Oh, yes, the “just wait” people. I remember holding my tiny baby girl in my arm and being told what a horrible person she would become in her teens. Well, that young lady left home for the summer just last week and she is still the most amazing child I could have hoped for. Other than occasionally forgetting to call if she was late, she really didn’t give me any trouble as a teen. Even better, she became my friend and confidant and I am thankful for both her and her sister every day. Missing her like crazy right now!

  114. Sweet Courtney, I think this is probably my favorite blog post ever here! You are so exactly right.
    And it’s also a great reminder that just because someone else has fewer children, it’s not necessarily purely by choice. Thank you for writing such a real, direct piece. I hope many mamas are encouraged by it!!

  115. This is an AMAZING way to look at having children. My husband and I were married at 26 (we met after college) and decided we wanted to have kids right away. We loved kids and since my mom and grandma had a hysterectomy(?), I was worried I might have problems as well. Thankfully, I did not and we were blessed with 3 kids in 5 years (we also wanted them close in age to grow up together). It was stressful and we learned a lot about each other during that time, lol, but it was fun and we enjoyed it. There were so many comments about how things were going too fast and when were we going to stop. I know we missed out on a lot, but the way we see it? We’re still going to be young when they leave the house and we can have all the time to ourselves that we want then. Our kids fulfill our lives and make us the people we’re supposed to be and I wouldn’t have it any other way πŸ™‚ Especially since right before my 3rd, I began having high blood pressure issues. I’m now constantly monitored by doctors and on 3 medications. My youngest had to be taken by C-section and I had my tubes tied for health reasons. If we had waited, we may not have had any children at all.

  116. I have 8 children…. well, 2 are now adults, 3 are teens, plus the 3 children…. I have also had 5 miscarriages, and I’ve heard just about every negative comment there is….but recognizing how God sees children and knowing that He says we can never “overpopulate” heaven, I was able to push through those negative comments (though, they did often hurt.)

    So many comments have come from the Christian community…. in fact, most of them….. the ones who come from unbelievers don’t hurt anyways, because you know they can’t understand…. but when Christians pelt you with those negative cliches about having children, you begin to doubt yourself and your calling…. it is very disappointing and discouraging.

    But the blessing of having my adults and teens now is not only that they are wonderful help with my younger kids (and that is their willing, lovingly giving good help, not me burdening them too young…) but also that I am now seeing the good fruit of raising these kids and pouring my life into them. It is a great blessing!

    It helps that we have homeschooled, too…. I had more time with my kids than many parents have had. Not that my kids haven’t had some of their own issues… they are still sinners in this “opposite world” but they have been raised with love and grace, and we are beginning to see how good that has been for them. They are a blessing to me…. every single one of them! I’d have more if I could. πŸ™‚

  117. What a great post, Courtney! We are parents of three beautiful girls — and we are most blessed! I was able to resign from my job, to stay at home with our girls. It was one of the best decisions we made! The days pass by so quickly — in a blink! The person I was most fearful of telling my “news” to was, my mother. My mother, who could not have children, was very concerned with each pregnancy – primarily because she never carried a baby full term – and that was hard at the time. .I mistook her concern for my health as disappointment. (We had three children, in 4 years) Sometimes people are purposefully rude, but I think most times they have and untold story, and that is why they behave badly. As soon as each baby was born – my mother was ecstatic! Sadly, she passed away when they were 6,4,and 2, but she truly adored them! Sometimes I do wish we had started earlier — or had more — but I believe that God is sovereign and planned from the beginning of time, the exact due date of our children. I cannot imagine our lives without these precious girls. Our hearts continue to overflow with thankfulness to God.

  118. I’m 29, married, have been wanting kids, but I haven’t been able to get pregnant yet. From my perspective, I do hear a lot of negativity and/or complaining from moms about the trials of kids. I really do understand (not from personal experience) that being a mom and caring for children isn’t easy and can be difficult and trying. I do think moms need a chance to talk about that, get support, and not feel like a horrible mother because they’re struggling. However, sometimes I feel like it’s almost a contest to see who can sacrifice the most or be the most miserable to raise their children. There’s almost a perception that the more you sacrifice, the less sleep you get, the more showers you skip, the more you love your child. Of course that’s not the case. I think that may be where some of the stress comes from – mothers feeling like they need to do it all without help.

    That said, as someone who longs for children and hasn’t been able to yet, all the complaining is hurtful. I sometimes want to say, “I’d gladly trade you all your sleepless nights if only I could have a baby.”

    1. I agree so much with your post. After several years of trying, I was blessed with my first at age 30. I’m still hoping to be blessed with another someday. I would have traded anything to have that first baby, and would have traded anything for him to have a sibling to play with. I pray that you will soon know from personal experience just how much of a blessing a child can be — I can personally testify all of the time and effort to have and then raise a child is worth it!

  119. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for this post! What an encouragement this was to me at a time that honestly I need it the most! Thank you for your boldness, your honesty, and most importantly the scripture you pointed us all to.

  120. Wonderful post! I’m a 48 year old mom of 4 fantastic daughters, ages 22, 19, 16 and 12. When my husband and I got married, we were advised to wait to have kids: wait til you have had some time just the two of you; wait until you are out of school (Neal was in grad school, with several years left. He was 31, I was 24); wait until you have a good job; wait until you can afford it. We did NOT wait, and our first was born 10 1/2 months after our wedding day. What we noticed was that all of our friends stopped with two children. We both wanted a “big” family, but the common wisdom was that 2 is enough. Sad. We had our second daughter before Neal finished school, followed by 3 miscarriages and a still birth. Our 3rd living daughter was born after significant medical intervention and difficulty. We decided that the best course of action was to have a tubal ligation, otherwise I would either miscarry or spend an inordinate amount of time in the dr.s office. Although we now wish we had not quit so soon, God in His providence put it on our hearts to adopt, and we went to China in 2002 and brought home our 4th daughter, a precious 2 year old. As my husband and I look back at 23 years of marriage, our only regret has been that we did not have more children.

