Why would God...

make 7 billion people so uniquely different but only call us to three vocations? To dive in a little further, why are MOST people called to married life, yet there is the least amount of diversity for that particular vocation? What I mean is, how can every person that is called to marriage be open to life to the point where there is a potential for them to have 6 plus kids? Obviously some couples experience infertility, but for those of us who have been blessed with fertility, does that really mean I have to keep going until my fertility runs out? It just doesn’t make sense when I meet other Catholic couples/families (who are actually practicing the faith) and they ALL have the same outlook on having children, while I’m over here like “oh God, please have mercy on me! I can only handle/want so many!”

I just don’t feel like I was made to be a baby factory.

I was married for 29 years before my first husband died. 2 kids.
Was certainly not a baby factory.
God gives us what we can manage well.
Having children was not the only thing I was called to do. Women have very diverse lives, you know. :wink:

Speak with a priest about your reasons for desiring to limit the possibility of birth (via natural rhythms only). Better still, phone your diocesan offices and ask for contact details for a moral theologian (priest if possible).
It is very important, I think, that couples prior to marriage understand fully what The Church does state about birth control (by Natural Rhythms method only and only in serious reasons circumstances). And that they both fully agree with what The Church has to state and prior to celebrating The Sacrament of Marriage.

The article below from EWTN is quite lengthy but worth a read for those concerned about limiting the number of children and birth control. Certainly, here in Australia, there are means of being educated in how the Natural Rhythm method works and for Catholics, it is the ONLY means of controlling births and for serious reasons only. I don’t think one should presume that one has serious reasons, but to speak to a priest or better still a moral theologian about one’s moral position and what one thinks are or might be sufficient serious reasons. In that way, conscience should not trouble one. If diocesan offices only have contact details for a lay person who is a moral theologian, I think one can be relatively assured that diocesan offices has confidence in that person.

One can also contact their diocesan offices and ask for contact details to be educated about the Natural Rhythm method and in the context of Catholic Teaching.

ewtn.com/library/MARRIAGE/CCLBC.TXT

Read above link. "
WHAT METHODS OF BIRTH REGULATION ARE MORALLY ACCEPTABLE?

“If there are serious reasons to space out births, reasons which derive
from the physical or psychological conditions of husband and wife, or from
external conditions, the Church teaches that it is morally permissible to
take into account the natural rhythms of human fertility and to have
coitus only during the infertile times in order to regulate conception
without offending the moral principles which have been recalled earlier”
(Humanae Vitae, 16).

Thus, the same teaching of the Church which condemns the use of the
unnatural methods of birth control explicitly approves of the use of
Natural Family Planning when there is a sufficient reason to avoid or
postpone pregnancy. With its emphasis on the necessity of a serious reason
to use even the natural methods, the Church is warning against selfishness
in family planning. "

Thank you both for your response.

Barb, I understand the Church’s teachings very well on family and my vocation…I have taken a Natural Family Planning class and understand the guidelines on when and how to use it.

My question was: even if I do not have a “grave” reason, why must I keep up with the families of 6 plus kids? Everyone’s temperament is different, along with psychological and physiological needs.

I just don’t understand why I fit into this tiny bubble, when each person is so unique in their strengths and weaknesses.

I really think that you need to contact a moral theologian through your diocesan offices. You might just fit into this somewhere (taken from my quote from EWTN) “If there are serious reasons to space out births, reasons which derive
from the physical or psychological conditions of husband and wife or from external conditions”. (“external conditions” can mean almost anything). I think too that this is a question to pose to a priest and one who knows you well. Advice on a Catholic Discussion site can be very helpful - but then at times it can be confusing due to different opinions - and opinions are only that and not of necessity what The Church teaches and intrinsically means in a teaching or teachings.

God’s blessings! don’t chuck in the towel not to state that you would - investigate things very carefully and with those who are in a position to know. On a Catholic Discussion site and in all discussion and comment type sites on the internet, most often we really have no idea at all to whom we are speaking and who are speaking to us. These sites are anonymous and one is quite free to identify oneself as anyone at all. Take care.

Keep your intention in your own prayer and I will be praying with you in spirit.

A moral theologian is not what is needed. A kind person willing to listen is.

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