I Have Too Many Kids!

 

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Kiss me right there, Mom!

I’m up way too late working on my story ~ thought I’d take a break for a minute and go moderate comments. I found the following from “Cynthia” and started to post my own comment in reply ~ but after typing for a bit, decided I don’t want this buried in the comments section ~ it needs to be a post of its own.

Here’s what Cynthia wrote:

Wow, I am amazed how so many things seem to be falling into a straight line for me regarding this issue.

I have nine children simply because I was emotionally and spiritually manipulated into a quiverfull mindset. Finally, with the birth of my last child, we realized that we needed to finish what we had started and raise these children well and I had a tubal ligation. Thus began the walking away.

Since the beginning of the year, I have been dealing with reconciling the reason why I have nine children and having them and continuing to be there mother in a healthy way. I have been slammed with how so many things tainted the gospel … and now in effect, they have become tainted. Don’t get me wrong, I love my children and if nothing else, they are the good that came out of those years in the quiverfull movement but at the same time, it hurts to realize that I was so vulnerable and deceived.

Then, last week and again this week, I have found the book, Quiverfull, referenced on several blogs that I follow and then tonight, I have found your blog. I haven’t even started reading yet, really. Just revisiting it causes me a lot of weird emotions. I will probably read in small doses and comment as I go along. Obviously, it is time to deal with all of this.

Grace and Peace,

Cynthia

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And here’s my reply:

Welcome, Cynthia! I know just what you are talking about ~ that feeling of giving your life to an idea that turns out to be not so great. It’s wonderful to be out ~ to be thinking and changing ~ and yet, you still have to deal with the consequences of living out those principles which you firmly believed for so long ~ namely, having lots and lots of children to raise.

I often think to myself (sometimes I say it out loud) ~ I have too many kids!

Not that I don’t love every single one of them. In fact, it is BECAUSE I love and value each of my children as individuals deserving of having their unique personhood encouraged and affirmed that I feel so completely overwhelmed. There is no way that I can adequately provide the nurture and support that they all need ~ I’m doomed from the outset and my poor kids can’t help but feel like I don’t pay enough attention to their needs, interests and daily goings-on.

I remember as a QF mother looking down at the “typical” mothers who bore an average of 1.8 children ~ they were always looking at my brood in amazement while declaring, “I don’t know how you do it! I can barely handle the two that I have.” Well ~ I truthfully believed that it was because such women are selfish and not truly trusting the Lord to provide His strength and His wisdom ~ that is why they felt inadequate.

But really, when those women looked at our family and marveled ~ wondered how I did it all ~ the truth is, I DIDN’T do it all. My kids were being short-changed and neglected.

Sure, we had become more organized, more efficient ~ I learned to delegate, set priorities and learned to lower my standard for what qualifies as a “clean” house. We pared down considerably on the amount of clothing each child had in order to cut down on the laundry. I was a “manager” of my home ~ and I made one of those handy charts laying out our schedules in 15-minute intervals. We did once-a-month cooking ~ and eventually cut down to only two meals (plus a snack) per day to eliminate the time and trouble of having to prepare, cook, eat, and clean up after another meal. We got rid of “clutter” ~ including most of the toys. We cut out extra activities. We cut out having friends ~ because that’s just another thing to deal with. We cut out family ~ no time for them either!

Despite running a tight ship ~ and totally having our acts together so far as organization and productivity goes ~ my kids were still neglected. We weren’t getting our homeschooling done. Although I felt that family devotions were top priority ~ we mostly only managed to do that around Christmas time when we took the month off from everything else. The older girls were skilled at housework and cooking, yes ~ but they had practically NO social skills ~ no life.

Here’s the thing ~ when I was “doing it all” ~ I seriously did not see how much was really not getting done. Not that I was completely clueless ~ just that I was so focused on dealing with Warren ~ and all the time I was just TRUSTING that by serving and supporting the Head of our home (my first calling), I could count on the Lord to take care of all the details and to make up for my inadequacies and failures. I believed that God would work it all out so long as I was faithful.

So ~ when someone asked me, “How do you do it all?” ~ I would give a lovely description of the wonderful life in our home where the children all worked together and “many hands make light work” ~ I would talk about our efficiency, our time-management skills, etc. It’s not that I deliberately lied ~ just that what I was trying to communicate was a VISION of a godly home ~ that’s what I wanted and that’s what I believed I had. And I could have gone on convincing myself that the Lord really was working it all out, blessing our faithfulness, and prospering our family ~ if only it weren’t for that pesky issue of Angel cutting herself ~ and then swallowing all those pills…

Now that I am “No Longer Quivering” ~ things have changed pretty drastically as we have been able to focus on the kids and their needs. They’re doing so much better ~ every single one of them is learning and growing ~ they continually impress me with their talent and intelligence ~ and their ability to make up for lost time.

Still ~ I just can’t keep up. I quit writing my “to-do” list down because I’m afraid to look at it. Ugh. Everyday after school the kids all come through the door with homework that needs to be done, papers I need to sign, money they need for this or that activity and ~ Can so-and-so come over to play? This one needs a haircut ~ another has an art project on display at the mall that we all have to see ~ they all want to use my phone to text their friends. Oh, and did I mention in all this that they seem to think they should eat and have clean clothes to wear?

Not too long ago, I wrote the following for our family journal:

I Need Staff!

I could really use a secretary, grounds keeper, chauffeur, nanny, private tutor, maid, cook, nurse, computer technician, accountant, personal organizer and a household priest(ess) ~ oh yeah, and someone to shop and do the laundry. Maybe then there’d at least be the possibility that I might be able to keep up with things around here. I realize that moms do all this stuff even if it means never sleeping ~ hmmm … think I could hire me a wife? LOL!

I’m really coming to appreciate the value of a wife and mother ~ if I had one of my own, I’d probably have my book written by now ;-)

Of course, I love my kids and I’m glad that each and every one of them was born. BUT that truth does not negate the plain and simple fact that the Quiverfull teachings are duping women into having more children than we can responsibly care for and nurture.

So ~ yes, Cynthia ~ I think I understand the weird emotions you’re experiencing. It can be a little hard to articulate because we don’t want anyone to jump to the conclusion that because we feel like we have too many kids, we must not really love them.

  • Jadehawk

    Oh, and did I mention in all this that they seem to think they should eat and have clean clothes to wear?spoiled brats… :-pseriously though, I can’t believe you had a 15-minute-schedule! I can barely manage to plan my week, nevermind my day, in 15 minute intervals. And there’s so much to do! It certainly does sound like you need a wife ;-) me too, for that matter. I’m sure my boyfriend would approve, hehe

  • Vyckie

    ROTFL, Jadehawk ;-)Okay ~ I’ve got to get to bed. (1:45 a.m. here)We’re all sleeping in on this Saturday morning ~ so comments won’t be approved until I’m up and around later this morning.Hopefully, nobody will break into my account and spam you all with nasty messages while I’m sleeping. Goodnight!

