Should We Have More Kids?

Making a decision you won't regret.


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Comments (50)

(50) Traci, May 15, 2009 2:45 AM

What's too far?

My husband and I have been blessed with 9 beautiful children. I have been struggling with whether we should have more, or not. I felt like Heavenly Father wanted to bless me with another child. My husband felt like we have been so blessed with 9, and never any miscarriages. Against my husband's better judgement, he conceded and allowed us to try for that one more baby I so strongly insisted our Father wanted to bless us with. I have now had 2 miscarriages in a row. I know I would never regret having another baby, but I'm beginning to regret having gone through the pain and heartbreak of losing 2 pregnancies. My husband, I now feel, was being wise, perhaps inspired, to end our child-bearing with a perfect record of 9 beautiful babies and no loss. I now feel like I should submit to my husband's feelings that we should be grateful for our beautiful children and end on a good note before we suffer a loss we are unable to handle. I think sometimes it's hard to distinguish between our own desire for something and our Father's will for us. It is truly a matter to be very prayerful about (both mother and father, individually and together) and to be very still and quiet so we can hear and accept the answer our Father has for us. Sometimes our desire for something can be shouting so loud at us, that we can't hear the answer our Heavenly Father is giving us.

(49) jane, May 3, 2009 10:02 AM

just because you say it doesn't make it true

Just because everyone repeats - "you never regret the child you have only the one you don't have" - it doesn't make it true. Plenty of people regret that "extra" child that strained their family finances, their time or marriage. It's not politically correct to regret a child, but you can regret the decision to have the child.

(48) Sarah, April 1, 2009 1:01 PM

To Laura Lee

Laura Lee, I think it's so important to be content and to find joy in what we "do" have. Not being able to conceive might be a blessing to you in disguise - a blessing that only G-d can know. G-d knows us better than we can know ourselves. He is ultimately in control and knows what is best. I wish G-d's blessings upon you, and I wish you happiness in whatever it is He choses to give you. :)

(47) Laura Lee, July 19, 2008 9:34 PM

You keep my hope alive

I am 38, married for 14 years with no attempts to prevent pregnancy. I miscarried 4 times and have not conceived not for another 3 years. My heart struggle has often been that of, "Should I yield, and just give up or so I continue to place Hannah, and Sarah before my mind, and believe that it is still promised. I love Psalms 113:9 which states "He makes the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children..." One of my friends in Jerusalem has placed a prayer at the wall for me, I pray all such prayers are answered, mine and the many others that carry this yearning to raise up a godly generation.
Thanks Lori for inspiring families.

(46) SusanE, July 16, 2008 3:52 PM

Another Comment and Another Post

.
Wonderful Subject and wonderful posts. Thank you Lori and all posters for your insights.
I was not a mothering, hugging type person when I was younger. No kids for me, thank you very much!
However, Oh My, there was this baby who was conceived! I loved him from the very moment I knew about him. I was so fulfilled and overjoyed, and happy, that the words can't explain the feeling.
I was 19 years old, living with my parents, and unmarried. No money, no education, no husband, I didn't work cause I was attending Business School. His Dad and I married two weeks later. We went straight into our own apartment. The following summer we had a beautiful baby boy.
We were poor and lived in a third story walkup with outside stairs for the first 2 years. We didn't even have a refrigerator for the first month. It was December and we kept milk and butter on the porch in a cooler. Mum taught me how to cook and keep house. It was hard for my husband and I and wonderful at the same time. We were working together.
Then he got a great job, and we moved into a house.
It was 10 years before I conceived again. This time she was a beautiful baby girl. Now they are two wonderful adults and I can't imagine the world without them in it.
I sometimes wish that I had 2 or 3 more babies in between. And now I know that it wouldn't have mattered if we had a few more. They would have been fed and clothed and very much loved.

If you think you want more children and you are young enough, then by all means have them........

(45) Sarah, June 8, 2008 1:57 PM

Nechama,
It''s okay! :) I realize you weren''t trying to offend anyone - just stating how you felt, and I apologize for not making that clear. You wrote a beautiful post - I also apologize for only commenting on that one part. I think it''s great that you are such a happy grandmother with so many grandkids - that''s a really special thing. I can imagine that you must feel so proud and thankful for the life you have lived and for your wonderful contribution of adding so many great people to the world. That is of such enormous value. Yours is a beautiful testimony for how joyful bringing kids into the world can be. I''m glad there are people like you in our world, and I''m glad you posted. :)



Anonymous 6/8/2008 12:43:00 AM
"My children are my life"

You said, "...I was shocked by some of the cavilier comments posted. We are not in this world to "eat, drink, and be merry" and "being frazzled" is a pathetic excuse for doing just as one pleases... I am in my mid-20''''s with three small children and a very fulfilling carreer..."

