I’m not the only one who has a right to my body

***This is a guest post written by my sister, Chrissie Dhanagom.***

I had a lot of plans for today. Sleeping, for instance. I had planned to sleep for at least eight of the past twenty-four hours. I had planned on a long shopping trip in the morning, followed by a quiet afternoon with a cup of tea and some reading and writing while the toddler and four month old napped. I have a cold that’s on its way out and I need some decent rest to completely kick it.

If you’re a parent, or have much experience with kids, you’re probably already laughing at me. I’m still a little new at this.

The baby needed to nurse frequently during the night. The toddler woke up two hours earlier than usual, and declined to take a nap in the afternoon. This, of course, meant that she was fussy, over-tired, needy and clingy all day.

I slept about six hours last night, made a frazzled dash through the store this morning, lay in the bedroom with both of them while singing a lullaby through my hoarse, cracked voice, gave up after forty-five minutes and drove around town in a last ditch attempt at naptime, sat in a parking lot nursing the baby while older sister slept in the car seat, and finally dragged myself into the kitchen at 4:30 to start dinner. My cold is back with a vengeance.

Ah, the best laid plans.

In my experience, one of the greatest challenges of parenting is letting go of the expectation that my time, my resources, and my body are mine to dispose of. It’s not an easy mental adjustment, particularly in the midst of a pervasive cultural mantra which says that I have a right to these things that no one may interfere with.

And as a woman, so I am told, I must above all, first and foremost, protect the sole and absolute claim I have on my body. There is no pledge I can make of my body that I should not be able to take back.
So say the legions of feminists who have protested, leafleted, marched, written and spoken on my behalf.

The problem is, my children seemed to have missed the cultural memo.

My two daughters’ need for my body did not stop when I gave birth to them. They need to be fed, clothed, cuddled, taught, and constantly supervised. This fulfillment involves, on my part, the giving of my body, and at times the denial of my bodily needs. And if anyone has a right to anything, children, I believe, have a right to the fulfillment of those needs.

My children have a claim on my body that is as real as my own. Parental love is utterly premised upon this.

Please note what I am not saying here. I am not saying “parents should run themselves to the ground, completely ignore their own needs, and wreak havoc on their physical well-being in order to attend to their children’s every demand.” We need to take care of ourselves as well, for many reasons, not least of which is that we can hardly take care of others if we don’t take care of ourselves.

Providentially, my need to take care of myself at the expense, sometimes, of distress on my children’s part actually coincides with their needs. I happen to think it’s good for children to experience some deprivation. The older they get, the more crucial this becomes to their character formation, and to their ability to make that all important distinction between “I want” and “I need.” They certainly will not be equipped to be good parents themselves, or virtuous adults in any capacity, if they do not learn this.

My hope, though, is to do everything in my power and at any personal cost to myself, in order to provide my children with everything they truly need. And by “need,” I mean those things that are indispensable to their happiness. I am a weak and selfish human being, and so I anticipate failing in this, perhaps often. But that is what I strive for. I think that is, in fact, what most parents strive for, which is one of many reasons why radical feminism was obsolete from the day it was born.

I can choose, of course, to deny my body to my children. I can abandon them. What I cannot do, however, is abandon my children and still be happy. That is a choice that is not open to me. I could no more do that than choose to fly.

I am a mother, and, like being married, being a mother means having my happiness wrapped up in the happiness of another person. Show me a person who has abandoned their children and I will show you an unhappy person. The giving of my body and, at times, the denial of my bodily needs is a prerequisite to my own happiness.

This is true, of course, not just for parents and spouses but for all of us. Meaningful relationships of any kind involve self-sacrifice. Because we are bodily persons, this will usually involve some form of physical self-denial. No one, I think, can truly be satisfied with a life that does not involve the giving of one’s body. And it would seem that human nature ultimately drives us to give it in the kind of irrevocable form that marriage and parenthood embody.

Maybe that’s why by far the majority of women today reject the label “feminist.” We kind of like being happy.

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You can contact Chrissie here: cmdhanagom@gmail.com

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176 Responses to I’m not the only one who has a right to my body

  1. Rebekah says:

    What a great post. The intelligence runs in the family apparently. What an honor you both bring to your parents.

    The giving of our bodies being a prerequisite for our own happiness idea really stood out to me. How true it is.

