Thursday, January 22, 2015

Green Christianity

I apologize for posting this week's edition of Wannabe Crunchy Wednesday a bit late. 

Last week I was on Overdrive and I borrowed a book called The Green Bible. I assumed the book was about different ways to live green. It was a delightful surprise to learn the book was actually a the Bible that focuses on green living.

Environmentalism, climate change, and green living is not something one would normally associate with Christianity. However, there has been a growing movement that has brought these two subjects together.

The Green Bible from Harper Bibles book description says:

Is God green? Did Jesus have anything to say about the environment? With over 1,000 references to the earth in the Bible, the message is clear. All of God's creation—nature, animals, and humanity—are inextricably linked to one another. As creation cares for us, we too are called to care for creation and engage in the work of healing and sustaining it. Read the scriptures anew with The Green Bible as your guide and discover how caring for the earth is not only a calling, but also a lifestyle. 

There is an accompanying Green Bible devotional. Here is the book description:

THE GREEN BIBLE  has struck a nerve in the religious and environmental community as it highlights in green over 1,000 verses in the Bible that speak directly to how we should think and act as we confront the environmental crisis facing our planet. THE GREEN BIBLE DEVOTIONAL will focus on these "green-letter" passages in the Bible, using them as a starting point to lead readers into sixty daily readings that provide a biblical understanding of caring for creation.
Each reading will give depth to the issue of environmental awareness and will be organized by the following six concerns: clean water, clean air, responsible use of land, protection for animals, health for all humanity, and our role as stewards of God′s good earth. Structured by these themes, each reading will begin with a green-letter passage of scripture, a meditation, and a prayer. For those unfamiliar with what the Bible has to say about the environment or for Christians who want to better understand their role in caring for the earth, THE GREEN BIBLE DEVOTIONAL will provide meaning and hope in humanity′s role towards a sustainable world.

There is also Earth Gospel: A Guide to Prayer for God's Creation by Sam Hamilton-Poore. The book description says: 

Do something for the environment - pray. The icecaps are melting. The air we breathe and water we drink are polluted. Forests are being cleared of oxygen-making trees and ecosystem-integral wildlife. Our daily lives impact our earth - mostly leaving negative footprints. The environmental challenges we face are real and almost out of control. We're free to enjoy the earth's bounty and beauty, but that privilege brings responsibility. How are Christians to respond as stewards of God's creation? Explore through prayer the interconnecting love that binds God, humankind and creation - forming a sacred trust. Hamilton-Poore found himself thinking about nature and preservation while being drawn to a certain riverside when he lived in Iowa. "...Every time I came within sight or sound of the river, I found myself in prayer," he writes. "'Wading into Willow Creek' was like walking into a sanctuary where a divine liturgy was already in progress - a liturgy that the creation itself was singing to its Creator. I experienced myself and creation 'held' in the hands of Christ, the 'first-born of all creation,' who holds together all life, all creation." He came to realize that loving God means also loving God's creation. Christian love-in-action on behalf of the earth is essential. How we live should be informed and shaped by prayer, and how we pray should be informed and shaped by how we live. God's beloved creation is groaning. May we rediscover hope and be led to a renewal of prayer and action on behalf of our home. Tread lightly.

Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action by J. Matthew Sleeth M.D. is described as:

Not long ago, J. Matthew Sleeth had a fantastic life and a great job as chief of the medical staff at a large hospital. He was living the American dream—until he saw an increasing number of his patients suffering from cancer, asthma, and other chronic diseases. He began to suspect that the Earth and its inhabitants were in deep trouble. Turning to Jesus for guidance, Sleeth discovered how the scriptural lessons of personal responsibility, simplicity, and stewardship could be applied to modern life. The Sleeths have since sold their big home and given away more than half of what they once owned. In Serve God, Save the Planet, Sleeth shares the joy of adopting a less materialistic, healthier lifestyle, stronger relationships, and richer spiritual lives. With the storytelling ease of James Herriot and the logical clarity of C. S. Lewis, Sleeth lays out the rationale for environmentally responsible life changes and a how-to guide for making those changes. “Creation is groaning. And Matthew Sleeth has responded. Serve God, Save the Planet is not an alarmist call of despair, but a hopeful invitation to re-imagine the way we live. Sleeth’s words have the urgency of an ER crisis coupled with the deep faith that the Church is ready to join God in healing the wounded world.” --Shane Claiborne, activist and author of The Irresistible Revolution.