  • adventuresinmercy

    Cynthia is awesome. :) And I really agree with you, Vyckie. Some women can probably handle a lot of kids well, but this idea that ALL women can—and SHOULD? I only have five (oldest was 6 when #5 was born), but I totally get those thoughts myself. Suckered into it by all those lofty promises about how great the QF life is (and by commands from my husband that it was time to have another one, whether I wanted to or not), but you know who loses? Everybody. Parents *and* kids. I wouldn’t take my kids back, no way, but, BOY, do I see the wisdom in spacing kids out 3-4 years apart if you want a big brood so that each baby actually gets some T.I.M.E being a baby—or only having a couple kids and being able to truly INVEST in them. Are there great things to having a pack of kids? Yes, of course there are. But I’m just one person, so no matter how much of a great mom I work to be, they need more of me than I can give. The QF camp puts quantity over quality. They claim that in the quantity, you will have the quality… But, come on, it’s just not the truth. There’s not enough Mom to go around, no matter how much of a Super Mom I may try to be. And that’s saying nothing about the financial aspect. And what is SO weird about the whole thing is that the Bible is pretty clear that quantity means NOTHING. “If I have a quiver full of children but have not love, I am nothing.” I could swear I read something along those lines somewhere in 1 Corinthians… Hello, we have HOW many major events/geneologies that come from families who only had ONE child? And let’s not forget Jesus—ONE man…? How did I ever get conned into thinking that Christianity was a numbers over substance kind of a deal? If there any truth to the muse that America turned Christianity into a business, I personaly wonder how much of that mindset has been (unknowingly or well-intentionedly) dragged into the QF mentality—or, perhaps, was what made it so “right” sounding to my American ears in the first place. Warmly,Mollywho really loves her kids a million times over…

  • EmK

    I’m up late too, Vyckie (East Coast, U.S.). I have hesitations about the idea of deliberately having large numbers of children, but I don’t voice them often in fundamentalist-leaning communities because I don’t want to risk hurting any parents who may have large numbers of children.*disclaimer: I am 100% pro-birth control, so that’s where I’m coing from!* Basically, I’m concerned that there is too much emphasis amongst American fundamentalist Christians (compared to the fundamentalist Christians of other countries like the one my family’s from) on quantity over quality. I do feel as though this may be the result of people who culturally are taught to value ‘bigger/more as better’ grafting this worldview onto their interpretation of religion. I respectfully suggest that much of Quiverfull ideology or simply non-brand-name fecundity is actually too much focused on parents than on children.It pretends to be about the kids, but it’s really all about the parents.To me, looking in from the outside, what I see is a group of people who speak a lot about “the joy” of children and how “children are a BLESSING.” Yes, but saying someone is a blessing/joy to the parents should be, IMO, the bottom rung in our analysis. To be honest, it’s not really as important to me whether the adult, already-born human gets blessings. That’s a nice side-benefit, but that’s not my main concern.It’s more important to me to determine:(1) If the child itself will be entering an emotionally, financially, and physically safe environment. and (2) If other, already-born children will not suffer by the addition of this new “blessing” [to the parents].I suppose I find fertility-based religions to be a violation of the rights I believe every human should have: to be safe, cared for, not hungry, not suffering from other humans’ choices, and not abused. And, in both this country and others I’ve lived in, I have just seen too many new humans (our most vulnerable members of society) entering situations already set up for extreme suffering: abusive households, dire poverty and squalor, and families so large that “older” children (i.e. nine year olds) are forced into mothering and fathering the many younger ones. I just don’t see how in many cases “more=better” and how the deliberate adding of humans to already-horrible situations is not an abuse of human rights (albeit an UNINTENTIONAL one!)Please forgive me if I come across as being negative towards people with many children. I certainly do not think many children has to be a bad thing (!!) ; just that, when children will suffer, we should shift our focus from what’s good for the parents to what’s good for the kiddies, both born and not-yet conceived. And I think sometimes, when there are situations of extreme poverty or abuse, continually adding to the family is NOT a good thing for kids, born or unborn.

  • adventuresinmercy

    PS. HA! I *JUST* got rid of my MOTH book TODAY (re. the 15 minute schedule, Managers of Their Homes)!!! I found it in a box of books I was going through… I opened it and started sorting through the papers I’d had in there (sketches and notes of the schedules I’d planned) but…oh man, I just felt sick looking at them and couldn’t examine them beyond a cursory glance. Oh…just remembering that PRISON… Ugh. UGH! The trash has it now, glory, hallelujah. :) :) :)

  • EmK

    BTW, I’m not in any way commenting on Laura and Vyckie’s choice to add to their families during their abusive marriages. Actually, so you get an idea of where I’m coming from, I’m thinking of families I knew in another country, whose conditions were at the extreme end of oppressive and dire. When I say their kids were entering the world ready-made for abuse, I’m talking about permanent bodily mutilation to the children that all rational and irrational adults in the situation KNEW with a certainty would take place, in part for cultural reasons and in part because of the personalities of the adults in the households. So, my musings were looking at the glass half-empty. Another fmaily was homeless, and my heart bled to know that kids were being created and pushed into a world without a home to give them shelter.I’d love to hear from people who were in abusive housholds or who were homeless/living on the streets who felt like having large numbers of kids somehow helped the children (e.g. siblings to provide emotional support).

  • Arietty

    I have 8 kids and I haven’t actually felt overwhelmed by them. The RELIEF after leaving my abusive marriage was SO intense that I think nearly 11 years later we are still all basking in it!! I know my adult daughters still talk about how wonderful it is!I don’t minimize anyone getting overwhelmed, whether they have one baby or 10. We are a very slack family. The house is generally in mad disarray. We don’t do any sports or other activities, the whole family plays MMORPG’s together which doesn’t involve leaving the house (online RPG game). I do have one on one time with the children still at home (5).. they each get a day off school every couple months and go out with me, plus there is often only a couple here and a couple out with friends.Homeschooling can be very overwhelming and I can’t imagine going back to it. The pattern I have observed is that as the kids get older and there are more of them the mom gets totally overwhelmed.. (and you know it’s insane because with each kid her workload increases dramatically yet the father has exactly the same workload!) About the time of total family implosion the mom suddenly comes across an article in some homeschooling mag that she feels is God’s Answer for her family. It goes like this:”We are not called to *imitate the world*””We will be accountable in heaven as to our children’s CHARACTER, not their math skills!””What good is it being able to diagram sentences when you cannot plan a dinner for a (massive) family?”Then the next thing you know the mom is preaching unschooling to everyone and the kids are doing even less, if any, academics than before. I know that unschooling is actually a viable choice but the situations I’ve seen the scenario unfold are not healthy. I have known families where the kids are just utterly ignorant, innumerate and the younger ones illiterate and despite the environment being full of educational materials they never look at any of them. But by this stage FEAR of school is so overpowering for the mom she can’t admit any defeat.. and she is also in fear of God because he called their family to homeschool and what kind of person turns back after putting their hand to the plow? (That’s some verse about what a dropkick you are if you give up).

  • purple

    EmK, I work in a very poor farming community in Central America (off and on) and one of the best advances in public health I’ve seen in the last five years is that the “birth control” idea (which almost no one would accept because the community is very very very Catholic) has been replaced with the idea of “family spacing”: Sure, you can have as many babies as God wants, but you take five years in between each one, because young children need good care from a non-exhausted mother. So you have a ten-year-old, a five-year-old, and a baby – plunging child mortality, more school-readiness, etc. etc. etc.