    Taking my little troupe shopping or to other public places, I would often get comments on how well behaved they are, but often that was followed with, “Just wait until they are teenagers!”. I am here to tell you that the notion of the teen years being necessarily dreadful is a lie. Love them, nurture them, teach them respect and obedience, and above all teach them and show them the love and fear of the Lord, and the terrible teen years will never come.

    So, all of you younger ladies, I admire and respect your grasping of the truth that children are a blessing from the Lord!

  121. I’m 27 and currently 8 weeks pregnant. It’s what I’ve dreamed of for so long. My husband and I married almost four years ago and due to financial situations decided to wait until we were a little more stable before starting our family. Well, God has blessed us tremendously because we conceived almost immediately. I keep telling my Bible study group that our lives right now are reflecting Abraham and Sarah’s. Walking in complete faith when strange new paths are thrown your way by God and what an adventure this has been.
    I’ve know for a very long time I was to be a mother. When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I could hardly ever come up with an answer. Motherhood is what I wanted. Teaching and loving on children is my heart’s desire that comes straight from our Lord.
    I love the way this article states that it is a tremendous blessing and I totally see it that way. Through all the nausea, sleepiness, and dizziness, I thank God everyday for the reminder of the truly beautiful gift He has growing inside me. I’ve received a few comments (from those who don’t know I’m pregnant) about waiting for babies so you can “get your stuff out of the way”. It was so hard for me to sit straight faced through that. Being a mother is “my stuff”. It’s the purpose God gave me. That and to serve my husband!
    I pray every day that this pregnancy will be healthy and blessed and that God will give us the ability to give our sweet first born siblings one day. πŸ™‚
    Thank you so much for sharing your heart!

  122. Thank you so much for this reminder Courtney! I have 2 little ones (3 years and 1), and sometimes it is a challenge, especially with the cultural expectations that moms should always have it all together. We try our best, and thank the Lord for their health and the little things are insignificant.

  123. Love this! What a great reminder! We have 2 children right now. Ages 2 and 3 months. They bring us such joy and entertainment, and I don’t know why people wouldn’t want a whole bunch of that! When I tell people that I want a lot of children, I get a lot of crazy looks! Its fun though.


  124. Courtney, oh how true! I, too, bought into what opposite world had to say about children for many years and am still trying to rid myself of those thoughts. I married my high school sweetheart at 20 and bought into the lies that the best thing to do is wait to have children. I had my first child at 27 and my second at 29 and am pregnant with my third now at 32. My husband asks me regularly why we waited so long. I know that I cannot go back and change things but how many times have I thought about it and wished that I knew back then what I know now.

    I chose to go to college and get a job but struggled with never wanting a “career”. I hate hearing so many people telling my brother and his new wife (they are both 22) the same lies that I was told for years. Why should they wait to have children? Will they be able to even have children when they finally “get around to it”?

    God’s ways are the best ways and I have been struggling for several years to try to correct the mistakes that I have made in the past. I have heard it posed – why is it that we want so badly what God calls a curse (i.e. debt) and so badly curse what God calls a blessing (children)?

    Could I be so bold as to ask you to pray for me? My little one is due in less than 3 months and I am praying hard and trying to follow God’s leading in my life to be able to stay home with my little ones before this baby comes. I feel so strongly that God is leading me to stay home with my children and homeschool them but feel so confused and stressed out and do not know where to go from here. Any extra prayers would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you so much for your writings, Courtney. Your blog has had such an impact on my life and I am forever thankful for finding it as it was the spark that started these huge God changes in my life.

  125. God used a miscarriage to prompt us to consider adoption–a wonderful option for those who desire more children.

  126. We get that a lot. “You have two. You’re done now right?” And I always respond, “No. I’m not”. We would like more. We had our first when I was 19 and our second (4 months ago πŸ™‚ ) when I was 23. We aren’t having them so close we can’t see straight yet people still think we should wait longer or not have any more. No one wanted us to have our second. And she is waay too cute to not have. Oh, I have stories about the things people have said. But I’m on my phone and my finger would get tired. πŸ˜‰

  127. Having my quiet time today and came across a random pin @pintrest. I soooo needed to hear this today πŸ™‚ With three boys at home it’s a mad house somedays, or at least just feels like it. My Hubby and I are working hard and planning on adopting several times from China in the coming years. So soon, I will be crossing over into a whole new camp of “are they all yours?”, ” couldn’t have any girls of your own?”, or “big family!” questions. I want to prepare my heart now so that I have a ready and joyful response!!

  128. I am in my 20’s and pregnant with my second little blessing. But some of the remarks I have been getting because my first born, my forever 2 angel, passed away in July. I was not expecting to give him a little brother or sister this soon, but I have been blessed. I thought my heart would never heal after I lost my little boy, and it’s not completely better, but knowing my tiny blessing growing inside me not only has the best big brother, but that big brother is also their guardian angel, it makes my heart happy, in a very sad way. And I would never try to replace my son, he opened my eyes to true love, and everyone thinks I’m trying to replace him, and it’s too soon to have this one. But I know in my heart, I would not have been blessed with this miracle if God didn’t think I could handle it.

    I just know my Angel boy is watching and smiling down on us. He wanted to be a big brother, and I know he’s not here to enjoy it physically, but he will still be there with us, every step of the way.

    1. Brittany,

      My heart breaks for you. I have a forever five year old son in heaven waiting for me, too. I was pregnant when he passed, four years ago this July. I got many of the same comments, especially from people who didn’t know I was already pregnant before his accident. People are so heartless and insensitive. The truth is, God knows what you need to help you heal! And you’re right, God doesn’t expect to replace your son, only to multiply your love! For a time, the last thing I wanted was another baby because I hurt so deeply at his loss, but eventually I realized the love that I gave and received in caring for this newborn was exactly the salve I needed to mend.

