Saturday, September 17, 2011

Large Family Dynamics



The Large Family no28

Its interesting to think about how different the dynamics of a large family are in a very religious home vs a non-religious one. Many of the Xtian books I was reading were all about training my daughters to be good little caregivers and house cleaners. My boys have always done plenty of chores too, but mostly outdoors or garbage related as suggested in books like "Created for Work." I realized this summer after we had been living without religion for a bit that this was clearly the wrong way to look at things. Why couldn't Everett bake cookies if he wanted to? I had previously told him this was too girly. Shame on me. Why can't Kayla take the trash out and water the dogs while Wyatt does dishes and Tanner scrubs the toilets? This is cross-gendered training according to several Xtian books. What is really is though, is hogwash! So back to the summer, I decided, the kids had to be rotating through ALL chores whether previously assigned "boy" or "girl." Everything has become gender neutral when it comes to chores in our home. Things like baking and knitting are no longer off limits to the boys if they should choose to try them. Kayla is free to ride dirt bikes and play in the wash for hours catching frogs with her brothers. I never told her she couldn't but I placed imaginary pressure probably to be non supportive of such things.

 I am seeing how ridiculous most of the anti-feminism garbage, really is. They claim it ruins the family unit and causes societal problems. I think its quite the opposite. What if I kept Kayla inside all the time helping with household chores and acting as a mother in training? She would grow up burned out and angry and resentful towards me. She would likely not want any of her own children because she would have felt she already raised a brood. Now this is not to say she doesn't have to help out with babies or small kids or clean on occasion, of course she does. It does mean though that the boys help equally with those same responsibilities and I can guarantee you one thing, if they have kids, they will be great, hands-on dads who KNOW how to change a diaper and hold a newborns head up. They will know how to make a bottle and fold laundry. These skills are valuable to all the kids regardless of whether they are boy or girl. They will all grow up well rounded people with many skills and talents, some that never could have developed if they were shoved behind the fundamentalist label of Xtianity.

I'm proud of the way our family is evolving and the funnest part of our lives right now with the kids having started school, is seeing how their unique styles(clothing and personality) are developing. Watching everything evolve rapidly as the kids(and me) get up to speed with mainstream life will be what I will be writing about next time.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

We grew up in a family of all girls, so there wasn't a separation of chores for us. Each of us had a chance to mow the lawn, take the trash out, and clean around the house. Now that i'm married and have a child of my own (boy 3yr), I find my self fixing the sprinklers, mowing the lawn and weed whacking, and the teen girls ask why my husband can't do it... I said to her, I've got two hands, and this is my house too, so why can't i do things like this around my home.

NDmomma said...

I was raised in a rather fundamentalist household, although my parents were more moderate than my grandparents and in-laws. My husband has a PhD in scripture and teaches in a nice little Catholic college. We're raising our 3 (soon-to-be-4) kids to be responsible adults who can care for themselves whether they marry or not. We don't believe in inerrancy of scripture, yet we manage to have vibrant faith. We don't teach our kids that it's all literal. We've gone through our agnostic periods as well, but we always come back to this kernel of faith that has sustained us. For us it would be ungrateful not to give credit to God for what could only be miraculous blessings. I think there's room not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Tufford Family said...

I guess I am training my Boys to be leaders of their family, it doesn't mean that they can't cook or clean...My eldest son can make an awesome breakfast but he also knows how to fix things....I am not sure what you read but if you want to watch something that's thought provoking, I would recommend the documentary 'The Monsterous Regiment of Women' ....I don't want to give up on you, Janis, I feel deep down you really want to believe...I loved all your posts on being a wife and mother, the post on feminine clothes I really liked...I will continue to pray for you...Blessings, Heidi

kdw said...

I think that your information regarding raising a Christian family is quite skewed. Perhaps in the fundamentalist Duggar family things are as you described, but that's not the way things are in my Christian family. Being a Christian is not about the rules that you got so hung up on, but in the deep belief that God loves us so much that he offers us salvation from our sinful ways through Christ. I think it is a good idea for you to take a break from all walks of faith at this time as you work on deprogramming yourself from the life you were attempting to live. I just hope you recognize that the stuff you got so hung up on is quite insignificant compared to the knowledge of a loving God. My favorite saying is "God's ways are not our ways" :)

Janis said...

