Time for an adventure…

Reality is setting in slowly, and time is speeding up towards a goal…Big life changing events…I always find myself counting down the years/months/weeks/days…and having had four kids, well, let’s say I’m getting quite good at counting down the seconds until the next life changing event/adventure. This one though…it’s daunting. More daunting than having four kids. Maybe because the reality of the responsibility of said event is felt a bit wider than our inner circle. But me being the introvert that I am, can’t really comprehend how this event would really affect those outside of this little circle of ours. I would certainly hope it affects people, but I’m convinced that that’s got more to do with my amazing husband and spectacular children. Me…well, let’s just say I believe it would affect more people if I stayed…like my husband and kids would be affected if I stayed…and if I went. Not so sure about anyone else really. My day to day interactions with people are limited to my children most of the time…and my husband. I’m not saying I don’t have friends that I truly love and miss and would love to sit and have a cuppa or vino with…but not to the extend that it would be life changing…The friends I do have – well, let’s just say that we can go years without seeing each other and when we do it’s like we just saw each other yesterday. Real friends. The ones you know you’ll always love and talk to and hang out with, no matter how old you get, how long it goes without seeing or talking to. The ones you are truly you with and they know you. There’s no pretense or unfamiliarity. There’s just truth and love. Those are the friends I do have and know that they’re not really affected by this – well, not to the extend that it’s life changing for them…So no. That’s not why it’s daunting.

So maybe it’s the finality of it? But it’s not a finality really…I mean, it’s a 5 year plan right now…which is yes longer than we’ve ever planned ahead. Ok, besides marriage and having kids, I mean that’s a lifelong plan…but I mean a plan for our and our childrens’ future. Besides having them, it’s tough raising kids. They keep changing. I suppose some people call it growing. It’s just fascinating to watch these little beings become more or less like yourself and your better half. My second eldest is a prime example of that. I realised that I got her figured out a bit later than my husband had her figured out…but you see he understood her previous “stage” or “phase” because he saw a lot of himself in her. And now as she’s entering a new “phase” of her growth I see more of myself in her than before. And she’s got me figured out! Which is amazing to me, because she’s known me for only 7 years…some people have known me for a lot longer and still don’t get me! ūüôā¬†She has finally figured out where the line is, which buttons does what and for about 90% of the time she puts that knowledge to good use in dealing with me. But that’s not the topic…the finality…no. It’s not a final plan…it’s a 5 year plan, to explore a new way of thinking, a new way of living. Living and raising our family together. In one house for the most part. As a unit. And after 5 years. Well, then we’ll make the next plan, for the next 5 or 10 years…who knows. We might start planning ahead. Or we might not. I mean, I can’t tell the future. I can just live each day/week/month/year as it happens and trust that we are moving in the right direction. That we are doing the best, ABSOLUTE best for our kids, in a way that works for all of us in our little family.

And this brings me to the daunting bit I think. The right direction. What is the right direction? I guess that all really depends on your morals, your beliefs, your faith, your ‘north’. It’s dangerous these days to talk about our beliefs and faith without feeling that we might be judged for it. Everyone has rights! And we will judge you for using those rights! People shout hate-crime or hate-speech every time someone voices their beliefs to someone that doesn’t share those beliefs. So, suffice it to say that there are always differing beliefs within groups of people, but throughout this process my belief in God and His calling and His hand upon our decisions and within our lives have just been confirmed each step of the way.

And as I sit here typing this, an e-mail comes in, confirming that my and the kids visas have all been approved. Unbelievable. I’ve lost count of the amount of little miracles we’ve experienced in this process. We only applied for our visas the day before yesterday. It normally takes up to 25 days to process. And we heard back in ONE day! So all these little miracles just adds up to solidify that we are moving in the right direction. Which is daunting – but mostly so exciting!!!! So yes. Adventure awaits. In a new country, with a different way of being and doing. And we are saddened by the thoughts of leaving friends and family behind, but we are excited to live this life as a family unit. After 9 years of parenting, 12 years of marriage, countless moves back and forth from city to city within South Africa, we have finally found a place where we can focus on our family, whilst still pursuing our passions for our chosen careers.

