Archive for the ‘My Thoughts’ Category

Not My Will

Monday, January 1st, 2018

Sometimes God hands us some difficult circumstances, and if you are anything like me, you find yourself asking, “Why this? Why me? Why now?”

Three and a half years ago, I was four months pregnant with my fourth and just a couple weeks from starting the new homeschool year with my two oldest children. I was (and still am) a busy mom.

Then it happened. One morning I went to strip the sheets off the boys’ bunk bed, and as I was moving the pillow a bug crawled out onto the top of it.

A bed bug.

I was pretty sure I knew what it was, the moment I saw it. But I was in a bit of shock. A bed bug? In my house?! In my son’s bed?!?! Further investigation over the next few weeks revealed a small infestation in the boys’ room and some in our bed as well. As near as we could determine, the problem had originated from a contaminated piece of furniture we’d picked up two months before. We had detected the contamination before bringing that furniture into the house, but it was too late. They’d got us.

Over the next three months after the discovery, it was war. Ryan didn’t want to call in an exterminator, so it was us two against the bugs. Armed with large recycling bags, a clothes dryer, a silicone gun, and a spray bottle of Dawn dishsoap + water (kills them on contact instantly, by the way), we slowly but surely routed out the enemy and annihilated them.

But it wasn’t so easy emotionally. I struggled with the despair and discouragement. Just when you thought you’d seen the last of them, you would find another, and you knew you would have to keep up the weary routine of changing bedding, inspecting bedframes, spraying cracks, bagging clothing, etc., etc., for another indefinite number of weeks.

The social isolation was also difficult. We couldn’t have anyone over to our home, and our family and friends were reluctant to let us into their houses. I couldn’t blame them — I would do the same if I was in their shoes — but at the same time it was hard for me to accept.

As the weeks ticked by, I began to grow more and more worried. I was approaching my due date. How could I deal with this problem when I was in bed recovering from labour? How could I keep up this extermination routine when I had a newborn to care for?

I began to cry out to God: telling my sob story, making bargains, issuing ultimatums, you name it. “Here’s the deadline, God. Solve my problem for me by this date or…”

Or what? Slowly it began to dawn on me that I wasn’t in any position to be making demands. I wasn’t in control, and no amount of threatening or begging God was going to change my circumstances. The only thing I could change was my attitude.

And so I surrendered. If God intended for this bed bug infestation to continue, then I would simply leave the problem in His hands and continue to do what I could with the resources that I had. That could mean setting aside the extermination routine for a few weeks and picking it up again when I was strong enough, or something else. But whatever it took, I would simply do my part, and leave the rest to God.

As it was, God was gracious, and we finished off the last of our unwanted guests about 4 to 6 weeks before the baby was born. But I gleaned a valuable lesson from the experience, one that has stuck with me since then.Difficult circumstances will come and go, and they are beyond my control. But what I can control is my attitude. I can rage against the perceived injustice of God allowing this difficult circumstance in my life. Or I can accept His providence, and do my best to work through the difficult circumstance with the time, energy, and resources that I have, leaning on Him for strength in my moments of weakness. It’s a choice that confronts me daily, and one that confronts all of us at some point or another in our lives.

But I know, as Romans 8:28 says, “that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” And so I can rest in this knowledge, that even though I may not understand why God has allowed a difficult circumstance in my life, yet I am assured that He will see it through and use it for my good. There is meaning and hope even in the dark and difficult moments of our life, because the Sovereign Lord of the universe sustains and directs every minute and every minute detail of our existence.

What Do You Read?

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

by Kristin

Are you a reader? You should be. My life and thought has been vastly shaped by books I have read. Here follows a list of different books I would recommend to others, and I hope you will take the time to read them too if you can.