This post was definately seperating fundie vs non religious, not just a regular ol christian who doesnt take the bible to be 100% literal.

Janis said...

*the

Janis said...

As for throwing the baby out with the bathwater, I have not called myself athiest. I find myself doubting a lot, always have. My biggest issue is with Bible innerancy. I may come to appreciate the Bible someday from another perspective, I may not? I just know watching Banned From the Bible and then reading Greek Mythology recently reallllllly changed my views of teh Bible.

Tufford Family said...

Janis
Did you listen to the sermon I recommended in another post(Voddie Baucham 'Why I choose to believe the Bible')????? I know that will sum up your doubts and give you a biblical understanding. Please concern listening to it. He also has a video on youtube .

Blessings, Heidi

Tufford Family said...

*consider listening to it..:)

Elena said...

I´m happy you are teaching your children to be responsible adults! It´s such a pity that boys aren´t allowed to cook, sew or babysit, while the girls can´t be outdoors! My parents have always encouraged both my brother and me to do all tasks around the house.

My grandfather used to love cooking, something that amazed my grandmother (according to her, she couldn´t believe it when she got married and my grandfather said he wanted to fix lunch for them!). He had to hide that passion most of his life, because it wasn´t "appropiate", and in a small town, everyone would have laughed at him had they known. It made him very sad to share that part of him with only the closest family members.

So if your boys want to do something considered "feminine", give them the chance! They will love the opportunity!

Janis said...

Heidi I might today if I get some quiet free time.

Elena, how sad about your grandpa

Tufford Family said...

Oh, good...Its only 25 minutes long....Blessings, Heidi

gina r. said...

I know you didn't recommend for me to listen to the Voddie Bauchman sermon, Heidi, but I thought I would put my two cents in as well. As far as I am concerned, he is of the same fundie ilk as the Duggars and just as dangerous. His wife stops homeschooling the boys at 13 so Voddie himself can teach them to be men (I will look for the article later on tonight where they admit that, if you'd like. I read it a few years ago so it will take me some time). There is also this, where he is quoted saying "A lot of men are leaving their wives for younger women because they yearn for attention from younger women. And God gave them a daughter who can give them that."...GROSS!!!! Here is a link to a wonderful article with Voddie's response to the criticism to that statement http://www.thatmom.com/2009/11/19/voddie-baucham-explains-the-video-clip-on-older-men-yearning-for-younger-women/. I am a lot like Janis...read and research religion so I can make the best decision for me and my family, but the only difference is I have never got sucked into church, I've kept my feet firmly planted in my agnosticism. Using this man to try to explain and bring someone back into the fold, well, I see it as having the opposite intended effect. Again, that's just my opinion, but I thought I would throw it out there.

Janis said...

Gina CREEEEEEPY! wow, don't know what to say as that speaks for itself. Reminds me of something straight out of rethinking vision forum. Theres some creepy shit on there too with old Dads and theirs daughters staring creepily seductively into his eyes or even kissing him and they are like 22 still at home under his "protection." Religion is so fascinating in how much of the world is run on it.

gina r. said...

I also don't support the stay at home daughter movement. My daughters should have an education to fall back on...husbands (or wives!!) get sick, die, leave their spouses, loose jobs...any number of things can happen.

My daughters need to be able to stand up for their convictions in the real world, with people that disagree with them and agree with them. Have people who challenge them and help them grow as a person. Sheltering them at 20something years old as sahd is dangerous.

Janis said...

Gina I couldnt agree more and this will creep ya out real good then! http://rethinkingvisionforum.wordpress.com/2011/09/11/daddys-girls-in-vision-forum/

Tufford Family said...

I am sorry for your ignorance and I will pray for you....

Anonymous said...

Janis, it seems as though you are still looking for answers and honestly I don't think you will ever find them unless you sit down and believe what is in your heart. Your answers will not come from watching a video or reading a book or any websites that mock the Christian faith. As a Christian woman and seeing where the Lord has brought me from I can not deny that He is there. I would love to share my testimony with you sometime. Good luck in your search for the truth you are looking for. Sonya W.

