Oct 22, 2016

Off-site Highlights: Marriage, Moms, and Other Things

(Compiled by Anna)

Your semi-weekly, semi-regular collection of recommended reading. As always, I don't necessary agree with any of these writers in entirety, but I learned something from their perspective. Happy Saturday!

1. We can learn about marriage from feminists. I cannot agree entirely with the idea that a "true marriage" must involve a full intellectual union (your marriage can be real enough even if you don't have wonderful conversations together), but I am strongly attracted to the idea that being married involves giving to each other from our minds and intellects. I think it's important to think about how this is to be done. Those who have read Dorothy Sayer's later mysteries will remember Harriet and Peter's struggle to reconcile the conflict between intellectual honesty and the passionate feelings of love--feelings which might make a person behave in a way at odds with his or her intellectual beliefs about right and wrong. This blog post, by a writer and artist whose career has been built around folklore and literature, echoes an aspect of that theme. 

"The Narrative of Marriage" by by Terri Windling
"We are constantly bombarded with stories (films, songs, etc.) that lay down all-too-familiar scripts for how to behave as lovers in the throes of new passion -- but where are the stories (or films, or love songs)  that tell us anything useful about the mysteries of a working marriage, the challenging art of true partnership? 
"And does this matter? Well, I think it does. Not everyone is blessed with the model of a functional marriage in their family background, and thus it's to stories we often turn for a glimpse of how else to construct our lives." More.

2. This piece is a good reminder for those of us who stay at home with little kids.  

"This is a Job" by Anna of The Heart's Overflow
"And at the of the day when I crawl into bed my body is tired and my feet are sore from the full day of work I put in. So why do I feel like I got nothing done? Why does my life feel insignificant? 
"It feels insignificant because I've been treating it as insignificant." More.

3. Have you seen this one? It might make your life better.

"How Getting Rid of My Stuff Saved My Motherhood" by Robin Long
"I thought motherhood was going to mean I’d get to enjoy my kids. I chose stay-at-home motherhood because I felt like this is where I was supposed to be – home with my kids. It felt right. Yet, I never spent time truly with them. I had to keep moving or the house and the day would collapse. When I did press pause and spend some time with my kids, it felt like I had to pay the price – catching up on housework; making up for the time I missed living my life. This made me lose my desire to even play with them. What was the point if I was just going to get more behind, more stressed out?" More.

4. This piece from the Washington Post on raising less-entitled kids strikes a somewhat related note.

5. Speaking of modern society, here is a short piece that is both grim and also blessedly encouraging.

"God and Others" by Scott Murray
"In the days of my youth, skeptics used to ask, 'Does God really exist?' . . . . The question being posed today is 'Do others really exist?' What I mean is that so many view others as a mere appendage to their own life. The other is only valuable to me if the other can be a source of satisfaction for me." More.

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