Monthly Archives: January 2012

Morality According to the Loud

Edited for clarity of intent.  This post wasn’t meant to be about one specific situation, but rather a type of situation, a category of interactions.

 

The loud ones always have an opinion don’t they?  And so many of the Loud Ones are determined to impart their wisdom about morality.  What you SHOULD be doing.  What you SHOULD have done.  How things SHOULD go.

Morality according to the Loud Ones is always full of accusations and words that conflict with actions and actions that conflict with common sense.  Morality according the Loud Ones is harsh and inflexible.  Have you ever seen the cartoon where a Loud One is preaching and yelling at someone to be more tolerant, and the person replies, “Your tolerance seems a little one-sided to me.” – it’s like that.  Full of damnation, void of self-examination.

You know, I may never be able to meet the moral standards of the Loud Ones.  I’m tolerant of the wrong things, I love people when I should be preaching to them, I make mistakes and I wind up back-peddleing.  I think I’m OK with where I am, and I’m OK with not meeting their standards.  Because in the end, no Loud One is going to judge me.  It just isn’t between me and them.  Come to think of it, that may be part of the problem.  A Loud One can be a Christian, we all know churches full of them, but I think it’s easier to be a Loud One when you’re outside of the church.  It’s hard for someone who doesn’t believe in an external truth and judge to understand that I do not depend on them for judgement or approval.  So when it comes to personal relationships, we’re right back at the power dynamic.

The person with the least to lose in a relationship has the most power.  That’s threatening to some.  Particularly to Loud Ones, in my experience.  If I derive my sense of self worth from God, and not from the people around me, I don’t need people they way some do.  If I derive my security from God, I don’t need to control my environment the way some do.  If I am able to do things independent of my peers, it can be perceived as a threat of abandonment.  I’m not abandoning you, I just was never as dependent on the relationship as you were.

I can say that without any sense of superiority or anger.  I bear no harsh feelings or ill will.  It’s just a reality in my life.  I don’t tend to have the same desperate longing for everyone to like me as someone without the stability of God.

Originally, that freedom was due to being the child of an alcoholic.  Kids with alcoholic parents often have trouble attaching to people.  I mean, who can you really trust?  After a while, my relationship to God became the driving factor for my independence. I just didn’t need other people because I had God.  But now, even when I’m trying to place a high value on relationships, I’m valuing it in a different way.  I don’t surrender my power or my self.  But others do.  Loud Ones.  They engage in relationship by trying to take power or command the room and hope that their own sense of self worth will inflate accordingly.  They’re proving my childhood inclinations right.  Who can you trust?  No one.  Not really.

But I don’t form relationships because I need people.  I form them because they build up the kingdom of God.  I form them because I know I can be of service to some.  I form them because we are all stuck with each other on this corporeal plane.

And I’ll keep forgiving.  Keep asking for forgiveness when I can see I’ve done wrong.  My quiet growth doesn’t drown out the Loud Ones.  Maybe it never will.  But it does seem to frighten them.  And for that, I just feel sad.

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Down Down Baby

Way up here, I’ve been so down.

 

The dark, the cold, I feel like I’m trapped in a tupperware in someone’s long unopened fridge.  Except we’re more than eighty degrees colder than any fridge.  It’s just too much.

 

The kids were sick, then our car’s block heater (a device used by people who live too far north that plugs into an outlet and keeps your engine from freezing solid) committed suicide and convinced the power steering hose to drink some of the kool aid too.  Then, we had healthy kids and a functioning car and the kids got sick again.  Now, we’re recovering, and the car is working, but the temperature?  -51*F.  I can’t take the kids out in that.  Where would we go anyway?  It’s cold enough that even WalMart had to close (burst steam pipe).

 

I am not Alaskan.  I love a snow day and an excuse to sip hot chocolate and watch old movies as much as the next person, but this is insane.

 

Still, no external forces should be able to command my heart so thoroughly.  Why would I let something as mundane as the weather make my days so dreary?  There are things I can do.  Things that renew my sense of self and things that revive my spirit.  Things that bring me a little farther from the earth up here and a little closer to the world I’m sure is still out there somewhere.

