Archive for the ‘Birth Rate’ Category

The Dangers of Moral Relativism

In Abortion, Abstinence, Bioethics, Birth Rate, Cohabitation, Courts, Democracy, Education, Free Speech, Government, Health Care, Human Rights, Media, Planned Parenthood, Population Control, Pornography, Religion, Same-Sex Marriage, Sanctity of Life, Sex Education, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Values on March 11, 2015 at 7:52 am

right vs. wrongMekelle Tenney

Freedom can only be maintained within a society that also maintains morality. When Alexis De Tocqueville visited America and analyzed her political system he posed the question, “How could society fail to perish if, while the political bond is relaxed, the moral bond were not tightened?” And I believe that the majority of Americans will agree that morality is a necessity in a free society.

However Tocqueville when on to say, “What makes a people master of itself if it has not submitted to God?”[1] And that is where Americans disagree. Morals that are derived from some form of deity are constant and do not adapt. Furthermore they are not subject to different points of view. Currently America is suffering from the effects of a new twist on this principle known as moral relativism. Moral relativism is the idea that morals are based on a particular standpoint. No specific set of morals are considered the standard, meaning there is no right or wrong it all depends on your point of view.

Moral relativism has resulted in major changes to the political process. First it has removed any mention, consideration, or acknowledgement of God from all political discussion and decisions. The misappropriate application of the 1st amendment has enabled this movement to dispel the existence of God from our nation’s history as well as her present political workings.

Though our political system was never meant to be run by any specific religion or religious institution the acknowledgment of an eternal being who directs the affairs of men has always been a crucial part of our nation. For example, American political thought is deeply rooted in the idea that man has been given rights from God that cannot be taken by any other man. We firmly believe that it is wrong for one man to have dominion over another. That belief is based on a set of morals derived from a belief in a higher being.

Remove God from the picture we now have a moral belief that is founded on nothing. This allows moral relativism to take effect. We begin to question the origin of rights. Rights can no longer be seen as universal. Without universal rights can we really label some forms of government as wrong or evil? The danger of dictators and tyrants is now in question. Are dictatorships wrong? Can they not produce some good? If the definition of good is derived from the standpoint of the dictator then the answer is yes. And those who are living under oppression can define the outcomes of such a government as wrong, but it does not matter because no point of view has precedence over the other. We have now reached the point in this scenario where no one is wrong and no one is right.  So the only option we have to go with is the most popular opinion.

Though this is simply one example each scenario dealing with moral relativism will lead to the same problem. If we cannot derive from God what is right and wrong, where do we turn? One option available is to look at social science and rely on studies to tell us the trends associated with specific behaviors.

How it all plays out

A good example of this is sexual relations among teenagers. Years ago sexual relations before marriage were seen as morally wrong. Physical intimacy was something that was shared solely between a husband and wife. Moral relativism takes over and we see the situation totally different. In the 1960’s we began to remove these “religious principles” from our school curriculum. We would no longer teach our students abstinence.

According the Statistical Abstract of the United States released by the Department of human health the following years showed a 700% increase in teen pregnancies. Though all states vary on their methods of addressing the issue of teaching sex education in our public schools it has become an accepted fact that kids will be experimenting with sex.

We cannot preach morals to them so we must now teach them about safe sex in the hopes that we will reduce teen pregnancies as well teens contracting STDS.

The government has also come up with their own federally funded solution, an organization known as Planned Parenthood. Apart from providing medical procedures Planned Parenthood also provides resource for teens, parents, and educators. The section for teenagers answers questions such as which birth control is best for me?

Is there birth control I can take after unprotected sex?

Will my parents find out if I am on birth control?

How do I know when I am ready to have sex?

I think I am ready to have sex. What do I do now?

How do I prevent myself from getting a STD?

The website also informs girls about the options available to them if they find out they are pregnant. The first solution listed is abortion. Planned Parenthood informs young girls that there is no “right” way to feel about abortion. This is the solution moral relativism has come up with.

