Last night while at my church's womens group a couple of us were discussing children. Another mom with 4 boys recently found out she was expecting. We were all excited for her and she is praying for pink :)
What I want to share is something Jared and I have been running into A LOT lately due to our own pregnancy. There seems to be two main camps when it comes to peoples opinions about our large family.
Camp #1-The older crowd. People our parents age or even a few years older than us who feel their child bearing years are over. The majority seem pleased, even excited for us. We've had total strangers approach us with great interest wanting to know if they are all ours and if the baby is a girl or another boy. We've had several people mention that they wished they had more children when they had the chance. The general consensus is children are great (even though it's difficult when they're young), have lots and you won't regret it later. Your Mercedes won't hug you back when you're 80. Larger families cost more but in the end no material possession has more worth than a child.
Jared and I have always felt it important to seek the wisdom of our elders (people with more life experience) when it comes to large life decisions. When we were praying about baby number 5 we talked to several people including our church's Eldership and we were given great encouragement to go ahead. Children are a blessing from the Lord.
Camp #2-The younger crowd. This largely consists of people our age and younger. There are those in the throws of parenting young children and they can't see the light at the end of the disciplinary tunnel just yet. The idea of taking care of 5 children overwhelm them and the say we are "crazy." Little do they realize that those rambunctious 2 year olds turn into loving caring and even helpful 8 year olds eventually.
Then there are those that are not yet married or just married who don't understand the overwhelming love that comes when you have a child of your own. They see all the needs of the child and the demands on the parent's time and resources and think, "No thanks."
I don't expect people to understand our desire for a large family. I would appreciate people taking a minute to observe our family and respect our decision knowing it was not something that just happened to us through our ignorance. Our family is purposeful and we got here through a lot of prayer and dependence on God's guidance. We have 4 well behaved respectful little boys that make parenting fun and rewarding. It's our love for them that gave us the desire for one more.
A mother in our group last night said it best, "It's not the children you have that you regret, it's those you decided not to have that give you pause."