This statement comes across rather harsh. If a person says they are "too frazzled" to have children - nobody has the right to judge whether or not they are "pathetic" for saying so. It is a wise person who thoughtfully decides whether or not they would make a good parent before choosing to become one. Not everyone can mentally and physically handle the responsibility.... your situation especially sounds difficult. I can''t imagine being in your shoes, but obviously, G-d knew you could handle it. The Torah prohibits us from endangering our health. My health is already not very great, and I can''t imagine that having children would help things. Yes, I would be "very frazzled" if I had children, and I in no way think that''s pathetic - it''s just the way I am, and I''m so very thankful that G-d has given me the wisdom to carefully consider big decisions in life instead of just simply doing what everyone else is doing. Only G-d is my judge. I pray that G-d never puts me in a situation that I can''t handle, but if I do become pregnant one day, I will rejoice, as I will know G-d meant it to be, and I will trust that He will give me the strength I need in order to be a good parent.

Also, you are right in that G-d didn''t put us on earth only to "eat, drink and be merry," however, that doesn''t mean He wishes us to be miserable either. It''s fine to want to be happy and at peace - and G-d "wants" that for us.

(44) Nechama, June 8, 2008 2:03 AM

To Sarah and Elisabeth

I apologize if I have offended you or anyone else, this was not my intention. I never said that all childless couples are materialistic and seek instant gratification. I was referring to the comments that had been sent in by others that stated that people who are childless by choice are happier than those who have children. One comment even mentioned a survey which proved that point. My remarks were not intended for unmarried people or those who cannot have children.
Some of our greatest Torah giants were childless. The Chazon Ish and the Lebovitcher Rebbe are examples. The present Belzer Rebbe, may he live and be well for many more years, has one child - a son. These people devoted their lives to Am Yisrael and they and their wives spent most of their waking hours doing chesed, most of which we don''t even know about.
Sarah, it is a beautiful thing that you give so much time to help others. You said that you are 30. That means that you have many productive years ahead of you, G-d willing. Keep up the good work.
About birth control - for an observant person this is a question to ask a competent halachic authority. It is not for any of us "commentors" to give a psak halachah, either way. There are definitely times when pregnancy should be avoided or pregnancies should be spaced out. However, once a child is born, it should be accepted with love and gratitude. This neshama was sent to these parents by Hashem for a special reason. If you really believe this, you can never be sorry the child was born, no matter what. When a mother to whom a child feels the strongest emotional tie says "I didn''t want you" it''s pure cruelty. It is our job as parents to give our children emotional strength and self confidence so they can grow up to be independent, loving individuals.
Happy Shavuoth to you all,
Nechama

(43) Anonymous, June 8, 2008 12:43 AM

My children are my life

While I feel pain for those who grew up knowing they weren''t wanted, and I disagree with Lori''s statement that noone regretted going for "one more", I was shocked by some of the cavilier comments posted. We are not in this world to "eat, drink, and be merry" and "being frazzled" is a pathetic excuse for doing just as one pleases. I am in my mid-20''s with three small children and a very fulfilling carreer. I cannot say that I want a dozen more, but I definitely do want more children. Yes, I am woken up at night, yes, I can''t take week-long exotic vacations on a whim, and yes, my kitchen floor frequently has juice spills. But Yes, I am woken up to three smiling faces giving Mommy a good morning kiss and have all of the love I give them given back to me 1000-fold. We are in this world only to earn mitzvot for the next world and raise the next generation to do the same.
Thank you Lori for inspiring this discussion!

(42) Sarah, June 6, 2008 7:43 PM

Nechama,

You said, "About happiness for childless couples -happiness is believing you''''re doing the right thing. If people think that the purpose of life is enjoying material things then that is what will make them happy."

For couples wanting to be childless, I don''t at all believe it''s because they want more material possessions. For me (and I''m about 99% sure I want to remain childless - I''m 30), happiness is about peace of mind - it''s about feeling serene, having a sense of well-being, feeling love and compassion for others, and feeling thankful for my life - it''s about not feeling like a chicken with my head cut off - it''s about having the time and peace to enjoy all the beautiful things G-d has given us. That, to me, is happiness.

Also, I''m the type of person that really loves helping others, and that requires time. If I had children, I would have to give that up in order to raise a child that doesn''t even yet exist. There are enough people in the world that need help, and I feel like I can better use my gifts by helping a multitude of others already here rather than focusing all that attention and time on one, two, three or four children only. I feel I can do more good in the world if I don''t have children. And you know, I''m not married... maybe G-d will chose to keep me single as well.