In 1983, in an address to the National Association of Evangelicals, Ronald Reagan offered a different much more simple solution, “I’ve watched TV panel shows discuss this issue, seen columnists pontificating on our error, but no one seems to mention morality as playing a part in the subject of sex.”[2]

Though it is a simple solution I fear we may never resort to it. What I wonder is how long will any nation will continue to exist with moral relativism as its guiding principle.

[1] De Tocqueville, Alexis. “Indirect Influence That Religious Beliefs Exert on Political Society In the United States.” In Democracy in America, 282. University of Chicago Press, 2002.

[2] Reagan, Ronald. ““Evil Empire” Speech (March 8, 1983).” Http://millercenter.org/president/speeches/speech-3409.

Appreciating Your Siblings

In Birth Rate, Child Development, Divorce, Families, Family Planning, father, Grandparents, Health Care, Marriage, The Family, Values on March 10, 2015 at 8:29 am

siblingsTashica Jacobson

My Nutrition and Foods teacher, in high school, was a fun talkative lady. She cared about each of her students and had unique way of getting us to look at the world. One day she told us that both of her parents were only children…which at first doesn’t appear too unusual. It’s not unheard of to be an only child. But then she told us to think about what this meant and how that would influence her life. “It means,” she told us, “that my parents have no siblings, but that I also have no uncles, aunts, or cousins. So you can imagine how much fun family reunions are.”

Her statement made me take a moment to look at my siblings and gain an even greater appreciation for having them. Not only will I have an amazing support system throughout all of my life because of them, but I have so many adventures and good memories already because of each one of them. Ask anyone that knows me well and they’ll be able to tell you that my siblings are an enormous part of my life. I could write a whole book on how amazing each of them is, but for this paper I’ll look at the benefits that siblings have on each other throughout all of life.

Our siblings  affect how we relate to other people, how we see ourselves, and provide the support system that we will have in later years. These relationships accomplish all of this because “it’s a bond unlike any other that we have in our lives.” This is why parents are encouraged to promote affection and closeness between their children.


Studies have shown that having siblings can lead us to be more active and healthy. That a blessing to have a constant playmate. Activities that require physical activity like sports, tag, water fights, or hiking, are activities that more often require someone to do them with. Even eating habits improve because of siblings. When children have someone close in age to base food intake on, they eat smaller portions, and healthier foods.

Social skills

Positive social skills are more easily developed because of interaction with siblings. Brothers and sisters provide an opportunity to interact with peers on a daily basis. It provides a chance for children to do good deeds for one another and allows for positive interactions. Even fighting provides an opportunity for siblings to learn. Children are able to learn social rules regarding conflict. They learn how to control their emotions and work through their frustrations with other people, along with developing forgiveness, compromise, and sympathy. Mastering these traits helps us in all of our relationships throughout life; having good relationships with siblings, has even been shown to decrease the likelihood of divorce.

Mental Health

Mental health is also improved when siblings have good relationships with one another. They lend support to each other, provided a listening ear, and give children someone “who’s got their back.” A child’s likelihood of depression is decreased when they have  siblings that are dealing with the same family crisis and stresses as they are. This support system extends into later life as siblings often become each other’s closest friends in adulthood. From them we also have an extended support system in aunts, uncles, cousins, and nieces and nephews. This support system encourages individuals to take on challenges, and stay positive during difficult situations. Mental health benefits are also seen specifically when we have sisters. A combination of studies found that “having a sister protects adolescents from feeling lonely, unloved, guilty, self-conscious, and fearful.”

Every situation with siblings is unique. Age differences, gender, and overall experiences will vary but I can speak from personal experience that having siblings is fun. And more than that it provides opportunities for growth and learning. The friendships and support that we develop with them will continue throughout childhood and be a factor even in later life. Healthy sibling relationships should be promoted and cherished.

Who Should Provide the Care?

In Birth Rate, Breastfeeding, Child Development, Courts, Diane Robertson, Families, Family Planning, father, Government, Health Care, Human Rights, Marriage, motherhood, Parental Rights, Parenting, Single Mothers, The Family, Values, Women's Rights, working mothers on February 25, 2015 at 7:43 am

pregnant and workingDiane Robertson

Last December the Supreme Court heard arguments about the workplace and pregnancy. A pregnant employee wanted UPS to accommodate her pregnancy by switching her to a job where she would not have to lift heavy packages. UPS refused, so the woman took unpaid leave while keeping her health insurance, and later sued in federal court stating that the UPS didn’t adhere to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978.