  • cynthia

    “Of course, I love my kids and I’m glad that each and every one of them was born. BUT that truth does not negate the plain and simple fact that the Quiverfull teachings are duping women into having more children than we can responsibly care for and nurture.So ~ yes, Cynthia ~ I think I understand the weird emotions you’re experiencing. It can be a little hard to articulate because we don’t want anyone to jump to the conclusion that because we feel like we have too many kids, we must not really love them.”That is it exactly!! I can look back over the past few years and see that I have become increasingly resistant to anything to do with being a homemaker and mother … finding it difficult to focus on making meals, buying groceries, laundry, keeping the house plus homeschooling which also was part of the package deal for me. I have continued to do those things but so reluctantly that I am not doing them well and consistently have a undercurrent of anger. Then guilt because I feel angry. I am not angry at my children but I have felt angry at myself and also at my husband blindly following as well.I want to work through this and come to the place that I can joyfully embrace myself as a mother again … without the baggage.It’s just so good to have a place that I can speak freely without fear of judgment. Thank you and all here for listening and understanding.I’ll be back later.

  • Anonymous

    There’s a joke/sarcastic remark about why there aren’t more women at the top in business, law, politics, etc… it’s that they don’t have wives. When there isn’t someone who can dedicate their time to make sure you shine best, that your clothes are perfect, that everything at home it taken care of, that the best dinners and functions are arranged to impress your superiors, without someone providing all those things, you’re at a disadvantage. The end of your post just made me think of that. Thanks again for sharing and bringing out in other people the desire to share.-stbc

  • aimai

    Arietty–and Cynthia’s–perspectives are so important, like book-ends to a case of books that runs the gamut from the first stirrings of QF teachings to the last books Arietty read on abusive relationships and healing those wounds with your children.I read this blog in tandem with another one from a woman in the midst of her QF mindset and its just so revealing and so painful. I have a lot of fondness for the QF mother and her struggles, which she sees as free will offerings to a god who is simultaneously angry and difficult and loving and embracing. She seems to be imitating in lockstep the progression that Vyckie, Laura, and Arietty have described–although her husband seems perfectly nice. Every day I go over there and check and she is more concerned about “demographic winter” and the sin of “closed wombs,” and more determined to raise “cornerstone daughters” who can live thriftily and sew their own clothes and be chaste helpmeets to a future son in law. Everyday I read about how important it is to homeschool and the importance of keeping a massively detailed list of activities and menus, then suddenly I hear about unschooling and how much the children just seem to learn what they need to know without formal teaching…Really, its headspinning. I feel the way Laura said she felt looking back on her teenage self, the self who didn’t know what was to come. I feel like an ancient, time travelling crone who would step through the computer and say to that bright young mother of eight (my QF internet secret sharer) hey, is this really what you think it is? Will three more children be the ones to break your faith and make you stumble away from this lifestyle? I used to argue with her in the comments but lately I’ve given that up. I feel a terrible sympathy and sorrow for her because she struggles so hard to make it look effortless, and I can see from this blog how slim are her ultimate chances of success, and how many people may get hurt as she tries and puts pride in her lifestyle above any attempt to honestly evaluate it.aimai

  • Anonymous

    Our 8th is our only not pursued for his own sake. Nearly 4 months into life with him, and I still feel like I’m drowning. I was a good mother of 6. I was learning to mother 7, where #7 was adopted with significant and overwhelming issues.My birth control failed (though the Urologist told DH yesterday that the surgery will give is 0.6% better odds than the IUD that failed us) and I’m drowning. Were I entrenched in an idea that I had to live the ideology versus personaly seeking out each of my children, I think my resentment would be sky-high now.I’ve tried to argue with quiverful friends that every mom has her threshold for coping and there’s no shame in that. Mine is pretty high. I was a great mom of 6 and a fairly decent mom of 7. I meant to stop when I saw I had reached my threshold. We went one step over and not by our choice. It will take me awhile to not feel like I’m drowning still. But, I will be done and won’t continue to push against my feelings of overwelmed for a conviction. I am also banned from large family message boards where I hung out with quiverful moms for boldly speaking out against quiverful. I dared to tell overwhelmed moms it is okay to be done. Clearly I was a heretic.Jo

  • Wolfgirl

    I had never heard of this movement until a friend of mine showed me this blog because she thought it would interest me.I come from a similar background. I’m an ex-Jehovah’s Witness. Yet another cult run by men who believe women should be submissive and do as they are told. I am now “disfellowshipped” (shunned by all JWs, including family) because I chose to live my life the way I wanted to.Not a moment too soon. The JW “organisation” has sheltered paedophiles, including the one who abused me. The “Truth” (as they call it) is nothing but lies.Good luck to you, and congratulations on breaking free.

  • Anonymous

    Rach, SydneyAimai-what is this blog?

  • Anonymous

    I am curious what the QF opinion is on fertility treatment. I mean if birth control is a no no does that mean fertility treatment is also a no no? I have 3 children all of whom I have because of fertility treatment.

  • aimai

    Anonymous/Rach/Sydney,I don’t feel like I should disclose the actual name of that blog. I stumbled on it when I was reading around during the election to see what conservative christian women thought about Sarah Palin–that walking contradiction of out there working mother and high profile religious standard bearer. I stuck around reading the QF blog because I was deeply moved and provoked by the sweet struggling hostess of the blog, her rage filled fear of everything I think is normal, and her constant attempts to bite her tongue when I or another funny atheist (“mother of dog”) would comment. What moved me was that so many of her blog commenters were wrestling with real reservations, secret fears of the outcomes of their own pregnancies, worries about homeschooling, etc…etc…etc… and they were all clubbing together to tell each other that if they all just prayed harder or were better christians it would all work out–even the miscarriages. Now she’s on her eighth pregnancy and one of her pregnancy buddies just miscarried and I’ve watched the two of them do this strange dance where the whole thing is legitimized because it was “meant” somehow by a higher being. That’s all well and good–I’d never challenge any woman’s way of grieving or making sense of her life’s tragedies–but…but…but…it seems to me to be asking for trouble to get pregnant an eighth time with no health insurance and no intention of receiving pre-natal care and no interest in modern medicine or vaccines for the kids you do have and an extreme distrust of the world around you so that the only way you can imagine your children surviving morally is to withdraw from the world and to prevent them from having the social skills to succeed outside your tiny community. Still, I want to respect her privacy because she would be horrified to know that I pity her instead of secretly admiring her and lusting after her life.aimai