(41) Starla B., June 6, 2008 6:10 PM

Is G-d angry about my husbands vasectomy?

HEllo, I''m new to this discussion, just ran into it. Since my husbands vasectomy I have a feeling that G-d is a bit upset with us. We have 4 young children under the age of 11 and we are a young couple. I am tired and we decided to just get the vasectomy, after a hard few last pregnancy''s I had experianced. Then I thought about mabey not being blessed by the L-rd for doing that because mabey that wasnt what HE really intended for us and to have that "faith" in Him that HE is always stressing to us. This is hard to think about sometimes and we still dont want any more kids. Is it lack of faith? This has been scary to me. Any reassuring comments?

(40) Anonymous, June 6, 2008 4:22 PM

To Marc:

The calendar method is OK''d by the frummest rabbis (it just tries your self-control), especially if you already have a boy and a girl (preferably two of each). Contact Planned parenthood. Good luck.

(39) elizabeth, June 6, 2008 2:13 PM

unsure what to respond

while I do agree that children are the greatest blessing in the world, I do not agree that they are suitable for everyone. isn''t it better to take the time and do some valuable family planning, weighing out pros and cons and talking it out? sometimes the couple has other issues such as communication or financial problems that need to be solved before a child can be brought into the world, which in the long run creates a healthier environment for the child. as a response to Nechama''s comment, 10 children and many grandchildren is a major bracha,baruch hashem bli ayin hara, but that might not be the best lifestyle choice for everyone. I was extremely offended by the narrow-minded statement about materialism which suggests that all childless couples are only interested in their own instant gratification. just because people have different values does not mean their values are automatically wrong.

(38) Anna, June 6, 2008 9:58 AM

Regret of a baby can happen

I''m afraid I can''t agree that no one regrets having a child. I unfortunately have seen what can happen when a child is born unintentionally when the parents didn''t want another.

A relative of mine was trying to leave her abusive husband, but when she got pregnant again, she came back to him so the baby would have a father. Of course, the husband continued to abuse her, so she ended up leaving again. The boy grew up knowing he hadn''t been wanted, and still has issues even though he is now 21.

So, when a couple takes the time to chose to have another child, it can be wonderful, but there are certainly situations where a new baby just makes things worse for everyone.

(37) Nechama, June 5, 2008 2:53 PM

Strong Faith Required

I have been blessed with 10 children and over 65 grandchildren (so far), and one great grandchild (so far),thank G-d.
The thing that kept me going all the years, through sleepless nights, financial difficulties and other hardships was the strong belief that I was fulfilling a great mitzvah and doing what Hashem wanted of me. I have always considered it a great privilege to bring Jewish children into the world. There were plenty of happy times too but none could compare to the happiness I enjoy today.
Over the year there are more "simchas" than I can count, every one bringing with it so much nachas and gratitude to the Almighty.
I have always treated my children with respect, even when they were very young and I''m getting it back now. They all treat me with great respect and appreciate all my husband and I have done for them (not financially, we could never do that). We have always given them unconditional love and now we are getting it back.
Of course there were problems and there still are but Hashem sends us these trials so we can add more mitzvahs to our mitzvah bank.
I do think Lori, that if one doesn''t strongly believe that this is the right way, they will not have the strength to go this way and will see every challenge as a hardship.
About happiness for childless couples -happiness is believing you''re doing the right thing. If people think that the purpose of life is enjoying material things then that is what will make them happy.
Bless you all.

(36) Phyllis, June 5, 2008 1:42 PM

"To Life!"

Dear Lori,
I have been wondering about the "morning after" pill. For sure, if it had been around, 75 years ago, I would not be here. The depression was not a good time to choose to have a 4th baby. And if I never "was", the world would have missed out on the 3 generations of really nice people, so far, that came from me.
It is mind-boggling to consider how the decision of whether or not to have a child can affect so many future lives!
On the other hand, women of the 21st Century wish to try to fulfill all parts of themselves, and that requires a great investment of their energy and time.
I personally know some young women who have managed to attain a good education, work at an interesting well-paying job and also have 4, 5, or 6 children! And are all managing fine.
I am sure they are a very small minority. But just watching them makes me tired!
It is sweet that you feel that the "extra" child is a blessing. Your children are blessed to have a mother who feels that way.

(35) Kim Benson, June 5, 2008 12:13 PM

Some Pros & Cons

First, I feel so sad for the folks whose mom or dad didn''t want them, and especially for those whose parent actually went so far as to verbally confirm that very hurtful truth. Thank G-d we get a second chance in life at that adult-child relationship, & we can become the parent we always wished we had had.