    “Let us run the race before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of God.” Hebrews 12:2

  2. The only way to live your life to the fullest is to give it away. And what better way to do that in service to your children. Awesome post! 🙂

  3. Kristin says:

    Beautifully written! Spot on! Children do seem to miss those cultural memos, don’t they? It’s like something internally tells them they need their mom at all sorts of inconvenient times. I’m going to sound like a cliche, but my son is 18, daughter 13, and it has flown! The beauty of all the times I had to deny myself to pour into them is watching them morph into well-adjusted, super cool people. Such blessings to their mom!

  4. Just Trixie says:

    Great post!! I concur with Rebekah’s observation that superior intelligence most definitely runs in the family, along with fantastic writing skills. Some of us will always be givers; and others will hopefully someday learn to do so. It’s so much more fulfilling than constantly worrying about “me”. Be blessed!

  5. Rebekah says:

    By the way, Chrissie, I hope you are feeling better soon! Your little girls are blessed to have you as their mother and the world will be a better place because of how you are giving of yourself night and day.

  6. Alissa Walsh says:

    Great angle Chrissie! I look forward to seeing more Walsh/Dhanagom blogs!

  7. Hopeannfaith says:

    Well written food for thought. Though I live this in my family and life, I’ve never really articulated it in such a manner. You said it perfectly. My life, and my body, are not my own; because I love. Thank you.

  8. loved this!! mine are older now and still I give and will give to my children even if it is uncomfortable for my heart will always love them first before myself

  9. LOVE THIS! Very cool that you both write. And even more very cooler that you both write good stuff that the world needs more of! God bless!! Kerri Stites

  10. Jenny says:

    Excellent! As a mother of eight, I am STILL waiting to put me first whenever I want! Lol!! But I chose to be mom and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but, come on!! Doesn’t everything worth it come with a price? How blessed are we to be entrusted with these precious (and yes, I know,….sometimes loud, sticky, argumentative, selfish ) children? The least we can do is give it our best shot and pray that The Lord meets us there. (He always does!) Thanks for sharing!

    • Paul says:

      A mother of EIGHT…you know, this is America and I champion the right of anyone to have as many children as they feel capable of handling, but unless your husband is a Wall Street hedge-fund manager, I’d be interested to know how you pay for EIGHT children without aid from the Evil Federal Government.

      • My parents have 7 kids and growing up my dad was an assistant manager of a major hardware chain store. On top of that my mom stayed at home to homeschool some of us. (Expensive enough considering they still paid local school taxes and never saw a dime of it for homeschooling) They never took government aid the whole time I was growing up. The way you pay for it is sacrifice. Just like the article talks about.

      • Paul says:

        *They never took government aid the whole time I was growing up. *

        Well, I don’t know what the tax laws were when you are growing up, but the IRS Child Tax Credit lets you deduct up to $1,000 per child off your income tax per year. And, this is one of many such programs: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Parents

        Chances are, your parents WERE on ‘government aid’…they just didn’t realize it (or wouldn’t accept it).

  11. Marissa says:

    Bravo! Well said! And yet with all that it is still the most precious thing ,being a mom that is.

  12. Mrs Scarlet says:

    What a beautiful woman and mother you are, Chrissie! I too have two daughters, and I strive every day to teach them the value of their womanhood in a world that pushes upon them a wholly unfulfilling definition. Everything worth having in life is obtained through selflessness. To be happy, to be complete, we must sacrifice. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather sacrifice for than my children and husband. It makes me think about the sacrifice our Savior made for all of us — all because of His love. Thanks for the reminder!

  13. Golden Boy says:

    What a cute little girl you’ve got there. Sounds like you are doing right by the little rugrats. If we had more moms like you, who actually care for their children and are happily married, America would be a much nicer place.

  14. Kristi says:

    Wow! Your parents did well!

    Your timing was amazing. When I finally sat down tonight, I found the dog wanting to rest his head on my lap while all I wanted was a few minutes of not being touched. When I stopped and looked at it as sharing love rather than just giving, I realized that all that touch in my day was a good thing. I have three amazing children that long to interact with me, a wonderful husband and even a sweet giant dog. That is a lot of blessings! Your post reminded me to appreciate the fatigue for the love that it grows. Thank you! I hope that you continue to guest blog! Maybe your parents can join in someday!

  15. Nicole says:

    perfectly said!

  16. Angela says:

    “I can choose, of course, to deny my body to my children. I can abandon them. What I cannot do, however, is abandon my children and still be happy.” I LOVE that sentence. This is so good and true. It definitely doesn’t stop after we give birth and after having 3 amazing kids in 4 years, I’m so glad. Yes, it’s hard and tiring, but we are so blessed!