  • Xara

    Vykie,I found your blog a week or so ago from your comment to the article on AlterNet. I have been reading the blog ever since. I come from a different perspective in that I have never wanted to be a mother and am not. But I didn’t want to keep lurking without offering some encouragement. Congratulations to you and Laura both for getting out.Even though I am not a mother, nor have I ever been married (I am 38), I have been through some of the abusive cycles you and other commenters have described, as well as some of the deep thinking and struggle to come to terms with what I believe. I also think things through to their logical conclusions and that made it very difficult for me growing up. I spent ten years in Lutheran school and though the Lutheran teachings were not as strict as the QF teachings as far as gender roles and such, they were there to a lesser extent, and I never fit in. I recognized the logical ends you mention and I wanted no part of them. I struggled with the many issues and the logic eventually led me (I am trying to keep this brief) to a point where I either had to kill myself or find another belief system. I just could not reconcile being female when the god I had been brought up to worship hates women. I know that sounds harsh to many, and I have skipped over a lot of the details that led me to that conclusion, but I could not continue to be Christian and live. I decided I liked living and found another belief system. I still occasionally have people try to convince me that I am missing something by not being Christian. My response is that I was a miserable, homicidal/suicidal Christian and am now a reasonably happy and fairly well adjusted Agnostic Pagan. My mom and sister and my friends who knew me in high school and college agree that I am better off now. I am lucky to have maintained close friendships with many of the people I went to college with. They were there with me when I was struggling and have seen me at my best and at my worst and have seen the person I have become. As I said, I made the choice to not get married or have children because of the abuse in my family and the fact that at an early age I became an abuser. I have a very short temper and realized that I am not cut out to be a mom. I care deeply about children and want them to have healthy happy upbringing, and to become healthy happy adults. My sister and I made a pact years ago that the cycles of abuse in the family were going to stop with our generation. We went about it differently because we are different women with different strengths and weaknesses. She has always been good with children. I had trouble relating to them when I was one. She became a child psychologist because she wanted to help kids who grew up in abusive situations to learn to become healthy adults. She has two daughters, who are wonderful and intelligent and adorable. I love them very much, but I do not need to have children of my own because I know I would NOT be a good mother and it would be selfish of me to have children. I could barely handle having a dog. Medically it is extremely doubtful that I could have children even if I wanted to (I am on hormone replacement just to keep living). I am at peace with that. If I ever decide that I am mentally, emotionally, financially and physically able to raise a child and have the desire to do so, I will adopt a child who needs a home. I am not at that point and doubt that I ever will be. I do respect and admire people who do undertake the hardest job in the world – being a mother. But I am smart enough to know that it is a job I am not suited to do well, and it is the most important job that needs to be done well, and I would cause more harm than good if I tried.Thank you both for sharing your stories. It is important to realize that you are not alone. Not everyone shares the same experiences, but sharing helps us all to realize that we are not as different as we think we are.I wish you and your families health and happiness. Xara

  • Charis

    In fact, it is BECAUSE I love and value each of my children as individuals deserving of having their unique personhood encouraged and affirmed that I feel so completely overwhelmed. -Vyckie (op)I identify with that! It looks like my responsibilities have lessened immensely. Of my 8 children, 3 have left the nest and youngest (6) is now in school. What is “invisible” is the emotional weight- of helping 2 grown daughters prepare for weddings, of helping a senior in high school prepare for college, of helping two young sons with behavior issues which grew out of some of their regrettable experiences, etc.Hubby and I were just talking. If we only had the first 4, we would have an empty nest this year when the 4th daughter graduates high school. But, we have 4 more- 13,11,8, and 6. And we sure hope we get a second wind! That said, I have to give a counterpoint to all the negativity about the family size. I can’t do it all! I am so grateful for others who have intersected the lives of my children and mentored them- teachers, coaches, youth group leaders, camp counselors, etc. My children’s lives are far more enriched by all that input from many people, with many personalities, opinions, and talents… than if I was their only nurturer.My children have also learned some very good things from growing up with many siblings. They are responsible from a young age. Mommy does not check their backpack every day, so if they want to go on that field trip, they need to remember to bring me the form to sign. They are helpful. Mommy cannot possibly “do it all”, so they help out around the house with various chores.They support each other. I mentioned elsewhere how they function almost like a union in some ways, teaming up and lobbying us on behalf of each other for some new privilege.My 20 yo daughter is an RA at her college and complains about a new phenomenon of “helicopter parents” who hover over their children and call the college on their child’s behalf when s/he gets in trouble. To me, that sounds unhealthy. We haven’t been “helicopter parents”. Its impossible to do that for 8 children. When my children complain that their friend’s parents come to every game, I remind them to be grateful that they can play sports. My senior is in the school drama and said that some of the parents attend every performance- there are 5. I reminded her that the parents she mentioned have only one child. In a big family, one cannot really be “self-centered”. (although I have to admit my husband got away with that for far too long, but he is doing better being considerate of our needs- and it didn’t happen by me being a quiet meek little submissive doormat. He thought he wanted that, but he sure didn’t need that!)

  • Jadehawk

    …no interest in modern medicine or vaccines for the kids oooh, that just makes me mad! it’s one thing to have many kids and give them lesser quality of life, but it’s something completely else to be risking their very lives for it!!! And if they’re sheltered in the home, they won’t encounter all those “childhood diseases” until they’re so old they’ll do guaranteed damage.Not to mention that they’re mooching of the heretic’s herd immunity to protect their own children from things like polio. talk about selfish!which reminds me… i hope your children are vaccinated, my dear ex-QF’ers…?

  • Vyckie

    Whoa ~ hang on, Jadehawk ;-)You’ve brought up an important issue here ~ and as soon as I published your post I wanted to add my own comment to ask that we do this vaccine / natural health vs modern medicine topic in a separate post.We quit vaccinating when our 4th child was born ~ so this is something I would love to have addressed at length.Just not here, okay?Later this afternoon, or this evening, I’m going to create some separate posts under the “We’ve Been Thinking” section where we can hash out these topics.So ~ if you have a suggestion for something you’d like me to include in that section ~ let me know, okay?Till then ~ please save the vaccine discussion for it’s “proper place.” I’m really not the anal type ~ just like to have a bit of organization here ;-) Thanks.

  • Jadehawk

    no problem! I just felt the need to mention it, because it is such a HUGE issue. :-)

  • aimai

    Charis,I don’t mean to say that you aren’t right, but I’m not sure that that is necessarily a feature of large families that isn’t present in small ones. Its all in how you want to parent! I’ve only got two and they get up on their own, get their own breakfasts, pack their own lunches (while I blog, of course!) and then I take them to school. I think its very possible to be too intrusive and controlling with eight or ten–look at Angel’s story of her father monitoring her clothing–and quite hands off with one or two. Recently I read a very different “appreciation” of “helicopter parents” which pointed out that todays modern, smaller families also often lack a “generation gap” feeling as well as lack strong “gender gaps” between fathers and children. The modern divorced family, or two parent egalitarian family, has prized a kind of grown up friendship between mothers and daughters and fathers and children which simply doesn’t end when the kids go off to college. That can be a good thing, not a bad one. My father wasn’t a “purity ball” and “save it till marriage” kind of person and so he was one of the first people I felt comfortable discussing my budding sex life with. He has the gift of simply going “um-hm.” to pretty much whatever you might say. I’m practicing it myself.I went to college near my family and saw both my parents every week. Now I live a few blocks from them and see them and my brother every week (at least) and have a special breakfast with my father or my mother every week as well as family meals. I pretty much expect that when my daughters go off to college they will still call me for advice and to chat because that’s the relationship we already have. Yet I don’t think that has denied them the ability to make their own mistakes or learn how to be responsible for their own stuff.aimai

