Sunday, July 10, 2016

Are you Having More kids?

I find it incredibly interesting when others ask me if I'm having more children as if the crazy and exhausted expression on my face gives them the right to pry into my personal life. I try to be polite and advise them that that is something that hasn't been decided yet as things are still very crazy at my house. I usually get two standard responses. The first being the compassionate women who is typically in the middle of her child bearing years  who understands the struggle I am going through. The ones that know exactly that saying no to more children is shutting a whole avenue down in your life while simultaneously opening a hidden path to explore. You're in the middle of a jump ship situation and you don't know whether to hold on and ride the sinking ship or to jump into the water. The second response I typically get is from the humbled older woman who shares with me that she misses every moment with her children and would give anything to have those moments back or to have shared those moments with a child who either wasn't pr couldn't be conceived or who died young. Their faces get flushed with regret for the children they could have held if only they would have been more patient or open to the idea. The extreme sadness that comes over them as they are teleport-ed to a time I can not relate to. Their faces follow me because no one should feel that much confusion, regret, and misdirection at a passing question or topic. 
 
It is confusing to me that one of the standard responses that I don't get often or have never gotten is someone telling me not to have more children. No one has offered in a response of blatant refusal. I'm not sure if this is because people who chose not to have kids often don't feel that they should share in their philosophy of non child bearing to the general population. That they feel it must be rude to offer this sort of idea. I guess now that I think about it, it would be rude to just say, You should stop. Don't do this again unless you are a medically trained professional who thinks it is in the best interest of the woman. I find it funny though at how many women in passing can make comments or judgement about the number of children you have in public in a rude way and feel justified. This has happened to me more times than I would like when I have my own children and nephews with me, so it seems I have four boys ages 10-19 months opposed to just two young children. I guess it is easy to comment rudely in passing as opposed to direct conversation because I haven't gotten this negativity in direct conversation. 

What drives me over the edge the most are individuals who think they know me on a deep and personal level. The ones who decide that since I have been financially responsible, that I should produce like a rabbit. I have the means necessary, whether that is actually true, so naturally I should have a dozen children. The more children will equate to more love and a large family infrastructure. To pass on the family name and personality so to speak. 

I love this way a thinking. 

This thinking takes all emotion out of the thought behind children. It simply puts your body into use by producing. It doesn't take into the account that a major abdominal surgery will follow after nine months of extreme stress and weight gain on your body. It doesn't take into account the amount of joint separation and inflammation that your pelvis will permanently be left to cope with after or the split abdomen that will take you months if not years to bring closed if that does ever truly happen. It doesn't take into account the amount of nights you will spend alone tending to your other children and a new infant while your husband works permanent nights, It certainly does not take into account the amount of money spent on daycare costs because your parents can not help you because they are still working age. Or because they decided a large amount of children was a feasible option only to be over run by helping with the multiplying number of grandchildren around. It does not take into account the limited amount of time spent with each child at night feeding, bathing, dressing, and putting to bed. It is very difficult in my home to spend adequate time with each child, 

Don't get me wrong. I love large families and those that are stronger and more patient than me to accomplish such a grand task, but to me it is not a feasible option for us at this time due to a multitude of extenuating circumstances, The point of my story is that it shouldn't matter how many children you want or do not want. It should not matter to others what you chose for your family and for your body. It is a very private and personal decision, but such a public and intrusive question. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The letter I wrote to a coming of Age girl.

            Enter Girl name here, 

            First of all I would like to welcome you into the greatest world you will ever know. A world of magic and a sisterhood that will provide you with unwavering guidance and support. This is also a world of great respect and responsibility not only to others, but most importantly to yourself. I want to make it clearly known that you will never be alone in this journey to adulthood as you have a multitude of women who will offer you guidance and support at any given time. You just have to ask. Your mother, Aunt, and I will always be there to help you no matter the circumstances. Elders to you we may be, but we are all part of a sisterhood that is here for guidance both spiritually and emotionally.
Respect and responsibility to yourself is probably one of the most important aspects of becoming an adult women. It is also one of the hardest things to grasp a hold of as a young adult or even as an older adult. It takes time and don’t get discouraged with it. As I’m sure you are aware, there are going to be people along the way who will support you greatly, but there will be others who will not support you or who you are. There will be others who will not respect your mind or your body. Be careful, choosy, and stay intelligent with your decisions. It is with utmost importance that I mention that your body was made perfectly in God’s image, which means that he made you exactly how he wants you to be. You are perfect in every way and no one can take that away from you. Furthermore, he made you perfectly so that you should respect and take care of your body. He made you so that you can honor your body as it should be honored. It belongs to you, God, and no one else, no matter what a boy down the road may make you think or believe. No matter what a girl in school may tell you about weight or body shape. It is your perfect form and no one else’s. God also made you with the gift of vast intelligence and creativity. This is yours as well and it will only grow with time. I want you to know that you are limitless with your potential. You can do anything with life that you want to and to not be afraid of where you can go. You can go anywhere.
The coming years are going to be immensely confusing as you navigate where you would like to go in life and how you build relationships with others. There will be extreme times of happiness and extreme times of sadness mixed with a bowl of embarrassment. Do not be afraid to ask for guidance or to ask for advice from us as we have been through equally different and trying times as young adults. We especially know what it is like to have limited guidance and do not want you to have to navigate this different time in your life feeling alone. We will mostly definitely always be there to discuss what is weighing on you whether it is boys, changes, or general everyday activities.
Welcome to the ladies club. Welcome to the wild ride of the coming of age years. I hope you are ready for the greatest and scariest time of your life because it is awesome.

With the Greatest Love I can offer, 

Cristin.