In my home state, a bill has come before the legislature asking that pregnancy and breast feeding be included in the state non-discrimination law. Again the question becomes how much should employers do to accommodate pregnancy and breast feeding.

Along the same lines as the UPS case, new science is warning about the necessity of prenatal care and the possibility that a stressful job during pregnancy could cause a lifetime of health problems for the unborn child.

As the mother of 10 children. I fully understand that pregnant and breast feeding women need care and accommodation. It takes a lot of energy and nutrition to build a person. But who should care for and accommodate women and their children?

The question comes down to this: should the government mandate the care of the mother and baby to the woman’s employer? To me this question is not one of rights and regulations, but one of families.

This week, I read a rather sobering article. It said that 54% of children will not be raised in a home with both their mother and father. Many of these are abandoned mothers left to fend for themselves and their children. The majority of families are not taking care of their own.

This question would not have been asked in the past. In the past, families took care of their own. The father stayed with the mother and worked hard enough to support his family. When a father failed, the woman’s parents, siblings, or other extended family took over this care. I think the care of mothers and children should be on the shoulders of the families.

Instead of mandating that employers provide the needed care for mothers and babies, maybe the government should look at other policies that have encouraged this adult-centric world where sexual desires trump the essential needs of vulnerable women and children. The needs are real.

What do you think? Who should provide the care?

Who cares more: Government or Parents?

In adoption, Birth Rate, Child Development, Diane Robertson, Education, Families, father, Government, Health Care, Marriage, motherhood, Parental Rights, Parenting, Schools, The Family, Values on February 18, 2015 at 8:09 am

mom with sick childDiane Robertson

Parental rights come naturally from the conceiving, birthing and rearing of children. It’s not just a natural right, but a biological right. Children are tied to their parents through care and through genetics. Parents not only have the right to their children because they created them, but because better than anyone else, parents, and this includes adoptive parents, know their children.

Parents have an intimate knowledge of their children in a way that no other adult could possibly have. Some of that knowledge comes naturally through biology and genetics and much more from living with their children and associating closely with their children from the moment they are born.

Better than anyone, parents know:

  • Their children’s sleep habits
  • What they will and won’t eat
  • The typical contents of their diapers
  • How they pronounce or mispronounce their words
  • What makes them happy
  • What makes them sad
  • What makes them laugh
  • What makes the cry
  • If they are clumsy or coordinated
  • How they react to strangers
  • What they like to read
  • What they like to watch
  • How they act when they are tired, or angry, or hungry, or wet, or cold
  • What they think about the world
  • How they will react to different school assignments

The list could be infinite.

More than any other person in a child’s life, parents are at the cross roads. Parents are there when:

  • The child is born (duh)
  • Every or almost every medical procedure
  • When the child is ill
  • When the child starts school
  • When the child has a first date
  • When the child graduates
  • When the child gets married
  • When the child has their first child

Again, the list could be infinite… and not applicable to any other adult. In fact, no other adult on the planet cares about being there and knowing about anyone else’s child in even a one thousandth of the detail that the parents do.

For example, school teachers, who spend some significant time with children, actually know very little of these details of each of their students, and they will not be there at most if any of the cross roads of the child’s life. Think about this: unless the class is very vocal, it isn’t very likely that a teacher would be able to recall the favorite color or favorite food of each student. But the parents can without pause.

Scotland, however, has decided that parents are not good enough. They have passed a law in which each child in the nation will have a “named person” assigned to them from birth until 18 years of age.

This “named person” will be a health worker from birth until school age and a teacher there after. This means that not only does the “named person” have very little internal knowledge of the child they are named to, but the “named person” could change yearly. Oh and these “named persons” that will have some significant authority over the children will be over a lot more children than even the most fertile of couples in Scotland.

The government cannot do a better job at raising children than parents. God has already named two people to raise and care for children. They are called mother and father. Sure when that fails, it is nice to have an institution in place to care for children. But ask a child who loves them the most and you are guaranteed not to hear, “the government”.


