We live in a world full of possibilities. We can go and do nearly anything with our lives. . For women, the expectations are mixed. Be a wife and a mother, but also have a meaningful career. I felt these expectations weigh heavily on me as I chose a career and married. My family emphasized college and a degree. As I attended my first two years of college, my 53 year old mother was finishing her bachelors degree. She kept telling me how important it was to finish my schooling before I started a family. Yet, in the midst of pressure to finish a degree, the social and family pressure to get married have children was also there. I remember getting engaged in the midst of my own professional school. My fiancé met my sweet sister-in-law and in that very first conversation, she made it clear that I needed to finish my degree. It intimidated him and re-emphasized the pressure to finish my professional training.
I remember sitting in Relief Society and hearing a quote from President Kimball regarding not waiting to finish school to start your family and wondered to myself if I felt shame. I felt compelled to have children, but I knew that I could not currently do it and be able to finish school. I could not juggle a baby with my full time professional school, part time job, and an hour commute to school each day.
I knew that this was a matter that we needed to have guidance from the Lord in. We sincerely prayed and fasted to know the right time to start a family. We received our answer and followed that prompting. We followed the right course for us.
In my last few years of Professional School, my husband and I felt it was time for us to start having children...and then it didn't happen. Each month would go by, and still no pregnancy. After I had struggled for nearly a year, I even decided to do my senior project on infertility to see what I could learn about my own fertility issues. First, I felt ashamed because I didn't have children, then I felt shame because I couldn't have children. In spite of the infertility, that time is precious to me now. My husband and I had a lot of fun adventures during that year and I am grateful for the time we had together following our own course.
I did eventually become pregnant...and with the perfect timing. I was in the part of my professional program where I was able to deal with my extreme "morning" (all day long) sickness and have my first child after I had graduated. I know the Lord is the biggest micro-manager of all. He knows every little sparrow and he wanted us to have time together as a couple and he knew the best time for us to start our family. I am grateful for the course he has given me to follow. I challenge you to find joy in the course you are on now.