Parenting: A Couple Effort

In Birth Rate, Child Development, Diane Robertson, Divorce, Education, Families, Family Planning, father, Marriage, Media, motherhood, Parenting on April 23, 2014 at 2:48 pm

mom:dad:babyDiane Robertson

As a stay at home mom of 9 children, I get many people asking me the question, “How do you do it?” My answer is simple. I do not do it alone. I am a stay at home mom of many children only because I am married and my husband and I have chosen to bear our children together and to make the financial sacrifices necessary to keep me at home.

While staying home to raise my children, I have the time to keep a clean and organized home, make healthy meals, help with homework, and be there for the little struggles and triumphs of my children. I could not be the same mother if I had to leave the house every day to work a full time job. I have the option of staying at home because I am married to a man who is willing to work hard to provide for a family. Being a mother is not hard when it is coupled with a supportive and loving marriage. In fact, motherhood under these circumstances is beautiful and rewarding.

However, our society is teaching the opposite– marriage is difficult–being parents is too hard–staying home to raise your children is a waste of your education and talents. These teachings and ideas about family life are simply not true. Sure, a happy marriage requires time and sacrifice, but the benefits always outweigh the costs. Yes, parenthood is tiring and messy. It is also wonderful and amazing, and completely worth the time and mess.  Of course, when a mother stays home she is not using her education and talents to earn money, but she is using her education and talents to teach and train the next generation—nothing is wasted.

Unfortunately, the negative voice about marriage and parenting is the louder voice and it is taking a toll on the family. With 41% of children being born to single mothers and 40% to 50% of first marriages ending in divorce, many, many mothers do not even have the option to be stay at home moms.  Not only do these mothers have to work, they are much more likely to live in poverty and their children are disadvantaged educationally, socially, and economically. These statistics are sad and sobering.

Yet, the answer to fix these problems is simple. As a society, we need to stop listening to the negative voices about marriage and family and make the choice to get married, stay married, and make child rearing a couple effort. Family life is a happy, fulfilling life, and marriage is the best place to raise a child.

You Never Existed…Or Did You?

In Abortion on April 22, 2014 at 4:49 pm

newbornAlicia Alley and Erica Arguello

Take a minute and think about the one person you enjoy spending time with; maybe it’s your wife, your husband, your mom or dad, a close friend, or a sibling. Now think of why you enjoy spending time with them. Is it because they make you laugh, help you feel loved, or just listen to you when you’re struggling? Now pretend that relationship is gone. How do you feel? Now think about all your other significant relationships and pretend they’re gone. In fact, you never became acquainted with any of them, because you were never born. The only time you existed was as an embryo waiting to become fully develop, but instead of being born a decision was made and it was decided you would be aborted. All those relationships you would have had are gone, and realize all those people you love don’t love you, because they never knew you. You never existed.

Every 26 seconds an abortion is performed in the United States. Since you’ve spent probably at least 30 seconds already reading this article one abortion has already occurred, and by the time you finish reading this, another seven or more will have taken place.

Of course there are only a handful of scenarios that would explain why an abortion might be necessary. Maybe the mother is at risk of dying upon going through with the pregnancy, or maybe the woman was a victim of incest or rape and the pregnancy was forced upon her. Other reasoning and justifications for a mother choosing to go through with an abortion, such as financial worries or an unplanned pregnancy, are just that – attempts at justifying a bad decision. Please understand this: Going through with abortion portrays selfishness and ends a child’s opportunity to live and be loved. Abortion is never something that brings feelings of accomplishment or joy, yet taking part in an abortion often brings feelings of despair, shame, and regret. Justifying an abortion will only bring a false sense of relief, when in reality a life was just ended because of a selfish belief in erasing something…only this wasn’t something, it was someone.

