Trying to Remember What Matters

We’ve been trying so hard to move, but it seems like anywhere that’s actually in our price range is either a slum, an  undesirable area, or is ancient, and hasn’t had lead paint testing done.

new baby + lead paint = bad combo.

it looks like I may have to accept that we’re going to be in a one bedroom apartment when Sydni’s born.  …really, at times, that doesn’t phase me at all.  it’s already kind of crowded with just the three of us, but children and parents having separate rooms is a very american mentality.

it’s cultural programming, really, that makes me uncomfortable.  trying to get outside of “what should be” and what other people think, and just accepting what is, is what it comes down to.

and what is… honestly, is pretty good.  we live in a good area, everything is easily accessible to us, we’re on the bus line for Israel’s school.  and most importantly.

I have a happy, creative, intelligent child, who is perfectly content having a bunkbed over ours, and a happy, creative, intelligent husband, who may not be completely happy with our living situation, but is always there to remind me that sometimes things just don’t work, and eventually they will, with the confidence that was part of what made me fall in love with him.  the quiet calm under his chaos.

we have a new member of our family coming.  I have never rejected someone on the basis of “not having enough room”.  nor, whenever I had someone coming to visit, especially family, have I gone, “oh god, where are we going to put them?”

we have always had the mentality that as long as there was floor space, we had room.  …not that we’re going to put a baby on the floor of course, but Israel and I, and Israel Ethan and I, have slept in a large variety of different places, without suffering any kind of damage.  it’s not like Sydni’s going to come out and be like, “well, you guys certainly didn’t plan this very well did you?”

although, I must admit, that’s probably a very common mentality around us right now.  but since when have we ever been ones to worry about what the people around us thought?

-Domestic Anarchist

hormones

the past couple days it’s becoming hard to kind of gauge and keep track of where I’m really at.  I know I need to keep writing, but I feel so scattered.  there’s alot of stress in our lives right now, we’re attempting to move, and I’m just hoping it goes through before the lovely Sydni-Fae makes her appearance.

there’s just this… edginess and exhaustion that’s setting in, that I don’t really remember in my pregnancy with Israel.  of course, that was 6 years ago.  there’s a chance I’ve just forgotten.  I’ve added dandelion tea into my daily intake, which will hopefully increase my energy levels slightly, as well as bolstering Sydni’s liver and helping prevent jaundice.

I’m reading Ishmael again.  which is always awesome, every time I go back to it, it jumps out at me.  Ethan got me my own copy this time, and I’m delighting in being able to high-light and write in the margins of my very own book.  brilliant.  I hope to pass it on to my children someday.

-Domestic Anarchist

When Kids are In School…

I realized when my son started kindegarten that my method of child-rearing had not in any way prepared him for the school experience.

Coming from a background of respect, discussion, debate and explanation, he had no idea how to handle a school environment.  he immediately balked at the timed schedules, the format of blind obedience, the repetition, lack of explanation or exploration and expected performance.

for example, he’d been counting to 100 for over a year, but refused to at school.  his teacher finally wrote him on the list as being able to count to 100, when she asked him to try, and he counted up to 99, and then looked at her and began counting back down again.  “98.  97.  96…”

I actually felt guilty for a while, for not having better prepared him.  I felt guilty for letting him do things at his own pace, for explaining the reasoning behind the limitations put upon him, for not just saying “because I said so”.

is it our job to raise our children to blindly accept, memorize and obey?

is it our job to help shape our children into cogs so that they will struggle less in ‘real life’ settings?

or is it our job to give them a sanctuary where they are respected, honored and allowed to have opinions and develop at their own rate?

if an animal is shut up in a cage for it’s entire life, it’ll be content, because it won’t know that things could or should be any different.  it will believe that it’s life purpose is to sit in a cage, and will be complacent.

if however, an animal spends its it’s life in freedom, but then is shut in a cage for a period of time each day, it will of course protest, and then eventually adjust and accept it’s time in captivity, knowing that it won’t last forever.

perhaps it will be longing for freedom when caged, but which animal do you think is truly happier?

we should raise our children not with the goal of shaping them to fit or belong in a culture that does not respect them, not with the goal of teaching them to conform and change who they are in order to make life easier for them, they’re going to have that pressure surrounding them their entire lives anyway.

we should instead, warn them of what they’ll be up against in the world around them and give them a safe zone, free of that pressure, where they can express themselves.

in this ‘safe zone’ they can rest, recover, and prepare themselves for the next days assault on their individuality.  our homes should be free of ‘peer pressure’.

within the guidelines of safety our kids ultimate drive at home should be finding out who they are, and we should both observe and participate in this.

the better we know our children, the more prepared we should be to notice the voice of mother Culture coming out of their mouths and see when they are caving to pressures at school.  the better we know our children, the better we can support them.