Friday, January 16, 2015

FriD.I.Y. Control Journals

The project for this week is not a craft. Instead I will be sharing how to make a Control Journal which is a manual for your household and routines.

I have always loved Flylady and have used her routines for many years. The number one tool that I use from her book and website is the Control Journal. 

The Control Journal is your own personal manual for listing and keeping track of your routines. My Control Journal also has important phone numbers, my short term and long term goals, menu plans, and a section for house hold tips and advice. 

You can use a notebook or bound blank book for your control journal. I use a binder so I can add or remove sections or move them around. 

My first Control Journal was the premade one that Flylady sells. However, over the years I have created my own pages for it using my computer but they have always been based on the original Control Journal pages.

You don't need to buy the premade pages. Step by step instructions for making a Control Journal can be found here as well as suggested sections for the journal. 

I love the idea of adding a spiritual section and think I will make a section for all my usernames and passwords because I constantly forgetting them. 

These instructions are for the main Control Journal but Flylady also has free premade focused Control Journals. There is one for finances, the holidays, students, office, packing, Camp GonnaWannaFly, home maintenance, teachers, and college students.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Crunchy, Scrunchy, or Silky and a Series Mission Statement

While I was researching what it means to be "crunchy" I came across three different terms; silky, crunchy, and scrunchy. What I found wasn't so much definitions as a list of how each type of person parents, various interests they may have, and differences in beliefs and lifestyle. 

You may recognize this as a post that I have written before but I decided to research a little deeper and have expanded the list considerably and provided resources. This updated extensive list provides and overview of topics I will be exploring in this blog series. 

What is a silky parent?
A silky parent likely:
  • gives birth at a hospital using modern medicine (including drugs) and an OB/GYN
  • disposes of the placenta and cord (but may take advantage of modern medicine and store the cord blood)
  • bottle feeds
  • uses disposable diapers
  • is pro-circumcision 
  • is pro-vaccination 
  • follows traditional parenting and medical advice  
  • uses antibiotics and other drugs to treat illness
  • uses traditional baby furniture and toys
  • uses the cry it out method
  • does traditional spoon feeding
  • does traditional potty training
  • uses traditional methods of discipline such as scolding and spanking
  • doesn't care if food has GMOs, is free range, is local, etc.
  • buys most products out of convenience 
  • uses plastic containers, bottles, etc.
  • drives everywhere and doesn't care if their automobile is green (and may refer to small smart cars snidely as micro machines)
  • sends kids to public school 
  • practices little or no green or natural living
  • spends time outside only for recreation not for enjoying nature
  • has political views that are conservative or Republican
  • does not believe global warming is real or man made or doesn't care
  • is in favor of the status quo, established order, and in favor of capitalism
  • favors marriage, traditional family values, and traditional gender roles
  • has traditional religious views and values organized religion

    What is crunchy parent?
    A crunchy parent likely: 
    • has a natural birth usually at home using a midwife or doula
    • waits to cut the cord until it has stopped throbbing
    • eats the placenta or turns it into pill form
    • has adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons
    • practices natural living
    • uses alternative and natural medicine
    • practices gentle parenting and gentle discipline
    • uses elimination communication (EC)
    • is against circumcising
    • is against vaccinating completely or does selective vaccination
    • practices babywearing 
    • breastfeeds (usually for at least a full year and may do extended breastfeeding)
    • does baby led weaning
    • bed shares 
    • uses cloth diapering
    • practices attachment parenting
    • homeschools or unschools
    • does homesteading and may slaughter animals for own food
    • or instead be a vegetarian, vegan, and avoids any non-food item made with animal products or that is tested on animals
    • refuses to use plastic products
    • drives as little as possible or drives a smart car
    • recycles
    • practices green living
    • makes a conscious effort to spend time in nature
    • has progressive, Democratic, or third party political views
    • doesn't believe in traditional marriage or gender roles (and may be a feminist)
    • may be anti-establishment, against consumerism, or have anarchist tendencies
    • may reject organized religion in favor of alternative religion (usually earth spirituality)