My husband married me knowing I was a career gal who really didn''t have any desire to bear kids. He said he''d rather be married to me & childless than married to another woman & have kids with her, BUT that he really thought that I would change my mind on the subject. He turned out to be right: 5 years later, when I turned 29, after watching some of my girlfriends struggling with infertility issues, I decided to take the plunge into parenthood. Now I have 3 children total. (Imagine how many kids I''d have if I had started out my marriage being really baby-crazy!) I''m home with them during the day & work part-time during the eves to help afford their private religious-school educations.

I weighed the pros & cons before planning for each child. The decision to have a third & become out-numbered by our kids(!) was a huge one for me. Regarding resources, I thought although we might not be able to afford such lavish family vacations with 3 than with 2, having 2 siblings is an even greater ( lifelong!) resource for each of our kids. Also, becomming pregnant with my 3rd, & being 36 years old, I was at much higher risk for having a child with Downs. I was very concerned as to whether I would be up to the task of parenting a higher-needs child. I left it in G-d''s hands, and so far, all kids have been healthy & I''ve had nothing beyond the usual parental challenges.

From a purely practical standpoint, it''s our responsibility to make sure that it''s not just bad folks reproducing. We need not only educated, but ethical people to help our society thrive.

Just my $.02.

(34) Marc, June 5, 2008 11:09 AM

This is a Difficult One

While in theory, your view makes sense, in actuality, I do not believe people think this way. I know many people who have said they wish they had not had another one, especially in situations where the final child was not planned. I am going through this decision issue right now with my spouse and I do not know how it will turn out. I would like another most likely, yet she is overwhelmed and does not think she wants another one. I cannot force my wife to be pregnant. The problem that we face now is now to prevent another pregnancy, as we are both still young enough that pregnancy is a certainty without birth control. Judaism frowns upon birth control. My wife has an allergic reaction to the oral pill and cannot take it. Judaism disallows condom usage. Judaism disallows vasectomies. I feel really stuck. Whatever happens, I feel like I am violating Jewish law. What am I to do? The answers for people in my situation are what are really needed from you, Aish.com, etc.

(33) Daniela, June 5, 2008 10:35 AM

A bit insensitive

Lori, I hope you are reading all of these posts. I also ask you to please be a little more sensitive - it should only be that everyone would actually have a choice in these matters. There are such things as accidental pregnancies, there are such people who try but can''t have "as many children as they want" and there are too many circumstances where having just one more is a tremendous burden and it''s very difficult to be happy about it. You travel a lot and give many lectures all around North America. Maybe you need to talk with more people and not just to them ?

(32) Moishe Montreal, June 5, 2008 9:27 AM

Emotional ouch!

For the many couples who can not have children, this is like a homeless person listening to to spoiled rich people debate whether they should get a Lexus or a Mercedez. Emotional ouch!
More kids, less kids, at least you can have kids. Count your blessings and cherish the gifts Hashem gives you.

(31) Anonymous, June 5, 2008 3:54 AM

I usually agree with you, Lori, but this time I think you are very wrong. My mother always regretted having another child, me, and told me once she wished she had had the courage to have the abortion she so desperately needed. Her financial situation was desperate and her marriage failing. I don''''t ever blame my mother for being honest and for giving me insight into the dilemmas of the past.



Yes, Ed, "be fruitful" is stated before "and multiply" and I thank Elokim that I belong to a faith wherein choices for women are not limited and where halachakly there are circumstances where abortion and birth control are permitted.



(30) Anonymous, June 4, 2008 8:48 PM

I''m one of those nobodies who regretted having my last child

My oldest child is seriously learning disabled. My next 3 children were ''normal.'' When I had my fifth and realized she displayed similar difficulties in development, I asked a Rabbi for a ''heter'' and got one for two years. After that, I took it upon myself for another two years. Then, I felt guilty and got pregnant. I spent the first forty days praying for a miscarriage. Well, I had my fifth little girl.
Well, soon enough, I discovered that she also has learning difficulties. Yes, she''s adorable and there are many times when I love having her and laugh at her amzing personality BUT there are times when I wish I hadn''t had her. I know you will say this is an exception because of my personal difficulties, but as a therapist and an empathetic friend I have met people who do regret having as many as they did. I am glad that in your upbeat world, these people don''t seem to exist, however, the whole world isn''t quite as wonderful as you sometimes make it sound.

(29) Sarah, June 4, 2008 1:55 PM

I Disagree....

