Yesterday I went to a movie and got a little emotional about some family things I saw during it. Good thing I was alone in a dark room in a nearly vacant theatre or I may have just run for the restroom.
Being pregnant and all, the waterworks have started to turn on a bit more lately when I think about my own family and dear children.
Then as I was attempting to head home, there was a poor, elderly man standing on the corner of the intersection I pulled up to. He was holding a sign asking for help in any way people were willing to give. I didn’t think twice, rolled down my window and gave him the last granola bar that I had.
He smiled, said, “Thank you. God bless you.” I said the same back and headed on my way.
Then as I got on the freeway to head home, those tears started to fall heavy. I would think many mothers would simply blame my private episode on the fact that I’m pregnant. But I think it was more than that.
A woman’s mind is wired so intricately and at length, that every single thought or experience or emotion seems to draw upon everything else in our lives. So I wasn’t crying because I felt sorry for this homeless man.
But because my thoughts were turned to my family and children at the time, combined with this unexpected experience of helping a stranger, it compounded and evolved into a deep episode of overwhelming feelings of love, fear, sadness, joy, and faith. And it furthered my resolve about why I’m still having babies in the world today.
Let me explain.
Why People Have Stopped Having Babies In The World Today
Helping this stranger reminded me of all the terrible things that surround us in this world. I don’t have to list them all, it may just get me going the wrong way. But you know what they are.
Every generation has its definite experiences and struggles in society that we’re exposed to, that we altogether shouldn’t be. It’s sad. And because of it, people are not having children and families like they used to.
CBS News reported in 2014 that the declining birth rates during the last economic recession haven’t returned. They cited the main reason was people’s fear of the economy.
CNN stated recently that the replacement level of birth is 2.1 children per mother worldwide to simply replace the previous generation without any decrease. But nations all over the world report birth rates far below that requirement.
It is even lower than the dipping birth rates seen during the Great Depression 80 years ago.
More and more I meet people that are very outspoken against having children. One woman told me it was because she didn’t want to give up her lifestyle of playing and taking regular trips with her husband. Another woman I used to work with expressed outright that she didn’t want to ‘ruin’ her body.
One gal I see on occasion is adamant to not have more than the one child she does have because she can’t afford it.
There are a myriad of reasons that all stem from fear. Fear of losing what you already have. Fear of experiencing greater pain and suffering. Fear of losing the happiness you currently have. (You can learn how to overcome your fears of childbirth.)
Why Those Excuses Are Without Merit
Recent events have cast a greater shadow on how my own family sees where the world is headed. But it has only strengthened my resolve to hold fast.
Many of these reasons can certainly deter many and spur actions quickly despite what others may say. It just takes contemplation and deep consideration for what is best for our families and children to understand why these expressions should not determine your destiny.
Confusion About Marriage And Parental Roles
I believe that when marriages are equally respectful and divine in nature between a husband and wife, then life can continue and flourish in the best way possible. Of course, there are situations where a parent may not be present.
Those parents that are choosing to have children are providing the strongest backbone of society. It develops in our children a sense of continuity and eternal respect for the creation of life and how it is to be maintained throughout the generations.
It Costs Too Much
It will always cost too much. There is never a perfect budget that will fit a few children in. Have you ever met someone with a larger number of children that will tell you to NOT have your own because of the cost? No.
They will tell you that it will never work to wait until incomes are perfect. It requires a discipline of living within your means the most of the population may never learn. And yet, hundreds of thousands of families survive just fine even without all the extra padding in the bank.
It’s Too Hard On Me As A Woman
EVERY single mother is going through the hardest time of her life. It doesn’t matter if you’re pregnant with your first baby, you’ve recently lost a child from tragic circumstances, or you have two sets of triplets in tow. You are ALWAYS going to be going through the hardest time no matter where you are at in the ladder of motherhood descriptions.
But you know why us women are divinely tasked with this role? Because we are MADE for it. I mentioned how our brains are wired earlier. Because of our complexities, we are able to do all of these things that men often cannot.
It will seem too hard at the moment. But when you look back on how far you have become, it is remarkable the growth and power you have gained for traveling through that journey behind you.