      We have six children, including the one in heaven. We married young and started having babies young. I was 20 when I gave birth to my first. All I’ve ever wanted is to be a mommy. At first I heard, “You’re too young.” and “What if you end up getting divorced?” What’s worse is that from the second pregnancy on, I’ve had family, friends and complete strangers say things like, “Don’t you know what’s causing it?” or “You’re getting your tubes tied this time, right?”

      I keep wondering when it became taboo to have more than one or two children. Why is it irresponsible or undesirable to have 6, 7, 8+ children? I grew up an only child and so did my husband. We both hated every single moment of it! Furthermore, having ONE child is hard work! You’re all the child has! Having multiple children is a breeze! There’s always someone to play with and an extra set of hands to refill a sippy cup for the 80th time or pick up that dropped passi for the thousandth time!

  129. There are two sides to everything. For those women that want to focus on their career instead of having babies immediately. Maybe that is a good thing. Because something tells me that there would be mothers knocking them for working and having babies! We would say that it’s a shame for those babies to be in daycare. The mother should be raising them. maybe, though that mother felt like God called her to be a nurse or a teacher for a few years first. That’s ok. That is between her and God! The size of your family or how young yo were when you started having babies doesn’t mean that you will be more blessed then the parents that were older when they married or waited a few years to start a family. Sometimes I honestly feel that parents that have baby after baby after baby like to hold it out there for every one to see almost like they are using to send those who choose differently on a guilt trip. That is just as WRONG as the people that make snide remarks about the large families! I personally find it rather self righteous and something of a “look at me attitude”. Almost like those with large families like to carry it around like a badge of honor they have given themselves. Bottom line; everyone is entitled to their own opinion and interpretation of how many children God meant for them when He said, “be fruitful and multiply”. And for those of us who choose to only have a couple of children it doesn’t mean that we have “chosen to buy into society’s lies about children”. You are as blessed by your children as YOU choose to be whether that is 1, 2, 7, or 13 children!

    1. You’re right. Though I wish I could have had more, I don’t judge those who have fewer. Some are meant to have no children at all. Some are meant to work with children, some are meant to stay at home. I think parenting is one of the biggest “hot topics” there are out there. I get so tired of seeing everyone judge each other and ridicule others choices. To each their own! It’s only our business to follow the path that God has for our lives- not tell everyone else how to live theirs. And that goes for any side you take πŸ™‚

    2. thank you for your post…it speaks to my heart on so many fronts. I loved working with children until I had my own, and then all I wanted was my own babies……now mine are older and I enjoy working with the young ones again, but I know God called me at the time to work with them(not to mention He didn’t give me my husband till I was older!!!)

  130. Perhaps I’m the only one that this post made me feel awful. I have just 2 children they are 10 years apart and although I love them deeply I would not want more. Being pregnant for me was not hard but after the birth of each I had a horrible time. I suffered horribly from depression, I felt like such a failure that I wasn’t enjoying motherhood. I had all these people around me telling me what a gift it was and yet I was completely miserable. My first 2 years with my 1st born were so bad I considered sterilization so that I wouldn’t be able to have more but I didn’t want to upset my husband. After my first husband left me and I was a single mom things did get better but when I remarried and we found out I was pregnant I actually considered suicide. I was so afraid to go through it all again. My husband was very supportive and took time off work to help me adjust after the baby came and now my youngest is 7 and things are good. I do love both of my kids and I wouldn’t wish them away for anything but I also believe that motherhood is not easy for everyone and that many times when you get negative comments it’s because other mothers have had a struggle and their fear is just reflecting in their words.
    I’m not sure why I struggled with motherhood so much and to be truthful I still do I always feel like a failure as far as my kids are concerned and that I must be broken to have struggled with my “role” so badly. But it doesn’t make me a bad Christian just because the thought of having children doesn’t fill me with great joy.

    1. You’re not the only one who feels bad. I read this last night and was so heartbroken I couldn’t bring myself to comment. I’m 21 and, based on the comments, one of few women here who does not have kids yet.

      And I don’t want to. I have a wonderful nephew and a gorgeous niece and it’s not that I don’t like kids. I just don’t want to have them myself. I’m terrified of pregnancy and yes what it might do to my body. I don’t want the responsibility of parenting. I also struggle with depression even now but more than anything I suffer from misophonia. It’s a new concept to the medical wotld and they are continuing to learn more but it’s basically a hatred of sound. Everyone can be irritated by different noises but this can cause emotions of rage and hatred and in some cases causes a person to become violent.

      Therr are plenty of noises that kids make that instantly trigger a mean angry response from me. I’ve noticed it with my niece and nephew. I have had nightmares about hurting my own children before and I am completely afraid that this condition makes it impossible for me to have kids. I feel like I should just do what I can to avoid it but after reading this I don’t know what to do. I try to wholly accept the role God designed for me but more often than not it’s hard to do.

      1. Katie,
        My heart breaks for your struggle and confusion and all I can say is whatever choice you make or whatever God brings to your life. He will give you the tools and resources to not only make it through but to prosper in doing so. I truly believe just like every child who is born to a mother is different so is every child of God and he knows what his plans are for us even if they seem strange or different to those around us. I will pray for you Katie to have peace in your life as you seek to follow God where ever he may take you.

      2. You should not feel bad because Courtney’s post. The way I understood her post,she is talking about all the negative comments mothers with large family gets. She is not saying that moms with large families should judge the other mothers with small families all the contrare. She just saying that people in their self fish acts preferr other things then having children, you have a health issue that is not being self fish.. if Lord has given you peace of the children you have you should not let these post affect you in anyway. I am a mother of 3 girls and one the way, and when I was pregnant with my third I would get mean comments from people like this better be your last, the area that I work I work with lots of customers, and people who didn’t even know me were rude, so I understand Courtney’s post completly I never sat around and judge other ladies because they only had one or two. Don’t buy into Satan’s lie and live condemened.. When I was single before marring my husband I suffered with depression and fear, I thought if one day I had babies I could hurt them, but when I had my daughter God used my baby girl to seek recovery because my heart changed for this baby girl and I wanted to be well and whole for this precious baby that God had entrusted me I suffered with Depression, fear, anxiety, for 3 to 4 years. God is a healer and He healed me completly!!! I am soo thankful to my Lord and Saviour that was 10 years ago…. now I am well off on to my fourth child and I know His grace is sufficient!! I pray for you and hope you don’t Satan you feed you lies and you live unhappy and feeling like a failure.

