Baby-Tude

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“A Baby-Tude?! Are they pregnant?!” No. Not that we know of at least.  I’m not about to announce a pregnancy.  Rather, I want to discuss an attitude that I think is tragically gaining momentum in our society and is, in fact, contributing to a lesser view of children and humans in general. I’m talking about the attitude with which we approach pregnancy.  For all intents and purposes, I’m going to call one’s approach to this a baby-tude; a baby ready attitude. Because it’s fun and I made it up. 🙂

To all of you “newly marrieds”, “thinking about getting marrieds”, and even those expecting a wee one who aren’t married; this blog is for you. This is for anyone who has thought that there may be a child or children somewhere in your future.

When Andrew and I first started talking about getting married, we knew that we needed to have a talk about our thoughts regarding children. Vital questions to discuss, and agree on (at least as far as big picture concepts go)  before committing to marry each other were asked, like; do both of us want children, how many, and is spanking something we are okay with? Right along with all of these questions came the obvious question, when do we want to have children?

Once we got engaged and we had in depth talks about contraceptives, the “children questions” naturally came up again.  Both being strong believers in using particular birth control methods, (praise the Lord He created these!), we proceeded, thinking that we had a perfect timeline for when we wanted to have children, and that by using the wisdom God has given us, we would be able to control this.

Soon after, I started joking with friends about how terrible it would be to get pregnant quickly after marriage and they even took bets on how fast I would be pregnant. While this was all fun and games, I was somewhat serious and I know they were too, just as I had been with other friends who have gotten married.

This attitude is SO common in the world today, and it’s really not scoffed at. I didn’t even flinch until I was in one of my senior counseling classes and was slapped in the face (figuratively speaking, but it might as well have been physically), by a professor who was the first person I had ever heard challenge this way of thinking.  She said something to the class along these lines:

“How dare you treat pregnancy with such a regard?  Do you know how many women can’t get pregnant? On top of that, what a terrible way to react to your child being brought into the world! Your first act as a parent is complete selfishness. You should be ashamed.  Nowhere in Scripture is a child seen as a burden.  They are seen as miracles and gifts from God. Women begged the Lord to open their wombs and to give them offspring.”

Now, she elaborated more and of course, those aren’t her exact words, but that was the gist of it, and it completely blew me away.  I was skeptical at first, but as I began to think more about it after class, I realized that she was 100% right.

Children are seen as money pits, plain and simple; taking money away from important things we deserve like nice clothes, homes, cars, salon visits and all of the other things we DESERVE because of OUR earnings from our hard labor.  Hmmm…THAT sounds like a parent ready attitude (yes, I’m definitely guilty of this too and sarcasm was obviously intended). Children are also seen as the end of our independence (which, by the way, has become a top virtue right up there next to honesty and kindness in our culture), and the entrance of them into the world is usually a planned out event that fits perfectly into our lives and pursuits, OUR timeline.  Now, I don’t think the last point is necessarily wrong, but my point is that sometimes when a child comes along that is unexpected, it is not anticipated with joy but rather with negativity and selfishness

To be real, I had stated phrases similar to, “how awful to get pregnant right off the bat.” I became scared. When people joked about me getting pregnant quickly, I got defensive and upset.  Why was this?  First of all, honestly, I knew that it would be somewhat embarrassing for us to get pregnant quickly.  We can’t have people thinking we don’t know how to use contraceptives correctly.  We’re adults! We should know these things!  It’s also SO Moody (the Christian college I graduated from); so stereotypical.  I don’t want to be just another one of those Christian couples who don’t know what they’re doing and get pregnant, nor have people think that we don’t believe in using birth control. (Whoooaaah!-can’t you hear your Pride-O-Meter SCREAMING at you, Stacy Hanna?!)  Thirdly, what a drag to have my body get all mommy-fied right after marriage.  I want to enjoy the years of marital bliss with just the two of us looking beautiful and fit! (ohhhhkay. that’s an embarrassing one to look back on. I’ve only been married four months and laugh at the ridiculousness of that! My husband is so kind and loving; I know this step of life will only add to his love for me.) But that did seriously concern me, and to be honest, in my own insecurity, still does from time to time. Lastly, how inconvenient to have a kid now.  We can hardly afford housing and feeding TWO people…. I can’t imagine what THREE would be like!

Well, once these obviously painfully raw and selfish admissions were thrown into the garbage where they belonged; “admissions” brought to light by my professor’s incredulity to the way young marrieds like us approach the blessing of children, Andrew and I started thinking and talking very differently regarding children, children that God would hopefully bless us with.

On our wedding night, before any of the fun shenanigans began, we knelt by our bed and gave our marriage, sex life, and future family to the Lord; trusting in His perfect timing in using us to bring the next generation into the world.  If He blesses us with children, they will be entrusted to us for only a short while to “train them up” and then go on to live lives of their own.  I want us to be faithful with the time we are given as parents and not start out selfishly; I’m sure plenty of that will sadly come later.

So, for all of you who are wondering….NO, Andrew and I haven’t thrown caution to the wind in light of this and wouldn’t advise anyone else to either.  We are using the wisdom God has given us and are using contraceptives until we believe the Lord is leading us to start a family.  However, we realize that if we get pregnant at an unexpected time, it will be God’s perfect plan for when that little one’s life will begin, and we trust that He will provide the necessities we will need.  I can’t explain what a RELIEF this view on children has brought to us.

Just as my baby-tude was challenged, I hope yours was too.  Mull this over a little bit and challenge yourself to think a little beyond your comfort zone.  We did and it has brought my husband and me such unity and peace.  I hope you can experience that as well.

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