Several of my good friends are married. At least half of them have one or more children. I’m glad I’m not one of them.
Keep your shorts on, beloved. I love me some babies. They’re a blessing I look forward to, and will enjoy when the Lord says it’s time. But now isn’t that time.
Right now, I’m a wife. And I intend on enjoying this role for long enough to make the transition to “mother” one with a good foundation beneath it. That’s not to say that having a bub a year after your wedding day, or before, is unacceptable; just that it isn’t right for my and Harli’s relationship. Some couples are ready for children immediately. We’ll be married two years in May, and I’m pretty certain we’ll see our fifth anniversary before we become a family of three. That’s ok. My family isn’t anyone else’s family, and what has been perfect for someone else might not be survivable for us.
My husband put it like this: “We’re the cake. Our kids will be the icing.” Our desire is to bring children into a family that is already established, with parents who are dedicated to each other and beyond the hiccups that the first few years of marriage bring. I’m not talking about the “big” stuff, like family dynamics and finances, but the details that arise when you’re learning to live with your partner. Want some fun examples? Here you go.
Harli and I do the dishes differently. By this I really mean that he has the ability to balance every cup, plate, bowl, and wooden spoon we own in our little strainer, while I provide lots of “crashing” noise trying to do the same. Frankly, he just does them better. This wasn’t a major problem, but it’s one that we had to actually work through. Similarly, I clean and tidy regularly, while Harli is content to create piles and wipe out the shower when company comes over. Resolving this isn’t so much a matter of compromise, but communication. “There are scuff marks on the wall. Remove them, please,” works pretty well in this case. Keeping our Shoebox tidy is important, as our space is limited and even a little clutter makes an impact.
Our definitions of “amazing” curry are different. I put in heaps of pumpkin and potato, and Harli prefers apples and onions. We manage.
I love church. Like, actually enjoy sitting in worship and hearing sermons, and belting out familiar songs with my impressive four note range. H has a beautiful voice, and a faith that I am regularly in awe of, but had been to church three times before we got married. I’m quite likely to dive into small groups, Bible studies, and try to find a community. My husband is more of an introvert. This means that our transition to being part of a church family is slower than I prefer, but one that we’re both ok with.
My husband wakes up ready to devour a bear. I can’t stand the thought of eating before 9am.
My point is this: we don’t want to add to our family before we’re secure in who we are as a family. Working out the details of our life are important to us before we have little ones. When kids come before a couple have figured out how to handle weekly errands, laundry, conflicting schedules, and still keep in contact with family, chaos can follow. And, shoot me, but I believe that to be a good mother, I need to be a good wife. Another’s needs have to come before my own. Harli and I love being a couple, and all the things that we have the freedom to enjoy during this time as a family of two: we take off to spend the weekend with friends in Brisbane without notice; planning for trips is limited to how many boxes of cookies we want to take; and I can get away with doing laundry once every four days.
For the last year or so, I’ve been battling the desire to fast forward through this season. To add to our brood so I can know find some worth in the eyes of the dark-haired, big-footed, offspring my husband and I will undoubtedly produce. It’s easy to wait for the future, and not relish the moment (or the year,) and to find worth in titles rather than Christ. I am His before I am Harli’s, just as Harli is a Son of God before he is a Husband. No more for us. This moment is where God has me. I want to take the attitude of “this is what I’m doing today” until He calls me home, instead of “that is what I could/should be doing.”
Babies will come soon enough. Today, I’m a wife, a Daughter of the King, and that friend of yours who lives Down Under.