    What is a scrunchy parent? 
    A parent who is a mixture of crunchy and silky

    My Crunchy Series Mission Statement
    Because I am researching how to live a more crunchy lifestyle and am not yet a practitioner, I will be presenting the pros and cons of the opposing views. I have no interest in convincing you one way or the other what to believe or what to practice, however do expect the series to share ways to live a crunchier lifestyle. For example. I will not tell you whether or not you should circumcise or vaccinate your child but I will share the latest research on the topics. I will not try to convince you that global warming is an indisputable fact, but I will present the conclusions experts have made and share ways you can make the world a greener place. Nor will I tell you that you should become a vegetarian but I will explain the benefits of doing so.

    I've been living a very silky lifestyle and don't expect to change overnight. This blog series will be about learning how to make gradual changes in one's lifestyle. It's not about becoming someone I'm not nor is it about judging people who live differently. I also don't want to guilt trip anyone for living a silky lifestyle. 

    It's important for me to state these things from the very beginning. It's for myself as well as you. I'm not out to prove anything or change anyone. I want to have a mission statement to refer back to because I have no idea where this adventure is going to take me or how it will affect me. I don't know if I'll still parent or live the same way after doing this series but I do know I want to remain authentic and judgment free.

    Friday, January 9, 2015

    FriD.I.Y. How to Make a Casserole or Pie Dish Carrier

    Welcome to the first ever FriD.I.Y meme! This is something I have been wanting to do for a long time now. Each week I will post a D.I.Y. project. Right now I am doing projects and tutorials I find around the web but hopefully in the near future I will post some of my own D.I.Y. projects. 

    I was on Facebook last week when I found this wonderful vine of a casserole/pie dish carrier. Please note you do need to be signed into a Facebook profile to view the vine.

    Fortunately underneath it someone had posted a Youtube tutorial on how to make it. The tutorial video is done by The Crafty Gemini. She has a blog as well.

    Let me know what you think of this project in the comments. Also if there are any specific projects you'd like me to post about please let me know in the comments.

    Wednesday, January 7, 2015

    Announcing a New Weekly Meme: Wannabe Crunchy Wednesday

    Announcing this new meme is bittersweet for me. It's bitter because I am discontinuing Widowed Wednesday and sweet because it is a topic I have been wanting to explore on a regular basis for a long time.

    I've decided to discontinue Widowed Wednesday because this was never a topic I could get into writing about and because I've been a widow nearly a decade. I know it shouldn't matter how long I have been a widow but it just isn't a topic I want to write about on a regular basis anymore. I'm sure I will still write about being a widow on occasion, but I just don't want to hash through what being a widow means every week. It's just too depressing. I can't write about something I don't feel any enthusiasm for.

    So I have set my sights on a topic that will be a bit challenging for me. Hence the title "Wannabe Crunchy Wednesday." I am not a crunchy mom but I want to be and am very excited about this weekly meme. I have not yet earned the title of "crunchy" so I will refer to myself as a "wannabe" for now. Maybe down the road, if I get a handle on this crunchy thing and actually make it a lifestyle, I will change the title.

    I also know that there are a lot of people that are going to be turned off by this topic, but the good news is since the posts will always be on Wednesday you will know when to avoid my blog. (But I'm hoping you won't and will learn a little about being crunchy along with me.)

    What does it mean to be crunchy?
    Urban Dictionary describes it as:
    Adjective. Used to describe persons who have adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons. Crunchy persons tend to be politically strongly left-leaning and may be additionally but not exclusively categorized as vegetarians, vegans, eco-tarians, conservationists, environmentalists, neo-hippies, tree huggers, nature enthusiasts, etc.

    The good news is I won't be discussing any politics on here but I will be discussing green living, nature enthusiasm, simple living, vegetarianism and whatever else catches my interest about being crunchy. I'm new to this topic so I can't honestly say what I will be blogging about. (I have a whole list of blogs in my blogroll to show me the ropes.)

