I was over a friend’s house picking up a buddy of mine this past weekend. He wasn’t ready so I ended up hanging out for a few minutes with his wife and her friend. I’d met the other woman before but don’t know her all that well. She was talking a mile a minute about how “natural” she lives and how great she feels. Of course, she was telling us that we should be living the same way. She lectured me about different herbs and how she’s detoxing her body.
She’s been “living naturally” since New Year’s Day. (Her words)
She said she feels so much better (“fantabulous!!!” was her word) and she’s been doing a lot of reading about all the “unnatural” chemicals people put in their bodies and how harmful it all is.
My buddy came into the room and rolled his eyes but I didn’t know her well enough to joke about it since she seemed to take it all very seriously so I listened to her. Actually, I kind of pretended to listen by just nodding my head and occasionally grunting.
In the conversation my buddy joked about me “detoxing” my five children.
“What?!” gasped the woman. “Really? You really have five kids?”
One of the funny things about writing a Catholic blog is you sometimes forget that having five kids is a lot. But around the Catholic blogosphere I read about so many people who have that many children and many more that I forget how countercultural it is to have more than two children.
Then she asked me if I was crazy?
I responded I was. (I mean, how else do you respond to that?)
“My gosh,” she said, slowing herself down for a moment. “I couldn’t even imagine. One’s enough for me. I’m not having anymore. My husband wants more but thank God for the Pill.”
Ms. Natural Living is on the Pill?
I couldn’t hold me tongue so I just threw it out there. “How does all this natural living coincide with all the chemicals you’re putting in your body from the Pill?”
And then she said that she needs to be on the Pill because it allows her to live naturally. If she had more children then she wouldn’t have the time to live the way she wanted to live, she said.
I held my tongue after that. Remember, I was the crazy one.
Erin Manning wrote:
What a horrific lie it is, to convince millions upon millions of healthy woman that their bodies’ natural fertility is a terrible disease for which a decades-long prescription to a drug engineered to fight against it is not only necessary, but imperative!
It is rather an oddity that with all this focus on natural foods that many women still don’t consider birth control in the same manner.
January 27, 2010 at 4:12 am
I'm still in school and my wife an I have our fist child on the way. We don't even have the kid out of uterus yet and I already get the vib that most of my fellow classmates think we're crazy.
There are a few other students that have kids as well, but after talking to them I got the distinct impression that they see them as "mistakes." Its been disheartening to saw the least, but I've found a renewed sense of strength from this quote:
Now a child is the very sign and sacrament of personal freedom. He is a fresh free will added to the wills of the world; he is something that his parents have freely chosen to produce and which they freely agree to protect. They can feel that any amusement he gives (which is often considerable) really comes from him and from them and from nobody else. He has been born without the intervention of any master or lord. He is a creation and a contribution; he is their own creative contribution to creation. He is also a much more beautiful, wonderful, amusing and astonishing thing than any of the stale stories or jingling jazz tunes turned out by the machines. When men no longer feel that he is so, they have lost the appreciation of primary things, and therefore all sense of proportion about the world. People who prefer the mechanical pleasures, to such a miracle, are jaded and enslaved. They are preferring the very dregs of life to the first fountains of life. They are preferring the last, crooked, indirect, borrowed, repeated and exhausted things of our dying Capitalist civilisation, to the reality which is the only rejuvenation of all civilisation. It is they who are hugging the chains of their old slavery; it is the child who is ready for the new world.
January 27, 2010 at 4:20 am
Not to mention what the "passing" of the pill chemicals do to the water systems, and the whole circle of life that follows…VERY unnatural, I would think.
January 27, 2010 at 4:25 am
She lost me at fantabulous.
January 27, 2010 at 4:26 am
Planned Parenthood of Canada just announced its inability to help its clients in their quest for natural planning. What 1.2 billion, world-wide organization have you vilified for teaching natural family planning, oh clueless one?
It appears that women are alarmed at the scientifc studies linking increased risk of breast cancerc to abortion andthe Pill. Neither the surgery nor the medication are natural!
January 27, 2010 at 5:23 am
Barb's totally right. I've been blogging about this for years, but finally lately there's been a huge increase in articles and attention on people turning away from the Pill for various reasons, including environmental reasons. Planned Parenthood (well, just one that we know of right now) is the latest to jump on the natural band wagon. Articles mentioning NFP/ turning away from the Pill include one in TIME, a couple Canadian publications, the Swedish version of NPR, the blogosphere, and probably more…You should print out/ get the urls for a couple of these articles, and give them to your quasi-organic lady friend.
January 27, 2010 at 5:32 am
The only area of the medical profession whose intent is to thwart a healthy, well-functioning system of the human body.
Yup, that's natural.
January 27, 2010 at 6:57 am
Who else gets these reactions, as I do when people learn that I have five children? :
"Have you worked out how they are made yet?"
"Haven't you heard of condoms?"
"You two should learn how to turn on the television."
"You must be a glutton for punishment"
"Oh well, that's fine for people who can afford a large family" (in a very judgmental tone, a favorite among "Progressive Catholics")
"You should leave her alone sometimes" (which my wife particularly hates as it implies her complete docility)
Everyone of these remarks have been made to me more than one. The amazing this is that these totally inappropriate remarks are usually made by complete strangers – who seem to think it acceptable to make public judgments on one's fertility.
