How To Get Your Husband To Talk To You, Part 2

Friday, September 30, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (45)

Yesterday, I shared a few strategies for forcing

encouraging your husband to be a little more chatty.  Today, a heavier topic:  how to have an awful but necessary conversation.

N.B.:  I don’t mean to give the impression that if women just follow some simple steps, then healing will magically occur in a deeply troubled marriage.  On the other hand, it’s common for good relationships to go through times when pain outweighs the joy.  But it’s also common to come out of the bad patches stronger and more united than you were when things were chugging along peacefully.  So here are a few ideas for how to approach your un-talkative husband when there’s something wrong:

Don’t ambush him.  If...READ MORE

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How To Get Your Husband To Talk To You, Part 1

Thursday, September 29, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (56)

Warning:  the following post is chock full of generalizations and gender stereotypes.  My only defense is that it’s all true.

The captain of a whaling ship was getting ready to go on another ten-month voyage. His long-suffering wife pleaded with him:  “Won’t you send me a letter this time?  Just one little letter.  It would mean so much to me to hear from you, when I’m so worried and lonely when you’re gone.”  She nagged and nagged, and finally he agreed.  He didn’t see the point, but if it would make her happy, he would send a letter.

Two months went by.  Three months . . . eight months went by.  And finally the mail steamer arrived and lo and behold, there was a letter from the...READ MORE

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The Innocence of God

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (46)

The other day, I got six kids dressed, brushed, fed, and dropped off at their three different schools; cleared the table, threw some laundry in, pulled something dinnerish out of the freezer, and settled down for some frantic writing before a dentist appointment.

I had gotten maybe four words down when my daughter toddled over with a toddler problem—something like, “Mama, I bited my banana and now my banana is bited and now I need a new banana.”

So I stormed, “YES.  Absolutely.  Let me GET UP from my chair and fix your problem RIGHT NOW because it’s SO IMPORTANT that I stop working RIGHT THIS MINUTE.”

And she gave a happy little hop and said, “Fanks, Mama!”

Ouch.  That laid me low...READ MORE

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We Wait In Joyful Hope

Friday, September 23, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (57)

Yesterday, I was reading Tomie dePaola’s The Miracles of Jesus with my four-year-old daughter.  She listened attentively, but I could see that most of the wonders didn’t impress her much.  In these short narratives, some kind of grown-up problem is introduced—and then poof, God solves it, The End.  I think she saw Jesus acting more or less like all adults act:  making good things appear arbitrarily, making sick people feel better, occasionally being cranky and strange, and wishing people would say “thank you” more often.  It was cool, but it didn’t mean much to her.

Jairus’ daughter, however, really got her attention—maybe because it was a full story, with suspense, despair, and a happy...READ MORE

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How to Tell If You're In the Third Trimester

Thursday, September 22, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (24)

If you’re new at being pregnant—if this is, for instance, only your sixth or seventh child—you probably know how many weeks along you are.  Heck, you will be able to recite exactly which fetal neurodendrons are likely being formed at this moment, and can calculate to the minute how far away your due date is.

If this is, however, your ninth pregnancy or beyond, you are probably too busy to take anything but the long view.  All you can really be sure about is whether or not your water has broken yet.  Not yet?  Okay, then you gotta make supper again, darn it.

For those of us who have long ago abandoned our manuals and our pregnancy journals, here are some helpful tips for identifying...READ MORE

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10 Good Books Featuring Big Families

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (73)

Let’s talk about books! These are some of my “big family” favorites:

Picture Books

1.  Mr. and Mrs. Pig books written and illustrated by Mary Rayner

Hilarious and true-to-life adventures of a family with 10 piglets, who clearly love and cherish each other, but also spend a certain amount of time driving each other crazy. I cherish the scene where Mrs. Pig realizes she is too darn fat to change the sheets on her children’s multi-tiered bunk beds; and my kids love Mrs. Pig’s Bulk Buy, in which she uses tough love to cure an infatuation with ketchup. Illustrations are priceless. 

2.  The Father Who Had Ten Children written and illustrated by Bénédicte Guettier

Offbeat picture book about...READ MORE

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Old Movie Review: Night of the Hunter

Friday, September 16, 2011 7:59 AM Comments (22)

Last weekend we watched Night of the Hunter (1955, directed by Charles Laughton) with our older kids. Some of them didn’t get it, and one was disappointed that it wasn’t “live action”—I guess he meant color? Anyway, this is a black and white movie, and even though I’ve seen it before, it blew my mind; and some of the kids haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

A synopsis: A young father is fed up with worrying about whether his family will survive the Depression, so he robs a bank, killing two people. With the police on their way, he thrusts the money at his young son John, and swears him and his little sister Pearl to secrecy about where it is hidden—hiding it even from their mother...READ MORE

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Mary Sees Us

Thursday, September 15, 2011 8:17 AM Comments (192)

“Just try to imitate the Blessed Virgin,” my old pastor would always counsel me. This was when I was a teenager struggling with all the usual teenager sins. The only thing I could see that Mary and I had in common was the color blue: her mantle, my hair. So his advice, while technically excellent, was entirely unhelpful.

When I became a mother, I thought the imitation would come more naturally. But the opposite happened: The more I tried to imitate what I heard about Mary, the wider the gulf between us became.  Imitate someone who was free from original sin, and so had no inclination to be impatient or sarcastic, self-pitying or lazy, lustful or arrogant? And whose Child, while clearly...READ MORE

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About Simcha Fisher

Simcha Fisher
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Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs at I Have to Sit Down. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and nine children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.