    I am really excited about this meme. It will definitely be a learn as I go journey and I hope you will join me. I went through the archives and found the first article I wrote on the topic where I talk about what it means to be silky, scrunchy, or crunchy.

    If you hate this weekly meme, you may like a different new one I am starting. I also am going to be doing a DIY weekly meme called FriD.I,Y. where I blog about different craft, home decorative, or beauty DIY projects on Fridays, so look for that meme coming soon! 

    Saturday, January 3, 2015

    The 2015 Parenting Reading Challenge

    It's back for 2015!

    Do you have a large TBR pile (to be read) of parenting books like I do? Maybe there are some parenting books that your family or friends insist you need to read? Or maybe you heard about some funny parenting memoirs or novels? I'm hosting a reading challenge to get you motivated to read those books!

    The Rules: 

    The reading challenge runs from Jan 1, 2015 to Dec 31, 3015.

    You may sign up anytime during the year to participate.

    Books read in part or whole before Jan 1, 2015 do not count.

    You may include books of any format including traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks.

    Books may be novels, mom lit, parenting advice and how to, inspirational such as the Chicken Soup books or Mom devotionals, parenting memoirs, or parenting humor.

    Books on homemaking can count towards this challenge if they talk about parenting or children. This includes how to, advice, and even recipe books.

    You may reread books.

    Books may count towards other reading challenges.

    If you could be so kind, please place the 2015 Parenting Reading Challenge banner on your blog to help spread the word.

    Please link back to this blog, post about it on Facebook, Tweet about it, and so on to help spread the word.

    If you write a review of the book, come back here and post the link in the comments.

    Please choose a level. You may change levels at anytime. You may go up or down.

    Newborn: One or two books
    Infant: three to five books
    Toddler: six to eight books
    Preschooler: nine to twelve books
    Child: thirteen to fifteen books
    Teenager: sixteen to twenty books
    Adult: twenty-one books or more

    Signing Up 
    Before signing up, please create a post or page where you will list all the books you have read and then use that link for the Linky Tools below.

    If you don't have a blog you can still sign up by using a link to your Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and so on.

    Tuesday, December 30, 2014

    The Gift of Romantic Potential

    Since having my newest addition (who will be 2 yrs old next month) I haven't been putting myself out there. I haven't given up on dating and relationships, I've just put them on the back burner. I've been focusing on other things in my life. It's been so long I sometimes wonder if I even remember how to interact with the male species. 

    Since I haven't even been attempting to put myself out there, I feel like I have, for lack of a better term, let myself go. I'm out of shape. I rarely wear makeup. I wear the same outfits all the time. My hair is never styled. I just haven't been making an effort.

    On Sunday night, we had a party for my oldest son who was home visiting from Florida. He had invited some close friends of his and my daughter's. (They are only 2 years apart so have always had mutual friends.) They are really family friends. These kids are practically my kids and I would do anything for them. 

    Well the father of one of the friends is someone I have had a crush on for a long time. From what my kids tell me the feeling has been mutual but most of the time I think they are exaggerating just to make me feel better. I will call him J.

    Now J. and I have gone out once before my baby was born. It wasn't a bad date but he was recently divorced and I felt he wasn't ready to be dating yet. Somehow there was a misunderstanding and he thought he had offended me somehow. So we never went out again. We have ran into each other causally and done the usual "It's nice to see you" interaction but nothing has ever come of it.

    Last month J. offered to help me with some projects that need done around the house. I didn't read anything into this. He's a handy kind of guy so I assume it's simply to help me out or have some projects to do, not necessarily and excuse to see me. 

    Despite the very few interactions we have had over the last few years, there's always been something about him that quickens my pulse a little. He's a great looking guy but it's more than that. He's got a good heart and is a good father. I've always wanted to know him better.

    His daughter who was at the party was texting him and he told her to tell me hi. Her being the little devil that she is, decides to text to J. that I miss him. He replies that he misses me too. She then asks me if I want to invite him to the party. Of course I did, but I wasn't sure if I was more terrified that he wouldn't come or more terrified that he would.

