Thought of The Day
It’s becoming extremely clear that in today’s culture being a Christian is perceived as being a bad person. Christians are looked at as unloving and judgmental. We are thought to be ignorant and naive. I’m torn on why this is. In part, I think it’s because many of the most outspoken “Christians” are such things. They forget that Jesus hung out with the people that the religious folks looked down on. He chilled with real, normal people and was a friend to them and treated them with respect. Some Christians seem to think that God and science are not compatible either. They think that any kind of evolution cannot exist and they argue against evolution because of their faith in God. I see all science and development of life as a work of God, though. I see the progress of lifeforms through generations as his art. I dont think the two concepts- science and God are mutually exclusive events but that the complexity of the world is just more evidence in a God who is the greatest chemist and physicist that has ever existed. They take the scripture on creation to mean a literal 7 days and argue the world is only 2,000 years old, instead of remembering that to God “a thousand years is like a day and a day is like a thousand years”. Each one of those 7 “days” could have been a billion years each in our way of marking time.
But then I also remember that Jesus was hated as well. He wasn’t persecuted and nailed to a cross for no reason. He was not always the most popular fellow either. So maybe times aren’t so different. Being a follower and believer in Christ means being hated. Depending on the day- that can mean being hated by the super religious or it could mean being hated by the world.
While talking with my family doctor we got into discussing medications, effectiveness vs negative side effects. He looked at me and said, when using any kind of medication, whether pharmaceutical or “natural”, the more effective and well working of a product it is, the more one has to worry about what other consequences it will have because the more effective the drug, the more effective the negative consequences too.
I really appreciated this perspective and it wrapped up my feelings so well on vaccines. Yes, vaccines may work. They really do keep the “oh so dangerous” chicken pox rates down to a minimal but what does it cost us? What will the penalty be for injecting a foreign object into our bodies? That’s why, again, we need to weigh it. Is the vaccine worth the risks it comes with? Is the illness it protects from worse than the consequences the vaccine could cause?
When it takes a minimal of 20 years of a vaccine on the market just to get a slight insight of it’s true effectiveness and side effects, there are a lot of unknowns out there right now. With 4x more vaccines given to children now than in the 1980’s, we just have to sit and wonder. We may not have many cases of mumps, measles or rubella but what will we end up with? Maybe it will be nothing… maybe it will be huge spikes in autism, or adhd, or seizure disorders, or autoimmune disorders.
People love asking moms about their baby making plans.
“Are you done?”, “Are you planning on more?”, and my favorite phrasing – with all the negative overtones-, “You’re done, right?!”.
And in case it isn’t awkward enough when friends and family asks these questions- us moms also hear this from strangers, like our cashiers.
I cannot help but wonder why people feel like they should ask someone about their birth control plans? That is what it is, after all. They may as well ask if we are planning to have some unprotected sex again. And the truth of the matter is, whether I am or not, it feels too personal and like something that is no ones business but the people who’d be making (or preventing) the baby.
And the thing is, there is no right answer. I mean, one person may want to hear you say “YES! I’m so done!” and they will sigh in relief, laugh and make a comment on how full your arms are already but that same answer to someone else will make them look at you in surprise and question why you want to make a permanent decision right now and they will talk about all the wonders another child could add to your life. While if you tell someone you are not sure or maybe you are planning one more (as I found out when I had 2 girls and people would ask if I was planning a third) you can get comments like, “Oh, you got to try for that boy, huh?”. As if my whole plan in life is to be a baby making factory until a preferred gender one arrives. Would I love a boy? SURE! But would I make the decision about how many kids I want to have and how my family will look and feel and function for the rest of my life over the 50% chance of a certain gender? uh, no. If I have another child that will be based off a bit more than hoping for a gender.
In the end, though, it just isn’t anyones business. Unless, of course, you are the person I’d be making that baby with- then it’s completely your business. That’s the only exception.
So moms (or those of you who are not parents yet who have people questioning your child baring plans), don’t feel pressured to respond. If someone asks you your plans for your sex life, it’s ok to just not answer them. If that person is willing to put you in the awkward position of having to answer such a super personal question, it’s ok to just smile or even wink and not respond and let the awkward silence roll into another conversation. Or come up with a witty come back (which I’d be thrilled to give examples of here if I were at all witty and could think of things like that).
Yesterday we took a family hiking trip on a 4 mile trail in the woods. We really enjoyed ourselves and loved the time outside in the fresh air. Eve practically ran the entire thing! She was really impressive. Ariel rode on Jason’s shoulders for most of the walk and I had Grace in my Ergo Carrier. We had great, mild weather for hiking in January. We spent a lot of the time talking about how much more we want to do this and talked about how much we want to go camping this summer. I have a wishlist of a tent and sleeping bags and basic gear but just going out to the North Jersey state campgrounds and “roughing” it as simply as possible is my goal. I’m hoping we keep getting enough mild weekends that I can work on my hiking skills all winter, though. The Ergobaby carrier was FANTASTIC. I have had it for 4 years now and it’s a little worn and stained from use over the years but it has held up magnificently and was really supportive. The weight of having someone on me for a 4 mile walk started to hit me around mile 3, though! My lower back and shoulders are still a bit sore today. I plan to keep going on hikes with her and build up my strength for this kind of activity.
I challenge you all, get active and go for some hikes. Push yourselves and teach your kids to love nature and being outdoors. It’s so good for our bodies and our minds and is a great, affordable way to spend some time together.