are you just not the mothering type?

>> Wednesday, July 15, 2009

On our next anniversary, we'll celebrate seven years of marriage. The last four years have included not only active church involvement, domestic travel for speaking engagements, and international travel for my work in training pastors for evangelism.

As a result, I often field questions like "What is your position on women's ordination?" and "How do you juggle being a local pastor's wife with three or more months of international travel each year?"

And of course, there's the inevitable: "When are you guys going to have kids? Or are you just not the mothering type?"

I learned quickly that nobody particularly wanted the real answer. They just wanted to probe. To be a little nosy. How will she react? Is she feminine or feminist?

So my standard answer became, "Well, it just hasn't happened for us yet." At which point people either nodded and moved on, or launched into detailed personal stories about all the other people they knew who were experiencing infertility, too. Which, of course, wasn't exactly what I meant. But anyway...

The real answer?

I'm definitely the mothering type. But there's no way I was going to become a mother before I could be the kind of parent that I think God calls today's mothers to be.

We weren't ready yet. We believe that whenever possible, it's best to have a marriage before adding a family. We wanted time to travel and explore the world together. We spent the first 4.5 years sharing our home with always at least one member of extended family. We wanted some time alone together after the last family members moved out.

And we have very distinct and definite ideas about the kind of home we want to create for our children.

Those ideas do not include daycare, absentee parenting, or using the TV as a babysitter. And we plan to do weird, old-fashioned things that lots of people think are unusual these days - like breast-feeding, gardening, homeschooling, and so on.

None of which are exactly compatible with Mommy jetting off to the UK or Australia or Russia for 2 to 5 weeks at a time.

Hence, no kids. Doesn't mean mommy won't do some work at home or earn some money on the side or stay involved in ministry and other contributions - after all, she has at least a decade left of paying off the loans for her master's degree!

Now, while the news about Munchkin #1 was a bit of a surprise - it did come at a time when the house was empty of relatives, the cars and credit cards were paid off, and Mommy's work was flexible - at least until September, when she'll be back on the job hunt - but we digress.

So why didn't we have kids for so long? Because we wanted to give them the kind of home life that we believe God has called us to provide. And until that time came, we were willing to wait.

© Sarah K. Asaftei, 2009 unless otherwise sourced. Use allowed by express written permission only.


Angela July 16, 2009 at 5:21 AM  

We were married a little over five years before Troy was born. I wouldn't trade those years for anything. Good for you two!

Beth July 16, 2009 at 6:51 AM  

This is good, Sarah! I'm glad that I'm not the only "weird" one who wants to homeschool, garden, etc. Just for the record...child rearing has been the most rewarding and the most challenging task that God has given me. Be prepared if your child is not exactly how you idealized him to be. I thought that Gracie would be perfect [of course she is, you know :)] and never be disruptive in church, always eat her vegetables, never get into things at homes that we visited, etc. I learned very soon that my daughter has a mind of her own, and no matter how much training she receives at home and how much discipline she gets, she is two years old and will be curious and impulsive. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around who this little person is that God has given me the ability to create.

I believe that you will be a great mother and I'm glad you feel ready!

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