NFP proving wonderful/difficult


#1

My wife and I have been doing NPF for about two or so years now and it has certainly brought us closer together in many respects. There are other times, however, when it has been quite difficult. There are two main issues:

Issue number one, the minor issue, pertains to the periods of abstinence. We both find this very difficult and feel that these periods are some of our most stressful each month. Does anyone have any advice for getting through these periods? Any recommended reading?

The second issue is more serious. We have two children, 3 and 1, and I would like to have more children and the sooner the better. My wife does not agree and wants to wait a couple of years. She feels run ragged with the first two and just can’t imagine being pregnant with them right now or having another child in the house. The way I look at it, you don’t decide beforehand how you’re going to make it work, you decide to be open to more children, and when they arrive, you make it work however you can. (I realize it may be silly for me to be commenting on “making it work” when she is primarily responsible for taking care of the children). Does anyone have any recommendation for something that I can read or recommend to her on this general topic?

Thanks,

Dan


#2

It's great that you are open to life and want more children, but if your wife is exhausted from taking care of two young toddlers it is unwise and unfair to pressure her to have more against her will. Having another baby should be a joint decision. I don't have kids yet, but my friends who do describe the toddler years as the hell years. The demands are constant and ovewhelming - and you have two of them! Is she a stay at home mom? If she is, she NEVER has a break from the hard work and having another baby now would mean having 3 young kids running around the house 24/7 because the youngest will be born before the oldest goes off to school. I don't blame her for not wanting to deal with that! God can certainly help her through it, but the reality is that pressuring her to have another child now will leave her overworked to the bone, emotionally and physically exhausted, and maybe even resentful because as you said she will be the one primarily responsible for the children's care. You want this baby, not her. Instead of asking her to take on another kid before she is ready, maybe you should let her rest for a year or two between kids. How old is your wife? If she is over 30 she might be running out of time and having a baby now might be her last chance.


#3

[quote="Idranoel, post:1, topic:210750"]
My wife and I have been doing NPF for about two or so years now and it has certainly brought us closer together in many respects. There are other times, however, when it has been quite difficult. There are two main issues:

Issue number one, the minor issue, pertains to the periods of abstinence. We both find this very difficult and feel that these periods are some of our most stressful each month. Does anyone have any advice for getting through these periods? Any recommended reading?

The second issue is more serious. We have two children, 3 and 1, and I would like to have more children and the sooner the better. My wife does not agree and wants to wait a couple of years. She feels run ragged with the first two and just can't imagine being pregnant with them right now or having another child in the house. The way I look at it, you don't decide beforehand how you're going to make it work, you decide to be open to more children, and when they arrive, you make it work however you can. (I realize it may be silly for me to be commenting on "making it work" when she is primarily responsible for taking care of the children). Does anyone have any recommendation for something that I can read or recommend to her on this general topic?

Thanks,

Dan

[/quote]

Your attitude is problematic to me. Your job is to assist her in being less "run ragged" right now. Either by doing more yourself or hiring on some help . You should ,of course ask your wife what she wants to see happen.

With NFP you have a {prayerful} discussion about what each spouse sees as a reason for or against trying to conceive right now and you discuss what can be done to alleviate the concerns of the spouses if there are any. Your wife has identified an issue that she is having right now - not some possible issue in the future with an additional child.

As far as the stressful periods of abstinence I guess you two need to adjust/expand what you are doing to help each other feel loved in ways that are non sexual.

Greg Popcak's Holy Sex might be helpful. Also the method of NFP which uses an acronym which I cannot rmember right now to help remind the couple of the other types of support they want to give each other when sexual intercourse is not possible.

I finally remembered it's called SPICE.

domestic-church.com/CONTENT.DCC/19971201/HEALTH/NFP.HTM


#4

[quote="Idranoel, post:1, topic:210750"]
The way I look at it, you don't decide beforehand how you're going to make it work, you decide to be open to more children, and when they arrive, you make it work however you can.

[/quote]

I think it's OK for you and your wife to use prudential judgement. If she feels at this moment that she is over tired and unable to cope w/ another child, use NFP to attempt to space another child.

If you got pregnant again and your wife was unable to cope, how would you feel knowing you disregarded her warnings?


#5

I have a mild medical condition (thyroid) that contributes to exhaustion. I was quite worried prior to having children that I would have a hard time coping. Everyone told me I was being rediculous, that I’d cope… Including Dr.s… I ended up having twins. They are 5 now. One didn’t sleep through the night for YEARS! I am a WAHM, DH works such hours that it’s like I’m a single mother. (with a full paycheck! :thumbsup:) I do it all!

And guess what? I’m wiped out! I physically hurt all the time. I have not slept through the night myself for more than a few days in just over 5 years. I have LOOK exhausted. I’m having a terrible time losing the BABY WEIGHT… as working out is pretty much torture. And my immune system is so low that, although, I can remember having an (ONE) illness in high school, and once in college, I’ve had 2 viral chest infections PER YEAR for the last 3 years. I just took 8 weeks getting over walking pneumonia… great summer vacation.

