I'd like to respond as a mother of a large family who also uses contraception and a homeschooler.
I have read many opinions over the last few years from young married or almost married MEN about the use of contraception in a marriage.
First off, I so appreciate this Tamara. I get rather annoyed at these young newlywed men (and a few women) who think they've figured it all out AND
feel the need to strong arm the rest of us into agreeing with them. Its one thing to have your own convictions, quite another be consider oneself to be an expert on the matter. It reminds me of teaching my son how to drive. He had all of 2 hours under his belt but still wanted to argue with me about how to do it properly. Uh, "hello??"
Many of these idealists have proclaimed or vowed not use it in their marriage. But be prepared for the consequences of how multiple pregnancies will affect the long-term health of your future wife. I have many friends who followed this path and I admire their large families. But most, if not all of these mothers in these families (age range mid 40s) have long-term or debilitating illnesses (ex:crippling rheumatoid arthritis, severe anemia, hormonal imbalances, stress-related disorders, etc.) due to caring for large families. The stress alone can be immense especially when all of their children are very young and then again when most of the children reach their teen years. Their husbands end up shouldering more of the child-rearing duties as their wives succumb to various long-term, chronic illnesses. In comparison to the families who have two to four children, the wives are still in good health and can function as a wife and mother. Just something to think about as you prepare for the future.
I have not seen this like you have stated. Yes, moms can get frazzled and frustrated and I can completely relate that it gets much harder when they become young adults (teen years have been great for us so far - college a bit more frustrating). My husband did most of the shouldering of child-rearing during my pregnancies, which left me almost completely bed-ridden with all-day sickness (hyper-emesis). Now that my children are older they are great help to us - especially since we are in that busy stage of life when kids are going in several different directions at once.
I think the problem comes when as I stated above, people feel compelled to have many many children, without regard to their health. I do know some people who already have some of the health issues you have mentioned above but still feel that they are not obedient Christians unless they don't use birth control. This is more inside the "Quiver full" community of homeschoolers.
I am not comfortable saying someone shouldn't have a large family because they may
have health issues in the future, or their children may
be rebellious, difficult teens. Most (not all!) women I talk to who are are past the child-bearing age say they regret not having more children. I like the way the Orthodox Church seems to take the issue, which is to help the individual.
I think you have cast an unfair light on moms who no longer homeschool. Perhaps they were ready for a new challenge or a new "career". I've been homeschooling for 16 years. I know I'm ready to move on and am planning to put the last two into school within the next two years (I already have an older one in school). Some of my kids have special needs and I know my limits. I've also been hoping to get involved with Hospice care after I'm finished with this phase of life for a very long time. But, to me you make me sound like a homeschool dropout. It doesn't mean I've become overwhelmed with homeschooling or because my large
family has run me down. Its just time. If I had 3-4 kids widely spaced, I might feel the same way.