Thursday, May 28, 2009

Having Children: Selfish or Selfless?

Posted by Mandy at 11:57 AM 15 comments Links to this post

While doing research for an article I'm contemplating writing, I accidentally stumbled upon a blog written by and for child-free people. Not infertile people, mind you, but people that actively choose not to have kids. I did not spend too much time there,but left with my head spinning!

Much of what I read indicated that they believed all reasons for having children are purely selfish, and that women are constantly nagging and bothering men to have more babies to fill voids in themselves. They claim that MOST women would lie about using birth control or even cheat on their husbands in order to have more children. (yikes!)

In the thread that I happened upon, there was a lot of women bashing other women for wanting children - or wanting more children.

"It's so selfish! They don't even care if the men don't want more!"

"What if the man wanted more and the woman didn't? It would be considered outrageous for him to pressure her to have more so why isn't the reverse true?"

I am not sure how to feel about all of what I read.

I assume it is no surprise that I'm "one of those women" that would probably keep having kids until I physically couldn't. (having 3 csections already, my physical ability to have more kids is already in jeopardy - my husband is so happy about that!) However, does this make me a crazy, selfish person? According to this blog, YES!
I will say that I do think having kids is selfish. Sure, you typically give up a lot in order to have children, especially infants, but in the long run, I like having kids. I'm having them for how they make me feel, the experience in life I want, and to have the controlled chaos I need to thrive. I didn't have kids for what I wanted to give to them.. if I did, I'd have been happy to stop at one. I could give Madison 100% of me if she was the only child. Nope.. I like having babies, I like raising kids, I like the noise, the fun, and never being able to go through the "20 items or less" checkout line at Wal Mart. Print me out a "SELFISH" label and I'll stick it to my forehead.
My next question is, "So what?" So what if I want 10 kids? So what if I only want 3? Is one number more selfish than the next? Where does the REALLY selfish line become officially crossed?
Right now, with our 3, I feel like life is pretty darn easy most of the time. We're financially comfortable, emotionally secure, and our kids get a heck of a lot of face time with Mom and Dad. I can totally see things being very much the same if we added another kid to this bunch... so does that make me selfish? Does wanting more children when things are so good make you a crazy, selfish woman?
Does wanting more kids when things are already at peak insanity make you selfish? This was always my personal opinion.. having more kids when you cannot handle the ones you already have. (financially, emotionally, quality time, etc) Not that it's still anyone's business - unless it's a really abusive or neglectful situation of course.
The final question - "What's wrong with women?" Seriously... why does any woman care what another woman chooses to do? I have friends with no kids, with lots of kids, with adopted kids, with foster kids... lots of variety in my bunch and I LOVE IT. I have childless friends that are that way by choice - I let them do my partying for me. My friends with more kids than me - I call them for advice! Can't we all just get along? Do we really need blogs started just so we can bash women who want children? Do we need to bash those who remain childless by choice? Is there anything else on earth that brings up as much emotion as the topic of having kids?
Madison pictured with friend Gracie as they were waiting for their turn to practise during dance dress rehearsal - the one who started my addiction to having children.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Potty Time!

Posted by Mandy at 7:21 AM 1 comments Links to this post

Despite my literal begging for my baby boy to slow down, take his time, and stay little forever, he's decided to plunge full steam ahead into his almost 2-ness. This morning he decided to rip off his diaper and declare "POTTY!" After thee successful trips to the bathroom (though one did involve him standing to pee in the trashcan beside the potty..) he was beyond proud of himself. With Mommy and big brother and sister cheering him on, and Daddy from the phone, what's not to be proud of?

He finally decided that he'd had enough and asked for a diaper, which I was happy to oblige. (Do you know how often a 23 month old pees in one hour?) Now I realize that he is "that" age. The age of the potty. Am I ready for this? A 2 yr old that decides he's ready to go potty can mean a lot of work for Mom and Dad! Not to mention the frustration that can come from a toddler refusing to wear a diaper or pullup when going out because he wants to wear his Blue's Clue's underwear. Hmm... what am I getting into here?

Soon I will be in search of some really good training paints. I'd like the plastic lined kind that are fairly absorbent cotton on the inside. Anyone have a brand that they like that can tell me where to get them? I don't like going straight to underwear... if you didn't know.. pee just goes right through those. I could use all the help I can get in avoiding further messes in my house thank-you-very-much.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday Carter!

Posted by Mandy at 3:58 PM 3 comments Links to this post

On may 1, my very first son had his 5th birthday. My how time flies. Unfortunately, we were grieving the loss of Grandma Moss on his day of celebration, so I am just now posting about my sweet boy!
This picture just cracks me up because it is so perfect to describe who Carter is becoming. My fellow animal rescuer, my smiling, happy-go-lucky kid, the one that's thrilled to be doing anything, whether it is work or play. He is destined to become much like his father - a peacemaker, a kind-hearted soul, outwardly passive but inwardly solid and strong.
Words cannot describe my love for my beautiful boy. I cannot believe 5 precious years have already gone by. I cannot believe my once baby boy is now reading, spelling, drawing, making up stories, solving conflicts, and becoming a great example for his baby brother.
Carter Man... Mommy loves you more than you will ever know. Happy birthday my love!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Posted by Mandy at 11:28 AM 4 comments Links to this post
It is soon to be summer, rather than spring, so I am a bit late out of the starting gate for Spring cleaning, but it's on my mind none-the-less.