 

 

Minecraft – a SAHM’s view

I’ve read and heard various opinions about the video game, Minecraft, and it’s varied from good to bad to downright horrendous. There’s been instances of sexual abuse within the gaming platform as well as a report of a kid going into a comatose state from playing Minecraft. It’s scary stuff. The comatose kid had to go for therapy to get him off his addiction to this game, and the sexually abused kid had to also receive some kind of treatment as the gaming reality seemed so real and she physically felt abused. Some truly horrible stuff yes, and as a mother of four daughters it scares me to even contemplate either one of those possibilities. But can I voice my opinion…my humble no doctorate or phd or fancy degree, just staying at home 24/7 with my kids opinion? Because boy I really hate having to listen to everyone else bashing something that I truly find useful and helpful. Firstly, my kids are 5, soon to be 7 and 9, and the youngest too young to care. They NEVER play any online games, so the risk for sexual predators on these gaming platforms are null. And they NEVER play alone. They are not allowed to play games by themselves, because yes, inherently video games are anti-social. So, if they want to play, one of their sisters must want to play with them. And most of the time they’re only allowed to play an hour at a time, take a break, switch partners, play for another hour and then go play outside, draw, colour or do something other than stare at a screen. I’ve watched my kids play more often than not as well and if they do play unsupervised it’s while I’m around in the house busy with well, all those fun SAHM stuff we do….(yeah that’s right, we actually have other stuff to do besides entertain our kids) If they argue or fight over anything within the game it gets turned off. If they react negatively after being told it’s time to turn it off, they get banned from playing it for a couple of days. If they nag to play, they don’t get to play at all. They’re mostly, excluding weekends and some holidays, only allowed to play after 3pm. And they have to make turns. It might sound like a lot of co-ordinating, but they’re pretty good at keeping each other in check and balancing their times. We also give them tasks to do within Minecraft. Me and my husband plays as well, as I’m a firm believer that you should know what you’re allowing into your kids lives and minds. We started a “Dream house” world, where everyone had to design and build their dream house. Then we create tasks for them or create ‘treasures’ for them. A task might be something like having to build their dream playpark/restaurant etc within this world. My BH is busy building an underground railway to each house and we tell the kids there’s a secret within the world to go and discover…so we make it interactive and a family activity.

Besides playing Minecraft they also play various Kinect games. We opted for the Xbox 360 with Kinect because of the physicality of the games and I’ve been quite pleasantly surprised at the variety of games available for this. We’re busy trying out a couple of demo’s and there’s dancing games, Star Wars fighting games, Boxing and of course all the athletics and adventure sports games – and it’s fun to watch them play, as well as joining in with them. I walked into the house yesterday after telling them they can try out one of the dance demos and they were just bouncing and laughing and getting a good work out to boot.

So yes. My humble SAHM opinion is that if you’re going to leave your kid to their own devices and not monitor their activity then you’re going to find trouble – or rather they more than likely are. Do I use the gaming console as a babysitter? No – if it was a babysitter I could leave my house. I don’t do that. I think irresponsible parenting is causing more issues than games and screens, but instead of monitoring and being present with children while they are using these devices, it’s easier to point the finger at the games or videos or whatever and say how bad they are for kids. Do we really need to read about the fact that there might be sexual predators in these online games to not allow our very young kids to play online games? Surely it’s naive to think your kid is safe online, in any game…or that letting your kid play games or stare at a screen for more than 20% of their awake time won’t have an influence, especially if you’re giving them free reign on where and what and when they’re playing.

Be more involved with your kids screen time, interact with them, play the same games as them or play the games with them. Don’t let it be something that creates a barrier, use it to create a stronger bond…yes to some people playing video games might seem silly and a waste of time, but if this is the technology¬†our kids are growing¬†up with, then I see it more as an investment of time into my kids than a waste of time.