Childproofing your marriage

In Birth Rate, Education, Families, Family Planning, father, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Polls, Research, The Family, Values on February 16, 2015 at 2:10 pm

marriage happiness with newborn

What to do to keep that marital spark alive and well…

Erika Walker

Most people believe that after marriage, the next natural step in a couple’s life is parenthood, but after I got married, the thought of becoming a parent terrified me. Not because I didn’t want kids or because I didn’t think I’d be a good mom, but because I was afraid of what having children would do to my marriage. Based on what I had heard and read it seemed that the transition to parenthood was marked by an inevitable decline in marital satisfaction. This scared me because I had a strong loving relationship with my husband; one we had worked hard to build together; one that I wasn’t willing to sacrifice to become a mom. So before taking the plunge of parenthood, I set out to learn what I could about the transition to parenthood so that I could more effectively childproof my marriage against my future children.

Decline in Martial Satisfaction

My first question was: Is a decline in marital satisfaction inevitable in parenthood? What I discovered was that not all couples experience a decline in marital satisfaction with the birth of a child (Lauer). A study of 250 new parents during their first “postbaby year” found that:

  • 13% of the couples marital satisfaction declined severely
  • 38% experienced a moderate decline
  • 30% reported no change in their marital satisfaction
  • 19% experienced an improvement

Notice that based on these statistics, nearly 50% reported either no change or an improvement in their marital satisfaction, which goes to show that decline is not inevitable.

However, the results of this study didn’t satisfy me until I realized that a decline in marital satisfaction doesn’t mean dissatisfaction, it just means less satisfaction (Lauer). And whether we want to admit it or not, satisfaction tends to decline whether or not you have children. Think about it, when a couple first gets married they are typically at the peak of satisfaction in their marital relationship which is why it is referred to as the “Honeymoon Phase”. Therefore, if the relationship changes at all, it is likely to go down. Studies have shown that the sharpest decline in satisfying marital functioning typically occurs just after the birth of a child (Lauer). But the average decline in satisfaction is modest and does not go down to the point of dissatisfaction for most couples.

Factors that Contribute to Dissatisfaction

Next I wanted to know: What is the difference between the couples who experienced little to no change in their marital satisfaction and those whose satisfaction declined severely? And how do I make sure that my marriage is the former and not the latter?

One factor that I found contributed to dissatisfaction in parenthood was the quality of the relationship before pregnancy and parenthood. Some couples who experienced a decline in satisfaction were already having serious problems before the baby came and believed that having a child would fix their rocky relationship (Lauer). The truth, however, is quite the opposite. Because parenthood requires both parents working together, parenthood has the ability to make a good marriage better or worse, but it rarely makes a bad marriage better.

Another factor among those whose satisfaction dropped was gender differences (Kluwer). It seems that the ‘postbaby’ decline in marital satisfaction is greater among women than men. This discrepancy has been thought to be due to mothers’ perceptions of a lack of support both from the father and social network, creating feelings of stress and isolation for the mother (Ahlborg).

The final major factor was lack of leisure time together. As with any relationship, a lack in couple togetherness, impairs the intimate relationship and makes the individuals feel disconnected as a couple. This lack of time and energy also contributes to a loss of sensual and sexual affection (Ahlborg).

How Can I Minimize the Negative Effects of the Transition to Parenthood?

  1. Preparation- Maintaining marital satisfaction in parenthood begins during pregnancy. Use the time before baby comes to strengthen your marital relationship and learn key parenting skills. The more competent both parents feel about their parenting abilities and satisfied they are with their marriage during pregnancy, the more satisfied they will feel about their role as parents and their marital relationship postnantally (Wallace).
  2. Father Inclusion- It is typical the mother and baby to build a close bond even before birth. However this bond can sometimes make fathers feel left out of the picture. “Both marital and parental satisfaction are likely to be higher when the father is more involved with the baby” (Lauer). Thus, it is important to find ways to include the father both before and after the birth of the child.
  3. Coping Mechanisms in Parenthood- Maintain a sense of continuity by continuing to do some of the activities you and your spouse did together before the birth of the child (Miller).Take time away from the baby (Miller). Make a conscious effort to express appreciation for each other, express concerns, and listen to one another’s feelings (Miller). Rely on friends and family for help, emotional support, and advice (Miller).



