Hard work is…well, hard.

“Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. … Six days shalt thou labor, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.” Benjamin Franklin

Yesterday I had the pleasure of reading a blog post that got my countrifried brain whirling.  If you have a moment head on over to mommabare.com and READ it.  I highly recommend it because it’s the truth. Go there now, and then come back and I’ll talk at you.

See?  Right?

Now, imagine me, mulling over all of that in my head all day yesterday.  I thought about my three pregnancies and how very different they were.  So very different, but all with the same dread and apprehension about labor and delivery.  My first experience, was rapid, drug free, and woahwhatjusthappened.  I was 19, did all of my laboring at home in bed.  (I had NO idea I was in labor. I just would get uncomfortable and adjust myself until I felt better.)  When I noticed these weird tight ripples across my stomach were happening fairly regularly and rapidly, I got scared.  I woke my mom and we FLED to go get my friend Jen, and rush to the hospital.  I remember we had to wait for a TRAIN!  As soon as I crossed the threshold of the hospital, my fear skyrocketed and for the first time, things became PAINFUL.  Really.  I had to stop every ten feet in the hallway for a contraction.  By the time they got me in a room, hooked up, and checked me, I was ready to push.  Forty minutes after my arrival, I was a teenage mom.

Fast forward TWELVE years.  My second pregnancy was textbook.  At 37.5 weeks I went in for a weekly check.  We set an induce date.  My OB would have done anything I wanted.  Even a voluntary c section.  (cray-zay!)  By the way, no OB should be as good looking as this guy was.  I remember when he checked me it hurt so bad I wanted to kick his head off.  I was in a panic because I thought it was related to the cervical problems I was having.  (Yeah, please vaccinate your daughters.  Cancer scares while pregnant suck.)  On the way home, I began having mild contractions that lasted all day.  I called the doctor’s office and they told me to go in to the hospital.  I was barely 3 centimeters.  My OB broke my water, said I could have an epidural and pitocin whenever I wanted.  Later one of the nurses told me he probably stripped my membranes at the office.  Okay, that would explain the lightning bolt of pain!  I had an epidural that made me numb for twelve hours.  When Gideon was born I had expected an 8 pound baby (I was assured he was already that big).  He was 6 lbs 13oz.  The doctor literally said and I quote, “Oh shit.”

With Levi, I had to go on bed rest early.  I had to have a steroid injection to develop his lungs.  I was told if I made it to 30 weeks it would be a miracle.  Well, my cervix never budged again.  I had to go through months of stress tests.  Twice a week.  Only to go to 41 weeks.  (New OB. He wouldn’t budge on anything.)  Finally my water broke and we went in to get checked.  I had fluid leaking everywhere and the lab said it was NOT amniotic fluid.  A different doctor was on call and wanted nothing to do with me.  They were going to send me home.  A nurse, who was probably tired of seeing me, came in and said she was GOING to get a good sample for the lab.   It came back positive.  I was hooked up to my IV and away we went.  I wanted to time the epidural to be just like Gideons.  No pain.  Mmmmhmmm.  No.  It only took on one side, and I almost passed out.  The anesthesiologist sat by the monitor until I stopped seeing the room go black.  The only thing I was grateful for in that delivery was a healthy baby boy, and the ability to FEEL something.  Even though I hated it while it was happening, I felt the reward was greater for it.

Like Joni said in her post: PAIN has a PURPOSE

I doubt, however, that she would want me to channel that into why I have a more conservative view point.  Uh-oh.

I was watching the news this morning and they played a clip of a speech that John F. Kennedy was giving about the space program.  He said this:

“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

Where are the leaders like that today?  Where are the parents who teach their children those principles?  When did being born in adversity (or in todayspeak-“poverty”) and rising above it with hard work and determination become so terrible that we should actually terminate a life before he/she can ever know struggle?  And victory.  And setbacks.  And successes.  And love.  And heartbreak.   Are we saving children from poverty?  Or are we, in our limited understanding of what is good and necessary for all, doing what we think is best?  IMHO it’s not.

There are so many I shouldn’thaveto’s now.  I shouldn’t have to work at a  fast food restaurant.  I shouldn’t have to pay for college.  I shouldn’t have to pay cash for things.  I shouldn’t have to work hard for what I have.  I shouldn’t have to feel pain.

When we mess with the natural order of things, the results can be tragic.  Like messing with childbrith, we have created an expectation.  We have hammered it and twisted it until it barely resembles its former self.  Where once, we created, produced and excelled at many things we now only purchase, consume, and discard.  (I shouldn’t have to PICK UP after myself. )  Many kids won’t even sit down to learn an instrument anymore because they think they should pick up a horn and be Miles Davis in 5 minutes or less.  Homework?  I shouldn’t have to do homework.  Oh yeah, and my mom works so she shouldn’t have to help me with it.

Sigh.  So here I am and I feel helpless to change anything.  I can’t get my kids to do anything, much less see the benefit of hard work.  How can I compete when the TV, the world, and even family members are on the shouldn’thaveto train?  Wait, it sounds like I am in the middle of the hard work that will one day pay off.  I shouldn’t be complaining.  🙂


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