-citrus

Learning to Breathe

I am naturally an idealist and an extremist in pretty much all areas of my life.

this is just how my brain functions.  if you put any weight in palm reading, whereas most people have a line for their emotions and one for their thoughts (heart and head lines) I have just one, which carves deeply across my palm, since for me, there is no differentiation between my thoughts and my feelings.

this is, frankly, a pain in the ass.

I am VERY emotionally invested in my ideals, especailly when they involve something I feel deeply about, such as my family.  if I do not live up to my ideals of what I think I should be as a wife and mom, I immediately consider myself a failure.  but would I ever consider telling my son “wow, you are such a failure at being my kid”?  holy hell, no.  I would never tell Ethan he was a failure at being a husband either.  that word, which I use on myself over and over again, I would never use to lable anyone else.

it’s like cooking mama lives in my head.  I burn dinner, and instantly the words FAIL burn themselves across my cerebral cortex, and some little inner self of mine pops up with flaming eyeballs to declare “you’re not mine!” or whatever the hell she ACTUALLY says.

I was raised with very distinct and self-sacrificing values involving being a wife and mother.

we were taught that if you had a family, their wants and needs always came before yours.

my mother was always self-sacrificing, and she made sure we were constantly aware of it.  she at times be so exhausted after making dinner that she wouldn’t have the energy to eat it herself.  mmm… guilt-free meals.

she put so much effort into being the “self-sacrificing mother”, that she completely neglected taking care of herself.  her emotional needs were always so great that there was no room for ours.  she was so busy doing everything she needed to do to try and keep herself from feeling like a failure as a mom that she had no time to actually… be a mom.

therein lies the danger of being a self-sacrificing parent.

recently, Israel was going through a very rough time.

he was dealing w/ an event that he experienced very intensely as betrayal, and a lack of control over his life.

his method of regaining control and his power was to latently refuse everything we asked of him, and make sure we were aware he could think for himself, by arguing with absolutely everything we said.

he was also very emotionally needy, wanting attention, approval and closeness at all times.  he had to be in the same room with us, we had to acknowledge everything he did.  the only way I could accomplish ANYTHING was through involving him.

also, he had problems sleeping.  no matter what time we put him to bed, he wouldsn’t fall asleep until 11 or later.

by which time, I’d be so exhausted that I would be a crabby, rude, emotionally unavailable mom, and then once he finally fell asleep, I would turn all my frustration towards Ethan, who, to make matters even better, had been working late, sometimes not getting home until 8pm or later.

I could have set Israel up with a project to keep him busy for 20 minutes during the day, while I took a break.  I could have called any of his grandparents and had them take him out for lunch.  I could have let him go over to the neighbors house and watch cartoons and play with her baby.  but I thought, “he’s having a rough time.  he needs me right now.  he needs to know that I can be here for him.”

but the truth of the matter is that NO ONE can be there for anyone else 100% of the time.  you needs to have time to experience yourself, or you end up so drained that you can’t be there for anyone at all.

the whole week of distress he went through, which was immediately followed by three days of stomach flu as soon as he started to balance back out, I spent the day meeting the emotional needs of my son, sacrificing my own needs, and by the evening I would be a heinous bitch.

sometimes I live my life like it’s a competitive sport.

like it’s my responsibility to maintain a kickass home, supply healthy, tasty and fun meals, and have an unbored and well-adjusted family at all times.

as soon as I start doing this, pressuring myself, making everything my responsibility and getting the Cooking Mama inner voice, it’s not fun anymore.

usually, I enjoy being domestic.  that’s why this blog is called The Domestic Anarchist.  it’s me learning how to accept my domestic tendencies, my natural inclination to have fun decorating and up-keeping my house, finding and trying out new recipes, and thinking up fun shit to do with my family.

but the instant that instead of being “fun shit to do” it becomes “shit I have to do”, the martyr mentality kicks in.

if I have no downtime, I become bitter and get bitchy.  I do what I need to do, but I make sure everyone knows that I am fucking pissed about it.

and then I get more pissed that they are not appreciating the sacrifices I’m making for them!

and I always said I do things differently from my mom.

