Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Falling Short. WAY Short.

I've recently read a couple books about large families, in the hopes that maybe they would give me a bit of a clue on how to be a better mother, a calmer mother, a more patient mother, a better organized mother, a mother who does not want to scream "Just go to BLOODY SLEEP ALREADY!" at 9 pm at night and wish fervently for a large White Russian. 

Alas, the two books I read just thoroughly DEPRESSED me.  First I read St. Michelle Duggar's "A Love that Multiplies."   No, I don't have 19 children, but I figured some of her insights into how she manages to raise what appear to be lovely, well-behaved children who have never heard of an Xbox could be valuable. 

Well, it is really too late for me to emulate the Duggar family life.  We've introduced all the gadgets, and if I started quoting Bible verses all day long my children would look at me as if I were from Uranus.  I am trying - TRYING - to raise them Catholic, but it isn't in my second nature to quote the Bible all day long.  And she is too perfect!  She never yells!  She speaks in a quiet, loving voice!  She never confesses that she is tired, or that if she has to break up another fight she will hop in the family van and drive far, far away from Arkansas...ugh.  I just can't begin to measure up.

The second one, Large Family Logistics, was even more depressing:  of course this woman, like Michelle, homeschools her nine, and drops little phrases like "lest you want to ship them off on the SCHOOL BUS" - as if this were akin to launching a kid off to a Pakistani terrorist camp.  Why is it assumed that if you have a lot of kids, you of course home school?  Isn't it more likely that the more kids you have, the more likely it is you will NEED to ship them off just to think, just to sift through the rubble?  I greatly admire homeschooling; I wish I had the stomach for it, but I don't think I could do it.  And while I understand the sentiment that one wants to protect one's children from the potential dangers of the secular world, in the end I do want my children to live in the world, and give them the tools to discern right from wrong when they're out there.  Because despite its dangers, the world is a whacky, wonderful place, full of people and stuff from which you shouldn't necessarily sequester yourself.

Ugh!  And this woman!  "Ask your husband when you wake up what you can do for him today" is one of her pieces of advice.  AAARGH.  Now I love PVT, but when the alarm goes off in the morning, and I have to drag my arse out of bed for the breakfastathon,  I am not too concerned right then about my husband, who after all is able to dress and feed himself before he goes off to work.  And "A wife should seek to make her husband's goals, not her own, the focus of her labors."  Sheesh.  I'm no hairy feminist, but if PVT had goals that were divergent from my own, we would probably have an issue. 

And:  "If you sow into your mind things that promote discontent...irrelevant reality shows, worldly magazines - then you will reap discontent in your life."  AARGH  Sure, an addiction to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and US Weekly are probably not my greatest attributes...but who would you rather have a glass of Pinot with, me or this chick?

Clearly I just don't measure up.  So where's the book for the wine swilling, reality-TV-addicted, shopaholic mother who happens to have a lot of kids?

I guess I'll have to write that book.


Megan B said...

Ha! Are you sure the second book wasn't written in 1950?

Anniezh said...

Hurry up, we can hardly wait to read that one!

mpsutterfield said...

This makes me laugh so hard! "Saint" Michelle Duggar--I laughed out loud. And I am waiting on pins and needles for part 2 of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion show. I would definitely read your book!