  • Charis

    The pattern I have observed is that as the kids get older and there are more of them the mom gets totally overwhelmed.. (and you know it’s insane because with each kid her workload increases dramatically yet the father has exactly the same workload!) About the time of total family implosion… -AriettyI was thinking about the whole homeschooling thing. I homeschooled for about 5 years or so. Early on, we used Christian schools, but that got too expensive, so I switched to homeschool. When my daughter got to 7th grade, it became an issue of being a good steward of her talents. She’s very bright and I was not equipped to be the best teacher she could have in every area. And, I was overwhelmed with a new baby and nighttime feedings at the advanced age of 42.Did you know that missionaries commonly sent their children to boarding school starting at age 6? In my circles I met many many MK’s who grew up in boarding school, including one of my best friends. Its like the polar opposite of “homeschool” but it was equally justified by the Bible.Anyway, I was thinking about Biblical families- particularly the situation with Hannah and Samuel. Her rival in a polygamous marriage was fertile and she desperately wanted children. She promised God to dedicate her firstborn son to Him. He blessed her with Samuel, and she took him and dropped him off at the temple after he was weaned. His guardian was Eli whose two sons were sexually abusive priests. Not too savory! But God still watched out for Samuel and he came out OK. Sometimes I think when we put an emphasis on one kind of family being “BIBLICAL” that we are trying to play God. The real biblical families are… REAL- including all kinds of dysfunction, and God understands and is quite willing to work amidst the mess. :)

  • emf1947

    “I don’t feel like I should disclose the actual name of that blog. “You left enough of a breadcrumb trail that it can be found in about ten seconds using minimum Google skills.”Still, I want to respect her privacy because she would be horrified to know that I pity her instead of secretly admiring her and lusting after her life.”Would she really be horrified? I think its more likely she already knows you “pity her instead of secretly admiring her and lusting after her life”, seeing as how she has been” attempt[ing] to bite her tongue when [you] . . . would comment.

  • adventuresinmercy

    I have 8 kids and I haven’t actually felt overwhelmed by them. The RELIEF after leaving my abusive marriage was SO intense that I think nearly 11 years later we are still all basking in it!! I know my adult daughters still talk about how wonderful it is!” -ariettyI relate to this in my own way. Being a single mom of five, even with the whirlwind of trying to keep up with everybody and their needs, etc, is MUCH MUCH easier than what life was like living as an intact family. It’s incredible to realize, now in a position of stepping back from it all, how emotionally DRAINING it is to live with someone who is abusive. I had NO idea until I seperated. Even in my own situation (where I am fairly new at being separated, etc, trying to figure out which of the lousy choices is the best to make for my next step), it’s much easier doing this alone. So weird, and not at all what I’d expected. Charis, I agree with you, there can certainly be some great things about growing up in a pack of kids. I worry sometimes about the lack of investment I was able to give, particularly during the baby years when, by the time one kid was learning to walk, I was busy sick and on the couch because I was pregnant with the next one… And yet I can also look at see some really fantastic things about “herd” life. :) It’s never ever boring around here, that’s for sure! That said, I do wish I’d known what an abusive marraige it was…that it was NOT a good thing to bring kids into. ABuse is such a weird thing…the abuse cycle literally ruins your brain. You don’t realize it’s abuse becuase there are these times where he is SO good, so nice, so amazing… I didn’t start figuring it out until the pregnancy of my fifth, and even then it was a very slow gradual process. (He’s about to turn four, so that kind of dates my process). I refused to have any more babies after he was born, because…well, I knew at that point (though looking back, heh, I was just dipping my pinky toe in the water of what I’d later come to know) there were serious problems and it wasn’t a good situation to bring babies into. But there were already five, and there’s nothing that can be done about that. I think that out of everything, the pain that is the worst of all is the pain that I feel for my kids. I had this vision of a happy healthy goofy home that had a dad and a mom and all that stuff. And just knowing the absolute pain that they are going to go through if I choose divorce–especially the oldest ones—because they love their dad so much…ugh. It’s just so hard. (I know they’ll understand when they’re older and I can explain in more detail, but right NOW…such tender ages, such deep foundational things being formed)… It honestly makes me waffle when I KNOW I shouldn’t waffle, but I just think…maybe I could give him “another try”… Because there are FIVE of them. It’s not like it will screw up one kid, but a LOT of kids. (Er, can you tell how well socialized I am to never ever ever divorce becuase it is the worst worst worst thing ever?). Ergh. I’m slowly working up my courage to do what I know needs to be done, but it’s just so hard. If only there was some way to do it where I could somehow spare my kids from all pain. That’s just the WORST.

  • Persephone

    Wolfgirl, I’m a disfellowshipped JW, too. I was 23. I lasted 10 years after baptism, miserable, but a child, limited education, limited job options. I ended up moving in with a man, refused to marry him, and finally got my freedom. Of course, the cost is high. I haven’t seen my family at all in nearly 10 years. At first, I could visit, but over the years, the rules regarding the disfellowshipped have become much harsher. I was not there when my grandmother died and couldn’t attend the service. Well, I could attend, but no one would speak to me, except maybe some elder encouraging me to return to “The Truth.” I’ve come to believe, as others do, that evangelical, high demand Christianity is a death cult. The focus is on a belief that suffering in this life is not just acceptable, but a good thing, because the reward after death is so great. Children don’t need an education beyond the minimum to get a minimum job, since Armageddon is due any minute. (It’s been due since about 1974, but the JWs don’t like to talk about screw-up. Oh, I was a JW then, I remember it clearly, so no one try to tell me the corrected version. I was there.) You don’t need a decent car or clothes or home, because it could just be gone tomorrow. Besides, focusing on these “worldly” things will pull your focus from Jehovah.Vyckie, one thing about the JWs, they don’t believe in Hell. When my parents used to dump me at the local Southern Baptist Church on Sundays (salvation by proxy?), I could not conform the idea that God was love and his son was willing to die for us with the idea that God would cause people, especially people who had never even heard of him, to burn in a fiery pit eternally. I now don’t believe in either Heaven or Hell, or any mythology of the desert religions. As I have pointed out to my husband regularly, “If there was a God, you would have died from lightning strikes years ago.” He laughs, I laugh, but then he worries that maybe he should be in synagogue. It’s hard to resist the pull.

  • Charis

    ((((Molly))))The “picture perfect biblical family” was a myth anyway, so either way involves pain. My husband has changed, developed empathy where there was none, and our marriage has reached a place of stability. Sound good? BUT I am still picking up pieces of the fallout from the years of imprinting on the children’s lives. Helping them process “old stuff” and learn to walk in a healthier manner than we role modeled.Hope that doesn’t sound discouraging… I don’t mean to be. I just think the illusion of a mess-free life is just that- an illusion. But God is a specialist at working in the middle of messes, so I am comforted. :)I have great hope for you because you woke up while you are young, Molly. Less piles of baggage to dig out from under, KWIM? Took me way too long.

  • Jadehawk

    aimai, what you describe isn’t quite what I’d consider a “helicopter parent”. it’s one thing to discuss things with your parents and ask for advice, and a completely different thing to have your parents run your entire life.I have a friend whose entire family is very much helicoptering over the kids in that family. my friend’s niece doesn’t have a single unsupervised moment in her life (she’s 16), and isn’t allowed to make any decisions by herself. she’s learning absolutely no decision-making and life skills, and I’m afraid she’ll end up like some of the kids I went to college with: they get a bad grade, their parents call to yell at the teacher; they don’t show up for exams, their parents call with an excuse; their parents decide which classes they should be taking, go with them to the guidance counselor, they even arrange job interviews for them!though I will agree that this has nothing to do with family-size really. i only have a younger brother, and we always had to be very independent: get up by ourselves, get ready for school by ourselves, even go to school by ourselves, while my mom would be still sleeping. I think it has something to do with the Middle Class American demographic, that they aren’t able to let go of their children.