I need to relax.  ask for help when I need it.  sending my son over to the neighbors doesn’t make me a bad mom.

neither does serving scrambles eggs, ramen, or peanut-butter and jelly for dinner, on the days when that’s the most I can muster.

it’s not a competition.  there is no “pass” or “fail” or “first place”.  it’s just like any other life adventure.  it’s there to experience.

and sometimes, having scrambled eggs for dinner at 10pm and watching fraggle rock, can be an exciting experience, if you don’t fuck it up by feeling guilty.

-citrus

Letting Go

there is a story, oft repeated, that many of you have heard before.

while playing outside, a little boy saw a butterfly struggling to get out of it’s cocoon.  he watched for a while, fascinated, and then, feeling sorry for the butterfly, who was beating it’s new wings desperately in an attempt to escape, decided to help.  he peeled the cocoon off and pulled the butterfly out.

the butterfly, of course, promptly died.

while this really in the case of what will almost always happen if you attempt to “free” a butterfly from it’s cocoon, the moral of the story goes beyond ‘don’t fuck with butterflies’.

struggle is what makes us evolve.  it’s what makes it possible to move from one stage in life to another.

evolution comes from having to adapt to your surroundings.  the culture we live in has decided, instead, to adapt our surroundings  to make ourselves more comfortable.

some people attempt to ‘complete’ themselves through sonsumerism.  our media encourages this, urging us to define ourselves through impersonal possessions.

others, perhaps, glory in their incompleteness, putting experiences and challenges in front of themselves, to struggle through and either emerge victorious, or perhaps admit failure and return again.

we do this naturally, if you watch children at play the games they create are all about overcoming obstacles, battling monsters and great fights and quests.  …as long as they’re functioning in a natural state.  many toys and games that the media pushes on children are about, again, collecting and consumerism.  how many outfits you have for your barbie (or bratz) doll.  but is she really complete without her barbie car?  what about her townhome?

when a kid is in their natural state, and learning to climb trees, they encounter skinned knees, scraped palms, pitchy hair, and fear.

when our kids encounter anything that makes them uncomfortable, the fearful american parent will often instinctively react, to prevent or rid our child of any possible discomfort.  often we encourage the fear, instead of their innate ability to develop power over it.  “that looks too hard for you.  why don’t you try something easier?  why don’t you play on the ground, or have a snack instead?”

the child is then conquered.  they learn if they fear something, they should stay away from it.  if something is hard, it shouldn’t be attempted.  no evolution takes place.

however, without interference, that child will return to the same tree time and time again, and their body and mind will begin to adapt.

shoes will be abandoned, feet and hands will become more confident, coordination will increase, sense of balance will develop, and those monkey instincts will kick in.

screw comfort.

it’s discomfort that pushes us forward.  it’s struggle that makes us truly alive and instills in  us a sense of power.

let’s hear it for adventure.  for experience.  for pushing our limits and forcing our own growth.

and let’s not hold our kids back from pushing themselves and experiencing life to it’s fullest.

let’s hear it for letting go.

-citrus

The Medical System and Midwifery

the american medical system has become a self-serving system, driven by greed, hospital perogatives, and the pharmaceutical companies.

the FDA supports this, every step of the way, okaying foods and medicines w/ side affects, banning or limiting forms of medicine that place power in the hands of the people, and twisting research to be more financially profitable.

one of the worst (or best) examples are the studied done on the connection between vaccines and the presence of neurological disorders in both children and the elderly (did you know alzheimers, which is an Autism Spectrum Disorder {ASD} has increased dramatically since the flu shot has been introduced?  now available at your local grocery store, pharmacy, and wal*mart!).  the ones that are NOT funded by the pharmaceutical companies, are suppressed, little seen and little heard, and they show HUGE connections.

