A little music to set the mood:
So in addition to the first "troll-like" comment I've ever received here (pretty much - this is dumb! You are dumb! Stay away from normal people...) I got another comment that I thought was weirdish and spammy recently. It was on my post about NFP.
The thing that kept me from categorizing it ONLY as spam is that the comment is actually relevant to the post. The commenter is "side effects of mirena" and says: "Women should take care of contraception they use."
Hmm, interesting. Actually I completely agree - women *should* take care of themselves and their bodies. (Well, after writing this post I clicked on the comment. It leads to a product for mirena detoxification. So I guess this wasn't "spam" at all - except that it was trying to sell something. Anyway. I'll get on with my own rant now.)
What I disagree with is our current culture that pushes chemical contraceptives on women while sending extremely mixed messages about sex and their bodies - to women and men. Messages that women should both show off and use their bodies to get things in life but they should also cover up and be modest. Messages that tell girls and women that their worth is based largely on their outward appearance and how much men value that. Messages that breastfeeding is something for behind closed doors. Messages that say our menstrual cycles are gross and not suitable for conversation. Messages that make women almost entirely responsible for the creation of a new life.
I want to be perfectly clear: I'm NOT for taking anything away from women or couples. I don't think that birth control options should be made illegal or anything like that. I also don't think that "abstinence" is the "answer" or a realistic idea to push on people that have reached sexual maturity.
What I am FOR, is ADDING a whole lot more to the "contraception" discussion. What I want is for our daughters (and sons!) to be knowledgeable about the human body and to feel empowered about their choices. I want to be open and honest about sex and our bodies - and to take all shame out of the equation. I want truth to be part of the conversation - YES, if you choose to have sex there is a chance (a good chance at certain times) that you will make a baby. This can happen no matter what other choices you make. SEX is how babies are made. Let's be really clear on that point.
I want more girls and women to know that they *can* tell when they are fertile and when they are not, because wouldn't many use that knowledge to their benefit? (And please let's take fear out of this conversation too. And add lots of trust. Our children will not become lustful, sex-driven maniacs if they are given knowledge and some control. They may not always make the choices *we* would or that we want them to, but I am certain that keeping information from them is never the answer to our fears.) If a women and her partner CAN effectively plan when they choose to have children without using chemicals and synthetic barriers, then they should know HOW, so it is a realistic option. Because if we don't know something then it is not an option at all.
This is not just about contraception. This is about really knowing our bodies and how they work. It is about not just feeling GOOD about them, but amazed and in awe of the miracle that each of us is. This is also not about religious zeal for me (although I am very grateful to the Catholic church for introducing me to NFP, because I didn't know about it till they did!) - this is about women having TRUE autonomy over their bodies.
We need to start being very transparent with our kids. We need to talk about "that time of the month", and how our body changes as we grow. Gerry and I just had a talk last night about where hair grows and he wasn't exactly excited about it (actually this may have been part of the reason he had a "I don't wanna grow up!" meltdown) - but I think that having lots of little conversations with kids as they get older is so important. My kids know about my period - it's not a big deal. I've talked to Marisol about a women's cycle already and I'm sure we will have many more talks about it. In fact we've already had "the talk" recently and guess what?? It wasn't a big deal at all! She's not even 8 and she knows how babies are made (I may have to write this conversation out soon. I'm sure you all would enjoy it!) Her response when I told her was... (wait for it...) "ok." That's it. I had been so nervous leading up to the conversation because I wasn't sure what to say or how to say it. But I kinda had a vague feeling that it was a bigger deal in my mind than it was in hers... and I was right. We need to take the mystery and shame out of these things. I will raise my children KNOWING about these things so that it is not overwhelming for them when they are all "grown up". It will be common knowledge for them and not something confusing, mysterious, or seeped in shame. Our bodies are amazing and wonderful and the things that they do are amazing and wonderful. Period. (ha)
ps leaving you with this awesome video about the Diva sup. I went to highschool with Christian. These two are awesome.
Busy for busy sake is no good. I think most people in our modern world are too darn busy. I know that this is just my opinion and that each person has to do what they have to do, but jeepers - life is not a competition to see how busy we can all be.
One thing I love about homeschooling is the freedom to set our own "busy". We are free to stay home in PJs all day, watch TV and play video games, and be lazy to our hearts content. And we do sometimes.
But we are also very busy sometimes. It doesn't take much to fill up a day. A class here or there, a play-date with awesome friends, going outside, riding bikes to the library - a day can go by in a flash, weeks start blurring by on the busy train.
Busy and Not-Busy both have the potential to feel great or awful.
Here are some of my thoughts on the Best Kind of Busy:
This kind of busy is a luxury - I know not everyone can afford it. But maybe if more of us start making choices more consciously we can start shifting things for everyone.
And of course we all need rest. But I find that I often don't do things that are best for me when I need rest. Instead of closing my eyes, connecting with my kids, reading a book, or meditating, I scroll through my Facebook feed mindlessly (yes, this happens a large proportion of the time.) And too many mothers push through their tiredness, always trying to get one more thing done instead of giving themselves - their bodies, their minds, their spirits - a much needed and deserved rest.
So please take care of yourself. Make yourself a cup of tea, stretch or do some yoga, put a show on for your toddler and cuddle with them - then they won't even see when your eyes close for a few minutes!
Go ahead and get your busy on - but only the Best kind. And then give yourself the gift of the Right kind of Rest. We will all benefit.
Wife, mom, information and peace seeker.