Pack, unpack, pack…Netflix and chill?

Well, it’s done. We’ve moved back from Nelspruit to Pretoria. Suburbia. And it’s stressful. I’ve forgotten how stressful a move can be. It’s absolute chaos and my anxiety is in overdrive and the black hole that is depression is peaking at me with red glowing eyes. What if this move doesn’t work? What if instead of bringing our family closer together it splits us more apart? What if instead of support and understanding I get lack of interest and disappointment? ¬†What if instead of growing deeper in relationship with God I get pulled further away? The countless what if scenarios running through my mind is close to overwhelming, but I don’t want to really talk about it because then I’d have to really think about it and acknowledge the fear it creates in my being. Anxiety sucker punches you in the gut when you think you’ve got everything under control. I know too well we cannot control life and circumstances. Some believe we can control how we react to situations though, and I guess in a way not talking about the anxiety I feel it might somehow control how I am reacting? This last week I’ve been reacting by literally doing just what I need to get by. Since realising that PTA is just a halfway stop on our way to NZ it’s become less of a need to unpack all the boxes – why unpack stuff I’m only going to have to pack again in less than 6 months?

It’s been raining and cold all week and summer seems to have disappeared overnight. If it wasn’t for my kids I don’t think I would’ve gotten out of bed at all! My BH has gone on a surprise visit to his youngest brother in London to be there for said brothers’ wedding, so I’ve been taking advantage of having our bed all to myself…and our almost 6month old baby. It’s been great weather for Netflix and chill so I’d say about 70% of my time has been taken up by catching up on Gilmore Girls, my 8yo are super excited that we’ve finished all 7 seasons and can now finally watch the 4 new episodes released last year. Yesterday was a complete PJ day, which honestly I’ve missed…it’s not fun doing a PJ day when it’s warm and sunny outside, too much guilt to deal with then, but with this rainy, misty, cold weather it was the perfect day for staying in our PJ’s all day, watching movies, catch up on our favourite series and play some video games. It was probably also our last day of being unproductive as my mother will be coming to visit from today and thus giving me more time to actually sort things out in the house…it’s a bit of a challenge trying to run a household without those extra pair of hands and eyes to help with baby. Not impossible. Just way too stressful and not fun…although my 8yo makes a great pair of extra hands and eyes – as long as baby is happy and not crying.

I guess in a way I have been dealing with my anxiety by just shoving it into the background and focusing on other things besides out lives, watching series and movies is a great distraction, but now I feel I’m ready to head out into the house again and try to create home for the next couple of months while we sort out all the admin and logistics that goes along with moving to another country. Am I nervous about how I’m going to deal with that? Yes, but I’m not thinking about that right now. I’m focusing on the positives that a move to NZ will bring. I cannot let my mind wander into the sadnesses of saying goodbye to country and people…I hope that people will understand that. I hope my family and friends will know that I love them and will miss them, but that I’m incapable of thinking about that for fear of not being able to escape the sadness. I hope that they will understand that being able to see my husband everyday and have a stable family life in a different country doesn’t take away from the fact that they will be missed, but that I can’t give in to the feelings of nostalgia and fear of the uncertainty of not seeing their faces. If moving to PTA was stressful I’m sure moving to a different country is going to be even more so, but I cannot think about it and I am choosing to focus on the adventure that lies ahead!!

 

Anxiety…

‚ÄčThis morning I shared an article about how some people deal with anxiety and today was a real test  of my coping skills. The whole situation just causes my heart to feel like it’s going to jump out my throat and my brain to shut down. I haven’t left the house by myself with my 4 girls in almost 4 months….two days ago I decided to take them to a movie as we’ve been home bound without my hubby for about a week or so. Yes, it took me two days to sort through my anxieties, think of all the likely scenarios and formulate my responses to it. To most people taking the kids to the movies is a simple excersice, to me it has a million little things that I need to be in control of. Uncoordinated bathroom breaks or a crying baby mid-movie could derail my carefully thought out plan. 

