What’s your pledge? September 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 11:23 am

I pledge to protect the innocent young from abuse, infanticide, and abortion.

I pledge to encourage my children to marry and have children. Lots of them.

I pledge to wash my hands frequently, after every toilet trip, before every meal, regardless of the water it wastes.

I pledge to fight for the rights of Catholic pharmacists and doctors to practice their faith.

I pledge to support and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

I pledge to replace my van with non-lead-based paint with one with lead-based paint that won’t chip and peel.

I pledge to discourage the dead from voting.

I pledge to oppose those who bully others for their votes.

I pledge to support the right to live and reproduce of all people, of all races, and to fight racism, genocide, and Planned Parenthood.

I pledge to love even those who hate me for my views.

I pledge to get more involved in the next election.

What do you pledge?


Define "Slow Learner." October 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 8:00 pm

Is it a person who has multiple children?

Only if the children were a mistake. Ergo, no.

Maybe the slow learner is the one who has a blessing… or is fortunate enough to have multiple blessings and still thinks only a slow learner would want to be so blessed.

Oooh, people who assume that children are a mistake really steam my Irish potatoes.


Detachment Parenting July 5, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 4:40 pm

I have a twelve-year-old daughter who is a firm believer in Attachment Parenting. She reserves the right to hold the household baby at any time that a) she wants to, or b) there is something else I want her to do. If neither of those circumstances exists, it is her responsibility to make absolutely sure that I am holding him. Especially if I’m eating, typing, or using the bathroom.

Attachment Parenting, you see, is a parenting philosophy based on the concept that a baby must be held or cuddled at all times, preferably with expensive devices. The most important of these devices is called a Sling. It is a piece of fabric that can be very attractive and/or cute, which holds the baby on the mother (this is called “Baby Wearing”) so that the mother can cuddle the child when she is not in the mood for skin or eye contact. The second part of this parenting method is what occurs during sleep time, called Co-Sleeping. This involves having the baby act as a method of birth control, sleeping between Mommy and Daddy, so that Mommy does not have to wake up or give the child any conscious attention while nourishing the baby during the night. For parents who have what is known as Lactational Amenorrhea (the cessation of fertility that some breastfeeding mothers experience), this birth control is not necessary. In this case, an optional device may be used, a special cradle that attaches to the side of the bed for Co-Sleeping, so that baby may be considered to be in the same bed, without lying between his parents, and without suffering the indignity of being in a cradle separated from the adult bed by two inches.

Despite my daughter’s strong feelings on the subject, I do not feel I can live up to the ideals of Attachment Parenting. For one thing, I only own one sling. Although I very much enjoy using it for outings, I don’t get out much, and frankly I find it easier to hold my little son in my arms. I worry a little that I’m doing him psychological damage by allowing him so much contact without the aid of the device, but the truth is I’m behind on laundry, and I can’t really afford a second sling. Besides, despite the distance it puts between our bodies, we just enjoy playing “Super Baby” too much to stop.

As for Co-Sleeping, a third person would never fit on our full-size mattress, and I have a perfectly good handmade wooden cradle right beside my side of the bed. I just can’t bring myself to toss it out.

Oh, there are other things, too. Like the fact that my husband likes holding the baby also, and I have this pernicious idea that it might be good for both of them to form a relationship; or the fact that I have a preschooler and a toddler who also want Mommy time. Or the niggling worry at the back of my mind that maybe, just maybe, love and good instincts might do more good than a book or a method.

So here I am, feeling guilty because so many people have said that Attachment Parenting is the most loving, best, most psychologically uplifting method of baby rearing, and I just can’t bring myself to do it. I can’t seem to convince myself that the quality of parenting depends on what devices you use. And most of all, I can’t seem to accept the idea that I have to be the best, or that I have to have the approval of a group of people or a book, to be a good and loving parent.

I finally came up with something that alleviates my worry about inferior upbringing: just find a new method… or in the absence of one that fits us, make one up! Thus was born Detachment Parenting. The idea behind this method is that many parents have to make their methods of parenting fit their lives rather than a book, and that Nature did a pretty good job teaching most of us how to love our little ones. It is based on the rebellious notion that my skin is just as cozy as a sling, and that I may as well wake up when I feed the baby in the middle of the night. It centers on the notion that when a book supplants common sense, whether the book demands Baby Wearing and Co-Sleeping, or on the other end of the spectrum, Feeding Schedules and Discipline, the middle ground might just give a baby what he needs, and give the rest of the family what they need, too. It doesn’t give the same level of confidence that knowing you’ve followed all the rules of your chosen method gives; but it gives parents the chance to use their own minds and hearts in figuring out how to meet the individual needs of real people. And in the final analysis, babies aren’t theories or methods… they really are people.


You know you’re a big family if… August 14, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 7:45 pm