The ones that are funded by the pharmaceutical companies will not include autistic children, OR children with severe ADHD in their studies, saying they are ‘unable to participate’.  nor do they include unvaccinated children at all, instead dividing them into the categories of ‘high exposure’ and ‘low exposure’.

why would the pharmaceutical companies want to lower the occurance of ADHD?  or doctors, for that matter, the handful that are aware of the potential relation.  their offices receive funding from the pharmaceutical companies, and the pharmaceutical companies MAKE BANK on every child who is diagnosed with an ASD.

I’m not necessarily saying that ALL doctors are money-hungry motherfuckers (but why is it people want their kids to grow up to become doctors?  for the positive impact they’re going to make on the world?  no.  for the same reason why they want them to be lawyers.  the income.  the medical system and the legal system are two of the most corrupt sub-systems that exist within our wicked corrupt system.), but the ones who are not, are trained, as is everyone in our culture to NOT ASK QUESTIONS.

and unfortunately, the medical schools also receive funding from, guess who, the pharmaceutical companies.

branches of medicine that do not benefit the hospitals or pharmaceutical companies are under attack.
midwifery is already illegal in many states, due to it’s low level of medical or medicinal intervention, and regardless of the fact that midwife attended births have lower levels of complications than o.b. attended births.

no hospitals benefit from midwifery (except when the midwife is employed by the hospital, which frequently means it loses much of it’s benefit for the woman), nor do the pharmaceutical companies, nor do they benefit from birth centers, so now birth centers are ALSO under attack, leaving many midwives w/ nowhere 2 go, especially 4 women who have been culturally frightened of homebirth (which has been proven to have a lower risk of complications than hospital births, AND, I should mention, has been happening in ALL cultures for MILLIONS OF YEARS.), and are thus trapped into having a hospital birth, regardless of their wishes.

midwifery is on the brink of being driven back underground, as it was in the 70’s.

there’s a part of me that approves of anything that functions as successfully underground as midwifery has in the past, but the struggle lies herein-
ANY woman, deserves to deliver her child(ren) wherever she wants, w/ her choice of attendee, her choice of birthing style, and in the atmosphere that she desires.

if midwives are driven underground, women who are afraid of can’t afford a hospital birth, will often be forced to have UNASSISTED homebirths.  this is their choice.  but the removal of a midwives wisdom from these scenarios can increase the risk exponentially, esp. w/out pre and post-natal support.
much like the home or back-alley abortions of the past.  the medical system can’t stop women from doing what they want with their bodies, but they can make it a hell of alot more dangerous.

more and more hospitals are treating pregnant women as cash cows, especially if they have ANY form of insurance.  low income families are especially at risk, due to lower levels of education, and increased pressure from every resource they turn to which tell them to trust doctors indefinitely.  also, when a woman becomes pregnant, she automatically received state medical insurance.  which, in some areas covers only births with either an induction or a c-section (the two frequently go hand-in-hand), and in very few areas covers midwives or birth centers.

a higher # of high-risk pregnancies, means a higher level of funding.
the local hospital in my town (Mason General), is trying to get funding to be able to perform epidurals.

in order to justify this (since the World Health Organization only approves episurals in the event of high-risk, complicated labors and c-sections… who knew?), they are terming more and more women’s pregnancies “high risk” and scheduling inductions and c-sections.

in order to pull this off, pregnant women, whose protective instincts are at an all-time high, must be kept in a constant state of fear.

the only women’s clinic in town is owned by the hospital, and they perform this job well.  they even suckered me… for a period of time.

they had me labled high-risk, diagnosed with and medicated for a condition I do not have, but when they scheduled me for an induction without my consent (or even my knowledge) they had pushed it too far.

so began a month-long battle for my medical records and lab results, so that I could get a second opinion.

once we finally had them, the discrepancies were amazing.

the doctors notes and records did not allign in any way w/ the lab results.
what they had listed as a serious protein deficiency was stated in the lab results as “indeterminate”.  another condition they had me diagnosed with would have made it impossible for me to have EVER carried a child to term and whereas it requires 2 genetic mutations I only have one.  which makes me a potential CARRIER.  so, thusly, it’s a condition my children could potentially have, if they had a father with a genetic mutation as well.