This morning I almost cancelled again. It was raining and just thinking of what could go wrong makes me want to shut down. We left with plenty of time to get to the cinemas in time as I need at least 30min of a barrier in case something happens. So getting out the house with 4 kids in tow happens with a lot of heavy sighing, perspiring and muttering under my breath. I have to tell my girls upfront to please be quiet on the drive and not ask too many questions as I navigate my way through traffic. Too much input and I could suddenly find myself lost, even driving in a straight line. Stopped at a traffic light a kind person signals to me that my front tyre is flat. And all the calmness and peace I’ve managed to procure up to that point vanishes. 

I’m forced to talk to strangers and deal with a situation I haven’t had time to play all the possible outcomes through my head, I feel unprepared and ill-equipped. I don’t know what to say or do, I’m perspiring prefusely, my heart is jumping out my throat and any bit of extra stress added by my kids can send me into a panic….By the grace of God we all survive it without me shutting down completely. Shutting down would see us just cancelling all plans and heading back home. At the tyre fitment centre I feel like a teenager – unsure what to say or do, staring at my phone so I don’t have to talk to anyone and shushing my kids so we can all just dissappear into the background. Sometimes having 4 kids makes that really difficult….

After getting the car sorted I’m  suddenly lost and forget where we’re heading…luckily my kids know all too well where we’re heading  and even though we’ve missed the early viewing of the movie we’ll catch the next one…I have to sit down and collect my thoughts,  plan our time again and then move on with the rest of the ‘fun’ planned for the day. It’s exhausting. Usually my husband is my barrier and helps me deal with the anxiety because almost nothing gets him into a panic. Today just reminds me that no matter how well I try and plan and try and escape my anxiety, God puts situations in front of us and us into situations where we sometimes have no choice but to rely and trust Him. It might seem trivial to most to have to deal with a flat tyre and a car full of kids, but to me it’s a situation that can derail my whole day and cause me to feel out of control and just cancel the whole day due to anxiety. But sitting here, talking to God and writing this helps me face the situation, find peace and make a new plan….

God continually tests my boundaries and shows me that with Him I can face my anxieties and walk through situations that I would normally run away from. He shows me that no matter how much I plan and rely on being in control, I’m not but He is…and it’s better that way.   He blessed me with a husband that oozes calmness and even just a quick phone call to him can help ease off the panic. He doesn’t make me feel silly for having anxiety about everyday situations but shows me empathy and love. Having a loved one or friend that truly understand and walk this road with you is so important. Mostly though I can see how God works in me through my anxiety. How He reminds me to only focus on each moment I’m in instead of worry about what is to come…it doesn’t take away all my anxiety all the time, but it does help me through the surprise situations. Because He knows.

Parenting through depression

The intent of this article has got to do with how I mother through my depression and in some instances using it to be a¬†better parent than I think I could be without it…a bit of a weird statement I know – how can a disease make me a better parent right…well, maybe it’s part of accepting the disease as a part of who I am. I’ve always tried to distance myself from the disease, as I believe that I’ve been cured…but I understand that it’s not really something you get cured of – you learn to live with it and recognize your symptoms so you can start preempting your emotions and reactions and warn those around you, if they care enough to stick around through your ups and downs.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression by some Dr when I was 19…I was put on Antidepressants and anxiety meds. I was told that I’m bi-polar….when I’m up, I’m UP and when I’m down, I’m DOWN. No in between, which isn’t necessarily true, because most of the time when I’m neither up nor down, I’m neutral – which is by the way the worst state to be in.

