Before I begin, let me state this: I don't believe having children is ever 100% our decision. Even if you decided to stop contraception, to "try", or perhaps even to use artificial methods - apart from adopting a child, this new life making it through and coming out alive is a gift which you don't have 100% influence over getting. A common miracle.
This post was sparked by a conversation I had with a friend who's a mum, who mentioned that there are times she regrets the decision to have kids. Every mum I've ever had an honest conversation with about children has said something along those lines - I believe there are moments for every mother when she wishes her kid(s) weren't there. They are moments, in crisis and stress and overtiredness... it's not that she truly wishes them gone or would go back in time to prevent having them, but still, I think every mother is familiar with those feelings and I won't be surprised if I feel that way too at some point.
At that point, I want to remember that I never decided to have children.
When we got married, we didn't know whether we could have any. We only decided to be open to the possibility.
And when I say being open, there's more to it than thinking oh well, we'll make love and see what happens! I do know where babies come from, thanks very much. We truly didn't know whether we could have children; I have been diagnosed with polycystic ovaries and some years ago I had no periods at all for almost three years. [They had been very regular again for a while before my pregnancy though.] My Mr. in the past has been married and they had no children, and had not been trying to prevent having them. So - we were not being naive to think that we may just not have any.
We decided to be open either way. To do nothing about it - we neither consciously "tried", nor did we use prevention. It was the only way I could have peace: if I had to decide whether or not to have children, I would have tied myself up in knots of indecision. And I might have regretted my decision, whichever one it would have been.
You can regret a decision, but you cannot regret a gift. You can get a gift you don't like very much (think socks from gran at Christmas!) but you still take it and smile and thank the giver. Because they gave it with love.
I'm not saying having kids is like getting socks for Christmas, but this gift is given with love and though I may at times not like it very much, I can't regret it because I didn't decide to get it. It was given by someone who knows exactly what this couple needs, and what this child needs, and who has nothing but blessing as his agenda. A blessing that's hard work at times, I have no doubt, but it wasn't my decision to make and I trust the one whose decision it was to give the gift.