      3. I really think the heart of her post is to encourage those who have large families, and to challenge others not to be hurtful in their comments to/about those families.

        I really don’t believe she thinks it’s sinful for one person not to choose to have children. It seems you do have an illness that would make motherhood quite difficult, and you are seeking God’s will. He will never lead you wrong. Trust that, and don’t feel guilty for following Him!

        My husband and I have decided to trust God in his timing for building our family. Which means we don’t really try or prevent. (I suppose not preventing does mean we’re trying, and we do hope we get pregnant, but we don’t by ovulation kits, etc.) But with that being said, you can trust God just as much by preventing, if that is indeed how He leads you! Hopefully you’ll receive clarity about this soon!

      4. Katie,

        I knew from the time I was 6 years old that I didn’t want kids.

        I’m 27 and married now. I still feel the same way as I did when I was 6. We’re not having children.

        I never had the desire to be a mother. Sure, motherhood is a calling, but it’s not God’s calling for every woman. I know it’s not God’s calling for me. And that’s totally fine.

        Sounds to me like you’re already accepting the role God has for you. God’s role for women isn’t limited to motherhood. πŸ™‚

    2. No, you are not a bad Christian because kids do not feel you with joy. I love my kids and wanted more but since my 3rd, I’ve struggled with depression and felt overwhelmed. I had to work through feeling like a bad mother and Christian…I don’t ever want to judge someone else for the path God leads them to. I grew up being self righteous and I’m asking God to make me a better person. I faced a lot of negativity when it came to how we chose to have our babies and raise them, but negativity can go both ways. You seem to be a wonderful person and you’ve felt guilty because of the expectations people have put on you. You’re definitely not a failure πŸ™‚

  131. We have five grown children and eight grandchildren so far and I have married young and had my first at 19 and heard all those comments.. But, I will always tell young mothers that having a baby will change their lives forever. It’s a positive thing. My life has been forever changed by our children and I can’t imagine it any other way.

  132. It breaks my heart. We have three children- 3 1/2, 2 1/2, and 9 months. We get it all the time.
    Our society is definitely backwards.
    How true that “For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’

  133. Opposite World. Oh, how we fight against it all the time. We have 5 children, the oldest still only 5 years old when the youngest was born (and no multiples). The amount of comments we received while I was pregnant and to this day about the number of children we have was and still is ridiculous. And yet, I don’t get discouraged. I smile proudly and say, “Yes, these are all my children. And, yes, we wanted every single one.” I couldn’t imagine my life without them. And I am the very last person to say negative things to my pregnant friends, even when they may complain myself. I am so very convinced of the GIFT that children are, I try to remind moms of that, even when they may forget. That doesn’t mean I don’t have days when I am frustrated or exasperated. But, my, what a gift, a treasure they are. And, though we are finished biologically, we still feel God is calling us to adoption. The journey continues (as I am sure the comments will). But walking in the Lord’s way is so, so worth it.

  134. I’m currently 30 weeks pregnant with my 1st child and in my early 30s. I have to agree that 9 out of 10 comments I get are negative. People are so opinionated about pregnancy and babies, it shocks me. Thanks for pointing us back to the true gift children really are!

  135. Thank you for this post! This is my first visit to your page. I’m a newlywed with no children thus far, but I am so excited to start, Lord willing, and I have definitely experienced the negativity from others even in just talking about having children at my age (26) and especially when I talk about wanting to have more than two! I pray that more women will begin to see being a mother as a gift and a blessing and a wonderful, sweet calling. (I realize not having any children, I haven’t experienced the crazy days personally but I trust that each moment will be worth it!)

  136. In September of last year, my husband and I decided it was time to expand our family. We had a two year old daughter that was such a joy and we figured there was no better time than now to try for number 2. My pregnancy with my daughter was very complicated and I went into “trying for number 2” with some anxiety that it would take a long time. You can imagine our surprise when it happened right away. A few weeks later, we found out that I was actually carrying fraternal twins – a COMPLETE shock to us in every way!! I am now 33 weeks pregnant with these boy/girl twins and getting more negative comments than I ever thought possible. “Wow – 3 under 3…you sure will have your hands full!” It’s gotten to the point where I have found MYSELF talking negatively about this pregnancy or rolling my eyes in a playful way when someone inquires about the upcoming arrivals. WHAT?! How did I even get to this point? This post is spot-on and exactly what I needed to be reminded about what a blessing and an absolute gift these babies are. Yes, life will be crazy and yes, we will have our hands full. But, YES we are blessed – far beyond what we could ever have imagined. These children are a gift and I need to remember that on a daily basis instead of focusing on all of the negative. Thank you for such an encouraging read!!

  137. I love this! This is how I feel about my kids but never had the words to describe it…Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. My husband and I get judged all of the time because we don’t go out drinking all night with our friends living it up (frankly most of our friends have dropped off our radar because of this and I’m just fine with that) and we don’t go splurge on fancy vacations. My husband and I both work full time jobs, I would love to be a stay at home mom but right now we can’t afford that, so in the evenings and on weekends our kids go wherever we go be it in the tractor with daddy for a few hours or to a meeting with me. I feel in these moments (as I get dirty glares for showing up with my kids) I am showing my kids what I value in life, what hobbies I have! My son is raising money right now for Relay For Life in honor of his great aunt who has had breast cancer 3 times. It’s because he has been at Relay meetings, fundraisers & events his whole life that he understands the importance of this “fun” time with mommy! My husband constantly gets nagged at from my mother in law because she doesn’t get to babysit our daughter (long story short my son is from my first marriage and 99% of my inlaws want nothing to do with him because he isn’t from my husband) why would I pawn her off on someone else when it was our choice to bring her into this world. We just don’t go anywhere BOTH of our kids can’t go and we have our alone time once the kids go to bed and that is enough for both of us!