 

For Homeschoolers

Educating the WholeHearted Child, Clay and Sally Clarkson

On Secular Education, R. L. Dabney, edited by Douglas Wilson

Repairing the Ruins, Douglas Wilson

A Charlotte Mason Companion, Karen Andreola

Teaching the Trivium, Harvey Bluedorn

The Well-Educated Mind, Susan Wise Bauer

 

For Moms/Parents

Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches, Rachel Jankovic

Fit to Burst, Rachel Jankovic

Queen of the Home, Jennifer McBride

Seasons of a Mother’s Heart, Sally Clarkson

Large Family Logistics, Kim Brenneman

The Hidden Art of Homemaking, Edith Schaeffer

Raising Real Men, Hal and Melanie Young

Future Men, Douglas Wilson

 

For Wives

For Women Only, Shaunti Feldhahn

The Fruit of Her Hands, Nancy Wilson

 

Other

Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman

The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom

New Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell

Refuting Evolution and Refuting Evolution 2, Jonathan Sarfati

 

 

Happy Reading!

 

 

A Work in Progress

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

I was fresh into married life and housewife-ry, and, I must confess, I was almost a hopeless case.

I knew how to make a few simple pasta dishes, had some experience in house cleaning, and I could compose a 50 page thesis on the philosophical justification of Christian beliefs — although admittedly, the latter wasn’t helping me very much with getting my homemaking together.

I would be up at 10:30pm, washing a sinkful of dishes due to a shameful amount of procrastination. Cleaning the bathroom happened…when I remembered to do it. I was tripping over baskets of dirty laundry and clean laundry which had been sitting around for half a week. Houseplants were dying for lack of water (I have since then accepted my inability to keep a houseplant alive). My office desk was a disaster. In my defense though, I did have dinner ready on time….Sort of….Okay, maybe once in a while.

I’ve come a long way since then. I’m more confident now about my abilities as a keeper of the home. Laundry, dishes, and cleaning are completed in a much more timely and orderly manner. And I always have dinner ready right on schedule…(Okay, okay. Most of the time).

And I’m still improving. Slowly but surely, everything is finding a place of its own, clutter is being cleared away, new tasks are being added as old ones become habits, and routines are falling into place.

As I look back and remember the chaos of yesterday, there are a few little tidbits of advice and words of encouragement I would like to offer to young women embarking on married life and motherhood. This is for young women who, like myself, have struggled with “not having it all together.”

#1.  Don’t Compare Your Homemaking Skills to Others’

Especially not those of an older or more experienced woman. Remember, she probably started out much like you, and over the years was able to build up her home to the standard it is at.

That said, it is helpful to gain ideas and inspiration from how other women keep their home. The issue comes when you view another woman’s house and, instead of rejoicing in your friend or neighbour’s successes and learning from her, you compare her strengths to your weaknesses and put yourself down, or worse, resent her.

#2. Form Reasonable Expectations for What You Can Accomplish in a Day

This is especially important once you have young children. Between feeding them, clothing them, cleaning them, and otherwise caring for them, some significant hours of your day are spent. There’s only so much time, and everything seems to take longer than you would expect. Allot only a few “big” tasks to yourself each day, and leave yourself plenty of additional time for each one. At the end of the day, you will feel encouraged that you were able to accomplish what you set out to do — however small — as opposed to feeling defeated by the long list of chores that remain undone.

#3. One Step at a Time

More than once I resolved to get my homemaking act together by making a long list of the tasks I wanted to accomplish. My determination to implement those changes would typically last about a week and then fizzle. It was just too much. I could only get about a quarter of it done, and then I would think of the mountain of tasks remaining and give up.

Having gone through it, this is the advice I would offer to someone in the same shoes:

When you want to add some additional tasks to your schedule, go ahead and write down a list of five, and then select one or two, preferably something with a reasonable time commitment. Choose a day of the week on which to do this task, and then for a month or two make a determined effort to get it done every week on that day.

Say, for example, you want to get into the habit of cleaning the floors regularly. Tuesday is one day of your week that you typically don’t have many other commitments on. So make a note, mark your calendar — whatever you need to do to remind yourself — and on the day, make cleaning the floor one of your first tasks. Over the course of that month or the next few, if you keep at it diligently, that task will start to become routine. Once you are confident of this, you can move on to adding another task, always keeping in mind to make it reasonable. (Adding two hours of daily workout to your schedule is just not going to happen. Trust me on this one.) Each small success will serve as an encouragement to you and will help you to move forward with the confidence that you can get it done.

