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!

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Have baby, will work.

Oh. My. Goodness. Check this out! I love that this mama is able to bring her baby to work with her – and what important work she does!

Now tell me. If this woman can bring her baby with her to her job, why can’t a librarian? Or a server? Or a pilot? Or a customer service representative?

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Sometimes, I feel like Superwoman!

Today is one of those days!

Brad worked from home today and it was wonderful to not rush about in the morning in preparation for him to go to work and it was awesome to enjoy his company in short spurts throughout the day.

I needed to just write down how well my day went!

I got up early – about 5:45AM thanks to the smiley-est alarm clock EVER. I showered, headed downstairs for a couple of pieces of toast and to prep for morning smoothies, going off to morning prayer @ 7AM.

Back at 7:40AM, I made smoothies, and Gwen’s currently preferred breakfast: a big bowl of yogurt with berries in it and a thick slice of carrot-raisin-nut loaf smeared with butter. Brad decided to work from home and we enjoyed leisurely smoothie drinking :)

I had a fabulous visit with my friend Jen and her sons Anderson & Taiten in the morning, after which a botched attempt at ordering pizza ($34 for two medium pizzas? No thanks, Pizza Pizza!) led us to enjoy eggs and toast for lunch.

Gwen went down for her nap – for the second day in a row without me sitting beside her! What a big girl she’s becoming! After her nap, Gil was asleep, so I laid him down and went with Gwen to the library – just the two of us! It was a blast!

When we came home I began dinner prep and we had delicious quesadillas. Then, Gwen and I and Gil headed to the park.

Just to re-cap:

  • two loads of laundry washed, dried, & folded
  • 2L of yogurt made
  • 3 large loads of dishes done
  • three family meals (plus toddler snacks!)
  • one mommy-daughter outing
  • one after-dinner trip to the park

All-in-all, I’m declaring today a complete success!

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As of now …

I’m officially a stay-at-home mom. Wow.

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To Do To-Day

Here’s my to-do list for the day:

– finish laundry
– make my dinner for tonight
– send M. eg. of a systematic review reference
– send tutor both reflection and learning plan
– finish PBL paper
– research for PBL tomorrow
– do criticial appraisal work for Friday
– go to work from 4 – midnight.

Alright, it’s 11:00. I’ve got 4.5 hours. Ready? Set? Go!!


board games anyone?

So, DH and I borrowed a bunch of board games from some friends (thanks J and R!) last week for use with his little sister. We don’t normally have time to play board games together (nor do we really have any) but b/c I’m out of school right now, we did!

Thursday night we played Carcassonne. It’s a great game!! The rules are pretty simple, and DH and I were able to work fairly co-operatively and end up with this type of board:

Here’s a close-up of the board:

And our final score:

Muwahaha … I can’t believe I won by 4!!! Carazay!

Friday night we played Settlers of Catan. It’s a pretty popular game and all of our friends have it. It was a bit frustrating for DH – he’s not a huge fan of dice-rolling pure chance games. There’s a lot of strategy, but it’s still ultimately up to the dice. It was good fun though!!

Here’s our board:

Here’s a close-up of it:

Yep. A whole post about board games. Woo!!

On the work front, I called in sick on Friday. I couldn’t handle going in after my horrid SOB on Thursday. But I did go to see the doctor at occ health and she said not to be too worried about my respiratory issues + anxiety – that it’s completely normal to be very anxious when you can’t breathe =) She’s sending me for a full allergy panel work up, a methylcholine challenge, and a pulmonary function test. I’m quite interested to know how it all come back – I just learned about respiratory illness this past term (in fact, that’s one of the units my final is on … oh Monday exam) so now I understand all the tests and most of the respiratory problems.

Well it’s bed time – to church tomorrow morning, studying in the afternoon and some relaxing later in the day. Happy Sunday, all!



Sucks. I was there for 12 hours today and had a difficult time breathing and by the end of the shift, was feeling pretty dizzy. Yarg. I told my boss(es) today and they were okay with the fact that I had gone to occupational health. I’m wondering what it is, however, if I was being bothered today and I wasn’t using the chemical … hmmmm …

My mom got in a car accident last night =( She hit a deer on a back road on her way to a choir rehearsal. She’s okay, but apparently the car isn’t so good! Both airbags were deployed, but I thank God that she was wearing her seatbelt. She NEVER wears a seatbelt, and she would probably not be with us if she hadn’t’ve been wearing it last night. So a bit scary, but she’s fine. Phew!


Mmmmm … chocolate milk …

Well. After a short break for formatting the blog, eating two cookies and drinking a tall glass of super-chocolately chocolate milk, I’m back to write my first *official* blog entry (I don’t count that introducing stuff as a real one!).

So, I’ll start with work. I work as a technician at a hospital in my city, and in this particular hospital we have need to use specific chemical disinfection procedures. So, when I first started (in 2005), I noticed that when I used a lot of this chemical (4 – 12 shifts … at the end of the night, we disinfect all the machines we use which is about 20 machines all at once) I would get a sore throat and it would be a touch difficult to breathe. I mentioned it to a couple of people who said that it was normal and not to worry. So I didn’t. A couple of months ago, I started feeling like I was coming down with something because every time I went in to work, I would get a KILLER sore throat! And now, most recently, I have been having some shortness of breath and “bronchial tightness” (read: feels like throat is closing in). I didn’t want to start a big hoopla in my department (a lady died there several years ago from exposure to this chemical, so people are a little touchy about it) so I thought I’d just go to occupational health and tell them and see if I could get an allergy test done and in the meantime just avoid the chemical. So I went. Today. At 9:45. And was there until 11:00. ARG! The nurse there grilled me about everything and we had to fill out incident forms, and they need to be faxed the manager, and I need work accomodation, etc. etc. So now I have a doctor’s appointment on Friday to see if I need to go for this crazy allergy test. What a nightmare! I discussed it with my hubby, and he said that I did what was right and not to worry, but my department is crazy bad for talking about people behind their backs – I’m just waiting now for the talking to start. I guess you gotta do what you gotta do to keep yourself safe! I just don’t want people saying that I’m trying to get out of working by doing this. *sigh*

Then, to make things better, hubby needed a gift for his work’s secret santa (he’s in a co-op position with one of the national banks in TO right now), so I had to go across the city to get some chocolates. So, a guy from work (one of the nice ones) lent me his car – which I drove there and back (10 mins one way) with the PARKING BRAKE ON!!!!! Needless to say, I feel like a bit of an ass. I explained to him that my parents NEVER use their parking brakes, and he laughed and said he does it all the time with his van and not to worry. I feel a bit better now =)

As for the knitting, I took a pic of project numero uno with my ghetto digital camera, but I can’t find the USB adaptor to put it on my laptop. So I will tell you that I’m knitting a scarf, of course!! I’ll upload pics later.

My break from school is going wonderfully – although it’s not much of a break because I’m working so much =( I don’t go back until January 3 and I only have one exam – December 18 and it’s my LAST EXAM FOR MY UNDERGRAD!!!! WUHOO!!!! I’ll still have to write my RNs at the end, but at least there are no more course exams. I also got back a 40% paper for one of my courses today: A+! *pats self on back* Apparently it wasn’t too bad!