Archive for January, 2011

Upbeat post!

In which I spill some of the lovely things about my kids :)

  • Gwen to Brad: “That’s my mommy! She loves me.”
  • When Gil is on my hip but I’m engaged in something else, he’ll tilt his head and smile at me, grabbing my attention and helping us connect. It’s very sweet :)
  • Tonight on the couch, Gil & Gwen hugged. And it was a real hug on both sides!
  • Gwen to anyone who says Gil’s name: “MY brother!”
  • Gwen to us when we pick Gil up to protect him (from her): “I need my brother back!”
  • Gil is now saying “Haaaaa” for “hi” and waving goodbye when we leave places. He’s also in that stage where he puts every item to his ear like a phone. Change purse? Phone. Remote control? Phone. Piece of paper? Phone. LOVE IT!

Comments (3)

Industrial revolution: a revolution of the family

In her recent blog post, A liturgical downer, Brenda linked to the blog of a Benedictine sister: Monastic Musings Too. In her post, Millions of Holy Innocents today, she writes:

Elizabeth Marquardt raised the fundamental question in the title of her ground-breaking report, The Revolution in Parenthood: The Emerging Global Clash Between Parents’ Rights and Children’s Needs. Most homilies preached in Catholic Churches today will focus on abortion, in which the lives of millions of children are sacrificed for the needs – and legal rights – of adults. Marquardt’s 44-page monograph provides a larger context which helps to illuminate the political struggles around the issue. She studies the needs of the children in opposition to the desires and rights of parents. How did this opposition come about?

Social scientists place the heart of that change in the Industrial Revolution. Until that time, children were often part of the domestic economy – whether on the farm or in a craft or service occupation or business. From an early age, children participated in the work of the family, both contributing to the family’s livelihood and the learning the myriads of skills they would need as adults. The children of cooks learned to cook; of farmers learned to farm. Children were contributors to the family, and valued.

While I have lately become familiar with the Industrial Revolution as the start of unskilled, unsatisfying work, and also the beginning of consumer debt, I had not yet read anything about this … and it makes so. much. sense. It saddens me that this is the kind of thing that is missing in my life with my children. Since I don’t really have ‘work’, and Brad works in an office, Gwen is bored. There is only so much she can help me with at home – only so many sinks of dishes, only so many times I can make muffins, only so much sweeping to do. Yes, Gwen has toys, and yes she is often content to play with them, but I can just imagine how much more full her life would be if both Brad and I had practical, hands-on, skilled work to do in which she could participate joyfully!

Comments (4)

Welcome, 2011!

Wow. 2011 already.

I honestly feel like this past year has flown by. We’ve had some hard times and some great, but overall, I feel like 2010 was a hard, hard year.

But I don’t want to be someone who looks back and groans, shaking their head.

I want to be someone who looks to the future with their head held high and a smile on their face.

Here’s to 2011 – let’s hope it doesn’t suck!

I’m not really one for resolutions. In fact, I don’t have a terribly good track record for sticking to them, so I won’t make any of those. However, I do have a few goals that I’d like to flesh out here, hopefully meaning that I can look at them and assess how I’m doing throughout the year.

  1. Use as few chemicals as possible – both on my body and in my house. I got turned on to spotless by a friend and I love it! In fact, this website revolutionized my no-poo project and I’m back to fully no-poo. Yay! As a token of good faith, I used the last of my dishwasher soap on December 30th and ran my first load of chemical-free dishwashing this morning – they’re already put away and are squeaky clean :) I’m planning that when I run out of cleaning products, I’ll begin making what I need and I won’t buy more. That way, it won’t be in the house.
  2. Work toward becoming the kind of parent I know my kids need – this means more listening, more partnering, and more working on myself. I’ve had an introductory appointment with a counselor and I’m hoping that will help me move forward. I’m going to purchase and read Families Where Grace is in Place (Jeff VanVonderen), going to give Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves (Naomi Aldort) another read, and Brad and I are going to take at least one course in Non-Violent Communication.
  3. Deepen my faith – in a way that is authentically following Jesus. I’m hoping to talk to some people who are interested in the simple church movement and get my family involved in Christ’s body again.
  4. Re-discover what brings me joy – this is, I think, going to be the most difficult goal. Somewhere in the past few years, I’ve lost myself. In becoming a mother twice in such a short period of time, I’ve forgotten who I am and what I find fulfilling. Add to that the loss of the outward expression of my faith, the difficult times had within our immediate families, more job responsibility on Brad, and a head-strong toddler, and most days I’m not sure what end is up!

Four goals. I think I can do it. Cheer me on, peeps!

Comments (9)