#4. Establish Routines and Schedules

Some of you may be thinking, “I don’t do well with schedules. They’re too restrictive.”

I once thought the same. Schedules didn’t seem to make sense. I thought I could accomplish so much more, and have so much more freedom, if I didn’t lock myself into boxes of time. Since then I have discovered that schedules are actually more freeing.

Before having a schedule and routine, I found that the “basics” didn’t get accomplished on a reliable basis. Sure, there were some random tasks and projects which saw completion during the week. But dinner time was random. Laundry was piling up. The kids’ baths were being neglected. And on and on it went.

Furthermore, once I had finished a task, I couldn’t think of what to do next, and so much time was squandered on non-productive activities (read: “Youtube”, “Facebook”, etc.) because I thought my work was done. And at the end of the day, I would be kicking myself for the lost time when I remembered all the things I should have done but didn’t because I had forgotten.

What helped me in organizing my day/week was establishing a routine one task at a time, as I mentioned above. After I had been able to keep up some routine for over a year or two, I eventually became convinced that I should try a schedule too. So I divided my waking hours into 4 or 5 blocks of time, and allotted myself a few tasks or activities in each. In practice, you would probably say it works more like a flow chart, but regardless, it has been an immense help in organizing my day: chores are being completed more reliably, I’m spending time with the kids every morning — which has led to a significant improvement in their behaviour, by the way! — and I’m finding that some days I even have a spare hour in the afternoon to tackle some projects. I keep one printed copy of my schedule in the kitchen and one at my office desk, so if ever I need a reminder as to what to do next, my schedule is never far away!

#5. Never Call Yourself a Failure

Recognize that this is truly a work in progress. Like any other skill, good homemaking takes discipline and practice. You will have hard days and setbacks, and seasons when routines and schedules are lost (e.g. a difficult pregnancy, health problems, moving house, etc.). This is life, and one day the cloud will pass. You can start over again, and/or adjust your routine as needed. The important thing is to see improvement over the years.

May God bless you as you seek to be an excellent keeper of the home for His glory!

-Kristin

 

Making the Most of the Little Things

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

by Kristin

Sometimes I find myself wondering whether I’m doing the right thing.

When you are a mother with multiple young children, you don’t have a lot of free time. Your days are taken up with the essentials — clean ‘em, clothe ‘em, feed ‘em — and all the other myriad tasks that naturally fall to you as a homemaker. You are caught up in a monotonous repetition of little chores — dishes, laundry, cleaning, etc. — and are at the beck and call of little people who seem to need your attention every 2 minutes and 47 seconds…at least, some mornings it seems that way.

You ask yourself every once in a while: Shouldn’t I be doing something bigger and more important? Volunteer opportunities come up, and you are eager to jump on board and help, but your husband reminds you that you don’t have the time. So with a sigh, you settle back in your chair and think of the basket of laundry that needs to be sorted and the dishes piled in the sink.

It’s easy to forget what lies in the little things. It’s easy to forget just how important the little things are.

Think of that sinkful of dishes: There are dirty bowls and plates, dirty cutlery and cups, dirty pots and pans. This big job has to be broken down into several little tasks: clean this plate, then that plate, and then the next one; this cup, that cup, and each piece of cutlery; this pot, that pan, and so on. Each of those little, individual tasks adds up until — voila! — you can step back and survey with satisfaction the stacks of clean, shiny dishes in the cupboards and drawers.

Life is made up of the little things. Little tasks adding up into big accomplishments. Little moments adding up into years. Little decisions steering life’s course.

Oftentimes when we look back on our lives as a whole, it’s the accumulation of the little things which largely determines whether we view our life experience as mostly positive or negative: a smile, a hug, a small word of praise, a fun game, a good laugh, versus a scowl, a critical remark, a slammed door, and a promise unkept.

