Friday, April 13, 2012

7 Quick Takes [4.13.12] The Big Issues Edition

1. The Baby, also rarely known as Katherine, has started to sleep through the night a few times a week. This makes me a little sad. I know you're all, "whaaaat...?!" Let me explain. She's sleeping through the night because we've started to give her tiny bites of real food at dinner because she was getting pissed up there on the dining room table in her Bumbo seat watching everyone else devour their meal while she just sat there. So she eats a little bit, takes a bath with the big kids, gets jammied up, nurses a little while and goes to bed. It's starting. The routine of an older baby. It means she's not new anymore. It means I, alone, can't satisfy all her needs.

There's only one cure for this. Another baby. Just kidding. I'm not pregnant. I promise.

2. But let's talk about birth control while we're on the subject. This is a topic I don't usually dabble in. It's hard to talk about this kind of stuff without offending someone or making someone feel isolated. I love all my readers and want you to feel like you belong here no matter what your choices in life.

So here's the thing: I don't use birth control. Or, I do, but I don't call it that. I know there are some of you out there that are thinking Oh, she's that kind of a Catholic. We, Natural Family Planning (NFP) users, have gotten a bad image. Like we're a bunch of wackos who have a desire to be eternally pregnant. This is not true. For me, anyway.

I am Catholic. But other things you should know about me include having drug-free births and having to be nearly incapacitated before I will even think about swallowing a couple of Advil pills. Trying to work naturally with my body is one of my life's philosophies so Catholic or not, this is the path I've chosen.

I know there are other methods that don't include drugs or hormones but it still feels weird for me to protect myself from my husband. Like he's some sort of a one-night stand.

If you ever do any sort of research on the methods that fall under the umbrella of Natural Family Planning (none of which include the calendar or rhythm method, by the way) you would find it to be highly effective. As much, or more so than any of the non-natural methods.

But here's where I have a huge beef with NFP. And I think it's an issue most NFP users have been skirting around for years. NFP totally and completely sucks when you are breastfeeding and before your fertility has returned. It makes me really mad. In fact, I think it's downright lazy for any family planning method not to give you a sure process to follow. If science can grow a baby in a test tube, how can it not determine, with any precision, the return of a woman's fertility following childbirth?

The biggest problem about this is that there isn't any other time in life when I least want to get pregnant. I want my baby to be able to be the baby for a while. I want to give my body time to recover from pregnancy and childbirth. I want to continue breastfeeding without worrying about adverse side effects on an unborn baby.

So I'm calling out NFP advocates. This is total crap. We need to find a solution or drugs and other artificial methods will always win out over a good guess.

3. That probably should have been its own post but instead I buried it in my 7 Quick Takes. I'm weak like that.

4. Brian said I should write about Ann Romney in my Quick Takes this week. At first I said, "Ann who?" But then I Googled her and here's the story in a nutshell. Mitt Romney said he asked his wife what American women care about the most. She told him that we care about the economy. In response to that, some Democrat strategist asked what the heck Ann Romney knew about the economy seeing as she had never worked a day in her life. Ann Romney was a stay-at-home mom to five sons. I can guarantee you she worked her ass off. Even the Obamas spoke out against this strategist affirming how hard it is to be an at-home mother.

But aside from that, let's assume that what this strategist really meant was that Mrs. Romney never worked for pay a day in her life. Because that is true of a lot of stay-at-home mamas. I am not one of them. I did work professionally for almost four years prior to staying at home and also prior to the economic downturn. It has been five years since I have seen a paycheck with my name on it. But still, I can assure you, the state of the economy is high on my list of items that keep me up a night.

I'm not some 1950s wife who gets a weekly allowance from her husband to spend at the Supermarket. I, not Brian, balance the checkbook and make sure all the bills are paid. At any given moment I can tell you how much is in our checking, savings and how much our next credit card bill will be. I plan our weekly meals and determine what's in our food budget. I have two retirement accounts that are only in my name. Within those accounts I trade my own stocks and mutual funds.

And furthermore, when your husband is in sales and his paycheck is your ticket to being able to stay at home, I can guarantee you, the economy is not only high on my list of things I care about but I  can also discuss its state with a healthy supply of knowledge.

5. Let's talk about less intense issues, shall we? I started the Couch to 5K running program this week. I'm super jazzed up about it even though I will admit that I don't really like to run. But it's effective and cheap. The biggest hurdle to overcome was finding the time to do it. After discussing with Brian we determined that Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings were the best times. So at 7:30 on those days Brian kicks my butt out of bed and I hit the pavement. I love that about him. He's my biggest motivator. And not in a Tom Cruise kind of way. Just in a I-know-this-is-important-to-you-so-just-do-it way.

6. I went to the grocery by myself with all three kids and without a list this week. I've gone a few times with all three kids but never without a list. I made it through without incident and without any impulse buys. I was on top of the world when I got home. I felt like I totally had my game face on. Until I realized I remembered every single ingredient for four dinner recipes except for the pasta for the pasta bake. And then I totally got down on myself for this. Why do I do that? It was such a success, why dwell on the one teeny tiny fail that will be no problem to render with the corner market three blocks from my house?

7. And finally, I'll leave you with the Picture of the Week. Sometimes when Brian isn't home to help me with the bedtime routine, I'll sit the kids down with the Kindle Fire to read Harold and the Purple Crayon or The Going to Bed Book while I clean up the kitchen. I highly recommend both, by the way, if you have a Fire or iPad or any other tablet.

I caught sight of them while I was wiping off the dining room table and realized this was a God-given moment. When an aggravating or irritating day comes to a close, He taps me on the shoulder to remind me everything is right in the world.

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