I’m not sure when it starts, but at one point in a girl’s life she wishes, “I want to have ___ kids!” She may even go further by saying how many boys and how many girls, and what she wants to name them.
Then she gets married. And oh the pressures of having a baby or getting pregnant and when! Does she still have the same wish she did long ago?
I remember saying I wanted four children. And if Allah would give me two boys and two girls, I would be so happy because that would be so perfect!
I currently have a stillborn daughter in heaven, and a son that’s almost a year old. As relatives, friends, and even strangers watch my son gain “independence” (self feed, take steps, 1 ½ syllable words) they eye me with the question of, “when are you going to have another?”
They ask as though it’s as easy as ordering a box of pizza. But if you say that, they’ll say- “Have them while you’re still young, while your body is still versatile.” Yes, they’ll even add some details to that versatile part.
I personally want to wait until my son is out of diapers. I can’t imagine having two very needy children. But then they’ll say- “You’re doing it anyway, do it with two rather than getting freed up only to start over again.”
So when is that time to think of another sibling for your child? Or is one just fine. I would like another, inshallah. But three? More? What am I really worried about? A difficult, high-risk pregnancy? A needy newborn? The responsibility in raising a Muslim child?
Allah knows best. Allah will challenge us, but He will give no challenge that will prove too hard for us to handle. And that is why the answer, “Inshallah” (If Allah wills it), I have found, is the best reply to those who ask.
HodaHoda is a wife and a mother to a stillborn daughter in heaven and an almost one-year-old son. She is an elementary school teacher in public school and lives in Virginia.