Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Mother’s Fiat – Elizabeth’s Birth Story

It wasn’t the birth experience I was hoping for. In fact, it was downright disappointing.

I blame the hospital tour where I saw a re-designed postpartum unit, complete with its color light therapy over the large Jacuzzi bathtub and a full-sized memory foam bed.  It somehow convinced me I was going on a spa vacation. I actually started looking forward to my hospital stay.  Sure, I had to actually go through the whole labor, delivery and pushing out the baby part before my husband and I got our “spa” vacation.  But, I’ve done that three times before; it wouldn’t be my first rodeo. Continue reading

We Get What We Get And We Don’t Complain

Anyone with young ones at home knows it can, at times, be like living with instant play-back. Got a nugget of wisdom or lesson they need to learn? Chances are they’ll throw it right back at you with an innocent face and a big ZING.

Children tend to remember these life gems at the most inconvenient times such as in front of the in-laws, the parish priest or when I’m already teetering on the very edge of sanity – which these days is pretty much any day of the week ending in Y. Continue reading

Mind your Own Motherhood

If there’s one thing we have as women, its opinions. I’d like to issue a friendly reminder to Catholic wives and mothers that personal opinions on motherhood and issues of morality are two different things.

In other words: mind your own motherhood!

A holy mother has many faces, friends. She may wear different hats. They may be hats you don’t think look good on her.

A holy mother may not breastfeed, use cloth diapers or co-sleep. Or she may. A holy mother may make the baby cry it out. Or not. She may send six kids to public school or stay home full-time and home school one.

There are some popular phrases that some women have been using as weapons on fellow mothers:

“We are the first and primary educators of our children” is slug like mud at mothers who send children to school.

We are the first and primary educators of our children. Education is an important and private discernment process where God may reveal his will in differing ways.

“I could NEVER leave MY kids,” is casually said to mothers who leave the home for work, implying they love their children less than mothers who stay home.

That mother may not be able to leave her kids because she may be called to be home. This does not make her calling superior or her children “better off” then those of a mother who leaves.

I’ve recently been noticing an elitist attitude from stay-at-home (and some school-at -home) mothers in my life and in the media and blog world.

It is only “acceptable” for a mother to be called to work outside of the home if it is financially necessary for her family. When that time passes she can go home, where she “should” be.

Mother’s who leave the home to work even though she doesn’t need to financially may indeed be called to a mission in the world in addition to her vocation at home.

A holy mother may set her college degrees aside and stay home with her children full-time. She may make her husband lunch and have dinner ready when he returns home. A holy mother may have a husband who does laundry and cleans the kitchen.

A holy mother may work outside the home – whether or not her family needs the money.

A holy mother discerns her life putting her vocation as wife and mother first. Her discernment is between herself, her husband and the Lord. A holy mother will do so with a formed conscience. What she is called to is divinely perfect.

Who are we to question how and why God calls anyone, mother or not?

Our thoughts of each other are so disordered they’ve been exploited and are used as entertainment in the blogs and media sources.

Stop it! We’re making Christian motherhood look bad – as if we can’t handle our vocation. It’s embarrassing and shameful.

Mind your own motherhood.

Let’s stop tearing each other down and looking down our noses at those God has called to our same vocation. We’ve got the same goal, friends! Let’s serve each other in the absence of judgment with encouragement and support so we can best serve our vocations.

Mind your own motherhood. I’ll try to do the same.

Mama and bottle-fed baby

Are you a "Santa Family?"

We’re a “Santa” family. I understand the reasons behind some families choice to keep Santa out of their Christmas celebrations, but for us, it’s important to include him.

There is beauty in the “magic” of Santa. In the innocence heart of a child that can believe a man can make it around the world in just one night, solely to bless the lives of children everywhere. The story is appreciated and loved because of its wonder, sans the syndical and bitter questioning that sneaks its way into our hearts with age.

We use the Santa story to teach our children about the unconditional love that can be found in a gift that is given out of love, not earned like a sticker on a responsibility chart. Once a year, for just a few years, they will wake with the type of anticipation that only lives within a child. They’ll know that awaiting them under the Christmas tree decorated with holy cards will be presents, right next to the manger that’s present all through Advent. The gifts won’t be there because they have earned them or they deserve them, just because they are loved – similar to the baby Jesus who will be placed in the manger that sits under that Christmas tree through Advent.

Accepting unconditional love and unearned reward may be difficult later in their lives depending on their temperament. The “Santa years” are great practice for them to accept that they are loved just because. They are loved by us, by each other and ultimately, by Christ. They did nothing to earn this love, can do nothing to lose the love and need only accept it – like a gift on Christmas morning.

There is no “naughty” or “nice” list and Santa works in his worship year-round making toys for boys and girls because St. Nicholas inspired him to be loving and kind to children out of the goodness of his heart.

There is no danger of our children learning one day about Santa and drawing a parallel to Christ thus dismissing the resurrection as a fable, myth or moral story. We talk about Santa from December 7th to December 25th every year. We talk about the baby Jesus everyday.

My biggest concern that comes along with being a “Santa family” is not a spiritual one. We’ve got three daughters in this home. Teaching them to sit on an old man’s lap, tell him their secret desires and then take candy from him does really coincide with what we generally teach our daughters about strange, odd looking older men! Then, on Christmas Eve, we’ll celebrate Jesus’ birthday and while we are sleeping he’ll sneak into our home and we’ll leave him a snack? It is rather amusing when you think about the details.

Seems my girls feel the same way, judging from the Santa pictures we’ve taken the past few years.

A blessed feast of St. Nicholas! May his goodness and generosity inspire our Advent and Christmas season in whatever way is best for our families.

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