    He did. We all mingled most of the time so never had an interaction one on one. He had things to do the next day (this was Sunday night remember) and so decided to leave early. I walked him outside where we finally were able to talk to each other without anyone around.

    He offered to help me with the household projects again and asked if I needed any work done on my van. All the while he's touching me in some way. It was nice. An arm rub. A hand on the middle of my back. He hugged me longer than needed and told me I smelled nice. (I was wearing my favorite perfume Dolce and Gabbana's Light Blue.) Then he gave me a small peck on the lips goodbye.

    I came inside and they all wanted know "Did he kiss you?" I was honest and said it was just a peck. They enthused about us dating but I said that it probably won't ever become anything more. I just have this feeling that J. and I will never quite become anything significant. I'd certainly like to date him and get to know him better. But I'm just not going to sit around doodling his name into my notebook, so to speak. In other words, I'm not getting my hopes up.

    Then I had an epiphany today.

    I realized that even if J. and I never date that what he's given me is still truly a gift. He made me feel like something more than just someone's mommy. He made me feel like a woman. He made me feel beautiful and desired. He made me realize I do still know how to flirt and interact with a guy that I like. He made me realize I liked putting on makeup and perfume for a guy. He made me realize that I can put myself out there again. That I should put myself out there again!

    Maybe this will be the only role J. will play in my life. Maybe nothing more will come of our interactions. But that's okay. Because J. has given me something that I haven't had for a few years now. No not romance, or attention, or compliments. It's bigger than that.

    He gave me confidence in myself. He gave me hope that I won't spend my life without a significant other. He also made me realize that it's not going to happen if I'm just sitting around the house and not making an effort. I have to take chances and risk rejection. Putting myself out there again is terrifying but I can't whine about how I'm still single if I'm not even making an effort to find someone. 

    He made me realize the potential is still there. And that's something I haven't felt in a long, long time.

    Tuesday, December 16, 2014

    Having Children At Varying Ages and Stages

    My kids are all varying ages. Having kids at each stage of life is fascinating and completely chaotic at the same time. They all have different relationships with each other because of their ages too.

    My toddler will be 2 in January so I'm reaching the terrible twos stage. She is in that inbetween stage where she's still a baby in many ways but is starting to act like a little girl at times.

    My 10 year old daughter keeps acting more and more like a preteen. Last week I was dancing in the living room and she said to me, "Mom, don't embarass yourself." A few days ago her coat needed washed and when I suggested she wear her brother's for the day she said, "That's not happening." Where has my little girl gone?

    My 13 year old son has his first crush. He's been navigating how to talk to and ask out this girl. So far she hasn't broken his heart but he's not sure if she feels the same way so I'm hoping he doesn't end up "crushed."

    My 19 year old daughter plans on moving out at the end of this month so I will have two adult children living away from home. She will only be living about 20 minutes away. I thought since this is the second time I've experienced a child moving out it would get easier, but it's still bittersweet. 

    My oldest is now 21 years old and still lives in Florida. He was talking about moving back home to Indiana but then he got a serious girlfriend so he plans on staying in Florida. He will be visiting at the end of the month after Christmas. He can only stay a few days because he got promoted at work to manager. We talk at least weekly but this will only be the second time I have seen him in two years! He's also only met his baby sister once when she was almost one!

    Despite the chaos and differences, the best part of having younger and adult children is that it's easier to visualize my younger children as teenagers and adults. I'm able to see the results of both the mistakes and things I did right with the older ones and apply the lessons I've learned to raising my younger kids. It sometimes feels like I have to do mental gymnastics though because I'm discussing going to the bar for the first time with my oldest child while changing the diaper of my youngest.

    I also worry sometimes about having a child so much younger than the rest of her siblings. Will she end up feeling like an only child? Will they always treat her like a "baby?" She's closest to her 10 year old sister but will she eventually feel more like a mother-like figure than a sister? Will she know her older siblings well if they all have moved out? Will she be an aunt before she's even five years old? Only time will tell.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    Should Men Be Able to Have "Financial Abortions?"

    I was doing some research on single parenting and have come across an idea that I have never heard before. It relates to co-parenting and child support.