I used the antidepressants for about 6 months and then took myself of it. Whether I was on it long enough to actually do what it was supposed to, I don’t know, but it made all my emotions feel ‘fake’. Like I knew not whether I was happy because I was really happy or because I was on pills. I stayed on my anxiety meds for a bit longer and always had a back-up stash for those emergency situations. During an argument with my boyfriend I got so worked up that I just couldn’t handle it anymore and ran to get some meds. I could feel an anxiety attack coming on. 15 minutes later I couldn’t care less what we were arguing about. He still cared though and wanted some kind of closure to the argument. He asked me to stop taking my anxiety meds every time we have and argument and let’s just work through it together. I told him I don’t know if I could handle it. He didn’t back off…he assured me that whatever I do or say we’ll work through it together. I’ve never let anyone see my full self until then. He saw me, he handled me throwing grocery bags at him in a parking lot in front of a mall, he knows the darkest me and he stuck around. We’ve been married for 12 years and are still going strong. We have 4 beautiful kids together. And because he’s seen all my ugly and stuck around I believe it gives me the guts to teach my kids to love all of themselves – and all of others.

Until the age of 16 I believed my parents to just be that. My parents. I didn’t see them as emotional human beings – especially my father. I knew he was a recovering alcoholic but I didn’t really comprehend the addiction or the emotions of this man. I guess I saw my mom a little more as an emotional being because I saw her cry once or twice by the age of 16…The turning point came when I wanted to go to a party and my dad said no. I asked him why and he said the standard “Because I said so.” ¬†It wasn’t a good enough reason for me. I said that I’m going unless he can give me valid reason to stay. He looked at me and told me because he needs me at home. I asked him what for? My chores were done and he was just watching TV so how could he possibly need me. He explained to me that he’s depressed and just needed his family to be around him…not necessarily doing anything with him, but just be around. I gaped at him…what? I sat down on the couch and asked him why he’s depressed and we had a conversation around depression etc. I suddenly understood some of my own feelings but didn’t say anything to him about it. I then asked him to please let me know whenever he just needs his family and be honest with me about what he’s going through. We watched movies together for the whole day and since then had a more honest relationship. I still often feel that he was the only person in my family that truly knew and understood me. He passed away almost 9 years ago. Lucky for me I have a husband that are fully invested in knowing and understanding me, otherwise I don’t know how I would’ve coped with his death and¬†absence in my life.

I’ve been a very emotional mother. Having 4 kids is no joke. I decided to be me to my kids and not some made-up version of a mother that society crams down their throats. They know I’m not perfect and they love me anyway. They’ve ¬†seen me cry, shout, laugh and uncontrollably giggle. We’re mostly doing it together…my husband have chosen to call me passionate instead of bi-polar…which helps to de-stigmatize the disease. I explain my emotions to my kids. If I can. Sometimes I just tell them I don’t know why I feel the way I do. I especially try to explain anger to them as it’s a symptom of depression. I try to back off them a bit more when I can feel anger building up, but sometimes the wall breaks and a shouting match ensues – for which I always apologize after. I know shouting is one of the worst things that can happen to a little kid, and believe me it’s not the best thing for a mother either, but it happens. Not that much that it’s damaging our relationships, but enough for me to want to do it less…because ideally I wouldn’t want to shout at my kids at all…at least I’m not throwing grocery bags at them. They know my limits…they stretch my limits, which is good. We go for longer and longer periods without incident. I don’t use traditional depression or anxiety meds, but what I use works for me. It makes me calmer and increases my patience. I don’t see myself cured, but I’ve learned how to live with my depression and anxiety without the use of antidepressants. I get judged either way by people – depressed and on antidepressants have a stigma as much as depressed and using cannabis does. The only difference is that only one of them actually works in helping me live with depression and the other only have the pretense of helping…It’s different for each person and I know that there are people who get helped by antidepressants, it just didn’t work for me.