Steve Goldstein,
LOVED the article you posted - thanks for sharing it. :) It''s interesting also to note that happiness studies always show that the childless are happier. I think those with children are perhaps in denial of this... and I can''t blame them. If I had kids, I''d want to make the most of it too.

Feedback from Parents...
I have met plenty of people, from educated, upper-class families, who have admitted to me that had they known how hard it would be to have children, they wouldn''t have. Several have commented how nice life was "before" having children.

Also, I know so many people who''s children are nothing at all like them! I see so many people''s children as a burden to their parents... and these are grown kids I''m talking about!

I worked at an assisted living center once, and I met so many grandmothers whose children and grandchildren rarely came to see them. On the opposite side, a dear friend of my family''s has over 10 grandkids, and she gets so exhausted and frazzled whenever she has to spend time with them, and this lady is an absolute doll with lots of energy. I feel sorry for her having to deal with all those extended family members. :( She loves them of course, but it''s really hard on her.

Life is exhausting in and of itself, and the people in your life have a HUGE influence on your happiness and well-being, so I''d rather "choose" who I want in my life rather than take a chance on having a child that might bring nothing but heartache and headaches.

Today''s Society.....
I want to make the comment that I fully believe it is harder today to raise children that it has "ever" been. In years past, children were always an asset to the family, as most families lived in rural areas, and children were able to contribute - in fact, this is one reason why many families chose to have so many! Today, however, children are a liability. They don''t contribute to the family - parents have to provide and do everything for them.

Consider One''s Health...
I''m in my 30s, but I''ve never been a high energy person. I have a hard enough time just finding the energy to take care of myself! Plus, I consider myself a bit of a scatterbrain. I can''t imagine being a parent. I would want to be the best parent I could be, and that would require loads of energy (that I don''t have), and I''m sure I''d be a basket case trying to keep everything straight. I would probably be in a state of constant anxiety. That''s just not the way I want to live, and I don''t think I''d have what it takes so be a really great mom... and most mom''s today are expected to be super-mom.

Getting Older...
I don''t want kids, so do I worry about old age? Hmm... well honestly, I love the idea of relaxing out on my back porch with a friend drinking ice tea and enjoying good conversation, or perhaps working out in my garden much better than the thought of children calling for money, help with problems, and dropping the kids off for me to baby-sit! I like the idea of a quiet, peaceful life in my old age.

And... having kids so you''ll have someone to take care of you in old age is a poor, poor reason to have children. I don''t have a lot of energy, but I eat very healthfully and exercise... I plan on taking care of myself and would prefer it that way.

Having Kids is Great for Some...
Having said all of this, I DO think that having kids can be a wonderful joy for many people, especially for one that is equipped to handle being a parent, and some people''s kids turn out to be wonderful blessings. Also, I like the idea of there being more Jews in the world, but I just don''t think we''re all meant to be parents, nor do I think we all should feel that we need to be. "Be fruitful and multiply" was a commandment that was given when there were few people in the world. I think we''ve gone above and beyond to fulfill that commandment. :)

(28) Anonymous, June 4, 2008 1:10 PM

no one?

ever?

(27) ruth Housman, June 4, 2008 12:24 PM

issue: meaning children and the issue of how many

Dear Laurie, You are so loving and I wish, I truly wish, what you are saying about everyone not regretting having one more were true. First, I have to say that I loved this story and do feel the answer was given to this man and it was so particular and meant something deep to him, as this was his very issue, that debate with his chosen mate. So for him, the answer was blowing in the wind.

Sadly, for others, I have to say, as a psychotherapist, that there are so many who were unwanted children and so what you are saying is not true of everyone. I have a good friend whose entire life is colored by being unwanted, and cruelly unwanted. I mean, he knows this.
This is a truly deep subject and your answer, though sweet, is not the whole story. I wish it were. I wish it were!

(26) Anonymous, June 4, 2008 12:21 PM

There is no "coincidence"...

B"H

Dear Monica,

I''m the "Anonymous" you wrote to. It was my comment about being unwanted that you responded to. I''m sitting here with tears rolling down my face and sobbing because I don''t believe in coincidence and I''ve just seen something in your message that''s blowing my mind.

I am thousands of miles from NYS now, but I was born 48 years ago in Arnot-Ogden Hospital in Elmira, NY, and grew up a few miles from there. Can you believe it? I have such chills right now. I did not grow up in the Jewish community there. I would like to explain more. Hashem doesn''t make mistakes and this can''t be an accident... I hereby give the Aish editors permission to give you my e-mail address if you want it. Thank you for posting where you live. I never would have imagined!!! ... I don''t know what else to say. I''m speechless.

