By Carolyn Shields
We all do it, too. We update our friends on new names we like, we contemplate themes for our big families (are flower names...Rose, Lilly...to hippie for middle names?), we scribble new ideas on napkins so we can add it to the list, and we are all in agreement that the future hubby will just have to deal with the names we chose five years in advance.
But there's the catch. Future hubby. We aren't married yet. We may not even exactly have a boyfriend yet.
The maternal nature within us oftentimes is directed toward our girlfriends or other children until we may fulfill this urge toward a child of our own. We just innately have this beautiful capacity to nurture, and sometimes when we watch our friends marry, then add monthly photos of their baby bumps on facebook, and then suddenly their profile picture is of their baby daughter, that ache and that desire to nurture our own nearly consumes us.
And that's incredibly beautiful. This desire. But it's kind of like craving chocolate during pms. This desire is good, but we can't let it rule us. As we age, our fever becomes less intense whereas men's baby fever increases with time. We converge in our fever level in our 30s. But it makes sense, right? We want a child now because we are just bursting with this desire to love, which to be stated once more, is woman's greatest desire according to Fulton Sheen. And children in general are just ridiculously easy to love.
But when this fever starts to rule us, we need to take a step back from visiting our friend's baby. Studies show that the more we are around babies, the more we desire one, meaning if this desire really is causing a deep ache, take a break. Personally, my baby fever is quelled for a while whenever I visit a friend who has a child, and that's ok too. It's a balance, a play with moderation, as with all things in life.
Chris Mary Edwards puts it best in her article, 'Living with Baby Fever,' "Ultimately, I’ve come to this conclusion. I must live my life now, and find contentment; whether I’m single, married, with a family or not. Perhaps this hunger always goes unsatisfied, but I know that miserably pining after something I might never have won’t make me feel whole either. And so I cope by counting my blessings, even if it seems forced. For now I can use my maternal instincts to nurture people in ways other than pregnancy. I will still hope one day to have a family, filled with the giggles of children and the chaos of holidays. But if it doesn’t happen, I’ll walk a different path with no less peace or purpose."
So keep dreaming of that time when you will hold a beautiful, coned head child in your arms, because if it's God's will it will happen, and believe the heck out of that. But as with any dream, remember that it's dangerous to try to calculate our life to relieve every want and accomplish every desire. If we do this, we never will allow Divine Providence to intervene. If we "calculate everything, anticipate everything, then we seek to resolve everything by counting on ourselves instead of counting on God," says Jacques Philippe in Searching for and Maintaining Peace.
Take a big breath. For right now, your little one is up there with Christ, and no one can truly complain about that. Just work on finding dat man.