In Which There are Links

by | Jan 31, 2014 | 7 Quick Takes, January, Things I Think | 19 comments

Today you get links. Lots of ’em. And me trying to be smart in order to keep up appearances.

etsy, obviously

Wait, not THOSE kind of links. Although, can I just say that is totally amazing?

This nonsense has taken the interwebs by storm:

“Having kids and getting married are considered life milestones. We have baby showers and wedding parties as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration to be able to get knocked up or find someone to walk down the aisle with. These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them. They are the most common thing, ever, in the history of the world. They are, by definition, average. And here’s the thing, why on earth are we settling for average?”

Ugh. But not to worry. Ashley of Between the Linen found the perfect Chesterton quote to refute it:

“Numberless modern women have rebelled against domesticity in theory because they have never known it in practice. .. . Generally speaking, the cultured class is shrieking to be let out of the decent home, just as the working class is shouting to be let into it.”

What’s Wrong With the World G.K. Chesterton

Read the rest of Ashley’s take here and whatever you do, don’t click on the other link, because it only gets sillier from there.

I loved this post. And can’t imagine how in the world it was controversial:

“He’s been away at work all day. He’d much rather be with you. All of you. He’s missed your face, your voice, your smell, and your touch. He’s had to deal with whatever crap he has to deal with in order to provide for the family that he loves. He doesn’t enjoy walking out the door every morning, but he does. Every day. For you. For them.”

This was such a good reminder for me. I loved all of it. Don’t read the comments because people are weird (see take number one).

In a similar vein, I also liked this:

“When he treks mud in with his shoes, let her think it is because he does not love her. Such extremes of thought may seem ridiculous to you or I, but to the exhausted mortal woman, it can seem possible. Your goal is to make her think the husband does not notice, or even better, that he does not care about her efforts at home.”

I do love epistolary. Anyway, assuming the best intentions of our husbands (and all people, really) goes such a long way towards having a happy home. If he didn’t do it, let’s assume it’s because he actually forgot. It’s so much nicer that way.

And now some stuff about kids.

“The most important skills that children everywhere must learn in order to live happy, productive, moral lives are skills that cannot be taught in school. Such skills cannot be taught at all. They are learned and practised by children in play. These include the abilities to think creatively, to get along with other people and cooperate effectively, and to control their own impulses and emotions.”

I go back and forth on stuff like this. I don’t support overschooling, but nor do I think kids should play all the time and not have responsibilities. However, the science in this article was really compelling about how important free play time is for kids. I’m feeling really good about the “shutting the kids in the backyard” part of the day. It’s for their development . . . 

Also feeling good about “letting them climb on stuff and maybe fall off of it” part of the day.

‘AUT professor of public health Grant Schofield, who worked on the research project, said there are too many rules in modern playgrounds.
“The great paradox of cotton-woolling children is it’s more dangerous in the long-run.”
Society’s obsession with protecting children ignores the benefits of risk-taking, he said.
Children develop the frontal lobe of their brain when taking risks, meaning they work out consequences. “You can’t teach them that. They have to learn risk on their own terms. It doesn’t develop by watching TV, they have to get out there.”‘

One, remind me to start saying “cotton-woolling” because that is brilliant. Two, I love this. I’ve always been one to let my kids take risks. I’m glad some science agrees with me.

Thanks to my mother-in-law for this one.

“All four of my girls have found friends similar to Annie. While no friendship is perfect, I’ve been surprised by some of the kindness I’ve seen at young ages. They know how to look out for a friend. They get it. And can I tell you what their kind friends all have in common? Kind mothers. Time and time again, I’ve become friends with the moms I meet through my children’s beloved friends because they’re good souls. I don’t think it’s a coincidence their children are, too.”

I had a rough time with girls when I was in junior high (back when that was a thing) and high school. But I remember fondly the girls who were kind. As I raise my daughters now, I’m equally as concerned with the idea of them being nice girls as I am with other girls being nice to them.

I like this article’s premise that if we moms are nice to our friends, our daughters will learn to be nice to their friends. Works for me!

And, lastly, this:

I finally gave up and took it all away. I wasn’t angry, just fed up. I calmly began packing up not just a toy or two, but every single thing. All their dress-up clothes, baby dolls, Polly Pockets, & stuffed animals, all their Barbies, building blocks, and toy trains, right down to the the furniture from their dollhouse and play food from their kitchen. I even took the pretty Pottery Barn Kids comforter from their bed. The girls watched me in stunned silence for a few minutes and then, when the shock wore off, they helped. And just like that, their room was clear.”

We already (mostly) limit toys to the playroom, and keep them out of bedrooms and common areas. I intend that they only have a number of toys that fits in the toy closet and can be maintained by them in a reasonable amount of time. (It was one of my earliest posts!) But oh how I want to just ditch ALL of it sometimes.

They could have a truck and a doll and maybe a hoop and stick. Just think of all the character they’d build. And then *I* would have an adorable schoolroom where the playroom used to be. With a big map! And cursive letter borders!