  138. This post is such an eye opener to me! My husband and I just got home from a weekend away alone together, which rarely happens with 3 boys! It was an amazing weekend, and one of the main topics we were discussing was whether or not to go for number 4 πŸ™‚
    We hear all the time from family, and society that we have our “fair share” of children and “You guys are obviously done right?”.
    But I don’t feel done, We want to add to our family. We love being parents, and I feel that being a mother is what God has called me to do, its not a thorn in my side where I day dream about the day my parenting responsibilities have come to an end.
    This post reminds me that the world doesn’t have a Godly perspective, nor does a lot of our family, so listening to them isn’t where we need to focus our energy.

  139. ahaha… I can say it… HATERS! lol…
    Sorry… all babies are blessings. I have 3 and want 3 more (already have names picked out… Xion (Zion), Xoie (Zoey), and Alijah)… but I’m starting to really question giving birth to 3 more in this economy/state of the world. I’ve been seriously discussing (further down the road) fostering to adopt with my husband. That way instead of bringing more children into the world to possibly suffer… maybe be a blessing to those already here.

  140. I so believe children are a blessing. I love my 3 precious blessings! But what about women who struggle with infertility? I have several friends who feel so ‘less then’ especially by the Christian community because they are not physically able to bear children. I think we need to be very careful here and consider the position of infertile couples because many feel that God does not want to ‘bless’ them with children or perhaps they aren’t worthy enough to have children or are being punished. And they are couples who deeply love Jesus. Just because you aren’t able to have to have children does not mean you aren’t blessed. Blessings come in many different forms. I realize you are specifically talking about children, but when my infertile friends read something like this they are wounded all over again. Qualifications need to be made when discussing this topic.

    1. Thanks! As a person who struggled through infertility for years, I often felt more out of place at church than anywhere else, being childless. Sermons always seemed to focus on that fact that children were a gift from God or that you could never even begin to understand the love God has for us unless you had children and knew how much you loved them. I now have two miracles (one through adoption and one conceived biologically), but those years of infertility always make me deeply aware of the pain infertile couples face. I appreciate your comment. πŸ™‚

    2. Thank you for saying this. As someone who didn’t go on to collage, always dreamed of being a mom from the time I could talk, and started trying as soon as we could, I have now been struggling for years with infertility. Like you both said, the church is one of the hardest places. Ironically, the ones posting about the hurt of comments made to them about their kids, are the ones most likely to say those very hurtful things about those of us without kids.

      The pain is very deep and raw, so for those reading this, please be careful with those you come in contact with who don’t have kids, with the words you use ,and how you boast about motherhood. It’s a very hard job, boast about it with other moms, grandma’s, etc., but be careful with the marrieds without kids. πŸ™‚ Infertility is a LOT more common then you might think and not something that everybody feels comfortable talking about.

  141. We have 10, 7 birth and 3 adopted. No, we didn’t wait until we were “finished” to adopt….We adopted a sibling group that blended right around the birth ages. Everyone gave us the doom stories. Has it been easy? No way. Have we had many of the issues that people talked about? Absolutely! Would we do it again? Absolutely! We know now and knew then that God was calling us to do exactly what we did…..and thus we are comfortable and content even in the trying times with some of the kids and the little one reminds us of the blessings abundant when the teen challenges us! I expect that the grand kids will remind us of those blessings when the little ones now are trying us for independence!

  142. I could not agree more! Society and well-meaning relatives told me that I shouldn’t be having more, and pressed upon me to have permeant measures taken to stop God’s blessings in my life(I didn’t know God’s love at the time). Oh, how I wish I had NOT listened! For those moms of many, count yourself BLESSED, for you are doing God’s work, regardless of if you have one kid that feels like twenty or twenty that feel like a group of your best friends! Don’t give in, keep leaning on God and KNOW you are doing God’s work!
    Don’t let the world steal God’s full intended joy in your lives! You don’t serve the world, you serve the KING of the universe!

  143. I am nearly 23, and have been happily married for 4 1/2 years. I married right out of high school pretty much and everyone told me I was dumb. I had our first child at 21 and people said I was too young. Now, our daughter is 14 months old and I am 3 months pregnant with our second. When my neighbor found out that these kids will be ‘only’ 20 months apart she said “I’m sorry”. I didn’t even know what to say, I just sat there. I usually think of things I should have said later on, so I never did get to comment on that. I totally know what you mean when you talk about opposite world.

  144. We just had our 7th kid in 9yrs. We married young and poor but feel like the “richest” family with all our blessings (marriage, kids, health)! Each child has taught us soooo much, I wouldn’t change a thing!! I am often asked about more babies and never say “No more” and it freaks people out! I just laugh and giggle. I feel my calling is to show the crazy love big families bring. I get all the comments from “don’t y’all have cable” (which we don’t) to “all from the same dad?” (Must be from so many blended families, I’m guessing) but overall my babies have made me a better person. They continue to teach me patience, compassion, humility and unconditional love!!! I believe mothering was my calling…and I did get tons of criticizing vommdnts for never finishing college, never traveling the world and sacrificing my body. But I wouldn’t have it any other way!!! I’m blessed and thankful daily that God has given us these lil sweeties!! I’m honored and humbled to tears some days at my job. But God is my Father and I strive to be like Him!! Great article!!! Absolutely in love with your line of thinking!!