Looking at the bedrooms in our home has been making me cringe. Even though they're fairly clean, picked-up, and organized, the amount of STUFF in each of them is getting a little over the top! Knowing that three birthdays in two months over the next few weeks is going to mean an accumulation of an abnormal amount of toys - it simply stresses me! (Carter's 5th birthday was May 1, a different post, a different day!)

So, what shall I do about this? A massive overhaul of each room is, unfortunately, necessary. My main problems:

1. What to do with old but good toys?
2. To keep or give away outgrown toddler clothes? (Clayton says no more kids but you never know!)

Most places do not want toys anymore... and I just cannot imagine throwing them away. What is a mom to do? I don't know a single soul that would welcome MORE toys into their already crowded toy bins. Any suggestions? What do you do when you're cleaning out your kids rooms and need to get rid of great toys that are just too young for them now? I'm contemplating just putting a table outside of my house, by the road, full of toys with a sign that reads "FREE TOYS!" I wonder if anyone would stop to grab a few things. I live out in the country so it isn't like our road is hopping with traffic... give me some ideas! I need an intervention!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Farewell Grandma

Posted by Mandy at 6:50 AM 4 comments Links to this post

This is a post I was not prepared to create. Death is not something any of us wants to deal with, or even accept. I am no exception.

Juanita Moss, my husband's biological grandmother, and closer to mine than my own, passed away around 2am on 4-30-09. She was 84 years old. The news was surprisingly shocking. We knew her heath was rapidly declining, we knew the time was sooner rather than later, but I don't think any of us expected it to happen so soon.

Instead of focusing on her death, our overwhelming grief, and our loss, I want to focus on her life.

If you knew Grandma, then you know what an amazing woman this earth just lost. There has never been a more selfless woman than she was. She was a known worry wart, and her worry came from her fierce love. She never left anyone guessing her love for them. She showed it, gave it, and spoke it freely.

She was possibly the picture perfect Godly, submissive wife. Each day of their 63 year marriage, she woke up on a mission to make her amazing husband's life as beautiful, happy, and as easy as possible. She cared for him as she cared for everyone - COMPLETELY. She cared for others never expecting anything in return. NEVER. Her front door was always open to welcome anyone into her home, and her heart was always waiting to embrace you. Looking back, I wonder if she knew how much we all loved and appreciated her. I wonder if we made it clear enough how amazing she was. I wonder if she knew how much I looked to her for direction on how to be a good mother, a good wife, a good friend. I wonder if she knew that she made growing old not so scary to me.
Grandma never really seemed "old" to me. Sure, her physical abilities expressed her age, but mentally? Age never touched that part of her.. the REAL part of her! She was incredibly funny and witty. She could think of a comeback to all of her quick-witted husband's comments with record speed. I suppose she had many years to practice such a skill. She never seemed "behind" the times with her opinions and her life lessons. How did she keep up? How did she manage to talk to me, someone so much younger, in a way that made me feel like she was my best girl friend and not my grandmother?
She had some of the most hilarious sayings... I hope we never forget them. Just to name a few..
When the kids were being silly, she would say, "You're a Dutchman!" Apparently that's something that only northerners understand.. she was originally from Michigan.
When words escaped her over something someone had done or some random happening she would say, "Who can tell... Who can tell..." Clayton and I say this all of the time and laugh. It's so Grandma!
She was convinced that wearing a hat outside in the summer would prevent her granddaughter, Callie, from having asthma attacks. Worked every time! ;)
There are so many more - but I understand that if you didn't know her, they can't be read in the manner that she would have said them. You would have had to heard her own personal touch on them!
Oh, Grandma. I cannot believe you are really gone. After 84 years you had me convinced that you would, indeed, live forever. I am so incredibly grateful that my children had the honor and privilege of having you in their lives. I am so happy that Madison, and possibly Carter, will remember you forever. I am sad that Samuel will not remember your love for him, the joy he brought to you, or how he enjoyed your games of Peek-a-boo. But, I can promise that we will tell him. We will show him all of the pictures of you holding him, staring at him as if he was the most amazing thing this earth had ever seen.
You were quite possibly the most amazing thing this earth has ever seen. I can only imagine the works God has you doing now. Now that physical limitations are gone. Now that earthly limitations are gone. I am so joyful to know that you were an amazing CHRISTIAN woman. I know that though we all miss you now, we will spend ETERNITY with you in heaven. Thank you for giving us that security. For sharing your faith with us. For helping lead us to Christ.
We love you, we miss you, and we celebrate your life.
Visitation for Juanita's funeral will be tonight at the funeral home from 6pm-8pm. The funeral will be at First Presbyterian Church at 11am on Saturday.

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