So far their father has intervened on behalf of the toys. But someday . . . 


Have a great weekend everyone! I’m off to host a Princess Bride-themed sleep-over for 11 little girls . . .

also etsy

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Haley @ Carrots for Michaelmas

    That original post for QT #1 is just so poorly argued and ignorant that I feel embarrassed for her. Not even worth responding to. I do wish people would just ignore her immaturity, chortle, and move along, though instead of some of the horrible things they wrote in the comments. I even saw a comment saying they wish she had been aborted. Ugh. Why do people say things like that? The post was so bad that we should really feel sorry that our society has fed her these lies and that her education so badly failed her in the ways of logical argument.

    And have SO MUCH FUN with the Princes Bride party!

  2. Bonnie

    How do you find all these things? There's so much good reading material here – and I am especially looking forward to the Screwtape Letters one. That'll probably get me.

    • Laura Pearl

      I agree–you find the best things to read, Kendra. I always find something enlightening when I stop by here.

    • Kendra

      Facebook, a homeschool yahoo group, and people emailing them to me. I am almost totally passive in my news gathering.

  3. Anonymous

    Extremes are dangerous no matter what the extreme is.

  4. Chris

    Awesome QTs, Kendra! My daily does of "smart!" Really love clicking over here,

    My son is looking over my shoulder ( 11yo) and wants me to tell you he knows you're a fun family bu your header shot! and he wishes we didn't live across the country AND "that baby" is so adorable. ( He has a thing for babies and pets!)
    Seriously great blog header pic.

    Enjoy the PB party! LOVE themed parties!
    Share some pics when you can!!


  5. Jenny Cook

    Wow, I can't bring myself to click on the original article for #1…it sounds like it was written by a poorly informed teen applying to be the next TED speaker. Which reminds me of the time years ago I read a poorly informed teen's persuasive essay arguing that our gov't needed to start giving tax penalties instead of tax breaks to people with more than 2 kids in order to curb overpopulation. Coincidentally, there were 2 kids in her family. Hmmm…

  6. Hannah Reinhard

    My parents hosted a Princess Bride themed birthday party for one of my older brothers back in the day – I'm pretty sure it was the best party any of the kids ever had. Enjoy! Love the links, especially the response to that inane article 🙂

  7. Anonymous

    So, are you stalking me on FB or am I stalking you? 😉 These are all great links. Re: the toys- I have a friend who, at one point, got rid of all of her kids toys, except for one ball and a box. And they were fine. Of course, more filtered back in over time, but every time I hear of people limiting toys drastically, I only hear good things (unless they pull a mommy dearest, of course. 🙂 ) off to go get rid of more toys!

  8. Christine

    I can't wait to have a yard so I too can enjoy the "shut the kids in the backyard" part of the day! I mean….so my kids can enjoy it…;-)

    Thanks for sharing all the links. A few mom friends were talking about the 'giving away all the toys' post, and I was meaning to go find it. Also, please write later about the birthday party. Princess Bride was my second-favorite movie as a kid (after Labyrinth), and I would have loved such a party!

    • Christine

      But I have to ask – are modern-day 11 year-olds (besides your own) actually familiar with the movie?

    • Kendra

      Good point, I don't know. But I can't imagine being sick as a kid and NOT watching the Princess Bride!

      I love that my boys and girls enjoy it equally!

  9. Rakhi McCormick

    Love all these links – had read almost all of them this week too, but not the Screwtape one or the taking toys away – will have to dig into those later! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  10. Nanacamille

    Fun links to bring fun back into childhood. I'm giving away my age but I grew up playing kick the can under the street light with all of the kids on the circle. The only organized activities we had were in school and either Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts. It's great for kids to have a chance at creative play and use their own imaginations. Childhood seems to be getting very structured especially in countries limiting the number of children a family can have.

  11. Abby S.

    Love the links! Makes me want to throw all our toys away, then send the kids to the backyard to play unsupervised all day (who needs school time when you can get really dirty outside?!?), then tell my husband how awesome he is. And I don't know about today's average movie-viewer, but all my kids think the P.B. is awesome. Nothing like rhyming things with "peanut" to get a 4-year old giggling.

  12. Kris

    Matt Walsh wrote a great response to that post about single women looking down on mothers. Fabulous.

  13. Ashley Sue

    Thank you for the shout out! I love the link about childhood because I need to be a little more fun ( I said it! Someone copy and paste so my husband has proof) and the risk taking one. I would love to get rid of all the toys…

  14. Cristina

    I love all these, but especially the toys post. I saw it a while back but not since she added the update saying that it's still going well a year later. Our problem is that I've gotten rid of all the junky toys in our life and we still have too much left–they're all lovely and encourage open ended play but it's just too much! I've been seriously considering a ruthless toy purge but then I thought, why do it right now when Lent is right around the corner 🙂

  15. Katrina Bascom

    We don't have a play room, and I have thought a few times about just packing all of my boys' toys up and donating them. My husband has also protected their toys… for now. 🙂

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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