  17. Heidi says:

    Yay! Thank you! Great post! Loved it! God Bless You! (Jesus’ Dad, not all the other ones) 🙂

  18. Excellent insights. But how would you apply these to single women? I’m married with children now, but all women are single at some point(s) in their lives.

  19. michelle c says:

    Needed this tonight, thanks. I’m a totally exhausted single mom with 3 boys, two teens and a preschooler. Tonight I came home after a 14.5 hr shift exhausted, and still found joy in seeing my children – enough that I found just a bit more energy for them. Loving my boys is the easiest thing in the world, and I would be emotionally barren if I couldn’t come home to them. They are worth everything I can muster, and often more that that. I only wish I could be around for them more. But they will never doubt one day how very much they are loved. Thanks again.

  20. Mr. Mike says:

    Matt, please remove your Liberal panties. LOL ! Another great post ! You put my thoughts into the most eloquent words. As a middle aged Veteran I cannot thank you nor tell you what an inspiration you are considering your age. I cannot but Pray that there are many more fine people like you in my Country. Few things, ever, give me hope that my service and beliefs were right. Until I saw your blog. May God Bless you richly in ALL ways !

  21. Joe says:

    Home run. Absolutely fantastic. Looks like a family of amazing people.

  22. Kate says:

    HI there! I appreciate the sentiments and personal reflections. Seems like you have a beautiful family. I do, though, have to highly contest your usage of feminism and offer than, at its most basic level, feminism advocates for the equality of women in an otherwise unequal system. Many men claim the label feminist as well. Though feminism has manifested itself in many forms which may disagree with each other, the foundational cornerstone is equality. For those who do not have the normative privilege of equality, feminism is often a lifeline.

    • Salty Bear says:

      I find it unsettling that feminism requires an unequal system to exist; it has to assume unequality “a priori” to be legitimate. If it’s all about equality, why is it called “feminism”?

      I’m not a denier. I know that women often face prejudices that men don’t (there’s a war against boys too, but it’s not popular to give creedence to the fact). But the label “feminism” raises a red flag because the term is dishonest. There is no end goal in feminism. It’s like the war on terror in that it goes on and on because no one can define victory.

      If it’s really about equality, why isn’t it called egalitariansim? Can I be a masculinist and still uphold equality for women?

      What the word “feminism” should really mean is women being true to their divine nature. If you are female, celebrate and magnify those beautiful, powerful, feminine characteristics of yours for which this broken, twisted world is starving. Be loving. Be caring. Be gentle. Be warm. Be charitable. Be steadfast and immovable. Let these talents, your divine feminine talents that, let’s be honest, take most men a lifetime to emulate — let these talents blossom and be not ashamed of them.

      As a man, I consider myself something of a “masculinist,” if you will. Not a chauvinist. A masculinist. Integrity. Courage. Humility. Work ethic. Responsibility. Accountability. Respect for sacred things. These, to me, are traits that too many men in mainstream culture are seriously lacking. Men today are not taught to value these attributes. Not that both sexes shouldn’t strive equally for all the attributes I’ve mentioned here, but only that these seem to be our separate sexes’ separate challenges When I say I am a masculinist, I refer to a way of living and imparting values, not the advancement of some indefinite principle of social justice.

      It’s no coincidence that too many of us see feminism as you define it as caring too much about itself as a cause to ever be honest about clearly defining its goals. There must always be some battle unfought, some injustice unresolved for your feminism to survive as an ideology, and its followers cling to it even if they have to clutch at thin air (I call it the Al Sharpton Principle). And maybe it really is that way. Who am I to say different? But my point still stands.

      • Cheyenne says:

        Agreed. Feminism is not really about equality, it’s about special rights. Women and men both should embrace and utilize their unique God-given strengths and attributes, as they once did. And yes, there absolutely is a war on boys and men in our culture. Boys who act too much like boys in school are drugged into compliance. Couldn’t it be that boys are fidgety are unfocused because that’s how boys are? Men in popular culture tend to be portrayed as buffoons at best and total deadbeats at worst. I am married to a wonderful man, a capable man of character and integrity who knows his masculine role and performs it well. He is the way most men used to be before feminism came along and clouded everything. How often do we see men like him on TV?

        • I agree completely with feminism not being about equality (and women’s rights). This is a superficial interpretation. However, I argue that there is a deeper interpretation than the special rights one. It’s all about making “women are victims of men and society” to seem true as much as possible.