(25) Anonymous, June 4, 2008 11:49 AM

I hear you.....

My husband and I were briefly talking about this same issue the other night. We have talked about this before.
We have three children thank G-d. Our youngest is about to start school and it will be the first time in many years that I will be able to go onto other endeavors. My husband, on the other hand, wishes to have more children. I definately think that I have felt guilt about not having more. I am in my late 30''s and have heard plenty of other women who have three or more children who say that they still wish they had more. My husband does not guilt me about this. He knows that it is not an easy issue.
He also understands my excitement about starting other plans, (going back to school etc...) I have not talked about this to my rav. It is the one thing that I don''t ask. He would be able to give me advice, yet it is I who am of the mindset: "Please Hashem allow me to keep what it is that I have."
As for the, "need more money, a bigger car, more tuition money, longer unemployment for me etc., we know to have faith in Hashem-and we do. It is not an issue of lack of faith. We know that Hasehm provides. We have seen this everyday of our lives. I believe that I am just ready to move on to other areas of my life. I think that I will speak with my rav on this perspective, yet all in all, I am at this place at this time. cquiesced

(24) Anonymous, June 4, 2008 10:01 AM

don''t paskin your own shaalos

The use of birth control needs to be discussed with a competent orthodox rabbi in conjunction with your medical caregivers. It is NOT up to the lay-person to decide for him/herself whether or not birth control is appropriate. There are other halachic considerations as well, concerning the methods of birth control which may be permissible under certain circumstances.

(23) Liora, June 4, 2008 9:56 AM

His ways are not our ways, they are high above

My husband and I have 10 children, one of whom is adopted because he needed a family. We are in our early 40s, and how I wish we had not made the decision to end my child bearing years. Only HaShem knows the future. Our vacations are during Feast Days, no trips to the ocean or Disney Land for us. But we eat, we have a full Shabbat table, and we have joy and blessing in the ten children He gave to us. Lori is right, I''ve heard numorous women pray for another baby. Our culture makes it difficult to raise a large family, but when was trusting in Him easy? :-)

(22) Leah, June 4, 2008 9:17 AM

wish I had more

You brought tears to my eyes. Growing up I wanted a dozen children,in reality I had four children. They were a joy to raise & now I enjoy the fruits of grandchildren.I do regret not having more for all the joy they bring.Obviously a mother must be able to cope with raising more children but dont let money prevent you from having one more kid.

(21) Anonymous, June 4, 2008 9:09 AM

All blessings

I have two children from a previous marriage and we have a seven week old baby, we would love to have more children Gd willing, our baby took two years and fertility treatment to conceive and at 37 the odds are stacked against us. Financially timing is not good, but I fel like the wealthiest person alive... maybe there is another kind of poverty that is not financial ?

(20) Monica Waldron, June 4, 2008 9:02 AM

Rebuttal to Steve Goldstein

Steve:
I am one to agree with you about children, yet as I have mentioned in my previous post this is a small Jewish community. I feel almost compeled to marry outside my faith. I have begged G-d to given me the family I seek and yet I recall the Tora and how older women can be mothers with G-d''s blessing.
With that in my mind I hope for the day when this blessing may occur. There is always the posibility of adoption. Either way the joy of a child comes into your world.

My humble opinion...

Monica

(19) Monica Waldron, June 4, 2008 8:51 AM

G-d''s will..

To Anonymous...
I understand your problem totally. My mother was a concentration camp survivor at Auschwitz. Her youngest brother was killed there (he was 9 months old). After their freedom from the concentration camp, my mother ended up marrying an American soldier. I am the oldest of 3 children and believe me I know how it feels when your mother doesn''t want you.
At this point in my life I am 43 years old and a few thoughts run through my mind. I hope to still have children but I haven''t found the right man yet. Elmira NY is a small Jewish community. If I can''t have my own, there is the thought of adoption. I have just completed my Bachelor''s degree (Graduation is June 7th, 2008) and between finding a job and Mr. Right my hands are full.
I pray for G-d''s will to show me the way that I need to go in life especially when it comes to family. My grandmother was Russian Jew, my mother was born in Germany and I was born here in the U.S.
I am grateful for articles like this so I know I am not alone in my thoughts and feelings.

Monica

(18) Anonymous, June 4, 2008 8:19 AM

choice

I am remarried and have 2 children from my first marriage. I am orthodox. I am 35. My husband and I both work full time. Yet we would not be able to afford the bigger car, home, tuition, year off work, that comes along with having a third child. I also do not know if I could physically and mentally handle it. My head and heart are saying no, and I daven and ask my Rav about it as well. The only guilt I feel is when other people start interfering and trying to plan your life and guilt me into wanting a child.