So what does that mean for me as a mother, wife, and homemaker? Simply this: That by doing my best in the little things, I am laying the foundations for life. A little sweep here, a little scrub there, a picture frame hung on the wall — I am creating a home and a haven. A smile here, a hug there, and time together — I am nurturing the souls of my family and endowing a treasure chest of memories to share and enjoy for a lifetime. A Bible story here, a prayer there, and grace extended — I am planting the seeds to grow a faith which will move mountains.

Making the most of the little things is no easy task. Such an undertaking requires, among other things, cheerfulness, patience, graciousness, willingness, diligence, wisdom, self-control, a servant heart, faithfulness, understanding, humility, and unconditional love.

Making the most of the little things means choosing patience over frustration, hope over despair, forgiveness over resentment, hard work over laziness, humility over pride, and selflessness over selfishness. Consistently. Faithfully. Minute by minute. Day in and day out.

Let us not despise the little things. God grant us wisdom to recognize the eternal value of our work as mothers, and give us grace and strength to meet our calling.

 

Television, The Great Life-Waster

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

An admonition for all of us from John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life (2003):

Oh, how many lives are wasted by people who believe that the Christian life means simply avoiding badness and providing for the family. So there is no adultery, no stealing, no killing, no embezzlement, no fraud — just lots of hard work during the day, and lots of TV and PG-13 videos in the evening (during quality family time), and lots of fun stuff on the weekend — woven around church (mostly). This is life for millions of people. Wasted life. We were created for more, far more.

Television is one of the greatest life-wasters of the modern age. And, of course, the Internet is running to catch up, and may have caught up. You can be more selective on the Internet, but you can also select worse things with only the Judge of the universe watching. TV still reigns as the great life-waster. The main problem with TV is not how much smut is available, though that is a problem. Just the ads are enough to sow fertile seeds of greed and lust, no matter what program you’re watching. The greater problem is banality. A mind fed daily on TV diminishes. Your mind was made to know and love God. Its facility for this great calling is ruined by excessive TV. The content is so trivial and so shallow that the capacity of the mind to think worthy thoughts withers, and the capacity of the heart to feel emotions shrivels….

We have lost our ability to see and savour the complexities of truth and the depths of simplicity. Douglas Groothuis explains the connection between this weakness and television: The triumph of the televised image over the word contributes to the depthlessness of postmodern sensibilities….One cannot muse over a television program the way one ponders a character in William Shakespeare or C.S. Lewis, or a Blaise Pascal parable, or a line from a T.S. Eliot poem, such as ‘But our lot crawls between dry ribs / to keep its metaphysics warm.’ No one on television could utter such a line seriously. It would be “bad television” — too abstract, too poetic, too deep, just not entertaining….[Not only that] but the images appear and disappear and reappear without a proper rational context. An attempt at a sobering news story about slavery in Sudan is followed by a lively advertisement for Disneyland, followed by an appeal to purchase panty hose that will make any woman irresistible, etc., ad nauseum.

Therefore the man who stands before God with his well-kept avoidance ethic and his protest that he did not spend too much time at the office but came home and watched TV with his family will probably not escape the indictment that he wasted his life. Jesus rebuked his disciples with words that easily apply to this man: “Even sinners work hard, avoid gross sin, watch TV at night, and do fun stuff on the weekend. What more are you doing than others?” (see Luke 6:32-34; Matthew 5:47).

Suspicious Minds

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

by Kristin

My 20-month-old son Patrick is the most suspicious person you will ever meet — at least when it comes to food.  It doesn’t matter whether what you are offering him now is the exact same as the last morsel you put before him.  Each spoonful must undergo a visual inspection before the lips will so much as crack open.  And it’s not just with me or Ryan that our little boy does this.  The rest of the family gets the same treatment.

I’m not quite sure how it came to be.  Perhaps he was taken advantage of too many times.  When your little one is sick, sometimes you use deception to get the medicine in.

Whatever the history of this suspicious personality may be, Patrick’s habits certainly can be a source of amusement — and sometimes frustration — for those attempting to feed him.

The climax came just this past week when my brother-in-law sat Patrick at the picnic table with an ice cream cone in front of him.  This was the first time Patrick had encountered this little dairy treat, and he was certainly not about to dive right in.