meanwhile, the high-fat diet they put me on made me develop gall-bladder problems, so I couldn’t stop puking and ended up hospitalized with severe dehydration.  this was the high-fat diet they put me on after the high-carb diet they had me on caused me to develop gestational diabetes.  they put me on this diet in the fear that I wasn’t gaining enough weight for my bracket, even though the baby was regularly in the perameters of weight for her stage of development.

a word to any pregnant women in mason county:
DO NOT GO TO MOUNTAIN VIEW WOMEN’S HEALTH CENTER.
they are not working with your best interest in mind.  their interests are financial and they are on the hospitals payroll.  as early in your pregnancy as you can, find a midwife.  if you DO go to MVWHC, and they try to diagnose you with ANYTHING,

Get. A. Second. Opinion.

this, really, I can expand outside of mason county.  before you go to a clinic or a doctor, study your options.  look into midwifery and birth centers in your area.  if your insurance won’t cover them, see if you can set up a payment plan or some kind of financial arrangements.  some midwives even accept barter for part of their pay.  look into home birth.

there are situations where doctors and hospital births are indeed necessary, but if you’re being told that you are in one of those high-risk situations by someone who is making no financial profit for doing so, that’s when you can trust their opinion.  and even then… you can still get a second opinion.

also, midwives that are employed by hospitals are often called ‘medwives’.  they’re sort of a middle ground between the O.B. and the midwife.  they tend to be more laid-back than the O.B., but with still highly-medicalized beliefs and tendencies.  don’t think just because the name “midwife” is attached to someone they’re going to be the best option for you.

-citrus

Supporting and Raising a Natural Anarchist

Supporting and Raising a Natural Anarchist:

all children are natural anarchists and free-thinkers.  this is the natural state for any animal.

my parenting values are largely based on self-expression, free-thinking, and personal development.  which, when examined openmindedly, is in essence, the raising of an anarchist.

I am not saying you should raise your children to be anarchists or terrorists, I’m just saying that this is their natural state, and that our job is not to teach our children to be cogs.  our children should be supported in being individuals, and thinking for themselves.  we should encourage them to question things, and look at them from another way, and not blindly accept what they are taught.

however, teaching your children anarchism or any political view is equivalent with dogmatizing children with religious beliefs.  it’s unfair to force our beliefs on our children from a position of power, and being larger, and the provider, places us in a position of power.  we are the ones who control whether they receive food or shelter, or really anything else.  there is nothing we can do to remove ourselves from this position of power.  however, we can do everything we can to NOT ABUSE this power, and to provide children with the most power they can experience themselves.

we must allow children to have their own interests, and support them in it.  sometimes they may mimic ours, sometimes not.  if their choices are dangerous to them, their minds, or their health, are the times when we should intervene, and the intervention should come just as that.  not as demanding pressure, or guilt, but through explanation and discussion.

our culture and society are made 2 be brainwashing systems that leave us fearful, bored, accepting and compliant.  we should try to prepare our children for this as much as possible.

I try to keep my kids away from flouride excess sugar, caffeine and processed foods, because I believe these to be tools of a system which breaks down and pollutes our minds and bodies.  once Israel became old enough to question these decisions, I explained them to him, and he is in agreement with me… 90% of the time.

we should try to point out the voice of Mother Culture to our children, when we see it around us or when we hear them repeating it to us.  encourage them to question things, view them a new way, and ask them what they think.

for very small children, their exposure to the media and Cultural programming should probably be limited, but as they grow, they need to be exposed, they need to be prepared, so they can experience it and question it.  Children should be taught to question the media, the world, and the rules around them.

INCLUDING YOURS.

this is the hard part.  we have the programming that children should be dominated, should blindly follow our rules, and should listen to what we say without question.

but if your child comes to you with a good reason as to why a certain rule of yours is either unfair, outdated, moot, or needs ammending, show them the respect of discussing it open-mindedly with them, and choosing together as to whether to change, negate or ammend it.

after a certain point, your home should be a reason-based autonamous collective, instead of a dictatorship.  children’s powers of reason begin much earlier than people think, especially if encouraged.

-citrus