Life Juggles: Multigenerational Family Edition

3gen.jpgWhat do you do when your husband calls in the middle of a work-related event, in Chicago, and says that your mother needs help getting on her jammies, in South Bend?

Why, you ask to speak to your daughter, of course. “But she’s already gone to bed,” he hedges nervously. I can’t see his face, but I can read the subtext clear as day: “PLEASE don’t make me go in there!” (*sigh*)

“Put her on the phone, honey.” Noises and loud protestations ensue in the background. True to form, said teenager comes to the phone snarling. “WHAT?!”

“Sweetie,” I say through clenched teeth. “Do you remember the talk we had before I left that you needed to help get Mammie ready for bed while I’m gone?”

“I’m sleeping.”

Time for the big guns. “So… You want DAD to go down there and help her get dressed? How do you think Mammie will feel about Dad seeing her bra?”

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Online Inspiration for Catholic Moms!

marian optionHave you heard of the new Catholic Women’s publication, the Helena Daily? Today one of their editors, Dr. Carrie Gress, who is author of The Marian Option, is running a short interview with me about getting into Catholic publishing. Check it out — and check out her beautiful blog, “My Favorite Catholic Things”!

Happy Mother’s Day!

“Becoming a mother makes you the mother of all children. From now on each wounded, abandoned, frightened child is yours. You live in the suffering mothers of every race and creed and weep with them. You long to comfort all who are desolate.”

— Charlotte Gray

“Giving kids clothes and food is one of thing, but it’s much more important to teach them that other people besides themselves are important and that the best thing they can do with their lives is to use them in the service of other people.” — Dolores Huerta

“Everybody knows that a good mother gives her children a feeling of trust and stability. She is their earth. She is the one they can count on for the things that matter most of all. She is their food and their bed and the extra blanket when it grows cold in the night; she is their warmth and their health and their shelter; she is the one they want to be near when they cry. She is the only person in the whole world in a whole lifetime who can be these things to her children. There is no substitute for her. Somehow even her clothes feel different to her children’s hands from anybody else’s clothes. Only to touch her skirt or her sleeve makes a troubled child feel better.”  -Katharine Butler Hathaway


“Every mother is like Moses. She does not enter the promised land. She prepares a world she will not see.”

-Pope Paul VI


St. Gianna Molla … Inspiration for “Working Moms”

My friend Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur asked me to help spread the word about a new video entitled “St. Gianna Beretta Molla: A Modern-Day Hero of Divine Love,” recently released and now available on Amazon.  St. Gianna Beretta Molla (1922-1962), herself a doctor, made the courageous choice to give birth to her child — against medical advice. 

What I love about St. Gianna is that she was a strong, intelligent woman who worked for the welfare of her community and her family … but never forgot that she was, first and foremost, a child of God. This enabled her to trust Him for the outcome of her courageous choice to give her child life. 

I have a prayer card of St. Gianna sitting on my desk upstairs, reminding me to make each day count. Because of her example, I am reminded that my vocation as a wife and mother is an important part of who I am, and what I do — though it is indeed only a part of the work God calls us to do. Not all of us are able to save lives, like St. Gianna, but with the particular gifts God has given us we can touch our world for the better nonetheless.

If you’re a “working mom” (aren’t we all?) and looking for a little added inspiration, why not order a copy of this DVD and share it with your family. What a great way to celebrate All Souls/All Saints Day, with a special tribute to this amazing mother!

A Prayer for Motherly Courage

Karen at “Be Still My Soul” shares this touching account of a young woman, Myah, whose preborn daughter was diagnosed with anencephaly — a congenital and fatal birth defect.

The story itself is bittersweet. Instead of “terminating the pregnancy,” this young woman decided to share whatever time they had together out of simple love for her daughter. (I also appreciated Karen’s advice to all women of childbearing years to make sure they have enough folic acid in their diet, to prevent this kind of tragedy.)

Today I’d like to offer this prayer for frightened mothers (including those whose children are not yet born), that God would give them the courage to hold on to their children with faith, hope, and love … for as long as they are together.

St. Elizabeth Seton, patronness of dying children, observed:

“We know certainly that our God calls us to a holy life. We know that he gives us every grace, every abundant grace; and though we are so weak of ourselves, this grace is able to carry us through every obstacle and difficulty.”

St. Elizabeth Seton, pray for us!

Mother’s Helper: Guest Post by Allie O. Williams


“Look what we found!” exclaimed our son, Rob. As the oldest & tallest he was the default spokesman, thrusting a muddy mitt in my face, his fist clutching a clay encrusted hunk of plastic. “It’s Mary and I found it,” cried our littlest neighbor Maggie firmly asserting her role. “But it was in our yard,” hollered our daughter, Elizabeth.

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