Category

Motherhood

Devoted, Not Consumed: Motherhood & The Life Of The Mind

Like most of you, all this extra (enforced) time at home has been both a blessing and a trial. Is this our new normal? Do we even want the old normal?

I’ve hit a wall about what to do with my blog here. Feeling like I have nothing to say.

I lost sight of what my purpose here is.

It’s not to tell my story. It’s to tell your story. The story of thousands like us. The story of the good student, the bookworm, the daydreamer, suddenly and happily thrust into the incarnate, all-consuming work of motherhood.

Your Story

You love motherhood. But miss some of the things you had before. Your intellectual pursuits. Reading simply for pleasure.

The thrill of all the disparate threads of a mystery coalescing into one.

Understanding a complex character motivation, and suddenly the fascicle foil transforms into a deep, image-bearer just like you.

Or the slow and cozy ease of resting in a well-worn novel, like going to a family reunion without the pinched cheeks and watery potato salad.

Gosh, don’t you just long for those moments?

But there seems to never be enough time, enough quiet, or simply enough YOU leftover at the end of a long day and night parenting.

What’s even worse than this loss, is the guilt you feel for mourning it. Your longing for these transcendent moments feels like a betrayal.

Isn’t motherhood enough?

Shouldn’t it be?

 

You love motherhood. It's your vocation. But you miss the intellectual life you had before. Reading, journaling, contemplating, discussing books with others. What's worse, you feel guilty for missing these things...

 

Motherhood is not a vocation for dabblers. With a special-needs son, I can see the path of intensive motherhood stretching into the shining distance. Possibly until the moment of my death. But even parents of typical children know the season of mothering moment-to-moment won’t end in the blink of an eye.

Your commitment to motherhood must be absolute.

But you needn’t be consumed by it.

That’s the heart of my corner of the internet. The purpose for my blog & attendant social media.

To celebrate the milestones & ordinary days of Catholic home life, without sacrificing the life of the mind. To support you in the endlessly spinning task of giving all to these little people, and filling back up again. And to see you. To make you feel seen. Because you are a devoted mother, yet you are not consumed.

You aren’t a fragmentary creature, split between BP and AP (before parenthood & after). You are the same girl who daydreamed and scribbled in margins. The girl who created life in her mind now shephards little souls through life. That was training you for today. And the true student knows that learning never ends.

You are an integrated, beautiful whole. With all aspects enhancing and embracing one another.

So we’ll get into the practical. I’ll recommend a book I like. I’ll show you how I make margins for reading, and hold space for contemplation. But that comes second. First, you have to give yourself grace.

Lean into the desires of your inmost heart. Forget all the shoulds and shouldn’ts of so-called “perfect” motherhood. And allow yourself to dream again.

7 Things That Won’t Make You A Good Catholic Mom

As Catholic mothers, we have the same vocation. But God calls us to live out this vocation in diverse ways! Although Tolstoy claimed happy families are all alike, we know holy families are all different. Allow me to highlight 7 different ways Catholic moms can go against the current “super-Catholic” grain and still find sanctity.

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Motherhood in Light of the Fatherhood of God

A blogger I deeply admire recently wrote about why we call God Father, not mother. (Hint: Because He asked us to!) It’s a great post. Be sure to read it! It’s full of meaty quotes from the catechism. As I read it, I considered why people would want to call God mother.

Those who do so are sincerely questing after God. We all make this mistake occasionally. By making God more like us, we hope to bring Him nearer.

But we are made in His image. We cannot remake Him in our own. Then we are just a series of mirrors reflecting and refracting endlessly on. We do not gain a fruitful creation; only mere illusion.

None of this is necessary! God being Father does not invalidate or diminish my vocation as a mother. After all, He is the author of human motherhood. Trust in Him to imbue your state with everything that is necessary!

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Self-Care or Self-Indulgence?

There’s always going to be one more thing on the to-do list. But you can’t pour from an empty cup! That’s why self-care is unquestionably necessary. I’m not making an argument against self-care. Rather, against the terrible amount of bad advice out there.

So often the big suggestions for self-care are something frivolous like “Use a bath bomb or go for a walk.”

It can also be just an excuse for all sorts of self-indulgent behavior, like copious amounts of wine and chocolate.

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Motherhood: Job or Career #WorthRevisit

When I wrote this a year ago, I was writing it for myself too. Personally, I was unsure of my attitude towards motherhood. Every day felt like drowning in a sea of mundane, repetitive responsibilities. The diapers, dishes, laundry, and random messes felt like they ran my whole day. I was more maid than wife or mother.

I did a little reading and journaling on the vocation of motherhood. Here’s the attitude-adjustment that followed.
WorthRevisit is hosted by Reconciled to You

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The Sanctity of Autism {Autism Acceptance Month}

I haven’t written directly about my son before, out of respect for his privacy. This Autism Acceptance Month,  I want to share something that has weighed heavily on my heart. For the sake of readability, I’ll be calling my 3-year-old “Johnny”.

 

When my son was first diagnosed with autism last year, every step of the process focused on his weaknesses. Not only his raw nerves that make the world too loud and too bright. But every sparkling facet of his deep personality was pathologized.

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5 Facebook Groups for Christian Moms

 

If you’re still using Facebook as a giant time suck (hello, pictures of old college roommate’s cat) then you’re missing out. Private groups on Facebook are the 21st century way to fellowship with vast amounts of moms, who are only a click away! Build up the body of Christ online.

H/T to Lis Luwia of Catholic Mommy Blogs for first compiling The Ultimate Guide to Catholic Facebook Groups, with over 30 groups listed. Check it out!

The first two groups are Catholic communities I’ve enjoyed for some time. The final three groups are non denominational meetings of sisters.

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Motherhood: Is It A Genuine Career?

What is your attitude towards motherhood? Some ways you may be treating motherhood as a casual job, and readjustments, for your mothering perspective .

 

We all know that motherhood is a vocation. How that plays out looks different from family to family, and changes as life goes on. There are working moms, at-home moms, single moms, homeschool moms, etc. and significant overlap between groups. I respect every woman filling the occupation God has called her to.

What we’re talking about today isn’t the station, it’s the attitude. What is your attitude towards motherhood? Are you living an accidental life like I was? Here are some red flags, and readjustments, for your mothering perspective.

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