(17) Ed, June 4, 2008 8:11 AM

Be Fruitful....

The Torah says "...be fruitful AND multiply." It doesn''t say just "be fruitful" or just "multiply." And notice which one comes FIRST! In other words, be fruitful (produce a good life for yourself) and THEN multiply (have children) in that order! People mostly get it backwards or they work on only one. My wife and I wish we could have had one more child, but we were too old for one more. But we did it right, and we have no regrets.

(16) Anonymous, June 4, 2008 7:52 AM

Crazy but worth it!

I must say the Roslyn South piece made me laugh hysterically! As a mother of, kin ayin hora, six boys, this really hits me where I live. :-) But I wouldn''t trade one single second of my life with my family for the carefree life of the childless. What kind of old age will they have? Where will be the laughter and warmth and weddings and births and busy simcha-filled life? Yes, having children is a great deal of hard work and stress, but I don''t believe G-d put us on this earth to get a great tan. We have serious spiritual work to do, and becoming an unselfish and giving person sure does happen a lot more naturally to a person who has chosen to sacrifice some (Ok, a lot! :-)) of his own comfort for the sake of his children. We do not fully develop ourselves until we become parents. And, as the Lubavitcher Rebbe said, "If something is worth doing, do it beyond reason." My logical mind might say that now isn''t a good time, or I''d rather have more money and more space in my house, or I''m tired of getting up in the night. But when you go beyond reason into love of G-d -- and love of life! -- the only real choice is to gratefully accept all the blessing that G-d rains down on you. May we all merit G-d''s blessing no matter what our life situations -- may those with empty arms be blessed, and may those of us with full arms remember to be profoundly grateful for them.

(15) Anonymous, June 3, 2008 9:09 PM

Sadly, it''s not always true.

I wish it were true that no one ever regrets having more children. My mother told me often how much she regretted having any children at all, and in particular, wished she had stopped "after three." I was her fourth, so I got the message loud and clear. I''m 48 and until the last year or two I have never had the slightest desire to have any children. And even now, I don''t really regret my childlessness. What I regret is not being able to regret it, if that makes any sense.

Some mothers actually hate their children and reject them from birth. For those of us who have survived such situations, even though we may have become (mostly) happy and functional adults, with gratitude to G-d for all the myriad blessings that we do have, still, these constant platitudes about unfailing maternal love can be indescribably agonizing--or just profoundly sad.

(14) Liora Sitelman, June 3, 2008 2:14 PM

money and mental health

Dear Rebbetzin Palatnik,
I definitely understand your point of view...that being said, money and mental sanity need to be taken into account with peoples'' family planning, which, in my opinion, should be made exclusively between a woman and her husband.

The first comment was correct in pointing out the devastatin poverty amongst Jerusalem''s orthodox community.

May G-D bless all of you wiht as many children as you WANT, can FINANCIALLY PROVIDE For, and are able to have the SANITY to handle!

(13) Jack Manning, June 2, 2008 9:13 PM

not so simple to pay those bills

It''s a lot easier to have children than to pay the food and tuition bills...look at all the people in poverty in Israel amongst the ultra orthodox community.

(12) Ester, June 2, 2008 9:11 PM

One thing I''m sure of:

Raising children in today''s world without Torah is suicidal. The way I see it, if not for Torah and mitzvot, almost every single one of my 7 wonderful kids would''ve been a monster or a mental case. I agree with Roslyn South''s satire: If you''re not ready to put all your energies in the proper upbringing of your kids, don''t bother bringing them into our crazy world.

(11) MESA, June 2, 2008 11:30 AM

When my cousin was engaged, she went for a medical checkup, and the doctors found cysts on her ovaries. The cysts were benign and easily removed, but the doctors were concerned. They told my cousin, "if you have any plans to have children, have them now and don''t wait. These cysts may come back, and you may need a hysterectomy, so have your children now, while you can." She listened and has two daughters.

Meanwhile, I was advised by colleagues, "don''t get married until you''re at least 35. There''s too much to do until then, and once you have a family, you''re stuck."

I think every woman should hear what my cousin heard, because even if there are no serious issues, fertility does go down as the woman gets older. Your career, hobbies, and travel can wait, but children can''t.

(10) Steve Goldstein, June 2, 2008 5:34 AM

it''s a strange world

Dear Abby and Ann Landers have both printed the following satirical (?) piece, written by Roslyn South that appeared in 1957 in American Mercury magazine:

There is nothing sadder than a childless couple. It breaks my heart to see them relaxing around swimming pools in Florida, sitting all suntanned and miserable on the decks of their boats — trotting off to Europe like lonesome fools. It''s an empty life. Nothing but money to spend, more time to enjoy and a whole lot less to worry about.

