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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Millennials Raising Kids in the Era of Social Media

There is a lot of millennial angst on the internet about having babies and social media. My nieces and nephews are having babies now, so I frequently see their links to stories and articles in my social media feeds. Recently, this article stood out to me. (Emphasis mine.)

My grandmother used to tell the story about how she forgot my mother at the grocery store in the early 40s. She walked up to the store with my mother sleeping in her carriage, parked it outside with all the other sleeping babies (I’ll let that sink in), went inside to do her shopping, then walked home forgetting that she’d taken the baby with her. She quickly realized her mistake and walked back and retrieved my mother who was still sleeping outside the store.

There were no flashcards, there was no sign language (unless you were deaf), there were no organic, free-range bento boxes – your job was to just see a kid through to adulthood and hope they didn’t become an idiot.

It seems to me that is still the primary job of parenthood. As Catholic moms, our view goes a little further - get them through adulthood and life and then someday into heaven. But the main goals of parenthood haven't changed at all.

The author continued:

Hey, I’m not judging, and I’m not saying one way is better than the other, but I’m just saying that we are part of a generation that considers parenting as a skill. Like a true skill that needs to be mastered and perfected and if we don’t get it right, we think our kids suffer for it and that’s hard to keep up with. That’s not to say other generations didn’t have it tough or think parenting was important, but there just wasn’t the same level of scrutiny that could be liked, tweeted or instagramed all at once.

And here I think we get to the core of the problem. Social media may be a new thing, but comparing ourselves to others is part of human nature and very old. In fact comparing ourselves to others and then feeling proud or discouraged accordingly is as old as time.

In her book, On the Banks of Plum Creek, Laura Ingalls Wilder talked about feeling ashamed of her bare feet as she and her sister walked to the town school. All of the other kids had shoes.

In Charles Dickens's book, Great Expectations, Pip feels frequently feels ashamed of his clothes, his living arrangements, and even his family.

Even in the very beginning of the Bible, Cain killed Able because he didn't like being compared.

Clearly feeling scrutinized and judged IS NOT a 21st-century thing - it's a human thing. Sometimes it's even a sin thing. The only difference now is that oversharing can be done instantly via social media for the whole world to see.

It’s an amazing and exciting time to have a baby right now, but always keep in mind, no one has ever done it like this before – you are pioneers that have to machete through the new terrain.

Here's the truth - everyone has done this before. The terrain of Instragram and Facebook and other social media is not the same terrain that moms faced even ten years ago.

nick is very interested in computers lately - _MG_0101
Sean Drielinger via Flickr, licensed cc

 It's much smoother.

After all, you can unplug a computer and put down the iPhone. In the last 100 years, new moms have dealt with recessions, many wars and even the Great Depression. Putting food on the table trumps getting upset over a pretty Pinterest post.

So as Catholic moms, how do we cope? Here are a couple of points to remember and try.

  • You can't do it on your own, so don't try. Turn it over to God, and pray for yourself and your family.
  • As Catholic moms, our role model is a 16-year-old Jewish girl living in Roman-occupied, first-century Judea, with legal authorities trying to kill her baby. That sort of puts everything else into perspective!
  • Find a few blogs, sites, boards or Twitter feeds that edify and inspire you and then just look at those. Block everything else.
  • See out older and more experienced moms as mentors. The terrain may be different, but they've made it through before and have wisdom and knowledge to share. Take advantage of it!

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