Barring serious health complications for me or one of my children, or other misfortune, I'm just getting warmed up with this third pregnancy. And no, I'm not one of those ladies that likes to be pregnant.
Besides getting to feel the baby move, I don't much care for it at all. I won't go into all the side effects of living 9 months with a parasite inside you, but usually only illnesses come with side effects. They are inumerated in plenty of other places and many of you may have had personal experience in this area. And no, I haven't always pictured myself with lots of kids. I don't really like babysitting and I'm not a "baby person." Other people's babies don't like me. Mine are great, cute and wonderful, and yours are great--right on your lap. (This may change at some point in the future, but for right now my lap is full.)
Zach is a little bit of a different story. He grew up in a big family and loved/loves it. Heck, I love marrying into a big family. From what I can gather, lots of his brothers and sisters are "baby people." It also doesn't hurt that he doesn't have to do any of the parasite carrying. This in mind, here is why we both want to have a big family, as expressed by Elder Dallin H. Oaks in General Conference, October 1993:
"President Kimball said, 'It is an act of extreme selfishness for a married couple to refuse to have children when they are able to do so' (Ensign, May 1979, p. 6). When married couples postpone childbearing until after they have satisfied their material goals, the mere passage of time assures that they seriously reduce their potential to participate in furthering our Heavenly Father’s plan for all of his spirit children. Faithful Latter-day Saints cannot afford to look upon children as an interference with what the world calls “self-fulfillment.” Our covenants with God and the ultimate purpose of life are tied up in those little ones who reach for our time, our love, and our sacrifices.
How many children should a couple have? All they can care for! Of course, to care for children means more than simply giving them life. Children must be loved, nurtured, taught, fed, clothed, housed, and well started in their capacities to be good parents themselves. Exercising faith in God’s promises to bless them when they are keeping his commandments, many LDS parents have large families. Others seek but are not blessed with children or with the number of children they desire. In a matter as intimate as this, we should not judge one another" (Ensign, November 1993, p. 72).
(Another good source for why we believe in families)
I feel too often when I talk to other couples, LDS or otherwise, it is in terms of how many children do they want to have and not really in terms of what the Lord wants. I say eight, but I hope by that time it rolls around, I'll be open to the idea of having another one if that is what the Lord wanted for our family. I know that great families come in all sizes from 1- 100 for all different reasons so I'm not trying to judge small families. Mine is a great example. My mom is a convert and we were from a second marriage. Two was all she could have by that time in her life. I understand there are health, financial, and emotioal reasons not to have kids. I get that.
At the same time I feel very strongly that Zach and I have been handed the "five talents" so to speak that it mentions in the Bible. If the "talents" are viewed as life advantages some big ones we've enjoyed would be:
Living in America and the freedoms that come with that
Being born with and raised in the Gospel
Good health and energy
Quality educations, for Zach and I
Getting married young
No present debt
Future financial comfort (hopefully)
No problems so far with having children
With great blessings comes great responsibilities. Those little spirits couldn't ask for more in my oppinion so who am I to say " nope we're happy with just our two boys " ? I'll step off my soap box now, but please, don't act so surprised if you hear someone say they want to have 8 kids. Just congratulate them and say good luck. I fully expect that Zach and the Lord will help me quite a bit in raising this next generation. My "hats off" to Rich and Kelly Hutchins who are the biggest family we're very close with- 10 kids.
Make some noise boys, maybe the plate will read GR8FL 4-9!