  145. What a beautiful story! Having a large family is a blessing! I had once told the man I married and had 3 children with that I wanted as many children as the Lord would bless me with. He balked and said “maybe 2”. Well, 3 was what the Lord gave me, and I’m quite content. My quiver is full. I was also 29 when I gave birth to my first child, and I have never experienced such joy and selfless love ever in my life. They have changed my outlook on what life is about. Being pregnant was very hard on me, with my body gaining 120lbs the first time around. A whole adult person or adolescent child!! Through my pregnancies though, eventually it was revealed that I had two pituitary tumors that were causing my troubles. What a blessing to be pregnant with those hormonal issues! I had always thought that if I wasn’t able to conceive, I would adopt. Fertility treatments weren’t an option. Didn’t want to put my body through it, and the disappointment, and money that could be used to adopt (don’t be upset women, these are my opinions and no reflection on those who are on fertility treatments). At 50 years old going on 51, I’m now looking forward to becoming a grandmother someday, and am praying that the Lord is shaping my sons’ wives to be (they’re out there somewhere) to be godly women seeking out God’s will for their lives, and their childrens’. If my sons have them younger (my oldest is 21), then what a blessing, if they have them when they’re older in life, such as Abraham (I’m hoping that won’t happen when my sons are 100 years old – LOL), it is still a blessing. May the Lord bless you and your family, no matter how many children you have.

  146. I have the opposite problem. We have one child (who took 3 years to conceive after 3 miscarriages) and people keep asking me when I’m going to have another one. It’s none of their business! I can’t have another one. Perhaps if I’d met my husband earlier (we were 28) and we didn’t have any fertility issues, we could have had another one. I wish my child had a sibling. I think people should mind their own business about how many children a woman has. It’s such a personal decision.

  147. I am 27 and there are no prospects for marriage in sight. That’s not to say I’m wallowing in self-pity; I have served in the Americorps for a year and I am currently on the mission field in Spain, and I will be going to graduate school next year. I am thankful for the way God’s plan for my life is unfolding, but it rips my heart to hear negative comments like these about pregnancy or motherhood. I sit there listening to them thinking, “If I had to choose between all the stamps on my passport or exciting notes on my resume, and the experience of carrying and raising a child (with a godly husband), I’d take the latter in a heartbeat.” I know I can speak for many women who are wondering if they will ever have biological children when I say, please soak up every drop of the blessing God has given you! Don’t deem a burden what so many others ache to have!

  148. I love being able to read something so refreshing. I like many, have received so many negative comments towards my husband and I having kids. We have a 3, 2, 1 and #4 is due the end of June. Yes, I am busy! Yes, there are days where I feel like I could pull my hair out, however, doesn’t *everyone* have those kind of days? We always tell those who feel the need to comment that we feel our children are blessings. No, we may not have fancy vehicles, but our children have plenty of food, clothing, and a stable home. And they know they’re loved.

    So many times we hear, “How many kids are you going to have?” And my response has always been “How ever many God blesses us with”

    People may think we’re crazy, but we love it.

  149. I have four children and so often get the “are they all yours?” comment. I usually respond with an “of course!” But, surprisingly, I would always get the “you have your hands full” comment. Even with only three children! It’s crazy that people actually see three children as a big family now!

  150. Love this reminder! I’m a mother of 4 little ones and I believe it’s possible to flourish in this stage of life. It’s only come through a whole lot of humility in front of the Lord, but through this process God has strengthened my faith in Him like no other experience could have done. Praise the Lord for my children and for what God has done in my heart because of them!

  151. love this! I have 3 kids and want more. I get plenty of negative comments. I started young but not really that young at 22. Most people think I am crazy for wanting a bunch of kids. Especially with an 1100 square foot house and minister for a husband. I appreciate your post on this subject. I wish more people understood what a blessing children really are.

  152. This post hit home in so many ways for me. My dh and I also waiting until after college and starting a career before having our first child (she was born exactly 6.5 years after we married). Eventually, we told God we were done. When we finally repented, I was getting older (and didn’t know anyone my age having babies). We waited, years. I finally came to a place where I had to accept that there might not be anymore babies and I grieved. In God’s mercy and grace, He sent us a blessing two years ago. Then I saw first hand how anti-child our culture has become. I have never been more shocked at the audacity of complete strangers, fellow Christians, and family to deride such a wonderful time in any woman’s life. The hostility increased this past year as we were again blessed to carry a child.

    What happened to “minding your own business” or “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all?” I really felt like I was swimming upstream the past three years and tried very hard to extend grace to all the rude people. If we hope to change this reaction, however, we are going to have to start by teaching the Church to think the way God thinks and then live it out. Repent Church. We have taken hold of the sin of the world’s child-hating, self-serving life for the Abundant Life.

  153. Great post! I think we should just be still, listen, and WAIT for God’s timing (whether early, late, or in the middle of our child-bearing years). As it turns out, I didn’t meet the love of my life, my soul-mate, until I was 39. It wasn’t that I was putting other things first, although I did get my education and have a career. It was that I was waiting for God’s choice for me. Guess what? That choice turned out to be a wonderful man of God who was also a young widower. He not only needed the right wife but a mother for his young son. And, that person was ME! We were open to more children, even at my “advanced” age, and we got pregnant almost immediately. Now we have two beautiful, happy boys. And we heard the comments – and continue to hear them – about having babies late. The most common one is – “He must have been a surprise.” We always just tell them, that no, he was wanted and we are blessed. The best response to anyone who has a negative opinion, whether in the church or not, is “We are blessed to rely on God’s plan and His timing.”

  154. We have been blessed with six children. My odest is 21 and my youngest is 3. We have received many negative comments over the years over the number and the number of years between children. The one that I remember the most was from my ob/gyn doctor that delivered my 5th child. The whole time I was pregnant with my fifth my doctor tried to talk me into having my tubes tied stating that I didn’t need to have anymore that I had plenty. I knew I wanted to have six children and did have my sixth several years later. Over the years I have wondered how many women listened to that doctor and missed the blessing of more children.

