I’ve been trying to put this into words for a while, and have decided to just to write. Rather than compose some sort of coherent essay on the subject, I’ll let my confused thoughts spill onto my keyboard and hope they make sense.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking more and more about starting a family. I say starting, I mean expanding really, I mean we’re a family at the moment, just a rather small one. Feeling broody (or clucky as my Australian friend calls it) has only really reared its head once since we got married. It lasted for a few months whilst I was in my third year at Uni. As time went on, I realised that this was mainly due to me being disillusioned with studying and wanting to be onto the next thing…cue a heart-to-heart with a wise lady from my church family, and I was reminded of all the great things about being just the two of us for a bit, as well as not needing to rush to the next thing – there’s lots of life to get through!
Fast forward nearly 2 years and here we are today. My dreams of becoming a teacher have been filed away for another time of life (education system problems, that’s another post entirely), so my life options are more open that they’ve ever been…in my entire life. Before my A levels had finished, I knew I was going to Uni. Days after my final exams finished, I had a new job. I’m working right now, of course, and it’s not about to finish, but the path I had imagined my life to take (in the near future at least) has…not ended exactly, rather reached the moors, and there’s no clear route to take. It’s a beautiful place to be, there’s a huge expanse of land with heather, rocks and grass (maybe taking this imagery too far?). Yet the path isn’t mapped out. Many options, none are wrong, the question is just which one to take.
One of those options is children. We’re at a stage now where there’s less and less reason not to be expanding our family. When we first got married, it was studying, as well as being ‘too young’, by society’s standards at least. When we’d finished at Uni, it was needing to get ourselves settled in jobs/careers, and still being a bit on the young side. Now, I’m 24, my hubby’s 27, he’s getting closer to the elusive permanent job, and I’m…well, not settled in a long-term career. I could do what Kirstie Allsopp suggested and do the whole career thing post-children, although my Mum and Nana would need some convincing. We love kids and know that we want them to be a part of our family, be that biological, adopted, or (hopefully) both. Thanks to inheritance and savings, we could be in a position to buy a house within the next year or so (another thing that seems to be a ‘must-do/have’ to have a family), so having the space would be feasible. Even where we are now definitely has space for at least one little one.
Then there’s the broodiness creeping back. Seeing the newest little addition to our church family all snuggly and sweet, the grinning toddlers pottering around chasing each other, even the older kids talking to their Dad about why toy ducks are always yellow when ducks aren’t even yellow makes me yearn for it that little bit more. People sharing their family lives on some of the blogs that I read adds to the feeling. Of course, I see the more challenging parts of parenting too, but it’s easy to forget that part when you’re cuddling a little one!
And yet this path isn’t an easy one, obviously. Parenting is a huge responsibility, one that daunts, and even overwhelms me, and I’m not even doing it yet! Having children is life-changing, and I’m not sure I’m ready for life to change that drastically just yet.
This, of course, is assuming that we’re able to have biological children. We might spend a couple of years trying, then go down the adoption route, which could in itself take a year or so. Being a Mum is the only thing that I know I want to do in life, so why wait?
As I’m writing this, all the umm-ing and ahh-ing over what to do and when to do it, I’m reminded of a verse in Proverbs.
As much as we talk about these things and map out our lives, God’s purpose will never be thwarted. It’s an encouragement to be reminded that the choices we make are in His hands. This then brings me back to another verse in the same book, just a few chapters back.
Therein lies my solution to this dilemma: prayer. Commit our worries and plans to God and trust Him to work out His plan for our lives as we make our way across the beautiful moors of life.