Mrs. Martins called her daughter after one year of marriage to ask the question that had been plaguing her. “Eunice, your father and I have been talking, and I want to share a deep concern we have for you; you are thirty years old, well established in your career, and have a loving husband who seem just right for you. We cannot understand why you are not having children. Is there something wrong?”
Eunice laughed. “Oh mother, I was wondering when we were going to get around to this conservation. I figured that pretty soon you would be wondering why Andrew and I are not having children. There is nothing wrong. The truth of the matter is children are demanding. Being a mother is a twenty-four-hour-a-day responsibility. I want to take my time. I have the job I am doing; I like to travel and I can’t see how I will be able to raise children for now.”
The thought of having children had always frightened Eunice. Not a physical kind of fear but rather that pregnancy might keep her from her work, interfere with her life. She was aggressive in her work. She always thinks of ways to improve her productivity. She was afraid the impact motherhood would have on the careful balance she was maintaining. How could she possibly be a full-time mother, which she wanted to be, without it interfering with her duties as wife and career woman? The prospect of juggling that additional responsibility was daunting. The dual responsibilities will be too much for her.
Most contemporary women are like Eunice. They pay little attention to their families in the earlier days of their marriage. They are busy with their vocation and caught up in the pressure of climbing the corporate ladder. When they take into account the inevitable interruptions and temporary set-backs due to a child’s not feeling well or an unexpected emergency, pregnancy could cause, they prefer to postpone having children till later when they have saved up some money so that when the baby arrives, they have to devote themselves to mothering. They fear the stress of nursing a baby when their husbands are not able to help in most cases because they are working hard too to provide for the home.
But it is not as scaring as they feel. Many of them were proud, happy and excited to be pregnant. They had realized that life’s deepest meaning is building a happy family. They had learned to give more attention to their husbands and their marriage. Life is short. The truth of this statement had dawn on many of them. The time invested in your children will accumulate dividends forever. Many people are of the opinion that being a workaholic is the unhealthiest of lifestyles. It makes one old alone or die leaving behind small children that can barely take care of themselves.
In today’s world becoming a mother is a matter of choice, not necessity. In some countries, in the Orient, to be precise, having more than one child is forbidden, and the cost of breaking the law is steep. Can you decide not to become a mother knowing that growing old alone is depressing and even frightening?
Having a child who is not anticipated and desired is equally painfully and many result in lifelong resentments and tensions. So a woman must reserve the right to decide and then have the courage to live with your decision.
In some cases husbands are the cause of their wives postponing having babies as can be seem by this young husband’s confession. “We lived together for two years before the baby came. After the baby was born, I felt like she gave all her attention to the baby and I no longer mattered. It was as if her only goal in life was to have a baby, and after the baby came, she no longer needed me.” You can imagine a father being jealous of his own child.
Some young mothers mourn over their loss of the prospects of pursuing a career. But how many career women would be more than glad to trade their lonely accomplishment for the chance to be a mother and to receive the amiable affection which only children can give.
Having a child is not easy or convenient. But living with an ever-developing child who is part of you and your husband can be an exciting and joyful adventure. The attitudes you have toward your children are by personal choice. You can choose to view children as an interruption or an inconvenience. Or you can choose to be challenged by God’s exhortation to receive your children as precious gifts given specifically to you by God and to rejoice over them individually. The psalmist wrote in Psalm 127:3, “Behold, children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.”
Motherhood is a wonderful thing. Every woman should have children unless she has good reason not to.