The poor childless couple are so wrapped up in themselves, you have to feel sorry for them. They don''t fight over the child''s discipline, don''t blame each other for the child''s most obnoxious characteristics, and they miss all the fun of doing without for the child''s sake. They just go along, doing whatever they want, buying what they want and liking each other. It''s a pretty pathetic picture.

Everyone should have children. No one should be allowed to escape the wonderful experience that accompanies each stage in the development of the young — the happy memories of sleepless nights, coughing spells, tantrums, diaper rash, debts, "dipso" baby sitters, saturated mattresses, emergencies and never-ending crises.

How dismal is the peaceful home without the constant childish problems that make a well-rounded life and an early breakdown, the tender, thoughtful discussions when the report card reveals the progeny to be one step below a moron, the end-of-the-day reunions with all the joyful happenings recited like well-placed blows to the temples.

Children are worth it. Every moment of anxiety, every sacrifice, every complete collapse pays off as a fine, sturdy adolescent is reached. The feeling of reward the first time you took the boy hunting — he didn''t mean to shoot you, the lad was excited. Remember how he cried? How sorry he was? And how much better you felt after the blood transfusion? These are the times a man with a growing son treasures — memories that are captured forever in the heart and the limp.

Think back to the night of romantic adventure when your budding daughter eloped with the village idiot. What childless couple ever shared in the stark realism of that drama? Aren''t you a better man for having lived richly, fully, acquiring that tic in your left eye? Could a woman without children touch the strength and heroism of your wife as she tried to fling herself out of the bedroom window?

The childless couple live in a vacuum. They fill their lonely days with golf, vacation trips, dinner dates, civic affairs, tranquility, leisure and entertainment. There is a terrifying emptiness without children, but the childless couple are too comfortable to know it.

You just have to look at them to see what the years have done: He looks boyish, unlined and rested, she''s slim, well-groomed and youthful. It isn''t natural. If they had had kids, they''d look like the rest of us — worn out, wrinkled and exhausted.

(9) Sarah, June 1, 2008 10:10 PM

Thank You!

What a beautiful message!

on a personal note, I have gone through infertility treatments to have our daughter. We weren''t sure whether we had the wherewithal to do these emotionally and physically draining treatments again. But Thank G-d we did and I am now once again pregnant. And believe me, I''d do it again and again.

(8) Anonymous, June 1, 2008 7:24 PM

As many as G-d will give

The basic mitzvah in the Torah, pru u''rivu, is at least one boy and one girl, so there will be more people. People should decide to have as many as G-d will give them.

(7) Anonymous, June 1, 2008 7:08 PM

Children: touchy subject.

While we are commanded to reproduce and multiply,having children is a personal decision between a husband and wife and no one outside should interfere with their choices.While some may prefer 10 children, others may be happy with just two kids.Family planning should be decided and made responsibly. If you are not cut out to have a large family, than don''t have it just b/c your neighboors are.With the joy of having children comes responsibility.Family planning should be thouroughly discussed and meticulously premeditated prior to having children.

(6) Anonymous, June 1, 2008 5:21 PM

a joy

Children bring only blessing into a home. i have thank g-d 5 (under 6!) and love every second of it. it''s hard work, but worth it!

(5) Debora, June 1, 2008 11:16 AM

Grest!

I''d like to have at least - four!

(4) Tamara, June 1, 2008 9:08 AM

overpopulation?

Most of the world''s food limitations are a media fiction - just look at the overflowing garbage cans. There is a problem of distribution...
I shouldn''t have children because of distribution issues?

We need more Jews to be a light to the nations. That is a REAL mission! 6 million were wiped out in WW II, Don''t let lies mislead you!!

(3) uri, June 1, 2008 8:50 AM

having as many children as Hashem gives us is a blessing-let''s leave the "overpopulation" of the world in His hands

(2) Phil, June 1, 2008 8:32 AM

overpopulation

In that case, Rosen, please forward this link to all your Jewish friends only. :-)

(1) Rosen, June 1, 2008 7:18 AM

but, the world''s overpopulating

I don''t really agree with Lori this week because the world is overpopulating. While the birth of a child is a blessing, especially in a Jewish intramarriage, families do not need to have too many children due to the limitations of the world food supply and the economy.

However, I do agree that the Jewish birth rate ought to be higher, because, sadly, too many Jews intermarry, where their children''s identity is mixed up and lost.

Just keep child-bearing simple with just approx. 1-3 children.

 

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