You know you’re a big family when…

…people count the number of your children out loud when you’re in public
…people ask, “Are they all yours?”
you start counting your children when you’re out in public
…you have at least three bunk beds set up in your home
…almost everyone you know has less children than you do
…people say, “Wow! How do you manage?”
…people ask you, out of the blue, if you are Mormon or Catholic.
…you buy your pots and pans in the restaurant supply store
…supposed “family size” food portions seem awfully small
…you complain, “Doesn’t anyone make large dining tables anymore?”
…you outgrow your mini-van
…you’ve heard “Don’t you know what causes that?” more times than you’d care to remember
…you’ve forgotten what it’s like to be alone anywhere else but in the bathroom
…your children never run out of playmates among their siblings
…everything you buy is in bulk
…people ask, “Don’t you get overwhelmed?”
…you and your husband can no longer hold each child’s hand while crossing the street
…it takes a wonderfully long time to hug and kiss everybody
…one of your children looks wistfully at the newborn and asks you, “Can’t you have another baby really soon? I hardly get to hold this one because everybody else is taking turns.”
…you realize that few houses are designed with your family in mind
…people ask you if you’ve ever accidentally left any of your children behind
…life around your family never seems boring or dull
…your tent is the largest one in any campground
…you feel sorry for people with only two children
…you sometimes wonder what on earth mothers with only two children do with all their spare time
…whenever you set your dining table, it looks like it used to look when you were expecting lots of company
…you read a cookbook and joke, “They call these meals? Sounds like a little snack to me.”
…your gratitude at the abundance of God’s blessing moves you to tears unexpectedly
…you start thinking of yourself as “rich in children”
…you secretly think that life in your family might possibly be a much more joyous adventure than life in smaller families
…you are vastly amused at much modern parenting advice, realizing that it is unnecessary, impossible, impractical, or simply silly to try to apply it in a large family setting
…it seems as if you pack more stuff going on a short trip than some people pack when moving their entire household
…you and your husband laugh, “And to think that when we got married, we wanted only four children!”
…your husband sighs happily, “I’ve finally got my dream car”–and it’s a used 15- passenger van.

I don’t know where this list originated, but I cannot tell you how true it rings.


Let’s get a few things straight. May 9, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 8:55 am

HAVING large families should be frowned upon as an environmental misdemeanour in the same way as frequent long-haul flights, driving a big car and failing to reuse plastic bags, says a report to be published today by a green think tank.

The paper by the Optimum Population Trust will say that if couples had two children instead of three they could cut their family’s carbon dioxide output by the equivalent of 620 return flights a year between London and New York.

I’m mad. I’ll admit it, I’m not feeling any particular desire to respond to the Optimum Population Trust rationally. I kind of want to rant and suggest how they could reduce the population in their own homes — but I won’t. Instead, I’ll tell them a few things that I wish they would, themselves, be rational enough to consider.

John Guillebaud, co-chairman of OPT has this to say: “The greatest thing anyone in Britain could do to help the future of the planet would be to have one less child.”

Let’s get the first thing straight. I help the future of this planet by having a large family. I make it a better world by increasing the ratio of good people to twits like Guillebaud. I raise them well, with values like “thou shalt not kill” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” I’m not perfect as a parent, and my children do not learn these lessons perfectly but there is no doubt in the mind of any person with values who knows them that every blessed one of them is, indeed, a blessing to and an improvement in the world. My children bless the world with their charitable acts, with their volunteering, with their willingness to grow, and with the love they spread in the world. It is indisputable that if any one of them did not exist, the world would be a less good place.

Let’s get a second thing straight. My children will pay Guillebaud’s social security one day, and mine too, unless the Guillebauds of the world have their way and decrease the population sufficiently to eliminate the possibility of receiving social security before I reach retirement age.

Let’s get a third thing straight. Those who seek to trample the religious liberties of people who disagree with their own religious perspectives are doing a grave wrong. The idea that animals are more important than humans, or that human existence is inherently bad is a mistaken religious ideal. the members of OPT certainly have a right to believe these errors, let’s be honest about what it is that they are proposing: an alternate set of religious values. They are seeking to sway those who hold to other religious views, such as Judeo-Christian values and secular humanism.

Every human being has worth, and if I ever meet a person who dares to tell me to my face that one of my children is a waste of oxygen and should not exist, they will have to invent a new language to hold all the vocabulary I’m likely to spout.


This time, conservatives want the state to get out of their bedrooms. February 10, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 10:40 am

Usually it is the Democrats who cry out over government intrusion into the bedroom. But some democrats, like Washington state representative Maralyn Chase, favor privacy only for liberal causes. The “Two or Fewer” bill she proposed upholds the Democratic and liberal perspective, so that invasion of privacy doesn’t count as a genuine invasion.

The truth is that Ms. Chase’s perspective doesn’t hold up as consistent when more liberal issues are at stake. A defender of gay rights, she gets an A rating from the Snohomish County Elections Committee for Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transgendered. Another pro-homosexual group lists her as one of the few Washington state representatives with an “A+” rating, rating her higher than 50% of the openly homosexual or bisexual representatives. Her views on privacy only extend to the privacy of groups represented by liberal causes and groups, apparently. It would be nice if she could represent her constituency more evenhandedly, by holding either a solid moral perspective or an unflinching respect for privacy for all. Some people would still disagree with her views, but at least they could not accuse her of hypocrisy.

Ms. Chase herself claims her bill is not an intrusion at all, because it does not advocate the actual restriction of family size, but only “education.” She “She counts that choice among the most private and intimate decisions a couple can make.” She speaks as though she is defending the rights of both sides; but it is only the promotion of negative population growth that her bill promotes. That isn’t education, but propaganda.

And it is not just a matter of sexual privacy, but of religious freedom.

When she propagandizes against large families, not only is she committing a serious act of bigotry against a number of her own constituents, she is also making a religious statement that those religions that encourage larger families are acting harmfully to society. She is, further, encouraging others to join her in an idealogical crusade against those who have either personal or religious reasons for having larger families.

Then there’s the more sinister question: how often does an idealogical crusade succeed without it eventually moving from words to action? It took China about 20 years to move from words to action, instituting a one-birth policy. And “progress” in multiple countries (particularly China and India) has shown that birth restriction, whether legally enforced or idealogically encouraged, tends to lead toward the degradation and even killing of women and girls. This is not a direction I, as a resident of Washington state, want to go.

Fortunately, neither do any other members of the Washington state House of Representatives. Unable to get a co-sponsor, the bill died for the year. I have a feeling that so will Ms. Chase’s political career.