06 January 2008

Blogorrhea

Actually, there are a lot of big family Lutheran blogs out there. But none of those girls seem to have the same hangups I do. They just live life with their six kids (oh, and homeschool them and make everybody's clothes and distill their own organic, cruelty-free gin) and blog blithely away, occasionally fretting cutely about the pile of shoes in the hallway. What gives? Are they:

--people who always wanted a big family?
--not originally from Sulvan households so it doesn't seem weird to them?
--just more virtuous than I am such that this considerable departure from the world doesn't bother them?
--some combination of all of these things?

Converting to CSPP was a major upheaval for me. I think I'm safely out of the initial anger zone that lasted for a few years. But when we first called off the Sulvan business, we thought we were the only people in the world who had. I felt alternatively scared to tell people that we were doing something so gauche as permanently pitching our pills, or compelled to tell them that we were doing it on a confessional basis so they wouldn't think I was one of those girls who had always dreamed about getting married and wearing stretch pants and canvas shoes while I crocheted another pair of booties with a little smile on my face. The big family people I knew didn't give the impression that they lived that way as a matter of piety rather than out of personal preference. For the most part, I still don't get that impression from them.

So I still feel lost about all this sometimes, as we don't really fit the profile of people who send the crowded Christmas pics every year. I sort of identify with them, at least in the sense that there's always a huge pile of shoes in my hallway, but there's also a part of me that wonders what our old crowd is doing, and if they just write me off as another big family crazy (although I didn't look or sound the part 6 years ago) when they hear tidings of us through the LCMS grapevine. I also wonder about the people who are probably now going through what we did when we got our paradigm shifted, because I would have appreciated having someone to talk to about it back then. Awkward times, explaining to department heads that I was switching from the thesis to the exam option because I was, *ahem*, pregnant again--but I can finally say without gritting my teeth that I don't regret it.

14 comments:

Gauntlets said...

Funny, I was just fixin' to blog on this very topic, but being almost permanently one-handed . . .

Tell me again that you don't grit your teeth. I've just recently had enough time to myself (which is to say, not at work) to realize just how not what I had planned my whole life is.

Get thee behind me, Gloria!

Rebekah said...

Don't let this stop you once you get another hand; you always say it funnier than I do anyway. About the teeth gritting (which is all the rage here today, ha!): I never really wished our paradigm hadn't gotten shifted, because I really did always believe it was right even if I didn't like it. But at long last, I almost never wish I could wish it hadn't gotten shifted. I'm able to look at it positively--before I was always thinking about what I was missing out on. Now I honestly can't think of anything better that I could be doing, even though I'm terrible at it (and would be great at a fulfilling career of proofreading ministry or arranging endcap displays of Kleenex ministry). I can't think of any better way to make use of the Master's talent than to turn it into a bunch of babies. If I don't totally screw them up, so much the better.

Mrs. Maschke said...

Thanks for the refreshing view of motherhood. It's nice to know that not all big families are wonderfully, blissfully picture perfect.

As someone praying for a growning family, and yet to have that prayer granted, I appreciate the frankness of this blog...thanks

Anna (Hasty) Maschke

Gauntlets said...

Then keep talking about your comfort levels as I'm in full-force self pity. You know, what with my terribly hard life and all. Poor, poor me. Did I mention how poor I am? *sigh*

;)

Hey, Anna!

Reb. Mary said...

Anna--Hey, is this the Anna who married J. Maschke out of St. Louis, formerly of CUW cross country fame? If so, I was an old running mate of his, back in the conference champs days :)

Either way, good to have you stop in.

Reb. Mary said...

It's like being in a strange limbo, I've thought recently: our family will be looking less and less mainstream...but I don't FEEL like one of them wackos! (And I don't crochet, either.)

Maybe by the time you get to 6 kids it just feels normal so one stops having "hangups." Or just doesn't have time for them. Or maybe some people actually do LIKE kids! That'd make this whole thing easier, to be sure :O

One nice thing, this indefinite-stay-at-home-momming gig has saved me agonizing over what I'm going to do when I grow up. Guess I've got plenty of time to figure that out, after all.

But really--as R. pointed out--what's the alternative to how we spend our time? Just like what better use could we put our money to--buy stuff, or nurture eternal souls?

Still and all, for most practical purposes, I should be considered among those whose paradigm shift is not yet complete. (Those dark days of wondering why God bothered to make women capable of higher thought functions still recur--just ask my husband whether he's caught me muttering about that lately...).

So blog on!

Mrs. Maschke said...

Reb. Mary...yes, yes, I am, in fact that Anna...if that is a good or bad thing I'll leave up to you!

Parenting is a great profession. It's not easy, and I'm not the perfect mom (my 16-month old ate french fries for dinner; and not much else) and at times I question if I am doing something wrong, but my daughter will remind us to pray and say "abay" at the end of prayers and I realize that I've got to be doing something right...which I remind myself of as we watch "Elmo in Grouchland" for the tenth time...

Anna

Rebekah said...

After I posted that, I thought, do you even crochet booties? Or is that knitting? Macrame?

I'm going to leave that higher thought can of worms alone for now, and Gauntlets, the truth is I'm just in that nice pre-baby calm before the storm. These beatific, rational days are numbered.

Hi, AHM! One of my favorite mental toys is imagining what a certain Dr. RG would say to all this. ;) May our Lord bless your little girl to be a big sister soon. And I'm not even going to tell you what my kids ate yesterday.

Reb. Mary said...

Anna--that's a good thing--we all know that your husband needed a good woman to take care of him :). Couldn't make it to your wedding way back when and then lost track of J.--didn't even know you had a girl, so VERY belated but heartfelt congratulations! Tell your man that BA says hi.

If it makes you feel any better about the French Fries, my kids got most of their calories yesterday from chocolate milk. (Dad had to go do some semi-emergency counseling yesterday afternoon and the boys and I were playing outside, and since they and I are collectively too big now for me to haul them both kicking and screaming across the sizable yard, I framed the need to go back inside with the thinly veiled bribe of coveted chocolate milk. Which raises another topic we should post about someday: The very legitimate place of bribery in motherhood.)

So c'mon, Rebekah, now you have to tell us what your kids ate yesterday...

Rebekah said...

Never. 5th Amendment.

Kelly said...

As someone whose paradigm has been shifting, it is comforting to know that gritting your teeth is okay : )

Rebekah said...

Grit away--and it's our favorite topic, so keep us posted! ;)

Reb. Mary said...

Is the muttering still ok, or will I eventually have to give that up? ;)

Rebekah said...

I turned my muttering into a blog and have found it even more gratifying! So keep it up.