[quote="kerebos, post:1, topic:251947"]
Hello to all. I've been a lurker here for a little bit, but recently I've wondered about something that I'd hope for some input on. I've been married to my wonderful wife for a few years now, and due to some circumstances beyond our control (finishing school, getting jobs, etc) we had determined that avoiding pregnancy for a few years was justified. Neither of us were particularly eager to start having kids, but we'd figure that eventually it would happen once we were settled. Anyway, a few weeks ago we were discussing such things and determined that we've reached a point where we don't think we could keep morally avoiding having children anymore. The catch is that a) neither of us are thrilled about it, but figure that we got married with the intention of accepting the children God gave us, so we gotta do what we gotta do and b) most of our friends and colleagues who started down the family path are kind of scaring us in how much they've become "Mom and Dad" instead of who they used to be, but with kids. Honestly, looking around at society today, being responsible for a child is less scary than what people think parents should be, look like and act like. We're really eager to avoid b) forever, no matter what.
So, the advice I'm looking for, is did anybody else here enter parenthood with a little more apprehension than joy? I'm not talking about "Oh, this is wading into the unknown, it's kinda scary" kind of apprehension, but rather "I don't really want this, but it's what you're supposed to do, so we should do it". Secondly, is it possible for us to retain our identities as people outside of being parents? Difficulty -- is it possible for us to not have our kids taken away from us because we'd let them skin their knees and fail at things instead of trying to bubble wrap the world for them?
As an aside, my title is "Starting a family", but does anybody else think that the phrase a bit misused? Right now, myself, my wife, our parents, our siblings, their kids, etc -- are we not already a family? Our children would only be adding to the family, not starting a new one... but that's more of a semantic point.
Here is a question for you, being a Catholic forum.
You think Jesus was a little " apprehensive" about Hie ministry on Earth?
Think He might have been a little less than excited about His passion?
Are you trying to live a Christ-like life?
Any single one of us raised in THIS world, and especially in these past couple of decades, have been brainwashed with the idea that life is about ME, My comfort, goals, pleasure, MY success, MY desires etc etc.
Parenting is the juxtaposition og that. Marriage and parenting is a vocation to LOVE.
Jesus showed us LOVE= sacrifice!
You will either embrace the sacrifice out of true and deep love when it comes to children, or they will be a burden until they will be old enough to serve you.
Selfishly, we all hope to have our children grow up, and love us and be mini me's, and then care for us when we're old. Well, then we have to do our own share of loving and caring and investing in them, as a matter of fact we have to do. WAY more because we have to set the example.
I was 23, had just finished university with honors, had some awesome career opportunities laid out before me, DH had a great job, life was marvelous and I didn't want a thing to change. 9 months later I had my first, and my life was completely turned upside down. I would look at my daughter and see a slave driver. Her purity and innocence and love won me over soon afterwards and I began to understand how empty life lived for myself was and how much of a way I had to go before learning the first thing about sacrificial love. Yes, DH and I were involved in all kinds of church activities, we were involved in local charity work etc but that is not even comparable to the sacrifices NOR the joys of parenting.
5 years later, we have 3 wonderful children, who get sick, keep us up at night, need us weekends and holidays but we have also grown to love giving of ourselves, to understand what it means " I came to serve", to know fullness and happiness in our daily lives even if I spend most of it feeding, cleaning and changing diapers and though for the time being, DH and I are primarily mommy and daddy- won't be this way forever- we also have a stronger relationship as husband and wife than ever.
If you do it with God's love you will reap MANY joys, if you do it just because, I certainly can't guarantee that.
Lastly, while you may be able to envision all the terrible things I.e you know how bad sleep deprivation feels, and hate the idea of having to plan things according to someone else's schedule, and poo is definitely not appealing, you cannot understand the joys and satisfaction of the first smiles, of hearing a little person call you "daddy", the closeness you can share with your spouse knowing you have co-created something so amazing nor the awe of seeing that little miracle unfold and grow right under your eyes daily.
Conclusion, fear of children is normal (pedophobia) - probably one of the biggest fears of our times, but it is not Christian. The closer you draw to Christ, the more you will be healed of it.