Concentrate on health — every way you can define it — and you’ll be just fine.
♥ ROLE MODELS: Award-winning novelist Ann Patchett shares an insight that came to her in response to others’ who consider her decision to live without children to be strange:
“I went to Catholic school for 12 years…I was with nuns the whole time I was growing up. They were my role models, they defined my moral code, they set the rhythm of my days. And they were career women who didn’t have children. They were women who said, ‘I have this thing that I really want to do. I want to devote my life to God and not get married and not have children.’
“And those were the women that I was around from the time I was 5 until I was 17. And it was really much, much later in my life that I thought, I had a ton of role models of strong, smart women who said, basically, ‘I want to follow my career. My career is God.’” More
♥ FAITH: The Public Religion Institute reported in July 2013 that almost 6 of 10 Americans (59%) define being a religious person as “primarily about living a good life and doing the right thing.” Just 39%, more than one-third, feel that being religious “is primarily about having faith and the right beliefs.”
Religious affiliation in the U.S. is at its lowest point since it was first tracked in the 1930s. How might that effect the lock-step retort heard by many a NotMom, ‘But God wants women to have children”? Read More
♥ SAFETY: A 2013 survey was designed to assess women’s attitudes about domestic violence after the very public physical abuse of 53-year-old celeb chef Nigella Lawson by her husband. Arguing while leaving a London restaurant in June of that year, Ms. Lawson’s husband forcefully grabbed her by the throat. At one point, he pinched her nostrils shut. She filed for divorce a month later..
The survey wanted to know why respondents thought this story attracted so much attention worldwide. The question appeared beneath the photo at left. My answer: Because she looks scared out of her f-ing mind. Bottom Line: One of every 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime: poor, rich, famous and unknown, Mom and NotMom. Read More
- The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd
- ElfQuest by Wendy & John Pine (*graphic novel)
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
- The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
- An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography by Paul Rusesabagina
- The Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker
- Watership Down by Richard Adams
♥ SELF-IMAGE: “Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful … we decided to conduct a compelling social experiment that explores how women view their own beauty in contrast to what others see.” Dove‘s “Real Beauty” campaign encourages feminine authenticity. Who expected life lessons from soap? Read More
♥ FAITH: The parents of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting are said to follow a quiverfull lifestyle, following a little known movement among Christian evangelicals. The group takes its name from Psalm 127: “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.” It’s not a very positive message for those without kids, and why are kids equated with weaponry? Read More
♥ BREAST CANCER: No kids? Your breast cancer risk is higher. From 1996 to 2001, British women age 50 and older were invited to participate in the “Million Women Study,” it continues to provide valuable information, most recently in December 2012. Pregnancy in itself may not be the only naturally protective measure against breast cancer. Other findings included:
“Having a first baby at a young age is protective, as is late onset of puberty and early menopause. Taller and heavier women are at greater risk. But the biggest protective factors are the number of children and years of breastfeeding. A woman has a 7% decreased risk of breast cancer per birth and her risk drops by a further 4% for every year of breastfeeding.” Read More
♥ CONTRACEPTION: A recent poll reveals that 2/3 of women age 18-44 are in favor of OTC birth control, and the the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is, too. But, this is America, and some voters are concerned about those 15-16-year-olds, preferring that they ‘just say no’ or get parents involved before a birth control purchase. Read More
♥ HIV/AIDS: HIV is spread when infected bodily fluids are transferred from one person’s body to another’s: Blood, breast milk, semen AND any fluid that appears pre-ejaculation. Use a condom every time with an appropriate lubricant. Over-the-counter home HIV tests are now available at a drug store near you. Cost is about $40 with results within 20 minutes. A cotton swab in your cheek and done.
♥ GYN: There’s an app to let a woman know how long her fertility will last. Seriously. Oregon developer Mira Kaddoura has created The Wonder Clock. Only $1.99 to find out on your Apple product. According to her homepage, using only a woman’s birthdate, The Wonder Clock predicts the last day for babymaking.
♥ CONTRACEPTIVE POWER: TEDxChange speaker global funder Melinda Gates (wife of Microsoft founder Bill) noted that more than 1 billion couples will have sex with one another this year. (We must infer that she was referring only to heterosexual couples, or we’re off on another subject.) She believes “all these men and women should be free to decide whether they do or do not want to conceive a child.” Visit the No Controversy in Contraceptives website to share how access to birth control has changed your life.