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Small

What a great post and how true. Maybe if we were all really more honest about what having, or not having, children is all about things could be a little easier. But it does seem to be that everyone is sucked into the void of not wanting to betray his or her politics. Good job for bringing it to light.

Denise

This is exactly what I have been worried about lately, as I am the mother of 8, my youngest is 10 mos., and I have felt like cr*p for most of the past 19 months. It is pretty tough to put on my cheerful face in order to convince people that I am truly deeply thankful for the lives of each of my children, when each pregnancy seems to take away another 10% of my energy, cognitive ability, and ability to enjoy life at all.
But I read something recently in Chesterton which said the Christian looks at two contradictory truths (I love and want my 8 children vs. my 8 children are going to drive me to an early grave), and rather than pretending one or the other is not true, simply accepts them both until such time as God chooses to lift the veil of understanding.
And besides, that contradiction is not exclusive to parents of large families! Other parents have frustrations which are similar in kind, if not measure, and society (usually) doesn't question whether they really should have had their 1.7 children.

gsk

I completely understand, Denise, and many other women (who wouldn't trade their children for the world) agree whole-heartedly. Prayers for all struggling mothers, and when you're ready to laugh -- tell folks you had to "hedge your bets -- the more kids you have, the better the chances that at least ONE will turn out right to take care of you in old age!"

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    Comments

    • From Benedict XVI
      “People have realized that the complete removal of the feminine element from the Christian message is a shortcoming from an anthropological viewpoint. It is theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity."
    • Anger and Patrimony (from Donna)
      This is just another of the unintended consequences of the cultural acceptance of contraception and abortion! Men's sexuality has been robbed of its creative essence. It is now viewed as something that imposes a burden on women (when conception happens to occur), something used to control women or something that is purely recreational. Why would men bother?? In taking away their responsibility, we've also robbed them of their significance! In the big picture of humanity, men have been made into nothing more than a nuisance women have to figure out how to control in order to bring about the next generation. Men don't see it as their task to protect the vulnerable because they see themselves as the vulnerable ones. A few well preserved vials of sperm would make men entirely obsolete in the world's ethos today!!
    • Excellent, Dom! (from Teresa)
      That is astounding Robin, and good for you for standing up. At the heart of that matter, I think, is even worse than a gender mixing message. There is an increased sharper and sharper focus on the "self." Solid Catholic teaching returns our focus away from ourselves to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The original sin, Eve denied her womanhood when she desired to be like "gods." Since the only god she knew was the Father. Where was Adam? He stood impotent... in other words, they were divorced. There's a young girl at Robin's son's high school who was just told that she is the center of the universe and it's a tragic disservice to her.
    • Find the logic (from "me")
      Ditto what Mary said! A lot of high schools have very poor math and science depts, for boys and girls. I also am educated as a chemical engineer, but chose to teach the two years before we had children because its hours were more suited to spending time with children. (I was looking ahead). When it came time and I was pregnant with our first, I realized that I did not want to leave him with someone else, and was able to stay home full time. I am not sure it would have been that easy if we were used to another engineering income and not just a private school teacher income. Also some of my first job offers were out on oil rigs - I had no interest in that at all even though I enjoyed my engineering classes and did well in them. No one discouraged me from an engineering job, on the contrary I got a lot of flack for my decision not to pursue an engineering career.
    • Find the logic (from Mary)
      I've been lurking, but this is one that irritates me. Beats the heck out of me what these "barriers" are. I was educated as a chemical engineer, where 1/3 of our class was women. However, in electrical engineering, only 1 or 2 out of 30 were women. Is it possible that women are Just Not Interested in some areas? Nah, it must be The Man keeping us down so we must legislate (and, I agree -- when they say "legistlate", I hear "quota"). And actually, I have a friend that was also a chemical engineer. When she lost her job, she decided not to go back into engineering and started working from home so she could spend more time with her 3 kids. Also, if nothing else, there are all kinds of incentives for women to enter science and engineering -- scholarships not available to men, guaranteed housing on campuses that do not guarantee housing to the general population, etc. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that schools in general are not preparing students for the hard sciences. It is truly a sad state of affairs, the lack of science education these days.

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