Using Your Heart Not Your Head

I’m pregnant. With our third child.

We are beyond excited and joyful about this new life coming into existence.

But when you have an 8-year-old and almost 5-year-old, you and your husband both have demanding yet rewarding careers, and you are what the doctors call old enough to be of “advanced maternal age,” you get some interesting comments when you tell people this news. Some of my favorites have been:

“You know, they say women with three kids are the most stressed.”

“Well, when did that happen?” (I’m not sure if they were asking about conception or the decision to have another child, so I stayed away from answering it. Awkward.)

And my favorite, “Oh no.”

Of course, the overwhelming majority of what we have heard is a heartfelt “Congratulations!”

But the truth is, we logically have had some of these less than positive thoughts. What are we doing? Or more accurately, how exactly are we going to do this?

But my heart has been telling me something different than what my logical brain has been telling me. This started almost two years ago. And the same feelings (not logic) seemed to have struck my husband about mid-summer of last year too.

We are both driven by logic in our work and are called to make decisions using logic not emotions. But in this big decision, we became all emotion.

And that emotion came out of a place of our hearts. The fact that we have more love to give was the simple answer. We believe our two kids have the same kind of more love to give and this decision will strengthen them, not harm them.

So we are having a baby.

The heart often leads us to the best decisions. It doesn’t mean they are the easiest ones. They often lead us to uncomfortable questions from others, sleepless nights, extra work, and rollercoasters of highs and lows. But, often, they lead us to the best possible decision and the best possible place to be for ourselves and for others.

On this Valentine’s Day, whether it is at work or in another aspect of your life, where do you need to follow your heart not your head?

Mary Ila Ward

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