While I don’t set out to be a mom blog, many times my personal meditations are centered around my vocation as a wife and mom.
When I feel others may be uplifted by those meditations, I let myself be vulnerable in my imperfection, and share them with you. I hope that you’ll look at me with a kind and forgiving heart when you read my parenting reflections.
And I hope that you’ll find some inspiration to try each day, like I do, to be more perfect in your vocation.
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Forget the perfect Pinterest project, by the time you change every diaper that needs changing, feed the starving animals you call your children, put the cushions back on the couch for the thousandth time, toss every LEGO block back in the bin, feed those children again, teach them their letters, feed them again, brush their teeth, tuck them in bed, tell them to get back in bed – you don’t have the energy left to stay awake until a reasonable adult bedtime, so you’re passed out in your spit-up-covered jeans on top of the bedspread at 7:59.
Well I give you credit, you almost made it to 8:00.
Every day in the life of a parent is lived in survival mode.
I can almost feel the disapproving glares of the parishioners behind me burning holes in the back of my head, but I don’t dare turn and look.
I am sitting on the floor at the front of the adoration chapel with my three energetic children, making a desperate attempt at meditation, peppered with mad dashes after my children as they sprint towards the exit, stick their fingers in the electrical socket, and prepare to climb the votive candle display.
My concentration bounces back and forth between my prayers, little voices giggling and singing, and big voices shouting to hear themselves echo across the cathedral ceiling.
At least we’re here with You, Jesus. We’re trying our best. Bless us that during our time here we may come to know You better.
“A mother is the heart of the home.”
Thanks, St. Mother Teresa. No pressure whatsoever.
My Jesus, for so long, I’ve fought this concept. The stress and pressure it laid on me. How could I, as a mother, have the full responsibility of being the heart of my home? The peace of my home? I’d much rather it be a cooperative effort.
Or push the blame off on my children. That’d be nice. If they would just be quiet, stop fighting, clean up their messes, our home would be more peaceful. More orderly. More loving.
But I’ve come to see the role I play as heart of the home all too clearly.
Let’s face it, I’m not a college student any more. And I’m not a contemplative nun. I’m a mom. Specifically, a homeschooling mom with three young kids. My prayer life should look different from a college kid’s. Different from a contemplative nun’s. Different from the mom next door.
My prayer life is unique to me. And frankly, it’s hectic, distractable, and revolves around my family life.
We’re a busy family. Who isn’t? But you can never be too busy for prayer. I discovered ways to pray by myself and with my spouse and kids that complement our crazy hectic family days.
Take a sneak-peek at the a day-in-the-prayer-life-of-me!
I was exhausted. I wanted to put her down so I could rest. Or finish my chores. I wanted her off me.
But then I saw her there. Attached to me. Part of me.
And the tears welled in my eyes.
She won’t always be this small. She won’t always be strapped to my back or clinging onto my legs. Her fingers and toes won’t always be this precious tiny. She will grow up. She will gain independence.
And I’ll go back to just being me.
I wanted to move on to the next thing. But I needed to relish this moment. Remember it. Ponder it in my heart.
It’s hard to be around our kids all the time. Their needs and messes and noise are constantly weighing on us. It can be easy to lose ourselves to the demands of motherhood. To let stress take over. To be the yelling, tantruming mom we swore we’d never be.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to constantly live on the verge of losing it. It takes dedication, but we can take back our sanity!
In my very first session of therapy for depression, my counselor introduced two important tools. Strategies to help me monitor and control my stress and moods: the Healthy Mind Platter and the emotional thermometer.
I started using these tools right away. In fact, they took over my life for a few weeks. They were the most important things on my to-do list every day.
As my emotional and mental health stabilized, I found myself settling into a comfortable pattern. I realized that caring for my mental health isn’t only important in emergency situations – it’s important all the time! Even when I’m healthy, I can use the mind platter and emotional thermometer to maintain my wellness.
Now they’re part of my everyday life. Let me tell you what they’re all about.