Raising children is not a default chore for women who were not successful in the world of business, power, and wealth. However, the trend in the last few decades has been to delegate childcare to women who are often treated like second-class citizens. Society seems to dismiss and even ridicule women’s most sacred, natural role as nurturing mothers.
I fully realize most mothers have no choice but to work in our present economy. My contention is with prevailing attitudes about children, mothers and child care. From preschool, we are groomed to get ahead, surpass our peers by getting into the best universities and snatch prized careers. But success alone will not make us happy. Just take a look at the generations who have gone before us. The all-too-common mid-life crisis is a testament to the failure of a life focused on career advancement to the exclusion of family. Many women bemoan the fact they did not have time to nurture their children like they would have liked to. Family life often crumbles to ashes, sacrificed on the altar of success.
In this milieu, Catholic women continue to grapple with how to live faithful to the teachings of the Church while remaining true to themselves as members of modern society. Sadly, young mothers are dealing with the same issues I did thirty-eight years ago. The problem is a pro-life stance seems to clash with concepts of feminism.
The question we had struggled with for years was, “How could we remain faithful to Church teaching when Natural Family Planning did not seem to work for us?” Intuitively, I already knew a call to trust in God could not just be an intellectual assent but included entrusting my fertility to God. Catholic teaching stated couples should space their children with abstinence but we slowly discovered I was one of those rare people who could conceive long before ovulation.
As all couples know, marriage is hard. However, our marital struggles become easier when we realize our growing pains are simply part of the normal process all couples must go through as they move from infatuation to a deep, mature, sacramental love. Mercy in marriage is the only way to not only survive marriage but to thrive as a couple and become unified and one in Christ. Listening to another Catholic couple explain this process from a faith perspective, as well as share their own struggle, encourages other couples.
I really do not think my heart is in things. Since I was a little girl, I have felt content with what I have materially. Even now, when my adult kids ask me what I want for Christmas, I pause for a moment, with a blank mind. I have to search to come up with a list.
Rather a strange state to be in because this is not the result of spiritual striving, fasting or prayer, it is just how I am. Living with little people has only strengthened an innate tendency to enjoy the little things, to be grateful to be alive and in communion with the Spirit. In addition, as a large family with barely enough cash but many blessings, we have experienced many incidents of God’s providence.
I’m so excited about this book! I received my ebook before Christmas and what perfect timing! It’s an entertaining read…and also an uncomfortable one at times, but as I eagerly read on…a necessary one.
It’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing, wanting the best for your kids and wanting them to have every advantage. But our kids aren’t the only ones prone to entitlement, from spending for so-called necessities…rewarding and consoling ourselves through purchases, and even food.
Kristen tells her own family’s journey honestly and humbly. She recognizes that we’re all learning as we go.
This book will open your eyes, reshape your attitude, lend practical ideas for shaping your kids and steering them away from common attitudes. It even includes reflection questions to mull over!
Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World: How One Family Learned That Saying No Can Lead to Life’s Biggest Yes* will help you rethink where your family chooses to invest time, money and values.
This is an awesome book…I’m so happy to be a part of the launch team…and even happier to have practical tips to help me raise my five kids to be grateful in an entitled world. #raisinggratefulkids #equippingcatholicfamilies
Read Monica’s full review at Equipping Catholic Families.