Dr. Anthony Levatino, an obstetrician, shared his personal story of his practice in performing abortions. He was involved in the practice of abortions for eight years. Dr. Levatino said carrying out abortions became uncomfortable when he and his wife discovered she was infertile. After this realization that he and his wife wouldn’t be able to biologically create a child he stated, “I kept doing abortions, I didn’t stop. But it was tough. We started desperately looking for a baby to adopt, and I was throwing them in the garbage at the rate of nine and ten a week. It even occurred to me then: I wish one of these people would just let me have their child. But it doesn’t work that way. So the conflict was there.”

With time, Dr. Levatino and his wife adopted a little girl. They named her Heather. He now had a family, and continued to perform abortions. He wasn’t particularly fond of doing them, but it was part of business. He continued with abortions for the next couple of years, until Heather’s accident. One evening “We heard the screech of brakes out in front of the house. We ran outside and Heather was lying in the road. We did everything we could, and she died.” After the incident, performing abortions was difficult and after a few months Dr. Levatino realized while performing an abortion, “This is somebody’s child. I lost my child, someone who was very precious to us. And now I am taking somebody’s child and I am tearing him right out of their womb. I am killing somebody’s child. That is what it took to get me to change. My own sense of self-esteem went down the tubes. I began to feel like a paid assassin. That’s exactly what I was.” Dr. Levatino quit performing abortions.

As a future mother, to steal experiences of an unborn child to learn to walk, laugh, ride a bike, kiss, and get married is unfathomable. Every unborn child has a right to life. The choice to end a life would be far more devastating than giving a baby up for adoption.

Choices have consequences

No matter what choices you make, there will be consequences, both positive and negative. As a woman, you have the ability to give your tiny, precious, vulnerable baby the opportunity to live. As a father, you have the ability to support your significant other in having the baby. Though there are no pleading, spoken words, begging, or endless sobs, to say, “I want to live! Give me a chance,” this unborn child has already begun developing. At just six weeks after conception, the unborn child starts to move, at eight weeks, reacts to touch, at 12 weeks already has finger prints, and at 20 weeks feels pain.

A pregnant woman is not an entity unto herself. She has a son or daughter developing within her. Imagine the infinite possibilities of that unborn child to become whomever they want, if given the opportunity to live. Maybe your unborn child would be a scientist that finds a cure to cancer. Maybe he becomes an Olympic gold medalist. Maybe, just maybe, the tiny human being, that has a heartbeat at three weeks after conception, helps change the world. Or maybe this child will be a normal, happy, well-adjusted human being who lives a fulfilling life – it’s enough.

These babies that will develop certain of your facial features, like a nose or chin, live in an environment that was made especially for them in a mother’s body. Some women may feel desperate to get rid of the baby they have been housing for a number of weeks and then have regrets. Women like Carol.  Carol stated after her abortion: “The abortionist did not speak or look at me except to growl, ‘Be quiet and keep still.’ when I began to shake and cry against my own will as I felt his cold, sharp instruments cutting out the life that had been growing inside me for the past three months. The sound of the fetus dropping into the plastic bucket held between my legs is a sound I cannot erase from my memory.” When you throw a rock into a pond, it creates a ripple effect. Just as ripples extend out, that unborn child was meant to have its own ripple effect by touching lives. Having an abortion is the equivalent of never throwing that rock.

Think of someone that changed your life. Appreciate the friendship you have, because had their mother chosen to abort them, they never would have been an influence in your life. Perhaps you never would have learned to ice skate or found your spouse. How would your life be different had they not been in it? A life is what you make it and the people in it make it worth it, unless you never existed in the first place. In the end, it starts with the beginning.

Erica ArguelloErica Argüello was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador, but has been living in Colorado most recently.  She recently graduated with a B.S. in Child Development from Brigham Young University –Idaho.  After graduation, Erica plans on working with children and families to help them during challenging times to have a better life.


Alicia Ally

Alicia Alley will be graduating this summer from Brigham Young University-Idaho with a Bachelors of Science in Child Development. She hopes to attend graduate school this fall and study Social Work. Alicia is from Indiana and comes from a family of eight. “My family is one of the most important things to me and they have helped in becoming who I am today.”