  • Jadehawk

    Arietty said…the whole family plays MMORPG’s together which doesn’t involve leaving the house (online RPG game).That made me thin of this cartoon, heheheh

  • aimai

    Jadehawk, I think the whole idea of “helicopter parents” is part of a larger, mass media, love affair with demonizing all kinds of families–neglectful? horrible! caring? just as bad. Its a standing joke, isn’t it, that you can make anything sound bad by adding the words “on the internet!” and if you watch Fox news that’s usually how they do it. “Extreme parenting–on the internet! News at eleven: kids texting their parents from College!”Now, I went to college a looooong time ago–25 years or so and for some kids maintaining contact with home was basically impossible because it was so expensive. I knew kids who came from the west coast who just waved and said “bye” and didn’t see their families for four years, and barely talked to them on the phone. Cheap airfares, attending school locally, cheap telephone and now email have shifted the cost structure of staying in contact. But the real thing tht is being complained about is that parents are interfereing academically or helping their kids make decisions about college or whatever else freaks people out. I’m not so sure that I think that’s any different than the way life used to be. The main difference for some families is that lower class kids used to leave home and their parents didn’t feel capable or entitled to help them out with college stuff. We’re several generations into a higher education boom at this point,with both boys and girls attending college in huge numbers. But all that rise in education hasn’t happened with first generation students–as was true for a lot of the GI bill guys–but with the rise of the baby boom families. And all *their* parents went to college and have strong opinions about what college is for. And its for stamping a “middle class” ticket on your rear. So, sure, years ago in the “good old days” only the upper classiest of upper class daddies, like George Bush senior, bothered to call up their kids school and fight over a grade or make sure their kid didn’t flunk out. Now lots of parents are just that worried,and have just that kind of clout, to make sure that their kid doesn’t flunk out. And people are competitive and grasp that what the kid treats as a mere educational situation is a struggle for survival in a ruthless class system. Its not really new, is what I’m saying. And its probably not that many people. But like the image of an america full of stay at home upper middle class moms relying on banker husbands that’s the demographic that the newspaper stories are aiming to please and titillate. I put the “helicopter” parent stories into the same category with the other “scare of the week” stories about upper class people. Not really all that surprising, but not really all that big of a deal either.aimai

  • Jadehawk

    well, I can’t say how the media treat this… my only medium for the last 10 years has been the internet. I was talking from my personal experience with my helicopter-parent friend, my classmates (I was in college 4 years ago), and the experiences of a friend who teaches at a community college.but you’re probably right that it’s simply spread from the rich clans like the Bushes to the more educated middle-class. I still find the helplessness of those helicoptered kids disturbing.

  • Arietty

    I had a completely QF thought the other day when listening to my peers helicopter parent. A ladies church group, everyone had kids in their early 20′s. One mom launched into a monologue all about doing her son’s laundry and how she thinks it’s time that he sorted his clothes, the greasy-work ones and the regular ones into two baskets to make it easier for her (he is 22).. and then she veered into discussing what she chooses for her daughter’s packed lunch and how she has to get up earlier to make it because of those choices (the daughter is 20). And all the other moms are nodding along with their own stories and suddenly I thought, “What these women REALLY need is a FIVE YEAR OLD”. Because that was clearly what they wanted still, to be caring for a child on that level. That’s the QF answer, it only occurred to me now that another answer would be “what these women need is A JOB”. Something other than the minutiae of life bound to the home.Molly: regarding the utter destruction of divorce and how turns children into statistics of horror–don’t believe it. It’s not true. It’s just scare tactics. If they have a good relationship with their dad and he wants to spend plenty of time with them that is all they need. They get over it. They adapt. Sometimes it can even include cool things like twice the christmas presents or a dad who spoils them or takes them to films mom wouldn’t (not that I have experienced this as my kid’s father treated them like total crap). Whatever decisions you make don’t let FEAR drive you.

  • Arietty

    btw Jadehawk I *loved* that cartoon. We say stuff like that all the time as a joke in my family.To Jo who has experienced the 8th as being the breaking point child: I hope it gets better. I know this is a very large-family thing to say but I have found that different time frames with a big family can be particularly taxing. For some it’s when you have a lot of teens, for others when everyone is under 13. I also found my older ones more difficult than the younger 5 so that time was rather stressful compared to now. IME sometimes the whole family just shifts into a new phase and suddenly it’s a lot easier.I said NO MORE KIDS after my 6th baby because in the back of my mind I was already planning when I would leave. Everything was so horrible that I no longer cared about going against God’s will and closing my womb, I just didn’t care. Someone talked about being burned out on home-making.. well once the marriage was over all my enjoyment of the home arts utterly vanished. They had been my only creative outlet. Once I was free I just couldn’t be stuffed with any of them and I went from obsessively cooking incredible meals and bread baking and planning and micro managing to just heating stuff in the microwave.I’m kind of coming back to cooking now, as in sometimes I get a good idea and I go and make it and it’s fun. But the rest of it, pfft.. people still ask “how do you manage with 8 kids?” and I sometimes reply with a straight face, “I have low standards.”

  • Anonymous

    “Molly: regarding the utter destruction of divorce and how turns children into statistics of horror–don’t believe it. It’s not true. It’s just scare tactics.”THIS. Yes. My parents were abusers because they *did* stay together. For thirty years in a toxic marriage because they were being “obedient” to God. My sister and I became the unwilling casualties of that relationship. I am glad that they finally broke it off. The day before they announced their separation to me (right after I graduated from college), I had planned on cutting off contact from them both. I doubt that I would be speaking to them today if they had insisted on maintaining that kind of hellish existence. Kristin

  • Wolfgirl

    Persephone, I’m sorry you are going through the same shunning that I am. I miss my sister and brother. But I would not ever go back to that cult, because I’ve learned to much about them.My parents didn’t tell me when my grandmother had a serious stroke and was in hospital for a week. (I left the US years ago.) They’re not allowed to talk to me unless it’s something very important, and apparently, my dear grandmother being in hospital just wasn’t important enough.I too chose to live with a man before we were married. My parents would rather that I stay with an abusive man than actually be happy with a man I love.Ah well…they’re brainwashed. I’m free of that now.

