Girl Scouts Sans Troop

Girl Scouts Sans Troop

I was never a girl scout but I wanted my daughter to be one.  American Mormon boys enroll in church-sponsored Boy Scouts troops. However, the LDS church does not sponsor Girl Scout troops. To be fair to my children and give them equal opportunities, I wanted to find a way for my daughter to access the Girl Scout experience outside of church.

When I went to the Utah Girl Scouts website and tried to sign up, I received a notice saying that because of the high demand for Girl Scouts in my local area, my daughter would not be able to join a troop.  All troops were full. The Girl Scouts website recommended that I volunteer as a Girl Scout leader, find another adult who is not related to me to be my partner, and recruit at least four other girls my daughter’s age in order to establish a brand new troop.

Read More

From the Backlist: Favorite Quotes by Women about Leadership

Nobody-cares-if-you-cant-dance-well.-Just-get-up-and-dance.-Great-dancers-are-not-great-because-of-their-technique-they-are-great-because-of-their-passion-Martha-Graham-quoteApril: My daughter’s PTA just sent an email saying they are decorating her school with quotes about leadership. The email listed 17 quotes and asked if anyone had any other quotes to suggest. All 17 quotes are by men. I think I need to make a lot of suggestions to balance it out. Anyone have any fave quotes by women about leadership? It looks like anything related to vision, hard work or integrity counts.

Deborah:  This is from a rotating list of quotes I used to have in up in my classroom:

Read More

Guest Post: A Mother of One

lori davisby Lori Davis

When I introduce my family at church, the wheels start turning in people’s heads. “Only one child . . . and the daughter’s not a baby.”

Most people assume that I can’t have more children. I must be facing a barrage of fertility treatments. I must be very depressed. No doubt I would be thrilled to hear about the latest alternative medicine miracle fix.

Some people assume that I don’t want more children. I must find motherhood less rewarding than the Church assures me it is. My testimony of families must be on shaky ground.

Either way, I am obviously coping with a major trial. People don’t like to mention it. They might be probing an open wound.

Few have the temerity to ask, but when they do, I find myself tongue-tied. I flounder and bluster, trying to explain myself. The truth is I love motherhood. I expected more children. Those high school sex education videos certainly led me to believe more would come. Reality has been a bit different. And apparently, I’m supposed to feel terrible about this.

Read More

Birth/Rebirth: Welcome baby, you are home.

1394413_10101113307055709_487191012_n

One of the first times someone asked me to recount my daughter’s birth, I started to speak, and then without meaning to, I started to weep. It was difficult to remember something that was so tender to live.

The contractions started on a Thursday afternoon, when the only thing I wanted was to take a nap. I lay in my bed with my eyes closed. One surge came, and then another, every ten minutes. Each lasted approximately 1 minute and 15 seconds. I could feel them grow. They became easier to manage if I stood or walked. At their end, I would climb back into my bed. I called my husband, Spencer, after about two hours of this. He was at work. I asked him to come home soon–though not necessarily immediately–and to please pick up grapes on the way. However, the next contraction was so forceful that it made me throw up. I called him back and said, “Actually I need you to come home right now.”

Read More

Birth/Rebirth: A Precipitous Birth Story

henry

Henry Lee Raynes Matthews, 3/30/2013, 8 lbs 12 oz

I am an unapologetic lover of birth stories. I love hearing them and I love sharing my own. I have four children and I have written many times about the aspects of three of those births. My last child was born nine months ago and I have yet to write anything about it. In fact, I am not sure I ever would have unless Spunky asked me to tell the story for this series. Birth stories can be painful; they can trigger traumatic memories, insecurity about our bodies, and sadness over the loss of a child or not having children. These are all valid feelings and I want to apologize if my story causes these emotions for any of you.

It has taken me months to sort through my feelings about my last birth. It was a difficult pregnancy. I had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies and had controlled it through diet, exercise and medication. It was discovered, in the last pregnancy that I would ever have, that the diagnosis had been wrong and that I am actually a Type 1 diabetic who, hopefully, only exhibits symptoms in pregnancy. It was a hard diagnosis to receive, my mother is a Type 1 diabetic and her disease had a profound impact on my childhood. If I had been properly diagnosed in previous pregnancies I would have known that each successive pregnancy increased my risk of remaining a Type 1 diabetic, a reality that probably would have affected my decision to have more children. 

Read More