    Here it is:
    When women get pregnant they have several choices. They can have an abortion. They can choose to raise the child. They can choose not to name a father and give the child up for adoption. Women can even abandon a baby using the Safe Haven law.

    Men do not get a say in whether or not a woman has or doesn't have an abortion. A man must go to court to get a DNA test to prove a child is his before he can object to an adoption. A woman can get a court order to get a DNA test and once it's proven the child is his force a man to pay child support.

    Why can a woman have these options but a man is forced to pay child support for a child he didn't want?

    There are some that say whenever a man has sex with a woman he is consenting to parenthood. If the woman decides to keep the child he can be forced to pay child support for a child he never wanted in the first place. He may even go to jail for not paying child support for a child he never wanted in the first place.

    Men's Rights Activists are asking why is a man forced to be a parent when women have the options of abortion or adoption? Others take it even farther and say a man should never be forced to pay for a child he doesn't want. Many support the idea of what's called a "financial abortion." Simply put this means the father relinquishes all parental rights as well as any financial responsibility for the child without penalty during the mother's pregnancy.

    One might be ready to argue that it isn't just father who pay child support. Mothers who have lost full custody do indeed pay fathers child support. This argument unfortunately isn't that simple. The article Deadbeat Moms? Should Mother's Be Required to Pay Child Support to Their Child's Father? says: 

    According to the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, only 5% of mothers pay child support compared to 85% of fathers. And it’s been reported that in some cases, even if the father is the custodial parent, he may STILL be ordered to pay child support to the mother if he earns more money than she does – but not the reverse. 

    Does that sound like equality to you? It certainly doesn't to me.

    I do think these are all excellent questions that need to be asked. It's certainly opened my eyes to what true equality among the sexes really means when it comes to parenting. It the need for "financial abortion" a legitmate argument?

    Maybe. Maybe not.

    Something about it didn't quite add up to me. The Men's Rights argument is that men are responsible for the child no matter what. I started to wonder what happens if the father decides to terminate his parental rights. Does he still have to pay child support?

    The fact is, if a father can terminate his parental rights and is no longer required to pay child support, it shoots the Men's Rights theory to pieces. Their argument that they have no choice regarding parenting is rendered completely invalid.

    What happens if the court grants the petition for termination of parental rights? 
    If the court grants the petition, the parent-child relationship is ended and the parent loses all rights and obligations concerning the child. The parent's obligation to pay future child support also ends, but any past-due child support must still be paid.

    What happens if my parental rights have been terminated? If your parental rights have been terminated, it means the Court has entered an order that completely severs and cuts off the parent and child relationship. Here, the natural parent whose parental rights were terminated shall not thereafter be responsible for child support.

    WILL I STILL HAVE TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT IF MY PARENTAL RIGHTS HAVE BEEN TERMINATED? If your parental rights are terminated, and you owe child support that was ordered before your rights were terminated, you are still required to pay the amount owed.

    If a parent’s rights are terminated (s)he no longer has any parental responsibility, including financial, and can at no point in the future legally ask to be involved in the child’s life.

    Is it fair that men need to go through a costly legal process to terminate their parental rights? I'm sure Men's Rights Activists would argue no. However, a woman has to pay for an abortion or arrange for an adoption so she must take care of various responsibilities as well in order to not be a parent. The Safe Haven law does exist but I don't entirely agree that a woman should be able to abandon her child without any legal consequences.\

    So the claim that a man is always forced into parenthood against his will and into paying child support isn't entirely accurate. The legal difference between terminating parental rights and a "financial abortion" is that it is done after the child has been born and paternity has been established.

    A woman certainly can't escape establishing herself as the natural mother so why should a man be able to skip establishing paternity? A pregnant woman can't declare the unborn child not hers and just walk away, so why should a man be able to do so? She will still be pregnant. Is the idea of "financial abortion" granting equal rights or is it favoritism towards men who already don't have to deal with being pregnant?

    What do you think? Leave your responses in the comments.

    Wednesday, November 5, 2014

    Widowed Wednesday: How Becoming a Widow Made Me a Feminist

    This past weekend I came across a video by Judgybitch that to my surprise was not only something I related to, it was something I agree with...but only up to a point. I really want to be able to discuss what she's talking about with her. I want to discuss it because although we have had similar lifestyles, it actually led me to feminism not away from it.