Ahlborg, Tone, and Margareth Strandmarka. “Factors Influencing The Quality Of Intimate Relationships Six Months After Delivery” First-Time Parents’ Own Views And Coping Strategies.” Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology 27.3 (2006): 163-172. Informa UK Ltd. Web. 7 July 2012.

Kluwer, Esther S.. “From Partnership to Parenthood: A Review of Marital Change Across the Transition to Parenthood.” Journal of Family Theory & Review 2.2 (2010): 105-125. Print.

Lauer, Robert H., and Jeanette C. Lauer. “Becoming a Parent.” Marriage & family: the quest for intimacy. 8th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2012. 257-281. Print.

Miller, Brent C. , and Donna L. Sollie. “Normal Stresses during the Transition to Parenthood.” Family Relations 29.4 (1980): 459-465. JSTOR. Web. 29 June 2012.

Wallace, Pamela M, and Ian H. Gotlib. “Marital Adjustment during the Transition to Parenthood: Stability and Predictors of Change .” Journal of Marriage and Family 52.1 (1990): 21-29.


The Benefits of Adoption

In adoption, Birth Rate, Child Development, Education, Families, Family Planning, father, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Sanctity of Life, Schools, Single Mothers, The Family, Values on February 5, 2015 at 7:13 am

teen pregnancy 2

700,000 teen pregnancies each year: Decisions made have lasting impact.

Kristen Jan Cannon

According to StayTeen.org, approximately 3 in 10 teenage girls will get pregnant in the U.S. each year. That equates to 700,000 teen pregnancies annually!

For such cases, adoption is a phenomenal route to go. And while it is not the only option available to teen parents, it may very well be the best one for everyone involved. Here’s why:

In terms of teen pregnancy, adoption can be a very beneficial option long-term for the teen parents. Teen parenthood is the leading reason why teenage girls drop out of high school. In fact, less than half of all teen moms will even graduate, and less than two-percent will earn a college degree by the time they are 30. Choosing to keep the baby could drastically alter the course of a young mom’s life in terms of employment opportunities, academic growth, and simply just being a teenager.

Choosing to keep the baby also may not be the best long-term option for the baby, and could potentially result in many missed experiences. For example, 8 out of 10 teen fathers don’t end up staying with the mother of their child. Choosing adoption can give the baby involved an opportunity to be part of a family where both a mother and father are present in their lives. This can benefit them financially, physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

And finally, adoption benefits those families who are so desperate and hopeful for a child of their own. By considering the possibility of placing a child for adoption, teen parents could be blessing the lives of a family who will love their baby and be able to provide for their needs. Although adoption would be an extremely difficult choice to make, what a sweet experience that only people who have participated in can fully appreciate.

If you or someone you love is considering placing a child for adoption, there are many factors to consider. For instance, you might want to examine the stability of the marriage of the couple adopting, their financial situation, their ability to nurture your baby, their desire for a child, and their ability to love a child who is adopted.

Certainly, there is not a one-size-fits-all plan for coping with teen pregnancy. But adoption is something to think about-it can truly benefit everyone for life!




America’s Need for Family

In Birth Rate, Child Development, Cohabitation, Drug Use, Families, father, Government, Marriage, Media, motherhood, Parenting, Sanctity of Life, Schools, Single Mothers, The Family, Values on January 9, 2015 at 7:42 am

troubled teenMekelle Tenney

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention published a study conducted in 2013 that stated the following:

  • 20% of high school students reported having had five or more alcoholic drinks in a row
  • 18% of high school students reported having had a drink of alcohol before the age of 13
  • 40% of high school students reported having used marijuana
  • 23% of high school students reported that they were currently using marijuana
  • 22% of high school students reported that they were either offered, sold, or given an illegal drug on school property
  • 46% of high school students reported having had sexual intercourse
  • 34% of high school students reported that they were currently sexually active
  • 22% of high school students reported having used alcohol or drugs before last sexual intercourse

