Buddy has had a steady job now for almost a year, but the truth is, we are still struggling. We aren't where we need to be, but he is working, and for that we are grateful. At the moment, we are just trying our best to stay afloat financially and emotionally, although some days are more difficult than I care to admit.
One of the worst things I've come to realize about financial struggles is that everyone seems to have an opinion. Everyone seems to know exactly what you should and shouldn't be doing to make your life work better, and sadly, your sex life is no exception.
Ever since Buddy lost his job 2 years ago, we've heard an increase in comments about how we shouldn't get pregnant again. Sadly, it's mostly been from family members who like to casually slip it into conversation as if they are discussing the weather, only they are actually instructing me not to have sex with my husband.
"You do NOT need to get pregnant right now."
"That is the LAST thing you should be thinking about!"
Any time the subject of growing our family comes up, I try to reiterate that our plan is to practice our faith. We may be TTA, but no matter what our reasons are for trying to avoid pregnancy at the moment, we will always remain open to having more children.
Since so many people feel that they have the right to step into our bedroom and
TTA means we are praying. We are in constant prayer about if and when we should change our practice of TTA to TTW (trying to whatever, which means just being open to whatever happens) or even TTC (trying to conceive, using my signs of fertility to try and achieve another pregnancy).
TTA means we are sacrificing. We are avoiding being intimate any time I have signs of fertility. Being postpartum and nursing means my cycles aren't always easy to read. If there is a question about if I am fertile, that means we don't have sex.
TTA means we are committed. When you are TTA, you aren't popping a pill in your mouth every day for birth control; you are using self-control. It's not a mindless act like taking your vitamins; it requires a major commitment. Since we have prayerfully discerned that we need to TTA, we have to remain strong for one another. Denying ourselves sex can sometimes feel like cruel and unusual punishment when the world is doing such an amazing job of promoting "SEX! SEX! SEX! Anytime, anywhere, with anyone!" The truth is, even though Buddy and I would obviously love it if we never had to abstain, we aren't buying what the world is selling. We are committed to one another, we are committed to our marriage, and are we are committed to our Catholic faith. That means we are also committed to using NFP when we need to avoid pregnancy.
TTA means that we are fully aware that God is in control. By using NFP, we always remain open to life. While we are using the signs that God has given us to track my fertility, every time we have sex, we also know that God could still send us a child. To be completely honest, we might freak out a bit if we found out I was pregnant again, but we trust in God to provide for us. We know that if God sends us a child when we are TTA, it means He knows better than we do about the timing of our next baby.
And we aren't just OK with this plan--we take comfort in it.
As you can see, we don't take our family planning lightly, so consider this my warning. The next time I hear a comment like, "Well, we ALL know that you aren't pregnant RIGHT NOW!" I might not be able to hold my tongue.
Instead, I might just let you in on a little secret:
The only ones deciding whether or not I get pregnant right now are me, Buddy, and God.
Now I'd appreciate it if you'd please step away from my bedroom.