First I picked the ice cream cone up and brought it to his lips for a taste.  Then his cousin tried.  Both times Patrick turned his head away, lips tightly sealed.  So we left the ice cream cone on the table in front of him.

He stared at it suspiciously, almost glaring at the cream in its cone.

Then his expression softened a little. Curiousity was starting to get the better of him.  He reached out a cautious hand and cupped the cone gently. Then out stretched the other hand, and the cone inched reluctantly closer. . . And closer. . . And closer.

Finally he took a lick.

His head jerked slightly in reaction to the cold.  But it was too late.  He was hooked.  It wasn’t long before he was sporting a creamy white mustache.

Sometimes I observe this habit of Patrick’s and wonder if God experiences the same with us.  We regard what He offers us with suspicion, thinking that He means to do us harm, when really what He is giving is the best thing for us — we just don’t know it.  Sometimes what He gives is bitter as medicine, and sometimes it is sweet like ice cream. We only need to trust Him and accept the things from His hand willingly, whatever they may be.

Modesty and the Attitudes of Your Heart

Monday, January 30th, 2012

I was surfing the Internet today, watching some music videos on youtube and reading some webpages when I stumbled across a forum regarding Carrie Underwood’s Christian profession.  A few posters were raising concerns about some seriously questionable outfits Underwood had worn, and how that reflected on her as one who claims to be a Christian.  In response, some other posters who called themselves born-again Christians were defending her style of dress, claiming that it doesn’t matter how a Christian dresses.   You can be a Christian and still wear “short shorts.”

I couldn’t disagree more with the stance these posters were taking.  How a Christian dresses is very important, particularly a Christian woman.  Why?  Because your outward appearance is a reflection of your heart attitudes.

What does a seductive outfit say about you?  That you want men to lust after you.  On the flip side, what message does a modest outfit send?  That you are concerned about purity and holiness, both before God and men.

I’ve seen a lot of girls become defensive when the topic of modesty was raised.  Objections come thick and fast:  “Guys won’t notice me!” “Everyone else is doing it!” — and the clincher — “It’s their problem, not mine.” (For more reasons why women avoid dressing modestly, click here).

That speaks volumes.  This is not the heart of a godly, mature, Christian young woman.  A woman who spouts off such objections isn’t concerned about her brothers in Christ struggling with sin, or about seeking after the heart of God in this area of her life.  In this aspect, she is only concerned about herself, her social standing, her ability to attract male attention, etc.

As Christian women, we need to be distinguishable from the world.  We need to have a godly vision.  We need to live for something more meaningful than that second glance from Joe, Billy, and Sam.  We need to be holy women of God: upholding purity, fighting sin and temptation, promoting faithfulness on the part of Christian men to their wives and young men to their future wives.

I know what some of you reading this post –particularly single young ladies — are thinking: that this pie-in-the-sky vision is great, but not in touch with the real world.  Immodest clothing is a “necessity” if a girl wants to attract a husband and fit in with her friends.

Not so, although I can relate to that kind of thinking.  During highschool and the first few years of university, I often wrestled with the question of modesty. (To be honest, I generally erred on the side of being frumpy, dressing in clothes that were too big, old styles, or weird neon colours.)  I fretted about, cried over, and brooded on the issue.  I even remember a heated conversation with my parents, in which I gave voice to my frustrations regarding the apparent lack of interest shown by the young men around me.  At times I too pondered whether immodest clothing was a “necessity.”

But Sister in Christ, if you choose to follow after God’s heart, if you choose to honour Him with your body and your dress, if you choose to protect the purity of your brothers in Christ, God will honour that.  I mean that 100%.  Now, I’m not saying that Prince Charming will show up on your doorstep tomorrow if you start dressing modestly today.  God will work in His time, and according to His good plans. But God will honour your obedience and your desire for holiness.