And then, every now and again, someone will say, very gently, "You must feel very blessed". Funnily enough, the person who says this is guaranteed, every time, to be Catholic or Jewish.
January 27, 2010 at 10:53 am
In the next few weeks, I will inform my work place that my wife and I are expecting our fourth. Remembering the eyes rolling on my third announcement makes it easy to anticipate the reaction.
My line is going to be, "It is kind of interesting to see co-workers reaction to the news. Those who understand what life is truly about and the joy children bring to your life, get it, and are happy for me/us. Those who understand 401K's and early retirements with their inverted focus don't really get it. The reaction of individual people is really very telling into their personalities and the quality of lives they must live."
That'al should shut them up.
January 27, 2010 at 12:42 pm
When people ask me, "Have you worked out how they are made yet?", I reply, "My wife and I have been doing some experiments and have it down to two or three possible causes."
January 27, 2010 at 12:47 pm
My favorite response to the "Have you worked out how they are made yet?" type questions is:
"Oh yes, and someday we'll remember to separate her underwear from my underwear in the wash."
January 27, 2010 at 1:29 pm
Oh guys, you hit a nerve. With nine, I get this question whenever we go out.
"All of them yours?" "With the same dad?"
I never have a sharp retort to this because I'm supressing an urge to growl.
But "Don't you know how this works?" "Obviously."
"Are you done?"
"Done with what?"
Organic chicken not hormone injected, purifies.
Pellet induced sterility via decades of synthetic hormones –living naturally. Right.
January 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm
What better to go with my morning coffee than this post?! Loved the responses to "Have you worked out how they're made, yet?" I've been asked, "Are you done?" before, and my response is usually, "I don't know, but I hope not." We only have three, and the oldest, our only boy, would really like a baby brother.
One of the reasons for "being done" that have been offered to me is the fact that I inherited my dad's PKD, so eventually my kidneys will probably fail, and there are lots of people out there who seem to think that if you have a medical condition that you might pass on to your kids, you really shouldn't procreate. After all, I hear, "Do you really want to do that to your kids?"
I'd rather have PKD than not be alive, myself. I think my kids would agree, even if we all end up in dialysis centers at some point. 😉 I can think of a lot worse things to pass on to my kids.
January 27, 2010 at 2:09 pm
That's pretty common among the "natural living" community. They won't eat high-fructose corn syrup and are convinced that processed flour is poison, but they'll flood their body with chemicals from contraceptives.
I've decided that from now on, when I announce a pregnancy and people joke "don't you know what causes that?" I'm going to respond with a totally deadpan "Yeah. F*****g." Crass joke deserves a crass answer, amirite?
January 27, 2010 at 2:55 pm
SarahL – I'm a SAHM too with 3 little ones and PKD also, inherited from my moms side. And I have a knitting/crocheting obsession also. If you ever would like to touchbase I'm on http://christianfamilyplanning.net with the user name findinghumility. (I'm hesitent to put the e-mail out here and I don't have a blog..sorry)
January 27, 2010 at 3:10 pm
Actually, I like and don't like my reply to those questions. In some ways I like it because of the shock and consternation it causes the other person, but on the other hand, it still portrays fertility to be something avoided if you can figure it out.
Perhaps the better answer is a take-off of Katie's, especially if the brood is around.
Q: "Don't you know how that happens?"
A: "Yes, and isn't it loads of fun when you're married?"
January 27, 2010 at 3:21 pm
I forgot to clarify, when I said I could think of lots worse things to pass on to my kids, that none of them are health conditions.
And thanks, Kristin D! I'll check out the website, and I look forward to meeting you there. 🙂
I love this blog!
January 27, 2010 at 3:51 pm
katie, I love it. If you go to cafepress.com and search NFP, they have so many t-shirts with nfp slogans, and there's one similar to that. 🙂
January 27, 2010 at 4:24 pm
Oh, and many thanks to Jeff for posting the GKC quote! 🙂
January 27, 2010 at 4:52 pm
Ohhh! Hippies like that drive me nuts! The illogic of it all!
When my hubby and I decided to do NFP everyone was horrified on my mom's side (liberal feminist side)- said we were stupid, reckless, etc. My husband's side was wary of it too (they're Catholic) and asked us if we had really thought it through. Even my obgyn was laughed derisively and said, "Oh! The old rythm method! I'll prescribe you some prenatal vitamins right now!" (Needless to say I quickly switched to a pro-life NFP supportive practice!)
Either way, there was a lot of resistance.
Now, 2 1/2 years into our marriage we're expecting our first born any time now (really- he's welcome to arrive whenever he's ready… come on now!) and we were able to (through the grace of God) stick to the method to avoid and then finally acheive pregnancy when we were called to:). I love the freedom this method really allows and the power it give to women (and men) to enjoy and responsibly protect their fertility! Talk about co-operation with the way God created you to be:).
We'll see how things go with the post-partum and breastfeeding… if anyone has any tips or good articles for NFP after childbirth, please pass the links on!
January 27, 2010 at 5:33 pm
Keeping in mind these are the same idiots who get pissed off when they can't get pregnant the very first time 'cos they deserve to have their lives run like clockwork when and how they want. Geesh. You cannot win with some of these dumdums. Our rivers and streams are clogged with the chemicals that they piss out. Sorry, but it's true. As long as they are getting what they want they can claim enlightenment, but it's really ignorance. God help them anyway.