Anyhow… not complaining. I wouldn’t trade my kids for the world. And it’s not like I’m SERIOUSLY ill, or going to die from something awful (well, that I know of…) I hired a house keeper who comes once a week to keep us from getting Gross. I wouldn’t be able to keep up…

Would I PURPOSEFULLY have another child right now… NO WAY! I often feel that I’ve wished away the last 5 years just so that I can get some rest. If I happen to get PG, then I’ll be excited regardless.

So, If your wife is worried, I’d say she PROBABLY has good cause to be concerned. As a previous poster suggested, it might be worth a discussion as to what YOU can do to alleviate her concerns. Otherwise, trust that she might actually know her (ideal) limits.

I say, ideal, because I find we can often deal with more than we think. But I don’t see why we should push ourselves to our max just because. Speaking as an observer of a family member who cares for a seriously ill child. I know she wouldn’t trade him for the world. But it’s torn her down physically on so many levels it’s surreal.

How old is your wife? Just 'cause she might be in her 30’s doesn’t mean time is running out.

Bless you and yours!


#6

Even if she is already in her 30s, if her health is good, there shouldn't be any concern about being able to have children later. Because of women who delay having their first baby so long these days, and therefore the increased prevalence of primary infertility, we forget that the same worries don't necessarily apply to women in their 30s who have already had children. Women are naturally able to become pregnant and bear children even through a lot of their 40s. It is true that a planned pregnancy might not happen as quickly beginning in the mid- to late-30s, and it is also true that the overall risk of having a baby with genetic abnormalities (Down's, Trisonomy) is a bit higher for those women, but are these really things we should obsess about? After all, during the period of time when a couple is not abstaining, because they are able to welcome another baby easily, would the couple really be complaining about not getting pregnant right away? Or would the ability to enjoy the marital embrace freely, with the awareness that a hoped-for child might be conceived, be enought to override any impatience that parents might have? Children are blessings, not commodities to pursue, know what I mean? I am in my 30s already, and I have maybe 15 more years before I begin menopause. It is highly likely that I will end up having a fourth or even a fifth child during those years. God only knows what is in store for our family. But to worry about declining fertility when I have already been blessed with two babies and this pregnancy, would be grasping instead of gratefully receiving blessings in God's time. I think it might be good for the OP to remember the exciting time of trying to conceive when both he and his wife were emotionally and physically ready, and try to be patient. That time will likely happen again for the OP and his wife, after their 1yo has matured a bit. After all, a 1yo is still a baby and so she might be feeling like she already has a baby to take care of and why would she be trying for another right now? Well, I hope this helps the OP. I think that his attitude about NFP is awesome, and it is great to hear how a few years of NFP use has enabled them to draw closer. But baby lust gets hold of even the best of us sometimes! :D


#7

Hmm, sorry old son. But it sounds like you need to be doing some reading. Give the poor woman a break! Relax. Enjoy having the kids you have! It’s not a race.


#8

[quote="thomfra, post:7, topic:210750"]
Give the poor woman a break! Relax. Enjoy having the kids you have! It's not a race.

[/quote]

:D Sounds like good advice. Although the 'it's not a race' comment really made me laugh!


#9

I’ll offer some insight on the FIRST issue you raised. That time is SUPPOSED to be difficult. If it were easy, human nature says that most people wouldn’t consider more than a kid or two. This is most of why contraceptors rarely have big families, there is no incentive to even think about it! So my advice, is don’t worry about how tough it is during those abstinance times. Instead, use those times to listen for God’s voice. Ask Him about life, kids and marriage. Where is His will?

As for the second, how about you make her a deal. She gets some extra quiet time (you decide when and how much) in which YOU are taking care of kids and cleaning up the house. In return, she agrees to use that extra time to read catholic books and/or devotionals of HER choosing. One of two things will happen: 1. She’ll get more rest and quiet time in which to listen to God and will discover that God is offering you the blessing of more children. 2. She’ll get more rest and quiet time in which to listen to God and will discover that God has OTHER plans and blessings in store for your family.

And don’t neglect your OWN times of prayer and quiet reading too. Even if most of it ends up being in the car commuting. (sigh)


#10

Dan,
My suggestion is for you to take on as much of the household chores and childcare as your schedule allows. One of two things will happen if you do that. One, your wife will be more relaxed about the idea of another child. Or, two, you will find it easier to abstain because taking care of two babies and a house is pretty exhausting work. Our kids are the same age as yours and DH and I are pretty equitable with the amount of work we each put in. We’re pretty much in agreement that we’d like more children, but are quite busy with the two we’ve got for now. When things get a little romantic between us and I check my chart we snap out of it pretty quickly if there are fertility signs.
All the best to you!


#11

You have a one year old. Pregnancy can really take a toll on the body and your wife is completely normal to want some time before becoming pregnant again. The beauty of NFP is that God can give you another blessing whenever he wants and you are completely OPEN to it. :)
I'm sure once they get a little older she'll start missing having a baby around, especially if you guys previously discussed wanting a large family.


#12

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