After seven long years (age 13 to 20) of worrying and wondering what God had in store, I met Ryan.  Not long into our courtship, Ryan and I had a conversation in which he specifically thanked me for dressing modestly.  He thanked me.  Not as a passing comment about one outfit, but a deliberate statement about my wardrobe. I don’t know if he realized just how much that meant to me.  I was so moved, I cried about it later.  I had waited a long time to hear those words.

Sister in Christ, may the attitudes reflected in your style of dress be pure, right, and pleasing to your Maker and Redeemer.  May your clothing testify to your intent to guard the minds and hearts of your brothers in Christ.  And may the true and lasting beauty of your godly woman’s heart shine forth for all to see and admire.

-Kristin

Postscript.

To clarify, I am not promoting wearing burkas or frumpy old dresses.  Modesty and attractiveness are compatible, although one has to be thoughtful and deliberate in choosing articles of clothing that have both of those qualities.

As a starting point in determining what crosses the line into being immodest, here is a survey taken of Christian young men which will offer some guidance as to what styles and cuts cause men to struggle:  http://www.therebelution.com/modestysurvey/

 

 

You Call That An Apology?

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

I (Kristin) was just reading the news about a Vancouver rioter, Camille Cacnio, who posted a 3,300 word ‘apology’ on the Internet after being routed out for her part in looting a tuxedo store (she later removed it and replaced it with a shorter version).

The ‘apology’ basically can be summed up as follows:

********************************

I apologize.

I take full responsibility for my actions.

But that’s not the person I am.

I am now a victim of the social media mob.

What I did wasn’t as bad as what everybody else did.

I was just responding to an adrenaline rush.

The stealing was just for fun.

I was overcome by mob mentality.

I really am a good person because I am a university student and I was conscientious enough to save the trees that day [though not enough to protect other people's property].

I am now a victim of harassment.  The social media mob is ruining my life.

I have my rights.

These people who are smearing me on social media sites are stupid, racist, and sexist.

I can loot stores because I am a woman and I can do anything that men can do.  If what I did proves this to misogynistic people then the looting was a good thing.

I think this has blown out of control.

I have lived in Canada all my life.  I am a hardworking university student and athlete.

I have been dehumanized.  People are wrongfully venting their anger against me.

Stop ruining my life!

Stop forgetting that I have rights.

Canada is peaceful and kind.  You are embarrassing our country by singling me and other rioters out in social media.

Give us a break.  We made a mistake.

I am willing to take whatever punishment I get [except for public shaming on the internet].

Thanks to those of my family and friends who supported me during this difficult time.  And to all of you who disowned me:  Get lost, because I don’t want to have anything to do with you.

Thank you ever so kindly for your time [and for listening to my self-justifying rant],

Sincerely,

Camille

*********************************

I think Ezra Levant said it best, that when no one is watching and all the moral strictures are removed, that is when the real person comes out.

I am sorry, Camille, but we have all seen who you really are and no amount of self-justifying remarks and ranting about rights will change that.

If you are truly sorry and taking full responsibility for your actions as you claim, I suggest that you meet with the owners of the tuxedo store in person to apologize and not only return the pants you stole, but make restitution by giving them twice the cost of the pants with your own hard-earned dollars.  And then you can go and help clean up all the mess:  not only of their store, but all of downtown.

You participated in the destruction, you participate in the reconstruction.

You were quick to list all the things you didn’t do (smashing windows, torching cars, hurting people), but in that you did not leave the scene of the riot or make any attempt to stop those things from happening, you were complicit.

You pride yourself in how you stopped some rioters from pulling down trees.  But you did nothing to protect other people or their property.  On the contrary, you openly admit that you “had fun stealing.”

Very telling.

Narrow-minded People

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

by Kristin

In case you haven’t noticed already, some people are narrow-minded.  What people am I thinking of? Well, I was particularly thinking of people who typically like to call themselves ‘open-minded’, ‘liberal’, ‘free thinkers’, and ‘followers of science,’ but in reality, they are just as biased and intolerant as the next man.  Here I have compiled a short list of the statements narrow-minded people can make:

1. “There is NO God.”