  155. We recently found out that I am expecting our 4th child. I cried when that test was positive because we were supposed to ever have one! We started with adoption. Just one month after the adoption of our daughter was finalized, we found out we were expecting baby number 2. Then when the baby was 7 months old, our daughter’s biological brother was placed with us. Now, our kids are 11 (just a couple weeks shy of 12), 9, and 2 1/2 with one on the way. All of this after losing a baby, struggles through the adoption process, and days when I would lie in misery and cry out to God saying, “You know my heart, you know how desperately I want to be a Mama, is that not what You have for me??” Little did I know that was EXACTLY what His plan was all along, I just needed to get out of the way and let Him handle it! We now homeschool and I get to just be Mom, which is all I ever wanted. Praise God for each and every one of these little people He has so blessed me with. My life is richer and fuller because of them.

  156. It is opposite world. I just found out that we are pregnant with our fourth child and was so afraid to tell anyone because I was always asked if I wanted more and then before answering I was giving the lecture on how bad it would be to have more after all three fit in a smaller car perfectly, it’s easier on activities, you can take them more places because you can afford more, you can live in a smaller home, and so many more you wouldn’t even think of on your own. Anyways I did announce it rather suddenly over dinner and told my family that if they had anything negative to say they could keep it to themselves and only my sister on the phone had some negative concerns. I don’t know what they planned on it’s to late for concerns lol. This is a surprise pregnancy but I am starting to get excited it is a blessing and I can’t wait to meet him/her. PS I got married at 19 and six months later we were pregnant with our first I was 20 when we had him. We now have a 9, 6, and 4 year old. I’m 29 and my hubby is 32. We could have waited but look at what we would have missed out on.

    1. One more thing, we homeschool so now I’m hearing about how I need to put my children into school because I can’t possibly handle having a baby and doing school. Seriously? I wish people would understand that when God calls you it’s time to obey and if they don’t understand just be as supportive as possible we can’t all understand what God’s asked of others. Aside from that I already watch a one year old and his five year old sister what’s one more of my own?

  157. I am so surprised by this! I never ONCE experienced any of the negativity that is being described here. I have three children, my first we adopted when I was 20, the other two are birth children that I had at 25 and 27. I was a young mom and I DID get some looks when I was 20 and had a three year old holding my hand, but it was usually from older women checking to make sure I had a ring on my finger. And always once they heard the story of how our oldest came to live with us we were showered with praise. Pregnant with my third, all I ever heard was “congrats, you must be so happy”!

    1. I’m with you….I do get the “are they twins” about my younger two, and the “you have your hands full” about being the mom with three boys under 5–but I just smiled and said “I sure do!!!” Anyone with multiple preschool children does have their hands full…..even if it is a good thing. I never took those comments as offensive, and the only person who ever commented negatively when I announced my pregnancies was my own mom…..everyone else congratulated me.

  158. Just found out I was pregnant 2 weeks ago. And what a shock it was! My husband and I were married last July and I have been fastidious with the pill. We are that less-than-one percent that beats birth control. However, even though it’s terribly inconvenient (timing-wise, anyways), I do believe that children are a gift from God. I find it a little sad that there is so much hate and judgement about being a mom in this current world. You are either too young, too old, have too many, don’t have enough, only stay-at-home, or are an evil working mom. It seems you can never win! My husband is starting graduate school in the fall and I am currently finishing up the first year of a 5 or 6 year PhD program. I absolutely love what I am studying and God has made it very clear that this school is the place for me. I usually have no problem brushing off judgement and marching to the beat of my own drum, but I’m a bit nervous about telling people about my pregnancy in the months to come. I worry that women at church will judge me because I am choosing to stay in school (hello, my stipend pays the bills!) and place my child in daycare. (Doesn’t mean I will love this child any less). On the other hand, I am worried that my classmates will judge me for being careless and having a child so early in graduate school. By reading many of the above comments, I truly believe that we, as women, need to extend grace to all moms in all circumstances. We can never fully understand what another woman is going through!

    1. this goes back to my comment about the “mommy wars” mom’s today just can’t do anything right. I got the same when I was physically unable to breast feed my boys…..I felt like every billboard was screaming at me what a horrible mom I was!!!! Needless to say, my bottle fed boys are well adjusted, love their mom, don’t have childhood obesity issues, are highly intelligent, and didn’t starve to death like they would have if I had nursed!!! LOL Gotta love how we who are doing the hardest job on earth like to tear each other down..Congrats on your pregnancy, (all of mine were “gifts of God in spite of my best efforts” too 1 on bc, 1 because I “forgot” and one was a condom baby), and good luck in you academic pursuits!!!

  159. This is beautifully said and just what I needed to hear! I am pregnant with my 5th(Lord willing not my last) and I hear all the negative and much worse since I always have my older two homeschool children with me when they should be in “school!” I love reading your blog it is so encouraging! ~ Blessings!!

  160. I loved what you said about thanking God for giving us so much when the enemy whispers – this is too much. Like some other women above I have also lost a child, and I think it’s definitely helped me to be grateful for each day I get to spend with the 2 children that God has allowed me to look after. When I get tired of trying to put a screaming baby to sleep again and again, I remind myself what a blessing that I have him at all.

    I also live in a community where it’s unusual to see a mother looking after her own child, let alone her two children. I get the comment: ‘wow, its such hard work to look after kids, how do you do it by yourself, and with two?!’ You’ve encouraged me to think about my response, and how I should be giving glory to God by pointing out what a gift and blessing my children are. Thank you.

  161. Children are indeed a blessing. However, I’m a little concerned about the tone of some of the comments that imply a woman is more spiritual/godly if she has many children. God has a plan for each one of us and those plans are as individual and varied as we are. Some women are capable of caring for a large family with ease, while another woman may be totally overwhelmed by two or three. Some women are called to remain single, some have careers, some choose to stay home, and some struggle with infertility. I think that as Christian women we need to work hard to encourage one another and build each other up, regardless of the choices we make regarding the size of our families.