    In the video, Judgybitch talks about how as young adults we are not taught how to balance financially taking care of our family with our family life. She talks about the feminist myth that "we can have it all." When it comes to the idea of women having both successful careers and being successful mothers the idea of having it all is indeed complete bullshit. Oh there are a few lucky women (like the cake decorator neighbor Judgybitch discusses) that get to have "the best of both worlds" but for most mothers, they have to sacrifice either their career or family time. I completely agree with Judgybitch when she says this feminist myth has made many women very unhappy. However, that doesn't mean I reject feminism as a whole or the idea that mothers shouldn't pursue a career. (I explain why in a bit.)

    What I related to the most in the video was how Judgybitch found herself without any practical skills and unable to help support her family financially. She explains that this isn't because she is a traditionalist but because of bad choices she made in her college education.

    My story is a little bit different yet I ended up in the same situation. I was a traditionalist. In my early twenties I married a wonderful Southern Baptist man that didn't want me to work. He believed it was a husband's job to provide for the family and the woman's job to stay home and take care of the children. Being the kind of woman who needs something for herself, I worked on my writing. Along with being a housewife, I spent my time trying to get published. (This was old school publishing before blogs, ebooks, and ezines.)

    I was fairly content with my lifestyle most of our marriage. I was a homemaker, stay at home mother, and a housewife and it worked for me for many years until the feminist in me won out. After long discusses about how we would make it work, my husband gave me his blessing when I enrolled in college. Maybe it was because he saw how his career was being helped by the college classes he was taking or maybe it was the fact that we had just bought our first house and he realized not solely enduring the financial burden was to his benefit. Whatever the reasons were he was going to take care of the children so I could go to school.

    Then on a rainy October morning, my husband died in a car crash. Suddenly and without any warning I became the sole financial provider for our family. Me, the housewife, who had never gone to college and hadn't worked in nearly a decade was completely and utterly financially responsible for everything. If it wasn't for my husband's life insurance I don't know how I would have fed, clothed, and housed myself or our children.

    However, unlike Judgybitch who sees only the negative when it comes to feminism, I realized that if I had embraced the feminist idea that a woman is more than a housewife, my husband's death may have been less devastating in that aspect. I didn't read The Feminist Mystique by Betty Friedan until last year, but I understand now my yearning to be more than a housewife was there the entire time.

    The more I thought about what the traditionalists tell you, the angrier I got. Find a good husband and settle down. Be a stay at home mother and put your children before a career. You will get your happy ending. You will grow old with your husband. You will get the fairy tale.


    Those traditionalists never tell you that you need a plan for when your husband dies. They never warn you that one day you, the housewife with no education and no job skills, will become the sole financial provider for your family. While yes, the feminists do perpetuate the myth of having it all, the traditionalists also perpetuate the myth of the fairy tale ending. Just find a husband to provide for you and it'll all be okay. For widows, it's not okay!

    It was my anger at this myth of the fairy tale ending that led me back to feminism. It made me realize the dangers of buying into the traditionalist myth that you just need a good man to take care of you. We are not fucking Disney princesses who find our Prince and live happily ever after!

    I don't blame the traditionalists exactly. You don't get married thinking that you are going to be a widow someday. Yet the fact is there are 11 million widows in the United States. Many of these women embraced being a homemaker with no plans on how they would provide for their family if they were widowed. Judgybitch never discusses how women are failed in this aspect. But why would she when her husband is alive and well?

    Judgybitch is able to see how the feminist myth of having it all has failed women, but she doesn't see how the myth of the fairy tale ending has failed women like me. She doesn't see how feminism can help women prepare for when they are required to be the sole providers for their family. How could she when she sincerely believes widows are not single mothers?

    I don't blame her. In fact, I hope that she and her husband do grow old together and she gets her fairy tale ending. I hope she never has to experience the fear that comes with suddenly and without warning having to become the sole breadwinner, especially considering she admits she has no income. I also sincerely hope her husband has a good life insurance policy, because it sounds like if anything were to happen she would need it.


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