This is what we philosophers call an “absolute negative.” This is the equivalent of claiming “There are absolutely no pink elephants in the universe.” A statement which espouses an absolute negative is impossible to prove unless you are an omnipresent being (i.e. you are everywhere in the universe at one time).

2.  “The current evolutionary dogma is the only scientific explanation for our present day world.”

What rock have they been hiding under? First of all, evolutionary theory as it stands today is fraught with problems and unanswered questions.  Highschool science textbooks still contain and sell as truth evolutionary ideas which were disproven or exposed as hoaxes long ago, like the peppered moth hoax and Haeckel’s fraudulent drawings of human and animal embryos. Evolutionists have a lot of explainin’ to do.

And what about irreducible complexity? The wonders of DNA? Darwin’s “simple cell” which turned out to be a whole microcosm in itself? Evolutionary theory has no answers for all this.

There are scientists (and I’m not just talking about creationists, or even about Christians) who are challenging and offering alternatives to the current evolutionary dogma. There’s Michael Behe, Michael Cremo, Guillermo Gonzalez, and Jonathan Wells — just to name a few.

People who mindlessly parrot the evolutionary theory taught by their highschool teachers should really take a look in the mirror before calling anyone else “narrow-minded.”

3. “Guns are only for killing people.”

That’s the only use they could think of? What about hunting? Olympic sports? Target practice? Protecting livestock from predatory animals?  Preventing innocent people from being killed by scaring off attackers through a show of force? This has got to be one of the worst cases of narrow-mindedness ever.

4. “The world is over-populated.”

Have they looked at any population charts recently? Canada has a ridiculously low population density of 3 people per square kilometer (or 8/sq. mile)! Furthermore, the population density of the entire world works out to only 13 people per square kilometer (or 34.5 / sq. mile). I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound crowded to me.

5. “Disadvantaged people need special social programs in order to overcome their circumstances.”

If you believe this, go add biographies about self-made people to your reading list. Seriously.

Dear Working Mother: Stop and Think

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

by Kristin

Last night I overheard a conversation between a midwife and a midwifery student.  The student, a middle-aged lady expecting her third child, expressed concern over how a career in midwifery would affect her parenting. “I don’t want to be an absent mom,” she said.  The midwife was quick to reassure the lady that midwifery would not compromise her as a mother. In fact, the midwife claimed, midwifery was a better profession for a mother than a 9-to-5 office job in terms of allowing her more time with her children.

I couldn’t help but disagree. In the midwifery clinic I am familiar with, the midwives alternate between 1-2 weeks of in-clinic visits during set hours and 1-2 weeks of being on-call at home.  When a midwife is on-call, attending a birth comes first before any family activity.  Regardless of whether you are celebrating Christmas, or your child’s birthday, attending his/her graduation, or just on an excursion to the neighbourhood playground, you have to respond to a call to attend a birth. As anybody can imagine, mother walking out the door in the middle of a birthday party or any such event would be a terrible disappointment for a child at best.  In addition, other midwives I knew had admitted to me that they did not have a close relationship with their children, or that their children had expressed upset over their mother’s absence.

I summoned up enough nerve to confront the midwife after the lady had left, pointing out to her that she did not present a full picture of the challenges the profession holds for a woman with children.  Not surprisingly, the midwife was quick to defend her position and dismissed the stories I related of the other midwives, saying that that was the experience of only a few.

However, what she did admit was this: “The one thing you will have to learn to accept [as a midwife] is that your children will love other people as much as they love you.”

If you ask me, the ramifications go far beyond that.  What is your absence teaching your children about the importance of relational commitment? Of family life? Of being there for each other? If mother, by her actions, makes her job a greater priority than her children, what message is that sending to them?

How is it affecting the children emotionally? This is especially a concern if there is a turnover of caregivers, such as is the case in daycare. How can a child learn how to form emotional bonds if he is systematically abandoned by his caregivers? How will the insecurity affect his development?

What if the real problem is that the child will learn not to love?  Or that the only love he learns is self-love?

To the working mothers (those who are working out of choice as opposed to necessity) I say: Stop and Think.  Ask yourself the tough questions…before it’s too late.