November 17, 2008

Proud Parent!


Sometimes, i wonder what my life would be like if i didn't have any children. Having Cody led me to school which is where Josh and i started dating (largely because Josh was babysitting for me). This very quickly led to marriage and the start of our family. If i never had Cody, i wouldn't be married to Josh right now. You can easily see where this leads.

But let's just pretend that Josh and i came together another way. And here we are, 7 years after we started dating. Maybe we're married, maybe not. We could easily still own our home. We'd have more money (in theory) and would be enjoying the freedom of time alone together, vacations, lots more time with other grown-ups without kids. Working would be tons easier because we wouldn't have to work around each others schedules. We could, just work. So yes, more money. When we're having that Blah day, we'd only have to worry about ourselves and not taking care of the others around us. We could workout whenever we wanted to, and not have to live our lives around our kids' routine schedules.

Sounds kind of nice . . . right? But looking at my life now, i wouldn't trade it for Anything in the world. My life would seem so empty and meaningless without my family. Everyday my boys show me how much they love me and miss me when i go to work. They bring joy to my life everyday. Their smiling faces show me the meaning of life and bring a peace to my soul that is indescribable.

Our children help us to grow and look outside ourselves. They give life more meaning than i ever thought possible. Children make it almost impossible to be selfish. Josh and i already had a fabulous relationship before kids, but having our kids has made us that much more united and brought us that much closer to each other. It's a relationship strengthener i can't really explain . . . it's just, there. I know that not every couple feels this way, some are childless and are very happy and proud, which is fantastic because that works for them. But for us, that wouldn't work.

I know several people who think that Josh and i rushed into having children and adding to our family. We were married a year before i got pregnant with Zack-and some were shocked that we didn't wait longer. We already had a child, and a 6-year gap between kids. And then, 3 years after Zack was born, Maddox was here. Again we were greeted by some negative comments. "What's the rush?" "Three kids?! That's a lot of kids. You're not planning on having more . . . are you?" And then hearing through the grapevine that we "can't afford to have 3 kids." Another favorite of mine was when we announced that Maddox was on the way. People were saying that i forced Josh into a 3rd child he didn't want. I'm sorry, no forcing here. Couples don't try to get pregnant with children they prefer not to have.

Lately Josh has started talking about what it would be like if we had 4 kids. What the ??!! He's not saying he wants 4 kids, let me make that clear. I have to admit that at first the thought of 4 kids (you all know it'd be 4 boys) freaked me out. But then i watched our boys. I am probably a little biased when i say that we have 3 very well behaved boys. They all get along great and seldom fight. They are loving, fun, kind, sharing, and very easily redirected when necessary. And they are all super-dang-cute! Josh and i wonder how much of it is that we got lucky with our boys, and how much of it is good parenting. Our lives are focused around our children, they are our #1 priority. And when i look at all this, 4 kids doesn't seem scary anymore. It would work. (Don't worry, we are NOT planning on a 4th!)

We started our family and have added to our family as we have felt the desire. But i'm looking for some feedback. Have any of you met with the same criticism we have? Do you ever wish you didn't have your kids when you did? Do you feel like you rushed into having kids, and more kids, or do you feel like it was perfect timing? As the mother, were you ever accused of forcing your husband into more children? And if you don't have any children yet, is there a reason you're waiting? I'm curious, let's hear your take on it!

7 comments from people we love:

Meredith said...

First of all I just want to say that I think you are an amazing mother. You are so good with your boys and handle them so well. I only wish I could have the patience that you have!

So that was a lot of questions to answer and give you my opinion on! So here goes...

I have totally gotten criticism about having kids so soon after getting married and having "so many" and having them so close together. And it has ranged from random strangers to my own mother. So yes, we've been there. I try not to let it affect me, but sometimes it's just hard not to; especially when the people criticizing you are the people who are supposed to be supportive of you.

I sometimes wish that Eric and I would have waited a little while before having kids. And I only say that so we could have had more of a newlywed stage. We went from getting married to finding out we were pregnant a week and a half later! That wasn't much time to spend as a new couple.

Though, as I say that, we were planning on trying to get pregnant right away; if I hadn't been pregnant already when we got married (I was 5 weeks and didn't know it! Hello, denial!) we were going to try to get pregnant the night of our wedding if not right after. We had been living together for a while and been together as a couple for so long, we both felt like it was time to take it to the next level and become parents. So being pregnant right away was perfect timing for our plan back then, but looking back, I just wish we would have waited a couple of months. I wouldn't have wanted to wait any longer than that!

All of our kids were pretty much surprises. Jackson was obviously a surprise. Right before Wyatt, we had been trying to get pregnant, and then took a month off; that month off was when Wyatt decided to come. And Logan was definitely a surprise. We were planning on trying like 3 or 4 months after we actually got pregnant with him. But even though they were all surprises, they were all welcomed and we were thrilled about them. The only time I felt like it wasn't perfect timing was with Logan; I was not expecting to have my kids so close together!!!