  • aimai

    I wanted to weigh in on the “horror of divorce”–I agree with the others that the horror of divorce is surely less than the horror of a loveless marriage, even from the point of view of the children. I’ve known lots of divorces and divorced couples and it certainly hasn’t been easy on the kids but the unhappy marriages that I’ve seen are worse. The only reason men ever advocate women staying in those relationships is that, generally speaking, they don’t have to make any sacrifices. If they want sex outside of marriage, they get it. If they want freedom from a cranky, hen pecking wife? they simply take it. Wanting to “keep the happy home together” is just a practical code for “keeping my housekeeper, the clean sock drawer filled, and a nanny for the kids.”If a man truly wants to be part of his children’s life he *should* be willing to make an effort. And if he’s not–well, the truth is kids know that they don’t matter even when daddy comes home every night and shares a few spare minutes with them.Its a truism on the MRA boards (the Men’s Rights Association) that more women file for divorce than men do. They use this as a kind of moral club to say that women “cause” divorce and therefore the men in the matter are blameless. Its really the other way around. Women file for divorce more because it costs them more to stay in the marriage, with little return if they aren’t happy. Don’t let them guilt trip you, Molly. Oh, and in re the mother who does the son’s laundry and the daughter’s sandwiches–Arietty your story made me laugh out loud. But I wanted to say that I’d seen very, very, very, similar stories in a wonderful book…uh…its coming to me in an minute…Rubin’s “Worlds of Pain” which was a sociological study (she basically reprints the straight interviews) with working class women and men in the late fifties/early sixties. Almost uniformly the parent generation had very traditional roles with an at home mother and a working father. The younger generation (she was interviewing the twenty to thirty year olds) were very tied to their parents and the men didn’t really form new households but kept returning to their mothers for laundry and food. The same holds true for lots of blue collar families in small states like Rhode Island where its considered almost scandalous to move as much as 20 minutes away from home. I guess I think the halcyon days of full separation of the college age generation from the parental home may be an epiphenomenon of the rising incomes of the last forty years. With this current crash I’m not sure that we will continue to see people moving out of the home at all, or achieving the kind of independence that we thought was so “american.”aimai

  • Xara

    “Molly: regarding the utter destruction of divorce and how turns children into statistics of horror–don’t believe it. It’s not true. It’s just scare tactics.”I agree with this as well. My parents had a miserable marriage. By the time I was 7 years old, I was breaking up fist fights between them at 3am. And on more than one occasion I said, “Mom, go to your room. Dad, go sleep on the couch. I have school in the morning and need sleep. I don’t want to hear anything out of either of you until breakfast.” The thing is, they obeyed the 7 year old. I had to parent my parents, and my younger sister, because they were too wrapped up in their own drama to be parents. I was relieved when they finally divorced. I was 10 years old. They had been married for 17 years. Years later in sociology classes, I ran across several places where the text said that all kids of divorce secretly want their parents to get back together. My response was always, “Are you insane? I get to sleep at night now, and don’t have to break up fights.” It has been almost 30 years since my parents split up and it is only in the last 5 years that they can be in the same room together without drama. After my parents divorced, my mom really blossomed and is a much stronger person than she was with my dad. They are both healthier apart than they were together. If you are miserable with your husband, your kids are aware of it and it is putting stress on them too. One of the main reasons I have not been married is because I had my parents as a stellar example of What Not To Do. Because of that I have been very selective in my personal relationships. I now have a relationship with a very good man. We have been together for about 3 years now, but have no plans to get married because we watched our parents (his dad has been married 4 times, his mom died when he was 19) and because we understand that marriage would change the dynamic we have. We are very egalitarian by choice. But our culture has certain expectations of people once they are married. They are expected to fall into gender roles that neither of us want. We also don’t want the government involved in our personal lives. They are personal. But if you know you will be happier if you leave your husband, your kids probably will be happier as well. I wish you the best.Health and happiness,Xara

  • Anonymous

    Helicopter parents. My kids laugh at others who have them. I tend to be very hands off and expect my kids to be independent. My daughter tells the horror (to her) story of the child in her college orientation group whose mother had a fit because parents were excluded from the class scheduling session. She couldn’t believe any parent would do that (then). Now, after working many more college orientations, she tells the stories herself of what she has seen.Dawn (posted as anonymous cause I can’t get my google account to connect…bleh!)

  • Ed H

    When my parents divorced I was angry. I knew they had a violent marriage. My father was abusive to me and to my mother. But he was my dad. I was so angry when they divorced that I refused to see him. I finally saw him twice after my oldest daughter was born. I was 35. I endured the pain and anger for all those years. This pain and anger had a huge effect on my teen years and young adult life.He got sick and died last year. I wasn’t willing to travel and say good-bye. The pain of my parents divorce will go with me to my grave.But this pain was my choice. I choose not to put more effort into making our relationship more civil. I think if we hadn’t moved halfway across the county when we did I would have followed through with my plans to take myself and my family to spend some time with him before he died. My parents divorce has had a huge impact on my life. I can understand why God hates divorce.

  • Anonymous

    Kids are very aware of when their parents are unhappy. The last five years of my parents marriage was hell for us kids. The day my dad finally moved out, the tension in the household was cut in half. My divorced parents eventually went on to be platonic best friends, but they were both glad they had divorced each other.Emma (google is not recognizing me)

  • Ed H

    Funny but you are the first person I have ever talked with that was happy their parents got divorced. I have talked with quite a few people on this subject.

  • Linnea

    Well, Ed, there’s another one upthread, and one who wishes her parents had divorced, and several women in other threads who say their children have thanked them for getting divorced. So maybe your sample pool isn’t broad enough.

  • Vyckie

    Ed H ~I had never heard anyone say that they were glad about their parents’ divorce either ~ and I believe now that it’s because the only people I knew well enough to have a personal discussion with were fundamentalist Christians. I wonder if that could be due to the way divorce is viewed as such a tragedy within that community.Now that I have spent time talking with people who do not have such a strictly literalist view of scripture ~ I’m finding that for a lot of them, divorce is not such a devastating thing. I was surprised to hear these people describe their separation as “moving on,” “outgrowing,” or “growing apart.” They view it as simply a different season of life.Other than my youngest (who really misses his dad and wishes we were still together), all of my children have thanked me ~ more than once ~ for divorcing their father. My 10-year-old son wrote a paper for school called “changes” in which he expressed his gratitude to me ~ he said, “I know it was hard for mom to do it,” but now he feels like he has a life ~ whereas before he was like a shadow. It nearly made me cry when he read that paper to me.

  • Arietty

    All my kids have thanked me too Vyckie. I was embarrassed that my parents got divorced because now I was going to be one of those kids from a “broken family” and this idea bothered me.. I was about 13. Of course our family was already broken, the divorce did not break it. As soon as it happened I was okay about it and it was a relief not to hear them fighting all the time any more. My father had rarely paid any attention to us but now he had to actually visit us and take us places and I enjoyed that a lot.

  • Vyckie

    Arietty ~ I was worried that my kids would be embarrassed, but instead they told me that “everybody’s divorced these days” ~ so now they feel normal. Weird, huh?Also ~ this’ll come out later in my story, but I wanted to say here that I honestly believe that by divorcing Warren, I have saved his relationship with the kids. The younger kids never learned to hate him ~ and the older ones can at least tolerate him now that they don’t have to live under his constant micro-management.

  • Jadehawk

    Funny but you are the first person I have ever talked with that was happy their parents got divorced. i don’t think anyone is ever happy that their parents’ relationship failed. that’s different from not being happy they divorced, though.My own parents’ story is so hideously complicated that I can’t really say “i’m glad my parents are divorced”. but i’m glad that my mom left my dad (i was 7, my brother was 4). they did not make a good, traditional, living-together-and-raising-a-family kind of couple. my dad was neglecting my mom and us, and my mom was feeling more and more used and frustrated.they are back together. they even married (I was 17 at the time wedding), however they still live in 2 different countries and really only spend vacations and certain holidays together. but their relationship is much healthier, and dad actually started caring that he has children after they weren’t… um… “part of the furniture” anymore. so let me repeat that I’m VERY glad my mom didn’t stay in a bad relationship!