Cindy said...

Wow I am shocked at some of these comments. People calling u ignorant???? Of course everyone wants to believe in something, that is why there are so many forms of religion. I will never agree 100% with any religion unless I decided to form my own. But, for People that call themselves Christians to continue to put others down for not having their faith and their beliefs is NOT Christian at all.

Weather a person chooses to believe or not believe, god loves everyone and does not judge. A true Christian would not judge either. For those that are judging you for what you choose to believe or not believe is crap! You do not judge anyone.

Living your life in a true manor is to raise your children not to judge. To treat others as equals and to help not only their parents but others. Just because one attends church and calls themselves a Christian doesn't make them good people, especially not when they are judging you.

It's so sad in a world that people find the Ned to put others down so much.

Hang on there Janis.

Janis said...

Sonya and Cindy thank you!
Heidi, that arrogant attitude is exactly why I have come to despise religion and to be honest, I was hoping my blog would open the eyes of some of the hypocrisy and corruption in religions and you are doing a fine job portraying that to us all, so thank you!

gina r. said...

Heidi, I just have to laugh at that comment. The religious "I'll pray for you" like you just said it, is the equivalent of the southern "bless your heart", aka a big ol' fuck you.

Just because anyone like me or Janis choose not to believe, it does NOT mean we are ignorant. THAT exact attitude plays a huuuuge part in why I want nothing to do with your religion. You are not welcoming, loving or understanding to someone unless they believe in the same thing as you. Maybe you should do a little soul searching as to why you feel that way.

Tufford Family said...

Janis, I wasn't talking to you I was talking to the past poster that addressed me, I guess I should've said that, sorry ....I only stated the truth (as I know it)...Why try to explain my convictions to deaf ears (especially when taking a father that truly is taking the roll of being a loving/caring/protective parent and demeaning it to sound sexual is beyound me)...I will continue to pray and I am sorry my comment upset you, I hope you will except my apology...I think that you are a wonderful person I have known you since babycenter and have enjoyed talking with you..You have been given such a big family at an young age and I think thats what drew me to you...I appreciate that we have the same goals in taking care of ourselves and health...I am a simple women and my words are to the point, I don't candy coat them and it might offend some that get their feelings hurt..YOu have had some posters that I don't agree with but that's their opinion and I stay out of it ..I am not a hypocrite, I live my life for the Lord and stand firm in it, my life is not false and a hypocrite lives a false life (i think my blog reflects that well)...I was stating my opinion and people will like it or not, I really don't care, my life is to reflect the Lord and glorify Him in all I do and my statement was that..Ignorant is without knowlegde so I guess that's why I said that, I can't explain my faith if its going to be demeaned especially when I was addressing you and no other ...I do agree with a past poster that said you need to have it in your heart, and no book or etc. will give you that...My suggestion on the sermon was just to reflect my conviction and I thought it articulated that well...
God Bless you and your family....

Tufford Family said...

accept my apology :)

* I am a christian but I am not perfect and never claim to be...

Janis said...

Heidi, no prob!

Anonymous said...

Hi Janis,
I adore you. I have been following your blog for years as you've woven in an out of a "churchified" state. I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian group, am married to a (nice) fundamentalist man who is two decades older than me, and I have a tiny quiver of children (homeschooled). I also attend a large allegedly fundamentalist church. AND SECRETLY I CANNOT STOP READING BOOKS about biblical manuscripts, compilations, and and scriptural contradictions. Although my background could not be any more different from yours, I promise you, even the most fundamentalist churches have a few quiet souls who simply cannot buy what they are being taught on Sundays or at their weekly gender segregated Bible studies.

I believe in a Creator. I believe that Creator is brilliant. From Scripture and observation, I cannot discern whether this Creator is benevolent, involved, or even moral.

You are so not alone. Marcus Aurelius was a great man. He was no a Christian. He was morally impeccable and many Christians loathed him for it. If you get bored, read him:).

Miranda said...

Janis I wonder if you have misunderstood what these books teach. I am 30 years old with 7 children, we homeschool and my boys bake and my girls chop wood.But their rolls are very clear...