I remember one time, when I was about 20 weeks along with Wyatt, that Eric and I got in an argument; I think it was because I was upset with him about not being as excited about the pregnancy as I was. And it turned out, that he basically told me that he wasn't ready for it. That he pretty much "gave in" to me wanting to have a baby. I felt completely horrible about that. And then when Wyatt was born, Eric had a hard time bonding with him. It was hard to see, and I felt guilty for it. I didn't realize that I had been pressuring him; but now, after talking about it with him, I know what I was doing, and how I can recognize it if I ever do it again. It's funny now, though, because I've had a couple of times since having Logan that I worried about being pregnant, and I was the one freaking out and Eric was totally excited about it. :)

We're going to have another. We're definitely going to have another. But after that, I'm not sure. Neither one of us want to get "fixed", and part of me thinks that maybe a #5 will come some day (way down the line). But that's a decision between Eric, me, and Heavenly Father. Eric is convinced that it's not up to us...it's up to Him. And I think I believe that, too!

Stephanie said...

I got the same feedback when I was pregnant with the twins and I only had one child at the time! Interesting that so many families now choose to have one child and no more... not that that's a bad thing, whatever works for them. I wouldn't worry about what other people might say... and I don't think you do. Just sayin'. Do what you guys feel is right for you and just so you know, there ARE ways to "up your chances" of having a girl! lol I could tell you those if you'd like. lolol ANYHOO... I think the timing works out the way it's meant to be. Sometimes I felt bad that Brandon is so much older than the girls (he's 9 and the girls are 3) and felt bad at times that he wouldn't be able to have a close sibling relationship where they grow up playing together, but now that the girls are getting ready to turn 4 and Brandon 10, I see that it worked out this way for a good reason... Brandon is learning how to be an awesome big brother and protective and everything that will eventually make him the man that he is, so I really do think things work out the way they should and wouldn't sweat it.

Kymi said...

Hey girl! Thanks for letting me know about your blog. I to have one of my own, www.teamwalsh@blogspot.com, come check it out.
About the kids thing, I totally understand where you are coming from. When I met Tim he had two boys already. We were togeather for five years before we got married. I found out I was pregers a month later. Me personally wouldn't have it any other way. There are days when I would love to be able to just go to dinner without having to drag 3 kids along the way. But when it comes right down to it, they make my life whole. They are the reason I do what I do. The make me be a better person. I think I look at things a little different than some, I really don't care what people think about me or the way I am living. I have had plenty of people tell me what thier oppinion is. All that really matters is that I am loved, that I love my kids, that I love my husband, and that we are good people. So I say have as many kids as you want, it is YOUR life. Live it the way that makes YOU happy. You are obviously doing a great job. Besides who has the amount of money they would like anyway? Money isn't everything!
Okay now that I have ranted I don't know if that is what you were looking for. But I think that kids are the best thing in the world. If you take a peek into my blog you will see that our life revolves around our kids. We like it that way!

Ashley Knudson said...

A fourth Pond would be wonderful... then I could steal Zack and you wouldn't notice!! So I can't believe Max is already walking, I have missed so much these past five months!!

Jenni foo foo said...

Hello...always. And I live in UT!! People can't believe we're having a 5th. But I say, who better than us to have another precious spirit in our house. OK, so Im sure there are others better, but still. :)
I struggled with the decision to have a 5th, and along the way I realized I was caring about others would think. Then I thought...why do I even care? It's not their life, not their business. If you're having those feelings...just let them come and see what happens. They'll either get stronger, or you'll just forget all about it. And there will be your answer. Heavenly Father puts feelings into our hearts- sometimes when we don't want them there (like me). Forget about everyone else, and do what you and Josh feel is the best for you. 4 kids Chrystal is WONDERFUL! By the time your 4th comes Cody will be an even bigger helper, and the younger 2 will much more self sufficient as well.
As to you two rushing into things...Josh is one in a million to have been so good about Cody and wanting to be a great dad. So good for you! Why are people so adamant about sharing their feelings about how you should run your life? It baffles me.
Next time someone says "you have your hands full" blah blah blah, just say, I KNOW! Isn't it FABULOUS! That usually shuts them up. :) The crazy thing is you'll only have these little ones for 5% off your life...that's it. They will grow and become adults and you'll wish for all the messes on the floor to return.
Sorry I was so long winded. the moral of the story:
Do what's right for YOUR FAMILY.
Listen to the ONE who knows all, Heavenly Father.
And make sure you're on board together (you and & Josh).
And...you are a wonderful Mom Chrystal!! Can you believe at first you thought you wouldn't have more than Cody? You're life would be so boring...
I love you!

Mechelle said...

Thanks for letting me know about your blog. I love your wallpaper.

I have never wished my kids came at a different time. It seems like when they come, it all works out.

People think we are crazy for adopting more kids, but we have never let that stop us.

I would love to have a few more, but we can't have our own children so we are working on yet another adoption. This takes time and might never work out, but we have to try.

Here is the blog address of our cub blog. I am excited to have you all come tomorrow. mechlele

http://cubpack228.blogspot.com/

CAIO & ANNA JESUINO said...

heck! i can't wait to have kids but they'll come when it's the right time ya know? :)1st ...we have doctor orders to wait till i'm 100% better...2nd we would like to finish school and make sure we aren't living paycheck to paycheck when we have kids...we know you can never be fully ready to have kids, but we wanna try...if it doesn't happen, i know God will provide a way...3rd we just wanna wait... and then when it's time, we haven't decided but it's either gonna be 2 or 4 kids...haha! but i think you have josh did just great! i can't believe the things people have the balls to say about your life! you two are fabulous parents and I KNOW your kids are everything you said they are! :) I love your little family and hope i have one like yours! :) you go girl!