Baby boy is ten months old.
For a long time, we had pretty much decided that discussion of the next child would not happen until he was at least nine months old. But I thought we were pretty much planning on discussing around nine months, but that we wouldn't actually even think about trying till he was at least a year old.
Then, about two months ago, Ben came to me and said he was ready. Which was shocking because he seemed to have a hard adjustment to parenthood and I figured that conversation would be a while away. I was not expecting to have to address the idea of future children for a while, and all the sudden it was here.
So, I've had a lot on my mind for the past little while.
The main question is whether or not it is irresponsible for us to bring another child into this world while my husband is not able to maintain solid recovery or sobriety.
But then that question is tough because I know sobriety does not equal recovery. So the other question bugging me is can he be in recovery, or trying to be in recovery, while not maintaining very strong sobriety? And if he is trying to be in recovery but doesn't seem to be maintaining sobriety, does that make the answer to the first question different?
And then there is the fact that ever since Ben brought up the idea that he is ready to start trying for another child, IT WON'T LEAVE MY MIND. For the first while after he brought it up, I was like nope nope nope. I was not ready. But now that I've been dwelling on it a lot, I feel like I could be ready. Maybe not quite yet, but I can feel it coming. I can feel myself being prepared. But I don't know that our relationship is ready.
The biggest issue I have is that I don't want to bring any more children into this world and then end up a single mom, either because Ben left me or I left him because the addiction got out of hand. That is a very real possibility and fear. Right now, he is trying to maintain recovery and I know his heart is in the right place. But things have been so up and down for so long that I'm just terrified of making the wrong choice here.
I don't know if it's more selfish of me to not want to bring more kids into the world for fear that I might become a single mom in the future (although that really isn't the most likely outcome of our marriage), or if it's more selfish of me to bring more children into this world because I have always planned on having more than one. I want more kids. And I want to raise more children with Ben. And I want Baby to have siblings.
I've been reflecting on our dating process, mainly the thought and prayer I put into deciding to marry him. It was a big deal. I spent a lot of time on my knees begging for help because I wanted to make sure I made the right decision. And I chose him. I was led to him, and I chose him. That thought won't leave me. I feel like God keeps reminding me of that experience and telling me not to give up the faith.
I don't want to ever give that up. I don't want to give Ben up. I've committed my life to him, and I've made covenants with God regarding my marriage as well. I've always felt that my mission in this life is to be the best mother (and wife) I can possibly be. And now that my baby is ten months old, and I've had all these signs pointing me toward preparation for more children, I'm feeling so many things.
Actually, as I've been writing this, I feel like I've received my answer. Before I came downstairs to write this post, I poured out my heart to God describing all of this and more and asking for guidance on what to do here. And then I felt like I needed to come down and write. As I've been writing, I've felt that I definitely can't just not have more children.
When Christ called out to Peter to come to Him across the water, Peter walked on water. "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, saying, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"
I know I'm supposed to have more kids. I've always known that. It's just that the addiction scares me. I don't want to be irresponsible. I want my kids to be safe. I want to be able to be present with my kids (and when I'm in trauma, it's so hard to be present).
Regarding our relationship, I've been trying to be more present and live in the moment. Be merciful when I need to be, and be strict with my boundaries when I need to be. But the process of bringing more children into this world is so vulnerable and sacred, that we both individually and our relationship has to be in a good place.
I feel impatient waiting for that to happen and fearful of the future. But I'm trying to just have faith and wait on the Lord's plan and timing.
The last thing that has been on my mind is questioning how to balance the question of bringing another child into this world with the addiction. Actually, it's kind of how to balance life with the addiction, you know? I don't like living in a way where the addiction consumes all of our life. I guess sometimes it has to, but maybe there are times when it's okay to put it on the backburner. I don't want to put my entire life on hold while I await this miraculous recovery. I think if I feel safe enough to take certain steps in my marriage, then that is good enough. But some days are just harder than others. So it's really hard to know what to do.
I know I need to pray and keep a spiritual mind and eternal perspective. But sometimes it's just hard and the natural man in me wants to take charge of everything. Finding balance and perspective while living this life is tricky.
**I'm not asking for advice with this post. Just processing my thoughts. Feel free to comment but please don't tell me what to do regarding our family decisions. Thanks <3