This is NFP awareness week, my friends! I've been very open in explaining our position throughout various related past posts, but I thought I'd expand a bit during this here awareness week. But I'm gonna do it kinda quickly because my children have got it out for me today - don't let those angelic faces fool you.
So Matt and I are real Catholics. We don't use artificial contraception; we only use NFP. I state it very harshly because the Church's position on the pill, IUDs, condoms, vasectomies, etc isn't unclear.
Matt and I follow the rules. Because we're supposed to. But the truth? I hate NFP.
Why is it that phases one and three never line up with anniversaries, birthdays, or freakin' Valentine's Day? Not fair. Why is it that I'm only in the mood during phase two - the ONE phase when you need to abstain? Not fair. Why does my body have to be so unpredictable with crazy cycles? One time I had a cycle last 72 days. 72. That was a fun summer. And after Abigail there was no breastfeeding, so there was no natural spacing.
I hate NFP, so when a friend recommend a book called The Sinner's Guide to NFP, I was pretty eager to read it. My hope was that after I read it, I'd love NFP. Instead I came to realize that I'm not alone: no one loves NFP. And that made it easier to bear.
A few things in particular really struck home:
-Virtue is not a patient person being patient. I hate NFP (Matt is not it's biggest fan either), but we do it anyway. That's obedience to God's will.
-Birth control is not all it's cracked up to be either. The media has a way of making sex, drugs, and rock n' roll look more glamorous than they really are. The author recommends typing in the name of a birth control + side effects to read up on the horror stories the other side can suffer.
-Nothing worth having is easy. Virtues aren't easy, marriage isn't easy, well-behaved children aren't easy, friendship isn't easy, saving money isn't easy, diet and exercise aren't easy; heck, taking your family on vacation isn't even easy!
We haven't had to resume NFP since I read the book, but when we do, I'm going to spend less time in self-pity because I'm sorta rocking this one aspect of faithfulness to God.