Maternal Guilt Cheat Sheet

10/07/2011 Comments (66)

Raising children brings so much joy, fulfillment, and meaning to life.  It also brings guilt by the boatload.  It is impossible to raise another human being without routinely screwing up in monumental ways—and that’s when you’re trying.

Spiritually mindful parents will recognize that wallowing under a load of crushing guilt is actually a subtle form of pride:  by dwelling on our failures, we are making too much of ourselves, and too little of the redemptive power of grace, which can be accessed through daily acts of hope and trust in God and in Mary as the true mother of our children.

So that’s for the holy types.  For the rest of us, here is a handy cheat sheet.

Note:  Proposed...READ MORE

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Dying Women Don't Need Contraception

10/06/2011 Comments (150)

According to The New York Times, a new study shows that injectable contraceptives popular in Africa are making HIV infection rates rise.

The most popular contraceptive for women in eastern and southern Africa, a hormone shot given every three months [probably a generic version of Depo Provera], appears to double the risk the women will become infected with H.I.V., according to a large study published Monday. And when it is used by H.I.V.-positive women, their male partners are twice as likely to become infected than if the women had used no contraception.

You may think that the rise in rates of HIV transmission comes because couples using hormonal contraception are less likely to be...READ MORE

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Hope For Pro-Lifers

10/04/2011 Comments (60)

As long as I can remember, being in the pro-life movement meant forging ahead because it was the right thing to do, and not because you thought you were actually getting anywhere.  You rallied and sent letters and held signs and held your nose to vote for the least bad candidate . . . but you didn’t really expect anything to change until the Second Coming.

There is still plenty of bad news.  The statistics are dreadful; and, most chilling of all, some people are now willing to admit:  yes, this is clearly a human baby resting in his mother’s womb.  Let’s kill him anyway.

On the other hand, there is hope.  Just in the last week, the abortion industry has taken several hard hits.

I...READ MORE

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

09/30/2011 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

09/29/2011 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

09/27/2011 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

09/23/2011 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

09/22/2011 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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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.