Disclaimer: no we are not expecting twins, we have been married four years, hence the number in the pictures :)
When we were first married, everyone just commented on how fun it would be when we were at the stage for children, how we should enjoy the precious honeymoon stage together before they came along. How its a great time to get to know each other. How there was plenty of time in the future for rearing children, after all we were married pretty young.
Then after a year went by, several people close to us started to ask questions, they would ask about our timing for children, if we had any thoughts. Where we were in terms of our thinking about them.
After two years, even people who didn't know us as well felt comfortable asking a little more. After replying with the length of time, they would usually comment about how we must be thinking about children soon. After all we had been married for a few years and the timing was great to start really considering children.
Another year went by and people who barely knew us at all would meet us and ask how long we were married, then comment about how time had passed and we were we seriously considering having children now. How it was perfect timing and if we wanted a larger family, we should start already.
Now its been four years of marriage and people have actually started asking if we just don't want children. How time is really getting on and if we want them at all, we should get going. I find this so funny, as we have never previously mentioned that we don't want children. Or even what our thoughts have been. It just seems to be a topic that people are free to ask without pausing to think about other possibilities.
My friend, Wynne wrote a beautiful post about infertility. About her struggle with it for many years, and I have several other friends for who this is a real struggle. Now I'm not saying that is why we haven't had children so far, please don't hear me writing that. But what I am saying is that I think in general so many of us are unaware or don't think about the possibility that couples may be struggling with infertility and we may not know. So our pointed questions of when they plan on having children could be like pouring salt into a wound, a very deep real wound. Infertility and struggling to conceive is not something that is freely talked about in churches and I so wish it was, so we could love on those facing this struggle. So we could be a little more sensitive in our questions and not put our feet in our mouths so frequently without meaning to.
I personally am trying to be so careful about even just lightly teasing our married friends about timing for children, never knowing whether infertility is something they struggle with or if there are other very real issues preventing them from trying to start a family. We all have such deep hidden issues that aren't known to everyone in our lives, and sometimes I think we should remember that we never know was is going on behind the cheery smiles & light answers to deep questions like these.
I am thankful for the sweet ladies that have written about this issue & remind us of the very real struggle going on behind closed doors. Reminding us that it isn't as simple as just deciding to have children and then conceiving. How ultimately the Lord is in control of our families, size & everything.
And His timing is perfect, even when it doesn't fit with what we would pick for ourselves.