  • Anonymous

    My question is why would anybody marry somebody who was so wrong for them?Isn’t there some questions a person should ask before they make such a commitment? How could a person make such a mistake?

  • Arietty

    Anon I am almost wondering here if you are trolling. People don’t come with blueprints as to what they will be like in 10 years or with kids or with stress or when they get bored with you.Vyckie I was also thinking that now my kids would have a decent relationship with their dad. I figured he would be nicer to them because he wouldn’t be as irritated with them, he would be spending quality time with them etc.. like you said I hoped the younger ones would have a fresh start. However nothing could have been further from the truth. As each one got to the age of being able to see hypocrisy and having their own opinions and desires he would turn on them and treat them worse and worse, physically violent with the boys. Consequently only the youngest is still speaking to him, and that is about once every 4 months. Each of the others has one after another declared they will never speak to him again, usually following an argument in which he terrorized them. He was so drawn to these patterns of abuse, he gets a lot of out of them I have realized.

  • aimai

    Salon has an occasional series which I find fascinating in which ordinary people talk about their love lives. Just yesterday I read a rather typical/atypical story about a woman whose husband had left her after some twenty years of marriage. The marriage just sort of broke down without her noticing and he left her but they continued co-parenting their children while he started another realtionship. They were in the sixties, sounds like, or late fifties. Six years later after the birth of their first grandchild she says they decided to start dating and get back together. But the most interesting thing is the way she describes learning all sorts of new things for herself about finances, and working, and how she rises in her profession once they are separated. And how he learns all kinds of new things too. And when they get back together they are really different people. It was told in an incredibly flat and affectless way, but it was moving, so moving. For one thing it reminds us that sometimes its not one person or the other who is “at fault” but the bad synergy that some relationships can set up. And also it reminds us that people can change–not everyone, of course–but that people can give themselves time and permisson to grow. If you can do that within marriage I think its a pretty incredible thing. Lots of people can only do it outside of marriage.aimai

  • Anonymous

    Your selfish. Sure kids are a burden but what else is worth it? Money? Cars? Clothes? Cmon seriously what else is there?

  • Anonymous

    Your selfish. Sure kids are a burden but what else is worth it? Money? Cars? Clothes? Cmon seriously what else is there?

  • Linnea

    Troll alert!Seriously, have you read this blog, latest Anonymous? Selfish is the last thing Vyckie and Laura are.

  • Linnea

    Troll alert!Seriously, have you read this blog, latest Anonymous? Selfish is the last thing Vyckie and Laura are.

  • Tapati

    There was a feminist essay written years ago–I probably still have a copy in my files somewhere–entitled “I Want A Wife.” It listed the many things a wife could do for the woman who wrote it and ended “who wouldn’t want a wife?”I think we all could use one!

  • Tapati

    There was a feminist essay written years ago–I probably still have a copy in my files somewhere–entitled “I Want A Wife.” It listed the many things a wife could do for the woman who wrote it and ended “who wouldn’t want a wife?”I think we all could use one!

  • Jadehawk

    Cmon seriously what else is there?that is the saddest, most unimaginative thing I’ve ever heard. Life is full of awesome, wonderful things to do and experience, yet you reduce our lives to that of animals which exist only to make another generation.

  • Jadehawk

    Cmon seriously what else is there?that is the saddest, most unimaginative thing I’ve ever heard. Life is full of awesome, wonderful things to do and experience, yet you reduce our lives to that of animals which exist only to make another generation.

  • Anonymous

    I just want to say thank you for this blog-I am a Mom of only 5, but listened to QF teachings for so long, sometimes I feel I need to “unlearn” this stuff.I am happily married for 16 yrs. We decided to have a large family together, but lately I have felt guilty that my kids don’t get all the individual attention they need. I know I am not alone, and not any more or less spiritual than others choosing less kids.So, some relatives have recently felt convicted to undo a vasectomy, in hopes of adding to their family of 3 children. I can see the Mom is already overwhelmed, with 3 girls, homeschooling, and just daily life. Do i speak up? How would you, Vyckie, go about sharing your opinion? I love my cousin, and I know she loves Christ, but I think she just doesn’t see her limits.thank YouMelissa

  • Anonymous

    I just want to say thank you for this blog-I am a Mom of only 5, but listened to QF teachings for so long, sometimes I feel I need to “unlearn” this stuff.I am happily married for 16 yrs. We decided to have a large family together, but lately I have felt guilty that my kids don’t get all the individual attention they need. I know I am not alone, and not any more or less spiritual than others choosing less kids.So, some relatives have recently felt convicted to undo a vasectomy, in hopes of adding to their family of 3 children. I can see the Mom is already overwhelmed, with 3 girls, homeschooling, and just daily life. Do i speak up? How would you, Vyckie, go about sharing your opinion? I love my cousin, and I know she loves Christ, but I think she just doesn’t see her limits.thank YouMelissa

  • Vyckie

    Melissa ~ please do speak up. I highly recommend Kathryn Joyce’s book, “Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement.” Something about the way she lays it all out at once is just a real eye-opener. I think it would help if she could see where it’s all heading and what a trap it is once you get there. If they’re into the patriarchy thing ~ then by all means, play by their own rules and speak to her husband. I honestly believe that most husbands would be glad to have reasons why they shouldn’t go along with this lifestyle which is mainly being pushed by the wife.Thanks for your post ~ I hope you can get through to your cousin.

  • Vyckie

    Melissa ~ please do speak up. I highly recommend Kathryn Joyce’s book, “Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement.” Something about the way she lays it all out at once is just a real eye-opener. I think it would help if she could see where it’s all heading and what a trap it is once you get there. If they’re into the patriarchy thing ~ then by all means, play by their own rules and speak to her husband. I honestly believe that most husbands would be glad to have reasons why they shouldn’t go along with this lifestyle which is mainly being pushed by the wife.Thanks for your post ~ I hope you can get through to your cousin.

  • Anonymous

    You reminded me of a great essay I read as a fresheman in college called (I think) Everybody Needs a Wife. It was in my Bedford Reader. Don’t worry I only have 3 and I feel quite inadaquate often. Also would feel that way if I had 1 or 10 from what all my friends who have other numbers tell me. Your kids do not know any other way and would not trade you in to be an only child or in a less numbered family. They love you just how you are, their mom. -Oregon again

  • Anonymous

    Jesus told the woman at the well “Go forth and sin no more. He did not suggest that if she did not have a large amount of children she should meet him back there for new blessing. God does not dictate our life to us, just to live it with integrity and love for our fellow man. I am afraid we are mixing up the QF movement and christianilty. QF is to Christianity what extremism is to Islam. They don’t all blow up buses and we don’t all need to prove ourselve with multiple kids.

  • Vyckie

    The discussion for this post has been moved over to our new NLQ forums: http://nolongerquivering.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=2manyNo further comments on this post will be accepted here ~ please go to the forums. Thank you ;-)


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