Saturday, May 16, 2009

A bit of a rant...

I like Facebook. I do.
It has it's bad points, I'm not going to lie. If you let it, it can suck time.
On the good side, It's allowed me to communicate with some very good friends in a new way.

One of the things that it also does is allow people to be creative and create quizzes. Which can also be a bad thing. More often than not these quizzes need a good spell checker or proof-reader. And grammar check. Some logic might be nice, too.

Occasionally you'll get a quiz that will come across your screen that is well thought out.
Then there are those quizzes that are totally graded on a curve. Where the happy answer is the opinion of the creator.

One such curve-graded quiz I took was the "How Crunchy of a parent Are you? Quiz". I know I'm not overly "crunchy" by "crunchy" standards.
I don't make all our food by scratch.
I buy things that don't say "natural" on them.
I don't buy herbs.
I go to the doctor if I need to.
Oh - and the worst of it is - I use disposable diapers and I let my kids get their shots. Often giving them sodas or suckers afterward.

Knowing the answer would be non-crunchy before I took it, I took the quiz anyway thinking the answer would give me a chuckle. I was so very wrong.

The answer was "Mainstream Mom" - which wasn't so bad, really, but the explanation of the answer told me that the creator of the quiz think "Mainstream moms" are mindless drones refusing to question the "establishment". The more I thought about this, the more I actually got mad. I didn't realize how MUCH of a curve this quiz was going to be graded on.

I'll give them the disposable diapers vs. Cloth diapers. That's fine.
It was a decision we made for convenience and ease-of-use. It's considered non-crunchy. (I certainly wasn't going to MAKE diapers in the season of life we were in at the time.)

However, The questions about birthing choices were limited in their scope and should have given me a clue to stop the quiz. My curiosity won out.

It was obvious that the creator of this quiz thinks that anyone who doesn't have their baby at home - or even without drugs in the hospital - is apparently brainless.

The more I thought about this, the more my nose got bent out of shape.
Then I started wondering about offering other moms hope.

I've been blessed to speak into the lives of several expectant moms. The first thing I tell them -- you DO NOT have to listen to anyone's horror birth stories.

When I was pregnant with Mini-Me, I heard a doozy that will top them all! It freaked me out!! Any expectant mom has a right to say, "I really don't want to hear this." And then don't.
But I digress...

I got to thinking how important it is to offer other moms hope.
The hope that it will be okay.
The hope that their 3 year old tyrant will be a leader for Jesus.
The hope that they will survive....Even if they have to take it one day at a time.
and often that's just me talking to myself.

I got thinking about hope because this quiz, offered no hope - just condemnation.
Obviously if I was not "crunchy mom" - then I have serious issues and am a lemming.
Knowing that I am far from Lemming-like, I reflected on my birth choices over a sink full of dish washing.

Mini-Me started coming slowly when she was finally ready to come. Labor started right after Church on Sunday. We had gone to a book store, and I was increasingly nauseous, achy and cranky. It was still very hot that late in October. Those feelings did not stop. It took me a while to realize I was actually in labor.

Now - I will give a mom the talking to I wish someone had given me - (It's okay to wiggle, I don't care how much the nurses scowl.) I also wish someone had told me that they put first time mom's through a proverbial "hell". I'd have handled it all much better because I can give as well as I can get - if I know what I'm up against.

We went to the hospital that night - and they sent me home. I could not sleep. The labor was strong enough. I tried sleeping in the chair. No good. Hindsight tells me that I should have scrubbed the floor or picked weeds...but that's hindsight for you. I was back at the hospital after The Price is Right was over. They admitted me, started IV's and pitocin. Back labor was, simply, hell. The epidural didn't take, nothing was working to progress labor - and Mini-Me was stuck.

C-section was offered because by then I was too tired to push. It was Middle of the night Monday now. I was so tired - I freaked out because my mind wasn't thinking clearly. I really just needed a good cry.

The doctor told me they had to really tug Mini-Me out of me, she was stuck so well. However it happened -- Baby #1 was born. Woo Hoo! Man, she had a lot of hair!!!

G-man came in 2000. I was happy.
Different hospital. Different Doctor. Good Epidural. Even waited until I was good and labor-y.
I even progressed and dilated nicely - compared to Mini-Me's birth.
I was hoping for a simple and easy V-bac. The baby had other plans.
G-man WOULD NOT descend.
He was still too high - and no amount of pushing was pushing him out.
C-section #2 happened.

After that section - My options for J-man was only surgery. I was actually fine with it.
The c-section was scheduled. He started coming EARLY!!! Labor started during prayer at church on a sunday night. The c-section was not going to happen for another week.

I called the doc. The on-call doc did her best to stop the labor so my OB could perform the c-section. Nothing stopped it, I couldn't sleep. It was almost like Mini-Me all over again. HOWEVER, once we got in the surgery room everything went really fast. I had a great anesthetist. I got to listen to my Ob and her assistant talk about malpractice insurance reform. It was a hoot. I was amused.

They discovered a knot in J-man's cord.

So -- while doing the dishes and thinking about this stupid quiz - I realized that if I had not had the previous 2 sections -- I would not have a J-man. His knot was loose -- but he was also 3 weeks early. If I had waited to have him "naturally"-- I might have lost him.