          As it turns out, I think there is a very rational explanation as to why this is so.

      • Ann says:

        Well-said! What a world we would live in if women would embrace femininity, and men would embrace masculinity!

      • Kate says:

        Thanks for your thoughts here. But I wonder if you, as a man, can even understand what oppression women have to endure. Have you made 30 cents less on the dollar from your paycheck simply based on gender? It’s easy to vilify something, like feminism, which seeks to promote the equality of women, when that equality takes some power away from the patriarchal power structure which benefits by men being in charge. It is scary to give away some of that power, isn’t it?

        What do you mean by “divine nature?” If by that you mean, women are created in the Imago Dei, then I would completely agree and that Imago Dei is not unlike that of a man’s. As a woman, I possess all of those characteristics that you mentioned you as a man possess. I possess them because I choose to. Courage, integrity, work ethic are not divinely given, they are cultivated with much intention.

        • “The dogma of woman’s complete historical subjection to men must be rated as one of the most fantastic myths ever created by the human mind.” Mary Ritter Beard.

    • Bethany says:

      Feminists believe that our society’s gender inequality requires a specific lens. Because women are generally marginalized compared to men, they need narrative space for themselves and allies to discuss women’s issues and experiences.

      Without naming the issue of women’s inequality, without analysis of and action on the systemic power structures that generally privilege men over women in our society, there’s the possibility that it might get de-prioritized.

      But being a feminist doesn’t mean you can’t be an “equalist” too or that you can’t focus on other forms of discrimination. I, for one, believe that feminism goes hand-in-hand with other movements for equality such as anti-racism, because feminist equality can’t be only for some privileged groups of women.
      We NEED feminism. Consider this. 70% of those in poverty are women. WOmen still earn 70cents on every dollar a man earns. Globally, women between the ages of fifteen and forty-four are more likely to be injured or die as a result of male violence than from cancer, traffic accidents, malaria and war combined. The majority of those trafficked, among the millions worldwide, are women. 1 in 3 women will experience sexual assault. You can’t ignore the picture these stats paint! Misogyny has historical roots that shaped the very foundation of our culture. Greek philosophers thought women were subhuman, inferior and barely above animals. When you dehumanize an entire group of the population it makes violence against them much more probable.

  23. Anna says:

    Amen, Sister! Isn’t it interesting that feminists always seem to be the most unhappy. But most of us were raised to be one… If a woman has “chosen” abortion for her body reeks of guilt and self hatred. The mothers who work are constantly trying to make up for it to their children from the desperation of their guilt riddled heart. And the mothers who are run ragged from caring for their children know that at the end of the day, even if they “are not perfect” they know that this is good and right. I used to think that having alone time was for the faint of heart and the weak, but I realize now after 15 years and 6 kids later, it is so important! Our kids and husbands deserve us to be recharged and able to think. Not falling apart at the drop of a hat or yelling at a young one for spilling their soup. So, moms, do what you need to do to get that every-few-days coffee break or time at the gym, remind yourselves that you are doing a wonderful job and you are the very best mother for your children, believe that! Your family needs you to be in control of your wits, you can serve them better and be glad of it. Thank you for taking the time to write this. I enjoyed this point of view tremendously!

  24. Janey says:

    Love it. Pinning this to my “Parenting” board. Loving all the positive comments as well.

  25. Beth says:

    Love it! And I find no contradiction in the premise that it is still my body to give.

  26. Crystal says:

    Excellent post. Matt, would you consider having her post again?

  27. Rebecca says:

    Michael Card once said that children take us away from ourselves. I’ve always thought this to be very true. I also have learned over the past 19+ years of being a parent (to seven now!), that it is entirely impossible to be a GOOD parent and to be selfish simultaneously. One will have to overtake the other.
    Thank you for sharing your mother’s heart so poignantly.