Why do these problems exist? Where are we failing as a society? Could it be that our school systems are not sufficiently instructing our youth? Our government has made a big effort to educate our youth on the dangers of drugs and alcohol and there is still a problem. Perhaps it is time for us to look to another source to instruct our youth; the family. Studies show that family has a substantial impact on children, their choices, self-image, and success. Consider the following:

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
  • 71% of high school drop outs come from fatherless homes
  • 85% of all youth in prison come from fatherless homes
  • Fatherless boys and girls are twice as likely to drop out of school, twice as likely to end up in jail, and four times as likely to need help for emotional and behavioral problems

The family is by far the most powerful unit in society, creating the biggest impact and effecting the greatest number of people. Yet we have seen it steadily deteriorating in the United States. In 2013 the New York Times published an article entitled “The Changing American Family” in which the author quoted some statistics on the family:

  • “Fewer women are becoming mothers and those who do have fewer children”
  • “More than 40% of American babies are now born to unmarried women”
  • “Marriage rates have been falling for several decades and are now at a historic low”
  • “Both men and women are getting married later, shifting marriage to an act of later adulthood and increasing the number of births to unmarried parents.”

It is clear that family is not the main focus for many Americans now. Even more alarming is the report that our youth have taken on the same attitude. In 2012 The State of Our Unions stated, “Less than a third of the girls and only slightly more than a third of the boys seem to believe,….. , that marriage is more beneficial to individuals than the alternatives. Note also that young women have seen their faith in marriage’s capacity to deliver happiness fall markedly over the last thirty years”.

It is clear that the family is necessary in society. Such attributes as personal responsibility, morality, honesty, and dependability are most effectively taught and understood within a family. The very nature of our democratic society calls for a closeness of family. In fact Alexis De Tocqueville stated in Democracy in America that democracy created a environment where society has less of a hold on the individual thus allowing the individual to create stronger and sweeter bonds with their family.

President Reagan shared a similar sentiment stating that “Families stand at the center of society, so building our future must begin by preserving family values.” The future of America depends on her families. Family must, once again, become the center of our society. Families are needed to teach our youth.  Government run institutions cannot and should not be counted on to raise the rising generation. The family is vital not only to our progression but also to our happiness. As Thomas Jefferson stated, “by a law of our nature, we cannot be happy without the enduring connections of our families.”

Ways to Save the World and Reduce the Population

In Abortion, Abstinence, Birth Rate, Child Development, Demographic Decline, Diane Robertson, Drug Use, Families, Government, Human Rights, Parental Rights, Parenting, Population Control, Prostitution, Sanctity of Life, Schools, Sex Education, Sexual Freedom, The Family, UN, Values on November 26, 2014 at 8:00 am

UNDiane Robertson

If I had a conversation like, “Do you want to know what the UN is doing now?” And then actually repeated some of the information in the UNFPA’s State of World Population report on youth , no one would believe me. They would think I was an extremist, a radical, and a fear-monger. I’d be tempted to think that of myself, because really, who would guess that comprehensive sexual education, lowering the age of consent, ending all restrictions on abortion, legalizing drugs and prostitution, and reducing parental involvement would solve the world’s “over population” problems.

I can just imagine the delegates brainstorming what needs to done. One delegate raises his hand and boldly declares, “If we legalized drugs then driving under the influence would surely increase, and more people would die young! That would reduce the population.”

Feeling excited at that idea, another delegate chimes in, “If we lower the age of consent, oh and teach children as much about sexual activity as possible from pre-school onward, we are sure to increase STDs. Even more people will die young!”

Then of course there are nods of approval when along the same lines another delegate puts forth the idea that legalizing prostitution would spread STDs even faster.

One more thoughtful delegate would then say, “We need to be sure that parents aren’t involved in the sexual development and decision making of their children because they really don’t do a good job at that.”

Finally someone else raises her hand and says, “We need to get rid of all restriction on abortion. Sex can cause pregnancy, and pregnancy can cause population growth. Add abortion on demand to the document too.” But here I digress. Abortion is proven to lower the population. Since 1973, 53 million babies in the United States alone, were never given the chance at life. And voila, the national birthrate decreased.

