Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Possibilites of life

This blog is a jumble of different things - recipes, religious experiences, crochet patterns, family celebrations, life in Israel and homemaking. 

Whenever I venture into something personal here, I'm striving to find the balance between expressing what I feel and maintaining the privacy of our family. Several comments prompted me to write this, and since my thoughts aren't fully in order, I won't blame you if you find neither head nor tail in what I'm saying.

When I got married, I fully assumed I would be the mother of a very large family, with a child around every 18-24 months. Now, for various reasons, it looks like this isn't going to happen - and when I say for various reasons, it means there are reasons, beyond expecting to fall pregnant at a certain time and not being able to. As you can imagine, I'd rather not go into details here. 

It's now over 4 years since I started blogging. In the beginning of my way here, I was still very hurt by my past life and, perhaps, trying too hard to walk in a straight line and fit everything into neat compartments. Now I embrace and rejoice in the diversity of destiny, thought, temperament, and family situations. I have been blessed beyond measure, and often overwhelmed with gratitude, by the friendship and kindness shown to me. 

I'm very, very thankful for my two healthy, beautiful daughters. Whether or not I ever have more children, I rejoice in having Shira and Tehilla, who are the light of my life. Lately, I've been wondering what my life is going to be like if I only have them.

I assumed I would be busy taking care of babies well into my forties, but if my daughters are all I ever have, by the time I'm 30 I'll have two children well past the stage of toddlerhood, and no perspective of more. In such a case, I will reach earlier than expected that stage of life all mothers, hopefully, eventually reach - a time when the children are grown and not so very needy anymore.

I might have more leisure, but there's never such a thing as "too much" time, as there are so many things to do in the home and beyond. Among other things, I might prevent the accumulation of dust bunnies under the sofa, perfect my knitting, and reach out to help other women who are having babies, whether it is by cooking meals (like I'm doing now for my sister-in-law) or volunteering to babysit. The care for young children is so intense that in every community, a woman who has a bit more time on her hands can be a real blessing to others. 

Of course, all this is speculation. I don't know what will really happen; whatever it is, I'm trying to learn to go with what G-d has in store, rather that what I had set my mind on. I know He can work wonders, as He already had, in my life and the lives of others. 

The beautiful painting is "women washing clothes by a stream", by Daniel Ridgway Knight. 


Lara said...

Dear Mrs. Anna,

I have been reading your blog since its beginning so I already feel as part of your family. I love it and your posts are always very inspiring though I don't comment very often. I can understand how you feel. I am 42 and I'm still trying to feel contented with what God has for me. I know I've started my walk with God much later but sometimes I feel frustrated, when I imagined myself with many children and have only one daughter, when I thought I was going to homeschool my daughter for many years and I only did it until last year, and now, for reasons that have nothing to do with my will, she is attending a school and feeling very unhappy....well, life is not always as we imagine it, and I know that God's plans are much better than mine, though several times I don't understand them.

Verna said...

I also have two children but would love to have more. Of course if that doesn't happen, I'll be so grateful for my babies but I understand being sad about things not working out the way we plan. Our heavenly Father knows what he's doing but I would be heartbroken for the babies I thought would be joining our family. I'm sorry.

Rose said...

Anna, my dear friend, rest easy and trust. Your faith will be your guide even when it tests you.

Gothelittle Rose said...

I had to develop my own conscience on children and when to have them. There seem to be two sides in my culture. One side, the secular side, will have one.. maybe two.. and worry about what the children will do to their figures and their lifestyles. That wasn't me.

The other side, the more religious side, tends to be of the "quiverful" variety that seems to be pregnant about every 6-9 months after the previous one. I don't have a problem with this, honestly. They can do ask they like. But it isn't me!

I am pregnant, about 23 weeks, with my third baby. I'm 35 years old as of Sunday. (Happy belated! Thanks! ^.^)

My husband and I use a contraceptive method that doesn't bother my hormones and isn't 100% reliable. We leave room for God to work. However, as God doesn't tend to descend and give me precise instructions on how to run my life, I have to plan it the best I can and then offer up that plan for His approval, tweaking, or complete hijacking.

In doing so, I have realized that, when I have a baby, it takes my body about 2 years after birth to "come back". This doesn't have to do with ending nursing or resuming my cycles. It's deeper. My whole body adjusts. My skeletal structure changes subtly, "snapping back". My metabolism changes. My energy level rises slightly but noticeably. I just 'know' through my entire body that I'm 'done' with that period of pregnancy-childbirth-recovery.

That's when I ask myself, my husband, and God if we want another.

I take after my mother in that way. I'm spacing three children (probably not four) 3-5 years apart. My mother started earlier, went later, and spaced five children 3-5 years apart.

Absent God's redirection, it just seems like the best way for me to be steward of my body and my family.

I *love* that picture by the way.

Anonymous said...

Deut 7:14
You shall be blessed above all peoples. There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your livestock.

Exodus 23:26
None shall miscarry or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.

Psalm 113
“Who is like unto the LORD our G-d, who dwelleth on high…He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.”

Hold onto the promises, write them on your heart, do not doubt your G-d who loves you xx

momto9 said...

I know life doesn't always go as we imagined! But you're right to take it as it comes ans trust god in what he has for you! There is peace and joy and inner quiet in that.

The Retro Homemaker said...

I have been reading your blog from the beginning and cannot thank you enough for helping me stay focused on my calling of being a homemaker!

Mrs. Anna T said...

Gothelittle Rose, interestingly, the 2-year recovery period is acknowledged in Judaism; a woman is generally let off minor fasts if she has a child younger than 2 years.

Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog for awhile now. It sounds like you're sorting through some things right now and I wish the best for you as you go through it. I just hope it's nothing too traumatic.

- Sally

Anonymous said...

G_d bless you Anna. I pray that you are able to have many more children. You are exactly the kind of woman who should have many precious little souls to call you Momma. But whatever happens, I know you will be a blessing to those around you.


Anonymous said...

Anna, I'm sure we all realise that something unsaid here, if you don't mind me expressing it, is how hard it is in your culture for a woman to be without sons. This is, of course, unfortunate, and I don't doubt that you and your husband love your daughters; but please don't be discouraged by a cultural norm, however ancient. If your two daughters are your complete family, I'm sure you'll find many particular blessings and benefits therefrom.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Anon, you're on to something here. My father in law really wants a grandson *from one of his sons* to be named after him. Two sons have recently had sons and did not name their children after him, so now of course he's looking expectantly at us (not forgetting to drop heavy hints). It makes me feel really uncomfortable.

Becky said...

"The care for young children is so intense that in every community, a woman who has a bit more time on her hands can be a real blessing to others."

This is so true! :)

Thia said...

Anna, I am praying for you. May peace with God be made whatever the situation is.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,

I have been reading your blog almost since it started, and it has inspired me so much.

I wanted to share this link with you, as I found it very interesting. I have no idea what you will make of it, but thought you might enjoy it. If not, don't worry about it! www.reuniting.info

Best wishes to you! Your blog is a blessing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing about this. My husband and I have four children. I would have liked more, but he wanted four. I am very thankful for the ones we have and have decided not to let my desire for more get in the way of enjoying the ones we have.ga

Gina said...


When my husband and I got married I assumed that we would get pregnant right away and that I'd have at least two little ones by now. At 4 years, there's no sign of children, and I'm wondering what to do with myself if this is going to be the norm. Adoption has always been part of my plan, but it will be a few years before I'm in a position to meet the requirements. All that to say, I empathize.

Anonymous said...

I've also been reading your blog since back before you "came out" as Jewish.
I also understand somewhat about expecting to have more children and then realizing that may not happen, and not because of health reasons. I had my daughter at age 19, my son at age 20, and was divorced at 21. I always thought I'd love to have half a dozen at least.
My man loves my kids like his own, but he is undecided as to whether he ever wants any children of his own. So, like you, I'm looking at having both my kids turning 18 before I turn 40, with no other children in sight. But, IMO, it's better to have only 2 children, and a peaceful and happy relationship with my man, than to cause tension and stress over my wanting more children. And it does mean I will have more freedom sooner than if I had started the process over with a new baby. Though, at only 4 and 2 years old, I still have many more years of child training and homeschooling ahead =)

Kate said...

I have no doubt that maybe part of what spurred you to write was my previous comment. I really spoke out of line and I apologize for that. I have been following your blog from almost as long as you have been writing it and literally appreciate and value everything you write. I should know better to, than to ask what's going on, or hint and comment around another baby. I myself have always wanted a fairly good size family, 3-5 kiddos. My son is 20 months old, we've been trying for 8 months and have suffered one miscarriage. I'll admit it scares part of me very badly to think that my son may be all I have. YES, he is definitely "enough" and I am extraordinarily blessed to have him in my life and enjoy every second with him! But not getting to enjoy all the excitement that comes with being pregnant, giving birth, breastfeeding and infant-hood, it just breaks my heart and I have no doubt you feel the same with what struggles you are going through.
I hope everything resolves and yet again I apologize for anything I may of said that upset you, like I said... you would think I would know better being in a similar situation.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Kate, please don't feel guilty over your comment, I think it was most natural. It wasn't the only one that prompted me to write this, either.

I wouldn't say I'm feeling depressed or heartbroken, I'm more in a process of sorting myself out and re-adjusting my views on future possibilities.

Lillian the Ponderer said...

I totally understand your feelings, we are in a similar position as we are facing the reality that our son may be an only child. We never wanted him to be an only child and I still hold a glimmer of hope but but it is unlikely that we will have more children. It is very difficult especially when people hint - in our case, we already have a son and ALL the grandchildren on both sides are boys so I have been told, "next time - think pink"! It can be hurtful but people never know all the things going on in someone else's life. Hold onto your faith, G-d Almighty will supply your strength and comfort you always.

Kristen said...

I know that everyone deals with how their family is built in their own way. It is an extremely personal decision between husband, wife and God. But there are other ways to build a family than having your own biological children. All five of mine are adopted and I can honestly say that our infertility has been the greatest blessing of my life.

Andrea said...

Much love to you all, Anna. It's my prayer that your household carries on in sound health and strength, and that you delight in watching your sweet girls continue to grow and blossom. You and Yitzhak are seeking to do what is best for all four of you, I am confident of that.

Yours hopefully thriving said...

Although it is from the Christian perspective, mrs parunak/pursuing titus 2 wrote well on this same topic. I think it is always hard to adjust our thinking to our creator's plans esp when we become settled into an expectation for our future. I was*certain* we'd be blessed with a famiky srraightaway but we were married two years before our wee Bundle arrived. Blessings to you and your family Anna

Lena said...

Sometimes G-d has other plans for us. Sometimes He just wants us to wait. We dont know what the future will hold, but He does. G-d wanted me to wait before I got my baby#4, I really thought that we wont be able to have more children, but behold the 'right' time came along, and we were blessed. It will come in its time, if G-d is willing.