 

Tomorrow I’ll start a schedule.  We don’t have light in the mornings (yet) but I can still exercise.  I can still give my body some marker that suggests life.  The sicknesses gave me an excuse to sleep in and try to recover the sleep lost to mid-night nursings.  That should be reversed.  I can nap if necessary, but sleeping in is rarely the answer any more.  (welcome to motherhood)

 

Getting dressed in the morning will help too.  Doing something with my hair.  Putting on make-up. Tricks to signal to my long-dormant brain that there is life outside this house.  When I first moved up here everyone told me about how precious “getting out” is.  How it’s the only way to stay sane in the winter.  But where to go?  And is physical safety really less important than sanity?  (Why do I have to choose anyway?)  I just can’t believe that little fingers are safe going outside at these temperatures.

 

Today, even the airport shut down.  It’s too cold for airplanes to fly.  Don’t airplanes fly to Antarctica?

 

I’m awake now because nighttime is too much work to face.  Baby just doesn’t sleep lately and I don’t want to face another night of that fight.  I need a night off.

 

And some time away.

 

Never again will I stay the winter in Fairbanks.

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Natural Family Planning

Welcome to the January Carnival of Natural Parenting: Experiments in Natural Family Living

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have reported on weeklong trials to make their lives a little greener. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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If you’re looking to avoid chemical and/or potentially abortificant methods of birth control, you find yourself with very few options.  Morally, I’m suspicious of any birth control method that relies on making my womb ‘inhospitable’ to a fertilized egg [I don’t know where I stand on that whole “sperm + egg = baby” equation, so I’m trying to pretty much avoid it all together.] and physically,  I’d rather just not have sex at all than use chemical forms of birth control.  So our options felt pretty limited.

In the end, we decided to try Natural Family Planning.  The idea is, I would chart my temperature every morning, keep an eye on my cervical mucous, and plug this all in to the almighty internet who would then tell me whether or not I was fertile.  Then, we could plan our actions accordingly, and either abstain or use the dreaded condoms when I was showing signs of being soil ready for seed.

Taking my temperature every morning proved to be a more easily acquired habit than I expected.  And taking note of any cervical mucous wasn’t so difficult either.  Data.  I has it.

FertilityFriend.com let me plug everything in and I would wait till the end of the month to see if I could tell when I had ovulated.  I figured after a few months, I’d hopefully be able to see a pattern, and I’d be able to tell when I was fertile and we could just use condoms or abstain from intercourse and put off baby #2 for a little while.

But I was still nursing all night.  Which made my temperatures more uneven than they should be, and I never did see a spike in temperature that would indicate ovulation.  What I did see was that my mucous was way more informational than I ever gave it credit for.

I had 3 cycles after my daughter was born before my husband and I left on a trip.  We were going to be staying very busy and sleeping either in a hotel room with our daughter or in a house full of my in-laws with our daughter – i.e. no alone time.  I didn’t even bother to pack condoms, because I was sure we wouldn’t need them.  Well, one night my daughter was asleep before we were and my hubby and I found ourselves in a hotel room with free time!  At that point, I wasn’t going to break the spell by going to the drug store.  In the back of my mind I remembered that I had seen some potentially fertile mucous that day, but I was skeptical of the reliability of damp drawers.  Turns out, the mucous did indeed indicate fertility.

This time around, even though my fertility returned several months later than it did after my first child, I was able to accurately predict my first period by noticing my mucous changing.  Two weeks later: period.  I haven’t started charting my temperature yet because my little one is still nursing all night, but I know that’s the next step in our little fertility journey.  Natural Family Planning is certainly not a foolproof method, because there are lots of ways to impact body temperatures or misread mucous or charts, but it’s not introducing anything into my body or kicking anything out prematurely, so we’re going with it.  Well, as soon as I find my basal body thermometer.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

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5/366 – 8/366

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Well hello, Diva Cup, we meet again.

The time has come. My dear, sweet baby has started eating enough solid food to initiate the return of my menses.  (I realize it doesn’t work that way for every one, but solid food intake seems to be what brings on my fertility.)

 

It’s a sad day.  Not only has my baby’s yogurt-scented poop (thank you breastmilk!) turned foul, but my free ride on the Lactation Induced Amenorrhea has come to an end.  Please exit the ride to the right and have a nice day.

 

I’d take a picture to commemorate, but do you really want to see something that’s been all up in my business?  Besides, you know how to use the Google!  Or just follow this link.  Certainly one of the better decisions I’ve made over the last few years.  Bleached, chemical laden wads of dry cotton are for the birds.  Well, not the birds, the birds don’t want crap like that, but they’re not for me.

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4/366

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3/366

It’s from a few days ago.  Shh!  Don’t tell anybody!

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