The "Crunchy mom" quiz offered me no hope because they CONDEMNED my choices. I am convinced to this very minute that God saved him - much like He saved Moses.

I am learning and have learned to be careful when talking to people.
I may have an opinion about things. However, there are very few things that are absolute for every family. I can name a few that are absolute - but that would be digressing again.

We can not offer hope, or even love, if we are convinced that our decisions are the only ones for everyone.
I don't even feel that way about homeschooling.
It's not for everyone and it's not always a forever choice.

I think it's good to offer options.
With those options - we need to offer hope. Not condemnation.
We need to offer hope.

In the meantime, I'll continue being non-crunchy.
Even if I am compared to jello. At least Jello can be molded.
And if I am mainstream- at least I can go with the flow...or against it...whatever the case may be.

It doesn't matter because I'm So happy to be me.


The Gang's Momma! said...

Oh, so good! So good, so good! Those quizzes are definitely created with an agenda. I've taken a couple and just ditched them when I finished, being so disgusted with the bent.

Good stuff here. Rant away!!!!!

Holly said...

Excellent post. You know what-labels really stink. I hate them. I don't fit into anyone's box-but I'm glad. And I'm glad you don't either.
I haven't taken many quizzes & I'm not familiar w/ facebook. But, I took a quiz once that gave me an answer that was totally off. So, I retook it several times and I kept getting the same answer no matter how differently I answered the questions.
Talk to ya later-sorry I haven't been keeping up w/ blogs lately! Love, Holly

Mother Mayhem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mother Mayhem said...

I am definitely not crunchy.

I refuse to apologize. :o)

jugglingpaynes said...

I saw that one somewhere but never took it. From what you say, I'm guessing it was either written by a twenty-something and/or by a guy. They tend to be the most opinionated about how others raise their kids. :o)

I would assume I would fall on the crunchier end, but that is only because I tend to go against the grain. I try to respect the choices of others because my own choices were criticized so much as a new mom. You keep encouraging. I'll do the same. :o)

Out of curiosity, was homeschooling mentioned on this quiz? I would think that alone would take you off mainstream. Maybe you are too crunchy for the quiz. :o)

Peace and Laughter,

jugglingpaynes said...

Found it. I was 114, somewhere in the middle.

I have to say, the questions are poorly worded and many didn't have an answer I could feel 100%--even 75%--confident about checking.

Find a better quiz. :o)

Livin' Life said...

Applauding from Pa. Thank you, thank you!! Our church is notorious about either riffling off horror stories or making you feel like the lowest of the low because of their own opinions. I think I might just print out your post and give it to them the next time someone tries to go at it with me because of all you stated. You put it so eloquently I will just tell them "Here she sums it up better then I could argue with you."


TobyBo said...

Well, I don't do FB so I miss these quizzes. But that's OK. I really don't do crunchy either, being old enough to remember the first Earth Day (my class had to go plant a tree) I think I am just to old. But I do a lot of the same famous crunchy stuff in the name of frugality.

TobyBo said...

Oh, and I don't worry too much about labels. Once you do some things everyone considers outlandish and radical... like transracial adoption of kids with major special needs... no one is really capable of bugging you too much about the little stuff.

And I am sure following Christ should SURELY put us all in that category.

Kelli said...

:) That's the thing, isn't it. If we would just stop and listen to the "why" of someone else, then we would understand them...maybe change our stance on something a bit...For new moms, I always tell them to do whatever they feel is the best and most positive way for them to have their baby.

Vicki said...

Hahaha...'Crunchy' I came across that term when I started homeschooling and had to look it up. (proof I'm OLD!) My thoughts then and still now, is why on Earth would I ever want to describe myself as 'crunchy'?

It sounds sooooo unclean. Rofl! As I'm pretty far away from mainstream myself.

Halfmoon Girl said...

I give up half way through some of those quizzes cause they don't make sense and are so badly written grammar wise- bugs me. Anyways, good thoughts here my friend. I am off the same mind as you. I did 4 natural labours- I wanted one at home, but that ended up being a high risk pregnancy. I admire C section mamas as they have a lot of recovery ahead of them after. I still think that everyone should have choices and NO pregnant woman should stress and try to do what she thinks will please others. I tell expectant mothers the same things as you about not listening to horror stories (even though I think labour hurt like h*ll- sorry, but it did)

call*me*kate said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I tend to be semi-crunchy but a very diplomatic semi-crunchy, in otherwords, it's your life, not mine or vice versa.

I do wish to offer one small opinion - the next time you see a quiz on Facebook, consider the source.

Ya think?

- Kate (currently not a Facebook user but I do have an account - somewhere)

Tristi Pinkston said...

I love this. I don't know if I'm what they would consider "crunchy" - but then, why would I want to be labeled something that sounds so unappealing? Choices are for each person to make according to the feelings they have (which are gifts from God and we should listen to them) I home school because it's what I feel I should do. I had three of my children at home and the fourth was a c-section. I feel like my 4th was saved, very much like you indicated. We all do what we feel is best, and we can't decide for someone else what is best. Thank you for sharing these thoughts.