So that’s it. The UNFPA wants to give our kids the façade of safety by telling them to act on their every sexual urge and do all the drugs they want while giving them condoms and telling them to wear their seatbelts. Thanks UN. I’m so glad you are trying to find ways to save the world and reduce the population.

*And just in case you are thinking I am an extremist, radical, or fear-monger, or really don’t like satire, here is a really great article that carefully explains the details found in the State of World Population report on youth.

Mom Shame

In adoption, Birth Rate, Breastfeeding, Child Development, Families, Family Planning, father, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, stay-at-home mom, The Family, Values, working mothers on November 13, 2014 at 9:40 am

  busy mom  Rebecca Mallory

We thought there was pressure raising our four girls during the 80’s. All four girls are now very busy wives and mothers but believe me, my life was cake compared to theirs.  In the 80’s my diaper bag said “Safeway” on it. We bought an $80 crib that we used for all four kids until the last baby karate chopped the spindles on the bottom so she could simply roll to the floor to escape. It was not required to have a designer diaper bag, a $200 blinged out cover for the car seat (Heck! We didn’t even have a car seat!) that matched the high chair, stroller, toddler seat, crib and the partridge in a pear tree.

Whew! It’s expensive, and exhausting to be a mom today. Another “must” are clever 4×6 glossies printed for the baby shower invitations and cutest shower deco that matches the car seat, diaper bag, and decked out nursery. Nursery?! A Pinterest original, of course. And when mom arrives at her own shower, she can’t look stressed, tired, haggard, huge, or miserable. She must be perky, fun and at all times joyful.  What’s worse though, beyond this perfect personae that most mommies can’t afford let alone master, is the shame or judgement that moms fling at each other. Why is it that many opinionated mothers seem to grow mother claws as they have children. It’s their way or the highway. I recently read an article by Stephanie Barnhart about this very subject that really struck a cord with me. Here’s my take on some of her insights.

No doubt you’ve heard all the hubbub about breast feeding especially in public. To breast feed or not is very controversial in the mom community. My girls were all bottle fed. Not one grew up to be an ax murderer. Pretty good, huh? If you’re a breast feeder aficionado, congrats. But before you pass judgement on a mom bottle feeding her baby, consider this. What if she tried for weeks and just couldn’t do it? What if the baby requires a special formula? What if this mom had breast cancer and a double mastectomy? Maybe she simply chose to bottle feed? What if?

Snacks and eating habits. I’ve had to seriously consider super glueing my lips shut on this one. To see the kids eat an entire bowl of “Goldfish”, chips, or some other equally “fake” substance makes it hard not to blurt. But here’s the deal. My kids didn’t always… no they never…. ate totally balanced meals nor followed the four food groups 24/7. In fact if we were on a road trip, we’d lay the seats down, spread a few blankets, load them up with chips, candy, and other yummy but tooth-decaying items just to make it to our destination without fights, whining, and screaming while maintaining an iota of sanity. And yes, you read that right. No seat belts. Those were the days when saying “Be careful!” was enough, I guess.

Dress and fashion. Ok, we all need to back off on this one. “Mom jeans” to you, may not be “mom jeans” to her. Maybe that’s all she has, or can afford. Maybe she thinks yours are “mom jeans”! Looking perfect is in the eyes of the beholder, right? Let’s judge each other the way you want other women to judge you. Fair enough?

Lots of Parenting Styles

Discipline and parenting styles. All of our girls and their husbands have different parenting styles. It’s fascinating to watch them parent; especially having grown up in the same house with the same parents and rules. But as we choose a spouse we become “one” with them in almost all decisions which is an awesome blessing! (Ok maybe not totally awesome…) We have one daughter whose husband has been pretty stern with the kids. Result? They go to bed perfectly, eat their broccoli, and sit quietly in church.

We have one daughter who has five little kids, the fourth and fifth are twin 1 year olds. Her biggest concern used to be shopping, getting her hair and nails done, and keeping up on “What Not to Wear.” Now she stars in her own “Survivor” episodes and hopes to make it to bedtime each night without any broken bones or something catching on fire.