A baby’s first months. (2014). Retrieved February 7, 2014, from National Right to Life website:   http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/firstmonths

Abortion Stats. (2014). Life Issues Institute, Inc. Retrieved from:  http://www.lifeissues.org/abortion/

Fetal pain: The evidence. (2014). Retrieved February 7, 2014, from:  http://www.doctorsonfetalpain.com/

Levatino, A. (2014). Former abortionist dr. anthony levatino. Pro-life Action League. Retrieved from:   http://www.prolifeaction.org/providers/levatino.php

Women not prepared for horrors of abortion. (2014). Retrieved February 7, 2014, from:   http://www.suewidemark.com/the-catholic-vote/abortion-horror.htm

Helping our children to become the best version of themselves through work

In Child Development, Education, Families, father, motherhood, Parenting, The Family, Values on April 21, 2014 at 7:47 am

children cleaningKristi Kane

Recently I was reviewing my year’s posts on Facebook. One of the things I’d written was during Christmastime, and it said, “I never want to ask my children to do another chore again. I can’t handle the whining and complaining, so I think I’ll sell all of their Christmas gifts and hire a maid.”

That post got me thinking. How many times have I thought it would be easier to just “hire a maid,” than to take the time and teach my children how to work, and how to do a job the right way so that it didn’t have to be done over again and again? When my children were young, I gave them chores according to their age. When my girls were three, I’d ask them to empty the dishwasher of all the plates and cups and bowls and I  would put  them away. I’d also ask them to make their beds and showed them how to do it. I’d ask them to set the table, or pour drinks in the glasses for our meal times.

As they got older, the chores got a bit more difficult. I’d ask them to mop the floor or clean a bathroom. By the time they were nine, they were doing their own laundry. It took me standing by them a few times and teaching them how to sort clothing by color and how much laundry detergent to put in, but they learned. They had a better attitude about doing their laundry when they were doing it. They learned if they didn’t do their laundry, they would have no clean clothing to wear, and if they didn’t dry their clothes and fold them right after and put them away, their clothing would look wrinkled and unkempt.

Were there ever times when my children would complain? Yes. But most of the time they took pride in the fact that they were being involved in family activities. Work in and around the home is a family activity. It was something expected of me when I was a girl, and something I expected of my own children when they became old enough. Do I think it’s inhumane to expect children to do chores in their own home? I do not.

To emphasize this point, I will give an example. My second daughter was one of the biggest complainers when it came to doing chores. We would find ourselves laughing at the excuses she would use to get out of doing the simplest of chores. However, today, she is one of the hardest workers in our home. She started a job last February steaming and ironing clothing in a high priced dress shop. Because she worked so hard, had a good attitude, and did such a good job, she was promoted within one month to be a sales associate. She became so popular, that customers asked for her when they were making dress appointments. I believe all of her success at work stems from the fact that she learned to work and help around the house at a young age.

Helping our children to stay on task can sometimes be draining. There have been times when my husband and I have thought, “Oh, it’s just easier if I do this myself and let them off the hook for doing their chores today.” We have not been impressed with the outcome of this attitude. Our younger son in particular starts to get a very entitled attitude and starts expecting that everything should be done for him. On Saturday, a major chore day here in our home, I had asked him to do three very specific chores, one of which was to clean up a disastrous looking bathroom that he shares with his brother. Instead of doing that, he went to play with a friend, and as he left, told my husband that his chores were finished. I found my husband weeding in the yard and told him that our son had not finished his chores. Even though my husband was tired, he drove over and picked up our son, and brought him back home so that he could finish the chores he was expected to do. We’ve had to do that a few times with him, actually with all of our children, but it sets a precedent: if I don’t do my chores, Mom and Dad will not let me play with friends until I’ve done them, so I’d better do them.

Set a precedent with your children. Ask them to help you around the home. Expect it. If they are not aware of the work and responsibility it takes to run a home, how will they know how to do it when they are no longer living at home with you?



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