My Spring Reading List!

After the heavier reading of Lent, I thought I'd like to continue some inspirational spiritual reading through the Easter season as well. 

Here's my book list!

Private and Pithy lessons from Scripture - Mother Angelica
Little Book of Life Lessons - Mother Angelica
Three to Get Married - Fulton Sheen
The Little Oratory
Diary Sister Faustina
Getting Past Perfect - Kate Wicker
The Words We Pray - Amy Welborn
Perfectly Yourself - Matthew Kelly 
Crossing the Threshold of Hope - Pope John Paul II

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The myth of the mom

The myth of the mom of many!

When I was a little girl, we had a mom with lots and lots of kids who lived in the square mile or so behind our farm.   Her husband worked in a factory in Flint but farmed before and after work.   They had about 8 kids.  The mom was a stay at home mom and she cared for the kids and the horses.   There was no homeschooling then as far as I can remember, but this lady came pretty close although her kids attended the local Catholic school.  I remember how much I admired her family and how much I wished I could be one of those kids with all of those siblings and the huge farm to play on.

This lady was the first woman I ever saw breast feed up close too.  My mom always told me how much she regretted not being able to breast feed us, so I was even more keenly aware of this woman breastfeeding her babies.  

There were two parts to this woman’s home.  There was a huge addition that was very modern and up todate, pretty, clean and white.  The old part of the house was dark and dingy.  I remember that it was very dusty even though you could tell that the house had been swept and vacuumed.   The floor was at a angle too, like the house wasn’t quite on its foundation or something.

A couple of years later as I entered high school, it seemed to me that the family wasn’t quite on their foundation either.   The kids were sent to school somewhere in Ireland because the Catholic school wasn’t Catholic enough, but the strain of the farm and the house, and the separation eventually broke up the marriage and the family.  I’ve lost track of what ever happened to those folks.

I knew another family too with 6 girls and 1 boy. I was sort of friends with the oldest girl and even spent the night at their home once. I was surprised that my friend and I were supposed to sleep in the same bed, but in their house that was quite normal. Everyone slept in a double bed with someone else except for the only boy in the family. I enjoyed the business of this family and how it felt to be sitting with all of them at dinner. I remember admiring how all of the daughters looked alike with their shiny blond hair and how they all seemed very smart and did well in school.

In contrast, I was also growing up in a household with 6 people, but the only kids were me and my younger sister. There were also my grandparents, my mother and my bachelor uncle. That household had its own challenges, but not the same ones that the large families with kids that I knew had. Still, I did learn how to manage with just one bathroom in the house, and how to cook for a family and how my grandmother handled laundry.

But what I didn't learn really was how to BE the mother of a large household with lots of children, and in particular, I did not learn how to be the mother of a large family with lots of BOYS! I never really saw firsthand the ups and downs, day-to-day of marriage while raising a lot of kids either. I saw some with my grandparents, but they were pretty much living on their retirement and my mom was teaching to support my sister and me, so even those struggles were somewhat different.

I tell you all of this to kind of explain some of the thoughts and feelings that I am getting while reading a Mother's Rule of Life. If you have not read that book, the author writes about her struggles finding her Catholic faith, and then living that faith through her marriage, motherhood and homeschooling. She felt like she was a failure and that she would never achieve the type of peaceful, holy lifestyle as a wife and mother, that would be pleasing to God. Her journey there is quite interesting.

What jumped out of the page to me though was her lament that she had been married 10 years and still didn't have this figured out! Well YIKES!! I've been married 26 years and don't feel like I have that all together yet either!! Much like the author, I feel like I've had glimpses of how I would like things to be, and even what God expects me to do, but I never had an apprenticeship per se. I suspect many Catholic moms today who grew up after Vatican II and after the aceptance of contraception etc can say the same.

But that panicked me a bit. At my age, and with 6 kids, my oldest just 2 years away from legal adulthood, I really want to get there before it's too late!!

Not that I haven't made great strides over where I was 10-15 years ago, but there is so much more that I see that I have to do before I can get my houseshold to where I need it to be.

So, I'm going to take baby steps and concentrate on what A Mother's Rule of Life calls the first two P's - Prayer and Person. I'm going to blog on both of those this week. In the meantime, if any of you want to share your thoughts that would be great.