  28. Falon L. says:

    This post confirmed my hypothesis about raising children. I am pregnant now with my first child, and am really excited and also nervous. I am and have always have been a girl who enjoys her free time. I like that my husband comes home about three hours after I do because it gives me free time after work to do.. well… NOTHING. I watch TV, do homework (in school for teaching), take a nap, play video games. I am well aware that as soon as I meet this baby the concept of free time will be something i will say good bye to for the foreseeable future. I feel I’m ready for this. I have spent a lot of years “doing me” as they say. The exchange for my highly prized free time will be the love and wonder of raising a little boy. I’ll get the joy of introducing him to the world (as well as those wonderful moments every parent goes through where he experiences the world by screaming about it.) I completely accept that this is motherhood, that I have a new life goal, and something to live for. My life will go to my child, and its something I am totally ok with and feel is necessary for that child’s well being. Now dont get me wrong, there will be the occasional babysitting situation, which like you said Chrissie, is also necessary and helps the child separate “i want” from “i need.”
    I also think parenthood is different from marriage. I do devote myself to my husband in that I am loyal to him, honest with him, I show him how much I love him everyday, and much of what I do on a daily basis is for us as a unit. I sacrifice for our marriage, as does he, and it strengthens us. However I believe a healthy marriage does not mean that I give my life to him. I feel that he should have his dreams and pursuits, friend and experiences outside of our marriage and that I should as well. We can come together later and each talk about the cool things we saw or did that day, and its something fun to share. We always tell each other (and mean it too) that “it would have been better if you were there.” This is different in my mind than parenthood because I WILL be devoting my life to my child, because my baby has become my dream, my pursuit.
    Well i think you know what I am getting at. Its nice to see a mother who shares my viewpoint, especially in our present day, where children have become celebrity accessories to further their careers and carry unfortunate monikers like “Pilot.” You are a very eloquent writer.

  29. Sarah says:

    Wow. Very well put. It is exactly how I feel but have not been able to articulate. Because really, how draining can life be if you are just “hanging out at home all day”. This post explains why. Thank you.

  30. John H Woods says:

    So the “logic” seems to be, because I prioritise my children I won’t support equal rights or equal pay for other women? I’m sorry but I think opinions like this present more of an obstacle to achieving equality than those held by male chauvinist pigs, whose problems are at least immediately obvious. In my opinion it is both a straw man argument (presenting feminism as something it isn’t, then attacking that) — and a self-defeating one (I want you to accept my position as homemaker and mother as valid, but I won’t necessarily accept your choices to be a respected professional as equally valid). Sorry if I’m coming over all Germaine Greer but I’m having a problem with an apparent stalling, or even reversal, of the feminism movement in the last two decades. I absolutely support your sister’s choice to do what she’s doing, but absolutely reject her apparent desire to restrict the choices of other women on the basis that those choices are not the same as hers.

  31. Macha Maguire. says:

    straw man. knocked down.
    No feminist has *ever* said that a mother doesn’t have an absolute priority to care for her children. What we say is that it should be her choice to do so, from conception onwards, and that if she chooses to have a life that incorporates other things, that also should be respected.

    • Kate says:

      Thanks for your rational; you are exactly right and I appreciate a better interpretation of feminism here. Though I felt the article had good personal reflections, it employed several incorrect fallacies in the usage of the word feminism. So my strong objection to this article is not to the personal reflection, but to the attack on feminism to create a platform in which to speak from.

      • ashleyrea says:

        I’m so glad y’all replied. I really enjoyed this article, except for the misrepresentation of feminism. I don’t understand why people think that you can’t be both a feminist and Christian.

  32. Sid Avery says:

    Matt, this is a great article.  Many thanks to Chrissie.  I hope that many people will read it. It really exposes the lies proclaimed by the Pro Choice crowd that are disguised to cover the selfishness and wickedness of abortion.  It also reminded me that the Lord Jesus gave up his rights and offered his body as the ultimate sacrifice for us.

    ‘(Jesus Christ), being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Philippians 2:6-11 NIV)

  33. I could have written this, except exchange the girls for 5 yr old and 10 month old boys, one of whom is trying currently to cover my face with open mouthed slobbery kisses while I write this. 🙂 I will let you guess which one. 😛 Beautifully said!

  34. Jessica says:

    Great job, Chrissie. What a blessing that you can, in the midst of sickness and baby stress, see the big picture and find joy. Feel better!

  35. grannymom says:

    Bravo! Wise words from a wise mom.

  36. mrsdkmiller says:

    Au contraire, Chrissie. You are the penultimate feminist.

  37. Luscinia says:

    I don’t know any women who reject the “feminist” tag and even if they did, it’s because there’s such a stigma attached to it by the manosphere and other far right bloggers and quasi-media organizations.

    • Kristi says:

      I sat through talks from Gloria Stineum (however you spell her name) and took women’s studies classes in college. I reject the feminist tag. By pushing for “equality” we have thrown out the beautiful things about being a woman. I am all for treating HUMANS as humans, but this idea of everyone being equal is exactly what is killing our educational system, small business and healthcare. Our Creator made us different and with different gifts. Some gifts more by gender and some by individuals. I strive for a Biblical marriage. One with equal love and respect, not equal chore lists.