I go periods of using a lot of cannabis and some periods of using none at all. I can go months or years without using and then I can have periods of using daily and periods of only using once a week. You can’t self-regulate antidepressants as you need. The last psychiatrist I saw luckily never suggested medication, probably because I was clear upfront about not wanting to be on medication. He helped me however with finding constructive ways to deal with my symptoms when I could feel them coming on. Practical ways, and one of them was to let my kids know when I feel sad, or happy, or scared…and it has helped me build stronger relationships with my kids. And I hope that it’ll help them to always know that they can talk to me about their emotions and with what they are going through. Too many times people bottle up their emotions, especially from their parents, and it all goes wrong…

Too often we hear of stories of teens that commit suicide and their parents thought they were happy and healthy. Too often we hear of mothers who struggle alone with their depression and feelings of guilt. I know my children are still very young, 8, 6, 5 and a 4 month old. But hopefully by being open and honest from a young age to them about my struggles, they’ll always see me as human being with emotions an won’t one day be caught by surprise when they are teens and I react in an emotional way towards them. Hopefully they will always know that they can be open and honest to me about their emotions and struggles, even when they are hormonal teenagers. They are all girls so that comes with it’s own set of emotional and hormonal struggles. I hope that it teaches them to turn to God for help and not to humans, because they’ll know that even their mother is a fallible, weak human without God’s help and grace.

It might seem strange to mention God now, but once again, the judgement that happens when you admit to relying on God rather than medication is sometimes overwhelming in today’s world. A lot of people also can’t reconcile the idea of using cannabis whilst professing to love God, yet have no problem with the use of alcohol. The overwhelming evidence of alcohol being more addictive and detrimental to your health completely escapes them and they solely make up their minds based on propaganda and the one or two articles claiming the negative effects of marijuana. They ignore the research articles done on the positive effects of THC or cannibinoids found in marijuana. Multiple sclerosis, arthritis, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s, cancer and others have been reported to show improvement with the use of marijuana.¬†CNN report, list of 700 diseases and articles related to the use of marijuana to improve conditions¬†700 diseases,¬†Common illnesses

I pray my most fervent prayers and do my most revealing Bible studies when I’m struggling with depression. And when its going well I am thankful to God for guiding me through it once again I praise and worship Him for it all. I can see Gods’ hand in my life long before I was a born again follower of Christ. I can see it in my life everyday. I believe He knows all and guides us to follow the path He lays out for us, and He gives us tools to help us along the way.

I pray that one day I will live in a world where I neither get judged for suffering from Depression, or for the use of marijuana to help me through it. I pray that my children will know that it doesn’t have to be a disabling disease and that you don’t have to suffer in silence or feel like you shouldn’t talk about it for fear of being judged wrongly by others. I pray that the stigma of the disease and of the cure will be gone.

And I pray that I can always give the best of me to my kids, but that they will love me even when I am at my worst. Because I am not perfect, and I don’t want them to expect me to be…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gender what?

Amidst all the chaos in the world today there are many things to pick to write about, but for some reason I felt the calling this morning to write about gender neutrality vs. gender equality.

According to Wikipedia:¬†Gender neutrality (adjective form: gender-neutral), also known as gender-neutralism or the gender neutrality movement, describes the idea that policies, language, and other social institutions should avoid distinguishing roles according to people’s sex or¬†gender, in order to avoid discrimination arising from the impression that there are social roles for which one gender is more suited than the other.

I look at my daughters and I want them to embrace every part of who they are, be it adventurous, romantic, girly or not. I want them to show the world that in spite of them being female they deserve the same rights and benefits as their male counterparts. I also want them to understand though and be aware that because they are females they are made up of different stuff, different hormones and different connections than their male counterparts, and that because of this there just are some things that are perceived to have been done better by males or have traditionally been a male dominated profession/sport/activity etc etc. ¬†I wouldn’t want them to take that and say because it hasn’t been done before by a woman they couldn’t do it, or that them being female would prevent them from doing certain things, but I would want them to be able to realistically weigh their options in how to achieve their life goals. We all know that males and females have different biological make-up and different hormones that causes certain characteristics and or behaviour. Testosterone is a male hormone. Estrogen female…and they are responsible for different kind of behaviours. If we are now telling kids that they are gender neutral then how do we help them through their ways of expressing their emotions when these hormones come into play?

