Quoting Quiverfull: Sleeping?

by Nancy Campbell at Above Rubies – February 28, 2013

Tonight I was visiting with my daughter Evangeline. I read some Facebook posts she answered to mothers complaining that they don’t get enough sleep. Isn’t that a constant complaint of mothers with little children? What did Vange (mother of 10 children) have to say?

“It is amazing how much we need more sleep when we confess we are so tired and haven’t slept in the last six months! I remember one time thinking, “Far out, I think I slept four to five hours straight! I feel like a million bucks!”. You can actually can get adrenaline shots just by your frame of mind! When you tell yourself that you are just going to doze and get sleep when you can and that a few hours is AMAZING, your attitude changes.

It’s a passion of mine to liberate mothers who are under the delusion that life should be as it was before they had children. Mothers can so easily allow their minds to get out of whack because they think that life, sleep, and noise should be the same as before they married. Of course it will not! It will be SO different, on many levels, sleep being one of them. Your world is no longer going to be “normal,” but it is going to be better if you have the right attitude and understand how GREAT it is!

We need to get “on track,” planting both feet in the Land of Motherhood with abandonment. It is only as we make this decision that we can be joyful in this season of our lives. All books you read should line up with God and His ways.”

Comments open below

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • saraquill

    So damaging one’s physical and mental health by forgoing adequate rest is so amazing it can only be described in ALL CAPS?

  • Cathy W

    I’m reminded of the airline safety instructions that, in event of the oxygen masks deploying, you should put your own on, and then help any children or others who are having trouble – because what good will it do the children if you pass out trying to help them? (Unsurprisingly, they’ve found that men are much more likely to follow this instruction than women.)

    Generalizing to the broader picture – if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be in any condition to take care of anyone else. You can go on naps, adrenaline, and caffeine for a while, but it will catch up with you eventually, and then everyone will suffer. Your children deserve a well-rested, alert, energetic mother!

    …also, Nancy? “When you get 4 hours of sleep, it will be thrilling!” is not the best possible marketing strategy for selling women on becoming mothers-of-many…. 🙂

  • Sarah

    I want one of them bibles that reads, “A truck load of denial will set you free.” Mine just says, “The truth will set you free.” How boring is that?!

  • Kimberly

    So being legitimately exhausted means you just have a bad attitude?

  • There’s a difference between someone who genuinely didn’t understand that their life would change when they had a kid, and someone who is exhausted because, uh, parenthood is exhausting. Positive thinking can help the former realize that not *all* the life changes are negative, but is unlikely to work on the latter… that person needs some time away and a chance to relax to recharge themselves.

    (Incidentally, for an honest but sweet take on how parenting shakes everything up, I’m a huge fan of Jonathan Coulton’s song You Ruined Everything: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-8hrKb8SAQ)

  • madame

    Yeah, that.
    One reason I simply can’t and won’t look at any of those QF mommy blogs. Their thinking doesn’t allow for normal humanity.
    As for sleep being a “luxury”, well, if a mother is not getting enough sleep or a nutritious diet and destressing activities on a regular basis, she is going to start to break. She becomes a hazard on the road if she is driving while tired. No amount of “positive thinking” is going to keep her awake and alert at the wheel.
    IMO, this Nancy woman is full of bullshit. Just IMHO.

  • madame

    I understand how a teenage girl who suddenly finds herself pregnant may be naive enough not to know that having a baby would shake her world and put it upside down. Any woman who has sat down with her life partner and talked about starting or growing a family, will know that having a baby will change “normal” for a long, long time.
    QF moms know that having a bunch of babies is exhausting. Nancy is just taking away their permission to be human and right to say “I’m tired”.

  • alr

    This actually reminds me of what principals like to tell tired young teachers. Exhaustion is considered a virtue in many professions and if you care about taking care of needs like nutrition and sleep, you are considered to be not adequately devoted to whatever it is whether it is teaching, parenthood, or being a corporate drone. In this case, they are just parroting society at large.

  • JJ

    Sleep is not a luxury, it is a biological need. When I had my first baby I got so tired I could not sleep and ended up in a mental hospital. I wish I had Nancy’s article back then so I could have changed my bad attitude.

  • abs

    This is ridiculous–people NEED sleep, just like they need to eat. It’s not selfish or lazy to want adequate sleep. There’s a reason sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture.

    Would she write this? “It is amazing how much we need more food when we confess we are so hungry and haven’t eaten enough any time in the last six months! I remember one time thinking, “Far out, I think I ate a full meal! I feel like a million bucks!”. You can actually can get adrenaline shots just by your frame of mind! When you tell yourself that you are just going to snack when you can and that a little bit of food is AMAZING, your attitude changes.”