      • Luscinia says:

        Hm. I guess it helps that I don’t actually know any evangelicals.

      • Amanda says:

        Yes Kristi! This is how I feel as well. I think pushing for everyone to be equals does such a disservice to so many. We all are different in our talents and abilities and that gets pushed to the side for the name of a “cause”. I too reject that label. 🙂

      • Cheyenne says:

        Well said, Kristi.

  38. Kristin S says:

    I totally agree! After being up at 1:30, 3:30, and for good at 5:30, this post was perfect for me to tread this morning!

  39. Marthalee says:

    Well said, salty bear.

  40. April K says:

    I’m concerned that feminism is characterized only as the extremist bra-burning, man- and motherhood- hating type. That’s like saying all Jews are Zionists or all conservatives are Tea Partiers. When women speak of having ownership over their bodies, they mean the ability to control it and make decisions for themselves. I find it a matter of increasing concern that the heads of the medical establishment, who are nearly always male and have never carried a child in their lives, can dictate what constitutes endangerment of a fetus (e.g. eating cold deli meat), then threaten women with imprisionment and seizure of their children if they decide to do what they feel is best for both their bodies and their babies outside of the doctors’ recommendations. To be clear, I appreciate the advice of doctors, I get my child vaccinated, and I hate abortion. But doctors aren’t always right, and much about women’s health is still a mystery to them. They don’t even know where amniotic fluid comes from! Yet they’re going to tell me, the person who feels the baby kick in my belly, that I’m unfit to make decisions about my own health? Give me a break!

  41. I just spent the entire evening rocking, cuddling, and nursing my sick 1 year old. I can relate to the sleep deprivation that comes along with being a mother. I have learned that with LOTS of coffee, I survive, ha. I am all the things you are except I am a feminist. I am a home birthing, toddler breastfeeding, stay-at-home mommy feminist. I love giving all of myself to my sweet children. I love being the type of mother I am because it is the way I like to mother. It is what feels right for me. All and all I just want women to be equal, and have a say over their own bodies (whether that be abortion, keeping a baby, home birthing, declining an unnecessary cesarean-section, et cetera). Even if it isn’t something I necessarily agree with, or would decide for myself.

  42. Blanca S says:

    Well Done, I will be sharing this with my Daughter and Friends.

  43. Very true… very true. Well written, great words and real truth. So often my plans and goals for a day must be changed and rethought out… and I must let go of the expectation that I can do it all when they need more. Today is a perfect example… last night my daughter Amelia had a fever and headache… today we now have a slow and stay home Saturday… lots of cuddles and spoils… Great post. Great happy skills.

  44. Thank you for writing. I was thinking of starting with a jest of feminist rage making great declarations of personal happiness in the face of my own self-absorbed denial of responsibility for others all while spewing out horrid vitriol, but thought maybe I’d just better thank you. It was a nice read and I am, as with all nurturers, in awe of your strength and character.

  45. Amy says:

    Matt, in my opinion, your sister can visit any time.

  46. Jacki Ragan says:

    Well said!

  47. Mary says:

    I enjoyed most of the points about the needs of our kids and the choices we have to make as parents. The comments about feminism were very off-base, however. Feminism means that women are equal to men. It does NOT mean that women are superior to men or that we should try to emulate men. Besides, I know my husband – a man – is loving and generous and emotionally engaged, as are many men. It’s especially unnecessary to suggest that feminism means that we should become emotionless robots or selfish beings who feel superior to others and put others’ needs last. People who say this is what modern feminism truly means, as if there’s a hidden agenda about it, are merely twisting things for their own agendas, just like people who are so adamantly against feminism are. Every woman should feel that we are equal to men and our choices and thoughts and ideas are just as valid (along with other issues like earning equal pay, etc.). It’s about supporting the causes and interests of women, which we could use more of rather than women labeling other women and putting up further dividers between us.

  48. Carla B says:

    Thankyou Chrissie! Standing ovation! Our society worships the idea of bodily autonomy and demonizes anything that might require some sort of self sacrifice. What the feminists (those who hold bodily autonomy as the highest good) miss is the beauty in being poured out for the sake of another. It’s grueling, exhausting, and incredible. Thankyou from this mama of many (4 bio, 2 via adoption, and 6 former foster babes).

  49. If you think about it, the government also has a right to your body. The Fed, the state AND the city all agree they have a right to your body, even if you’re a woman. The proof? It’s called a jury summons.

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