Family Size, Who Should Decide?

My new column at Catholic Family Size: Who Should Decide:

Sometime ago, I was admiring the newborn son of a young couple at our parish. An older woman from the parish approached the group of us and heard me say, “What a beautiful baby you have!” To which the older woman replied, “Ellie, don’t you get any ideas.” Generally speaking, I don’t take offense to comments like that, but it was the third time that month that people had taken it upon themselves to tell me that I shouldn’t get any ideas of having another baby.

My somewhat belligerent personality wanted to respond: “At my age, if I get pregnant, it won’t be my idea, it’ll be God’s…” Instead, I kept quiet and laughed off the comment.

In our modern secular society, many people seem to think that they have some sort of role in a couple’s intimate decision-making process of deciding whether to plan a pregnancy or avoid one. You’ve heard of the pesky grandmother nagging her kids to give her a grandchild or another grandmother telling her son and his wife that they have enough children and that they should “just stop.” Or the well-meaning relatives who don’t think you can “afford” another child.

To read the rest:

Copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach

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