A Quiver Full of Arrows: Thoughts on Family Size

I'm not sure we even made it out of our wedding reception without some form of the infamous question, "So, have you thought about kids yet?"

Well, to be honest, I've been married for approximately three hours, so no, all I have been thinking about is taking off this stifling dress and sitting on some beach somewhere with my guy.  

Then, before Piper's adoption was finalized, "(When) do you plan to adopt again?"

Maybe that will be up for discussion when my kid actually has my last name?

Or, in the hospital when Caroline was one day old, "Do you think you'll have more?"  

Right now, I can't even walk correctly, and my baby is making her existence known to everyone on the third floor.  Do I think I'll have more?  I think for now, I'll have more Phenergan and maximum strength Tylenol, please and thank you.

People mostly mean well or are trying to make conversation when they ask these types of questions, and I'm rarely ever offended by them.  

Timing is a funny thing, though.  

For example, it is completely appropriate to ask a lady if she's pregnant when she clearly is 9+ months along but a total disaster to ask her the same question if you're not positive that the extra pounds around her midsection are, in fact, a baby and not a burrito.

Likewise, it may not be the ideal time to ask a couple about children at their wedding, (or even five years into marriage when they don't have any children but, unbeknownst to you, have been trying for months).  In premarital counseling, we discussed having several children, but then we actually got married and had one ... and quickly reconsidered.

I have often felt guilty about not wanting to have a billion kids.  

My friend wants to have 4-5 children, and she would be a rockstar at it.  She recently posted a picture on Instagram with this caption: 

"Stepped in to start laundry.  Stepped out to find the baby feasting on marigolds and the toddler dumping water on his brother's head.  And somehow the underwear came off in the process too. Haha."  

There would be no laughing or posting on Instagram if this happened in my house.  There would probably be tears and time-outs, because I'm the most type-A mom you'll ever meet and my friend is a laid-back gem of a parent.  

I've wanted to be a perfect mom to many children, but I am coming to realize that being a good mother to two is okay.

"Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth.  How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them!" (Psalm 127:4-5)

This verse is often used as reasoning for having 12 children, and maybe it implies that, but perhaps it doesn't.  The Bible is unmistakably clear about some things but slightly ambiguous about others.  I may get to heaven one day and realize that I was totally off base on this (in which case He would still let me in!), but I do not believe that "a quiver full" designates a specific number.  Otherwise, the verse would say, "Blessed is the man whose quiver contains ten children," which it does not.  

Perhaps people have "quivers" of varying sizes, in the same way that some humans are tall while others are short, and I have blue eyes while my husband has brown.  One way isn't inherently better than another; it's just the way we were made.  

It also may be true that certain arrows take up a considerable amount of space in a quiver, while others occupy little.  In our house, we have one precious arrow who takes up most of the quiver, so I'm convinced that some parents may have five children who require limited quiver space, while others have one who leaves no room for anyone else.  And that's okay.  Parents don't get extra gold stars on their invisible badges of honor for having more kids.  I'm not better or worse than the next mom because of the amount of people who live in my house.

Here's what I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt: Today is the only guaranteed day that any of us has to love exactly the children that we've been given.  What a waste of time to spend our days in judgment over others' family sizes or in regret over our own!

I've got two sweet little arrows, and my quiver is full.  For now.  Quivers have been known to stretch.