There Are Enough Orphans Already That Need Parents
It’s true. Too many children are unfortunate to be without families and need that so desperately. And they have to rely on us for help. Fortunately, many parents choose to adopt and find great joy in doing so.
But this reasoning doesn’t make sense. If you don’t want children in the first place, are you going to adopt then? Many of those orphans don’t even have the means to provide for themselves and don’t live long and productive lives. But you can provide that stability for them whether you chose to have your own or adopt.
It goes back to the declining birth rates too. We still won’t make up for the lack by just eliminating orphan’s situations.
My Body Has Already Had Enough Physical Trauma
When your body has carried and birthed and breastfed a beautiful baby, it has reached the fullness of its creation. Many mothers cannot do some of these things with their own bodies and would give almost anything to be able to do so.
Research shows that growing through such growth and change is actually better for us in prevention of certain cancers and diseases. Plus there are many, many things you can do with exercise and nutrition before, during and after pregnancy to keep it functioning as is possibly can.
Your body is eventually going to break down in one way or other given time. And being able to accept your body no matter what state it’s in shows greater love and respect for your own mother’s efforts and your creator’s own masterpeices.
I Can’t Deal With More Emotional Struggles
You never know what curve ball life is going to through at you and how you’re going to be able to deal with it mentally and emotionally. Taking care of that part of your wellbeing continuously is a part of that effort.
Having children will give you the greatest emotional and spiritual highs you have ever experienced. It is amazing how most mothers cannot even express how they feel when they first hold that baby.
With my first boy, all I could say to my husband was, “Wow” because I was literally consumed by a precious feeling I cannot fully describe. And I wouldn’t take that back even if I had never gone through the struggles of birthing him.
The World Is So Messed Up For Raising A Child In
All you see in the news is the crap and the terrible people. Rarely does a good deed by well meaning individuals make the front page. You MUST believe and know that there is MORE good in this world than bad.
If you don’t help raise up the next generation to be stronger than the previous, how can you expect anything to get better? Yes, it’s going to be very difficult to grow a beautiful child in the weeds of adversity. But that child is going to have strong roots deeper than any intruding adversary, and a blooming aura that superscedes their surroundings.
I Don’t Have To Give Birth To Be A Real Woman
Of course not. I know a number of childless women who I see placed above and beyond myself in the standard of perfection. When you encounter people who express otherwise, they are not teaching their own children the value of individuals, no matter their circumstances.
Which begs another reason for us to raise children a better way in order to crowd out such cynicism in the future.But you can still be a mother, taking in those orphans we discussed earlier, and keeping them safe for their own future.
I’m Already Happy
I believe you. I also know that you don’t have to have children to be happy or find happiness in this life.
I DO know that I have experienced a greater joy beyond the happiness I experienced childless. And it multiplies with each child, it doesn’t divide. It’s not about keeping all of the pie you already have. It’s about making it bigger so there’s more to enjoy.
I Don’t Need Children To Be Taken Care Of When I’m Old
That’s true. There’s always the staff working in the nursing home or the neighbor that can check in on you occassionally.
But then you have no friendly face to look forward to visiting. Then you have no additional opportunity to feel love by your children’s children. It’s impossible to know how we’ll feel when we’re old. But have you ever heard an elderly person express they were glad they didn’t have children?
I Don’t Want To Give Up My Lifestyle
I get that. I miss being able to drop things on the fly and go do something exciting with my husband. We don’t date like we used to and don’t take trips as much as we would like.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still. Last year we hiked nearly every Saturday morning all summer with a kid on each back. Were we frustrated we weren’t in a beach in Mexico, or not alone in our endeavours? Absolutely not! We had the time of our lives and got rather strong while doing it. And in years to come we can show those pics to our little boys and watch their faces lite up.
More and more you can find family friendly vacation spots, cruises, hotels, whatever that will cater to your needs no matter what stage of life your children are in. Yes, they may be fewer and farther in between, but they will still be enjoyed and memorable.
So I wasn’t crying in the car because of all the terrible things I know my children will have to face. I wasn’t upset because of the fear that may crowd my thoughts at times when I think about what I need to prepare them to stand up against.
I was overwhelmed because I KNEW that I was making the right choice and that it IS WORTH IT. And I wouldn’t have it any other way because children are our future.