I agree that we shouldn’t use gender to discriminate against the different sexes, but I also think that women and men alike should stop using that as an excuse to say that they can’t achieve their life goals. I’m a white female in a very young Democracy, and I’m sure I’ve experienced discrimination because I was a female in the workplace, but I’ve never let that stop me from going where I was headed. I find that sticking up for who you are as a person vs. throwing your gender inequality in everyone’s face gets you further. I also find knowing where there might be discrimination and using that information to avoid situations can be beneficial. One example is the motor industry. I truly don’t know any women knowledgeable or interested in mechanics or cars. We appreciate a nice looking car, we love fast cars, we enjoy driving them and being driven in them and all kinds of stuff – but the inner workings of the machine?? Well…you kinda lost me at piston….I know enough to sound almost like I know what you’re talking about, but I’m not really interested…and most men know this. So if my car needs a service or I need to negotiate on what parts are necessary to replace right now vs. what can wait for a bit etc etc. I’m going to be sending my husband to do the talking and listening. Is that being sexist? I don’t think so…I think that’s knowing strengths and weaknesses….and there are many instances where this could be applied. I’m not saying women shouldn’t be allowed to study mechanics or mocked for being interested, but let’s not pretend that these areas don’t exist.

I despise it when someone utters the words:” you cannot do that, you’re a girl…” or “decent young ladies don’t behave like that…”. I don’t believe that just because you lack an extra piece of anatomy between your legs you shouldn’t be brave and adventurous and be able to do the things you want to do, and the classification of tomboy or princess between the different characters of girls is unfair and probably what drives the whole gender neutral movement!

I don’t agree that you should have to give up your gender in order to have certain experiences. I would want my girls to embrace the entirety of who they are and as who God created them. I believe that you should fight for what and who you are, not give up part of you to receive equal treatment. Gender equality fights for equal rights in all areas of life and to me this makes a whole bunch more sense than gender neutrality. Parents admit that they raise their children gender neutral by letting boys dress up as girls or letting their boys play with dolls, or with letting their girls dress as boys and play with cars and I look at it and think: Really – this is your forward thinking movement? I was raised with two brothers and a sister and we were never told which toys we could or couldn’t play with, and I had just as much fun playing with my brothers’ cars than I had playing with dolls. Did I wish I was a boy? At times, yes….when we were visiting on my grandparents farm and all the boy cousins would go off “hunting” wit their bb-guns and the girls had to stay behind and help in the kitchen, or sit chatting in the garden, or play dolls…then I’d wish I was a boy so that my cousins wouldn’t run away from me and let me shoot a gun as well and go hiking or swimming in the river. When the boys would be able to go for a long walk through the bushes and veld without having to turn back home or squat with grass tickling your bum to make a wee…but would I really give up being who I am for a couple of ‘perceived privileged’….no. I would fight for the right to do those things and show the boys that I could shoot just as well as them in spite of me being a girl! I cannot comprehend how you could convince yourself that by not calling your child a boy or a girl you could think that it makes them less so. They still have all the hormones and emotions and physical aspects of the gender they were born as. Some guys say that their kids just don’t identify ¬†with a certain gender and thus are gender neutral, some parents just make that choice before their kids can even speak…I would say that the gender you were born with isn’t the be all and end all of who you are, but that it still plays an important part of your created being.¬†Yes, some girls enjoy doing activities and sports that have traditionally been considered ‘male’…and some boys the same, and we should be able to allow them to express that without them having to choose between being a boy or girl or none…

Maybe because I believe that God doesn’t make mistakes and to me a person saying that they are neither male/female are lying to themselves as well as saying God made a mistake…so maybe it boils down to faith….and that can of worms I will leave for another day.