    1. I agree Lori. I feel saddened that many mothers have experienced judgement from others about their choice to have a large family at a young age, but the tone of this blog makes it seem like that is the only way to be a Christian woman. I am 27, getting married to my 30 y/o fiance in four days, starting graduate school and a new career. I don’t believe I am any less a Christian because we are choosing to wait until my 30s to start having children and it’s offensive to have that insinuated by other Christians.

    2. I got the same impression reading this article. Waiting to have kids is not always a “selfish” decision. I WANTED to have kids young. I always assumed I”d be DONE by the time I turned 27. That was the deadline I had given myself my whole life. I’d start young, have them all close together, and be done by 27, at the latest 30. But here I am, turned 27 last week, and still have never even had a BOYFRIEND much less a husband and kids. And I’m having to face the music that I’m living in my own personal OPPOSITE WORLD, the world totally opposite of the one I planned for myself, because that’s where God has me. And Im thankful for all the opportunities he’s given me in the meantime that I never expected or planned. I actually was brought up in a part of the country where the society expects that you have kids young and have many, but part of God’s plan for me was to call me to a part of the country where this is not the norm – and as a result it’s caused a bit of an identity crisis, but thankfully, since I live in a part of the country where it’s the norm, when i cry about how I’m so much older than I thought I would be getting married and having kid (if EVER at this point), people around me have the mentality that I’m young, and it’s actually an ENCOURAGEMENT, and really the only way I could get through it. This post sent me into a bit of an emotional tailspin, and I know that wasn’t her intention – as I know many people were encouraged by it – but for me it was a reminder that everythign I ever thought was right, WAS right, and the life I’m living is not in line with what I always thought was right – despite the fact that I have no control over the matter.

      So basically, what I’m saying is that not everyone who waits until they’re older to have kids did it by choice. I pray daily, as I have been since I was young, that God will bring me a husband and kids, but since he has yet to answer that pray, he’s brought me into some amazing ministry opportunities and professional experiences that allow me to serve others. If that’s his will for me, I’m just gonna try to enjoy the ride. I talk about this a lot on my own personal blog, danielleinthecity.blogspot.com

  162. Hello, I’ve received some comments, as we are pregnant with our 3rd, I’m 24 and we got married 5 years ago. (We’d probably have more at this point, but my husband was deployed a lot when we were first married.) most of the comments have centered around the fact that we have a boy and a girl already. So, apparently, now we will be, uneven, imperfect…and well…we just went and broke the mold of “Little American Family.” Oh well! We plan to have as many as God wants, whether that’s through adoption or more biological babies! Having said that though, we are extremely satisfied with what God has already given us! The point, it’s up to Him…and like I’ve seen other Christian women say, I’d hate to tell God that I don’t want another a gift…an eternal one, at that!!! I have had a lot of personal issues with allowing God to have control of my womb, mostly, because I am physically needing a break. But I’ve recently learned that it’s all about knowing what God wants from you in the different seasons you are in. And I’m at peace with that! I am SO VERY BLESSED to have my two and one on the way!!! Children are such a blessing directly from God! I’m just happy He’s chosen ME, (Of all people!??!) to be the mama of these little ones =) Thank you for your post, it was very timely.

    1. Just a thought on the whole “telling God no to a gift” idea……..if He can give Mary an immaculate conception, isn’t kind of limiting to assume He can’t work around your best efforts to prevent a pregnancy? I have three “blessings in spite of my best efforts” children, and one of my best friends #4 and only much desired son was AFTER her husband’s vasectomy. Don’t assume you are more powerful than God by taking a little round pill or a shot or even surgery!!!!! My God is bigger than that!!!!! πŸ˜‰

  163. I got pregnant at 19 and married the father three months later. Between 1972 and 1986, we had four kids and one miscarriage, and tons of remarks. All of our kids were planned (by the Lord, at least LOL) and we loved being parents, despite many trials and tragedies, including the death of our oldest at 21 in a car wreck. We made sure our oldest knew from the time she was a tyke that, although Mommy got pregnant before she and Daddy got married, we never regretted having her. As she got older, we added that we only wished we had waited and done it God’s way, and we hoped she would, but that we were so happy to have her and God loved her very much, just like we did.

    Eventually, she started calling herself “Mommy’s oopsy baby” as a joke and by the time she was a teen, she was determined to wait to have sex until her wedding night. This caused her to lose a lot of boyfriends, actual and potential, but she was firm.

    She was a virgin when she died, and afterwards her boyfriend told us that they’d discussed marriage and having kids some day and had agreed to wait. Lisa, strongly pro-life, had always wanted to adopt biracial kids or family groups (following the admired axample of a family in our church who had adopted four girls, one Caucasian, one Chinese, and two Columbian sisters). “I want a dozen,” she declared, and he told her if they could maybe start with three, she had a deal.

    I wish we’d had a chance to see what her life would have been like, but we know she’s with the Lord she loved all her life. And I’d absolutely do it again. Big families are wonderful!

    1. What a beautiful message…..I love the way you explained it to your Daughter and the beautiful stand she took. I’m sorry for your loss….but you have been a blessing to me today

  164. I married at 19, had my first child at 21, and my second at 23. Now here I am 18 years later and I am so very, very glad we did things just the way we did them. It was perfect! When I was in my 20s and had the energy that only a young 20 something can have, I had my littles to run after. Now I’m pushing 40 and I have two teenagers and it’s great. We did not wait to marry like so many thought we should. Thus we were able to start our family within a couple of years of marriage and those were decisions that have consistently served us so well. Absolutely, positively no regrets here!

  165. Thank you so much for writing this! I have one baby (9 months) and we would love to have more. So often though, I find myself battling the thoughts that children are a burden or that having more will mean I will have less time for myself. My daughter is such an amazing gift!! There are hard days, for sure, but she is always a gift. I find myself having to battle my flesh and selfishness, and I continually have to ask God to help me when I have a bad attitude. Thanks so much for the reminder that children are a blessing from the Lord! I pray God will give us many of these blessings.