One daughter speaks very softly in all situations and is amazingly patient. All three oldest girls have five kids each. Their baby sister has one and vows she will never have five. Our kids have crazy lives.

We’re all in survival mode

Stay at home or have a career? Another potentially heated topic. I had to teach school when our kids were little. I was overcome with guilt a lot of the time and wanted to be a stay at home mommy. We just couldn’t afford it and had four jobs between us at times.  So when you see a mom dropping her child off at daycare, don’t judge. Is she going through a divorce? Did her husband lose his job? And if you drop your kids off at daycare while passing a mom in her husband’s sweats, with a stroller and three other kids walking to the bus stop, don’t immediately assume that her life is boring and unfulfilled. Or vise versa. What good comes of that? Nothing.

I have two sisters who had horrible experiences with trying to have babies. They both adopted and then were able to have their own naturally. Go figure. I have another sister who was nearly killed in a tractor accident at age 14 which resulted in the heartbreak of her inability to ever have children. Yet she’s had to endure the stares and insensitive questions from non-thinking women. “When are you going to have a baby? Or “Why don’t you have any kids?” She even had to endure her seven sisters whining about the day to day stress of motherhood when she would have given a million bucks to be experiencing our pain.

So you get the drift. Most moms are in survival mode. We all yearn for love and acceptance. It’s such a boost when it comes from our peers. (I know we’re not supposed to care what others think; but darn it, we do!) Instead let’s all admit that parenting is the hardest but most rewarding job there is. But when those sweet kids get out of the bathtub and into their jammies with faces shining, and hair dripping wet, and throw their arms around your neck with an “I love you mommy” it becomes more than worth the daily wear and tear.

Let’s love each other for trying to raise productive and happy children. With so many people choosing not to have children, let’s applaud and lift each other up for our efforts in parenting. Let’s look for the good.  It’s right in your own mommy community.


Make the Choice

In Abstinence, Birth Rate, Child Development, Cohabitation, Demographic Decline, Divorce, Education, Families, Feminism, Government, Marriage, Parenting, Population Control, Schools, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Values, Women's Rights, working mothers on November 7, 2014 at 9:49 am

mother teaching daughterMekelle Tenney

Over the last 50 years the fertility rate among Americans has dropped from 3.65 to 1.89. The rate of households with one child or more under the age of 18 has also made a significant drop from 48.8% to 32.3%.

In 2010 only 30% of high school girls and 40% of high school boys reported that they believed they would have a fuller and happier life if they were legally married as opposed to cohabitation.

Sixty three percent of high school female seniors and 69% of males agreed that it was a good idea for couples to live together before marriage to make sure that they “get along.”

What exactly are these statistics saying?

  • Children are no longer a priority.
  • Marriage is not seen as a means for a happier and fuller life.
  • Marriage is not essential and shouldn’t be entered into unless you have given the relationship a “test drive”.

In short, family is not worth the sacrifice.

This same sentiment was shared by our President just recently. On October 31 President Barack Obama delivered a speech to a crowd in Rohde Island. President Obama stated,

“Sometimes, someone — usually mom — leaves the workplace to stay home with the kid, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. And that’s not a choice we want Americans to make.”

The purpose of President Obama’s speech was to promote equal opportunities for women in the work force. Though this statement invokes many different discussions, one stands out. Let’s say that many women do choose to stay at home, they do give up career opportunities. Since when does family not require sacrifice? Are our children not worth it? The idea that we can have a family without sacrifice and work is unrealistic and dangerous. Obama has implied that we do not want Americans to make that choice?

America’s families cannot afford not to. If we are to save the state of our families we must not make decisions for ourselves alone, but for our families. We have all seen this in our lives. We saw our parents sacrifice sleep, personal goals, ambitions, dreams, and desires, all to raise their family. And where this sacrifice was given, the families are closer, stronger and more united. Everyone was blessed.

I believe that the desire to create and cultivate a family is a natural desire. And yet society it telling us not to. Each generation has to decide for itself what its priorities are. What will it be America? Will we choose to make the sacrifice for family?


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 160 other followers