Happy Friday! Last weekend we got all dressed up for the Marine Corps Ball and this weekend I’m going to see Wicked at the Fox with my mom, cousin and aunts. Have you had any fun events lately? Did you check out all the One Room Challenge guest participant spaces? I continue to be inspired!
Normally I share fun things I’ve stumbled across on the internet, but this week I’m going to lean a little more serious. These are really important reads for various vaguely political reasons, and since I’m just a home renovation blog, I won’t give any opinions.
That was sarcasm – I’m not just a “home renovation blogger.” I’m a human and part of this great planet. So I am going to share a snippet of my views because these topics are important. We must have meaningful dialogue if we want to come together as a country, as a species, so please comment whether you agree with me or not. Tell me your why! I hope, though, that you’ll avoid simple “NO! YOU’RE WRONG!” type comments – that doesn’t help anyone. Onto the controversy!
- How to raise bully proof children. I personally believe nearly every problem we have on Earth is related to a lack of empathy, of being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It’s where bullying comes from, it’s where racism/sexism/all the isms stem from, it’s where pollution and unfettered capitalism and war and religious persecution and screaming matches with loved ones and nearly every political and societal problem begin. So teach your children empathy. Teach them to observe others, to ask the bully if he is okay, to pull aside a friend and ask her why she is being mean. Teach them to empathize with the differences of others and to be proud of their own differences. The world could use a little more empathy.
- The end of college is coming. This Forbes article looks at college as if it were a stock; brokers would be running for the hills that the bubble is about to burst. Just like in the mortgage lending crisis where freely-given loans led to unsustainable price growth, student loans guaranteed by the government have led to unsustainable cost growth at colleges and universities. Now, this is not to say that college is bad. College is wonderful. My time at college taught me a lot about being an adult, responsible for myself but in a cocooned environment that picked me up when I fell. I loved learning and it lit a fire in me to explore and find knowledge anywhere I can. But, if I could go back in time to when I was 18, I wouldn’t have majored in PR. I probably would have chosen a college path, but it wouldn’t have been the only route to achieve my dream job: project manager on building and renovation projects. My point, I suppose, is to remind everyone that college is a great option, but there are lots of great options! Don’t discount your child’s desires and talents. If they want to be an electrician or a photographer or a coder or just work in a non-career job where they can come home every day without worrying about work, encourage them to find the route that works best for them. It may be college, but it may not be. Also, secondary point, we need to make college affordable and attainable.
- One mom’s late term abortion. This is a podcast and I encourage everyone to listen, whether you’re a mother or not, want kids or not, support abortion access or not. The narrative of women procrastinating for 29 weeks before deciding “oh yeah, I don’t want this baby – I better get on that abortion thing,” just isn’t true. A woman who carries a baby for 29 weeks is a mother. She knows the gender. She has a name picked out, maybe a nursery ready. She’s felt the baby kick, she’s suffered through months of morning sickness and exhaustion, she’s dreamed of who her baby will be. She’s had to make an impossibly difficult decision to end her pregnancy. The mom in the podcast knew her daughter would have a short, painful, difficult life where she couldn’t communicate. Couldn’t express love for her mother or father, couldn’t enjoy baking cookies on a fall afternoon, couldn’t choose a toy to play with or understand a joke. Wouldn’t smile or laugh or make eye contact. Did you know that a late-term abortion is a 4-day process? This mom had to travel from Michigan to Denver to have it performed. She was privileged enough to have that option. She paid upwards of $15,000 to have her world devastated. And after, her milk still came in with no baby to nurse. Her tummy was still extended and she had to endure strangers asking how far along she was. Her body was forever changed to accommodate a child she doesn’t have. She became a mother, though she didn’t have a child to hold. Women who have carried a child for 29 weeks are mothers. They are not monsters. They are put into an awful position where they have to make an unfathomable decision for their child – a position many parents have found themselves in. Parenthood and the journey to parenthood isn’t easy. It’s full of tough calls and regrets and mistakes and overthinking and worry and shame and love. If you know a woman who has chosen abortion, give her a hug. If you have had an abortion, know that you’re not alone. If you are pro-life, consider how you would feel if you were put in this same position – if your unborn child had no chance at a happy, healthy, comfortable, productive life free of pain – and what decision you would make for your child. If you are pro-choice, continue to stand strong. If you don’t know where you stand, listen to this podcast.