The Upside of Failure

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Yesterday my son’s school celebrated Science Fair day. I didn’t think it was a big deal. The letter that came home a month ago only mentioned that a science fair project was voluntary for kindergarteners. When I asked my son if he wanted to do and present a project, he adamantly said no, and as he’s only in kindergarten, I didn’t push. But, when I
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Let Me Do It

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  It’s a desire that is expressed in many ways.  “I want to help.”  “I do it myself.”  “Let me do it.”  When these words come from my three-year-old, I have to admit that I usually feel a sense of dread.  Because these words, if I indulge them, are usually followed by splattered brownie batter, laundry that requires refolding, or a simple task that takes
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How Theology of the Body Impacted My Life

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My husband and I read a life-changing article thirty-two years ago when we were on a rare date night for our sixth wedding anniversary. Parents of four, we really wanted to remain faithful to Church teaching by refusing to use artificial birth control, but we already felt stretched to our limits financially, emotionally and physically. I am tiny and had never even held a baby
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Why I Let My Kids Fight

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And no, it’s not because I’m starting a baby fight club. Or because I’m lazy. Or because I think I need to “toughen them up.” This title might surprise those of you who know me. I’m a pretty gentle parent. I take my kids’ feelings and thoughts seriously. I strive for kindness and peace in my relationship with them and try to foster that in
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Please Go Home Now (or How to Balance Your Child’s Need for Friendship with Your Own Need for Sanity)

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“I need to get some more friends. I want my friends around all the time but sometimes my friends are too busy doing other stuff.” This remark was made this week by my 10-year-old son about 45 minutes after his and his 12-year-old sister’s five friends left our home to return to their own families. We had hosted them for six hours. I was exasperated
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Divine Mercy for Parents

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Here’s an updated and revised version of my Divine Mercy reflection from 2014! ***** Today is Divine Mercy Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter. What is “Divine Mercy” anyway? I think understanding Divine Mercy can help us in our parenting vocation. Father Ed Broom wrote a great summary of the main principles of the doctrine of Divine Mercy on Catholic Exchange that really helped me recognize the connection.
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St. Joseph’s Feast Day: A Reprieve from Lent

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Simon of Cyrene.  Veronica.  Mary.  Even Jesus needed a little help along the way.  Even He found strength from the temporal care of others.  So, too, does His Church offer relief along the sacrificial way of Lent.  The saints’ feast days are always reason to celebrate, and St. Joseph’s is no exception–even though it falls on March 19, during Lent. Recognized as the great intercessor
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The Domestic Confessional

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I dropped to my knees and began mopping up the mess, grumbling as I worked.  “You have to be more careful!  Especially when it’s a full gallon of milk!  Ask Mommy for help next time so you won’t make a mess!” I looked up at my daughter and stopped.  A look of surprise mingled with remorse was fixed on her face. “Sorry,” she whispered with
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Jesus Is a Baby Whisperer

Let the Children Come to Me, Fritz von Uhde

The best way to communicate with preverbal little people is to connect with their inner spirits, in with, and through the Holy Spirit because Jesus was an infant Himself.  However, unlike human adults, I do not think Jesus has forgotten what it was like to be a preverbal little being. In this sense, God could be called the perfect baby whisperer because He is in
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Paying Attention During Lent: Encouragement for Exhausted Parents

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In this terrific reflection over on God In All Things, Tony Krzmarzick reflects on how busy he is and how this affects him spiritually. He works intensively as a campus minister all day, then he returns home to face chores, cooking, and other duties. It seems unending to him: “Between work and home, I could spend all my time working on something. All of this
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Meeting Christ in Our Mess

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Last Friday at noon, I finally accomplished the unthinkable: I sat with Jesus for an hour at Adoration. Now, it wasn’t the peaceful hour I’d hoped for. I’d envisioned that my one-year-old daughter, who had to accompany me, would take her nap during that hour. That I would be able to hold my sleeping baby girl in my arms as I gazed at Jesus and
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My Kid Is a Special Snowflake . . . and So Is Yours

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I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that you’ve almost certainly encountered the following attitude, whether it’s a post on Facebook, a self-righteous HuffPost article, or even in conversation on the sidelines at your kid’s soccer game: The world would not be such a screwed up place if everyone stopped telling their kids that’s they’re such unique, special little snowflakes.  Basically,
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