Archive for Working Parents

Raising Children Is Not a Default Chore

“Raising children is not a default chore for women who failed in the world of power and wealth.”

I am about to tell you something which goes against what your education has taught you to think and do.  Since preschool, adults have pushed you to excel, to rise above your peers.  My generation has groomed you for success, to get into the best universities and snatch the most prized careers. Well, it is nice to have confidence, to fulfil your dreams and have a sense of satisfaction in your chosen field of work, but that will not make you happy.

Just take a look at the generation that has gone before you. The midlife crisis is a testament to the failure of a life focused on career advancement to the exclusion of family.  Men and women bemoan the fact that they did not have time for nurturing and loving their spouse or children. All too often family life crumbles to ashes, sacrificed on the altar of success.  As for childcare, society relegates it to women who are often treated as second class citizens.

download (1)I want to yell out as loudly as I can, “Raising children is not a default chore for women who failed in the world of business, power and wealth.”  Who raises our children is important because exactly how YOU, the next generation, raise your children will directly influence the kind of society that they in turn create.

Do you want to live in a world focused only on the ruthless accumulation of wealth?  Will you consciously create a race of humans who are shallow, cold, and cynical about relationships, family, and love?  Do you want children who are more comfortable texting you, their own parents, than speaking with you face to face in a warm, loving way?

Family is crucial; it is the foundation of society.  Now I see my own adult children beginning their young families and it touches my heart to know how much they value family as well.  Just after his daughter’s birth, my son turned to his dad and said, “Dad, this is the best thing that I have ever done in my life.”

And, a year later, as his little daughter lay sleeping on his chest, my son said, ”Now I know why you and Dad had so many kids.”

Fix the Family Is Dangerous

Educate womenI recently read through several blog posts and watched three videos produced by the Fix the Family ministry, which is headed by two Catholic couples.  I guess these people have good intentions and I actually agree with them on a few things.  But they are dangerous, because they are envisaging a pre-50’s family in which “father knows best” and enjoys unquestioned obedience (including from the wife), in which  husbands should chastise their wives and keep them in line because they are the morally more vulnerable sex, and in which all women should be stay at home mothers.  They claim they are “100% faithful to the Vatican” yet many of their statements are so misleading, poorly reasoned, and unfounded that they’re honestly embarrassing in addition to being brutally wrong.

I would like to share this excerpt from an article by the one of the wives on why she is glad when her husband admonishes her:

“To be corrected by a husband is not a demeaning thing.  Because we obey God, it becomes a wonderful thing.  Many blessings and graces flow from this exercise of obedience, of human nature.  This is the way God designed it.   A playing out of this exercise is illustrated in Jane Austin’s Emma.  The fallen human nature of a woman is displayed in Emma as she is a busybody in matchmaking and manipulation . . . Mr. Knightly scolds and corrects her.  At the end, when they reveal their love, he tells her that she has borne his rebukes better than any other woman in London would have borne it!  . . . I am glad that my husband is not scared of me.  I am glad that he is man enough to make sure I keep my own spoon in my own pot!  He protects me from myself, my fallen human tendencies as a female.”

Does her husband allow her to guide him on his path to heaven?  The wife is holding on to a musty assumption that women are morally weaker than men, because Eve was the one to grab the apple.  Similarly, the husband has a very dark view of paid work because he sees it as punishment for the sins of Adam.

I had never heard of this website before reading Dr. Greg’s critique of one of their more outlandish claims:  parents shouldn’t send girls to college.  Raylan Alleman, the head honcho at Fix the Family, gave these as the eight reasons we parents should deny young women a college education:

1. She will attract the wrong kind of men.

Summary: a man will marry her because she’ll be a good provider to him and he’ll end up being a lazy good for nothing.

My response:  Um, ooookay.  You shouldn’t go to college because some lazy men might like you?  Lazy men are attracted to all sorts of women, but a well-educated woman will be more likely to see through him.

2. She will be in a near occasion of sin.

Summary: Too much sex goes on at college campuses.  She’ll have sex and end up with the wrong guy because all that sex will blind her judgment.

My response: So it’s okay for the boys to be having sex? It’s okay for us to send our boys into these dens of iniquity?  How about the many wonderful Catholic colleges that might nourish our children’s faith life, mind, and values?  Even if our daughters attend secular universities, it does not follow that she’ll become prey to the hook-up culture.

3. She will not learn to be a wife and a mother.

Summary:  College is a training for work, not for homemaking.

My response:  Of course higher education prepares us for family life!  It teaches us to consider and evaluate different truth statements, to defend our faith intelligently, to engage with the world, to awaken parts of ourselves left sleeping in girlhood.  College is far more than preparation for paid work.  By engaging in the ideas of history, we enter that “great conversation” with our peers, considering viewpoints with new rigor and awareness.  That’s preparation for all of life, not  just a job.

Also what if God is not calling her to be a wife and mother?  What if she is called to religious life and her chosen order prefers a college degree?  What if she is called to be a single tertiary?  I am not willing to presume what God has planned for my precious girls.

4. The cost of a degree is becoming more difficult to recoup.

Summary: Cost of college is inflated.

My response:  I agree with him.  The cost of college in this country is ridiculous.  But why wouldn’t this be an argument for NOBODY going to college — why women only?  What about scholarships or state schools?  What about attending college out of the country?  Finally, perhaps to many young women, that cost is worth it.

5. You don’t have to prove anything to the world.

Summary: Women shouldn’t feel their worth is determined by their job or income.

My response:  Going to college doesn’t make a woman feel that way; our culture does. Even if she doesn’t go to college, that message exists.  If she goes to college she’ll be better able to assess the credibility of some of the cultural messages.

6.  It could be a near occasion of sin for the parents.

Summary:  If parents have to pay for every child for college, they’ll be freaked out about cost, so they’ll limit family size.

My response:  If parents were willing to limit family size just because they fear college costs, they will limit family size for a host of other reasons: so they’ll have enough love “to go around”, so they can take more family vacations, etc.

7.  She will regret it.

Summary:  If your daughter goes to college she’ll be a career woman, never have kids, and will regret it later.  Many women today are admitting they regret not having children or focusing on their families.

My response:  Huh?  He is making a giant logical leap: college leads to corporate climbing maniac leads to mid-life regrets.  He points out how many women regret putting off having children.  So true.  But that doesn’t mean they regret going to college.  Furthermore, there are many, many college educated mothers who love their kids and are so glad they went to college, too.

8.  It could interfere with a religious vocation.

Summary:  If your daughter’s debt is too high, most religious orders will reject her.

My response:  Most religious orders prefer candidates with college degrees.   Be careful about debt, but go to college.  Furthermore, many women find their vocations in college.

This particular article gleaned more than 4000 comments on Facebook.  4000.  Almost all of them were critical; those supporting him said things like, “What do you expect from liberals — of course they’ll criticize plain common sense.”  I am not a liberal; and this stuff is not common sense.   (And can I point out that many of the comments were from non-Catholics who may think these are real Catholic principles?)  Clearly this website is receiving a great deal of attention and that concerns me.  Clearly their message is problematic, but it’s keeping writers busy offering critiques.  A professor in moral theology actually wrote an article critiquing their assertions about daughters attending college (it’s superb, check it out).  Too bad she had to take time to write it.  Too bad Dr. Greg had to do the same. Because while everyone is taking time to sift through the garbage, we are missing the opportunity to talk about real problems.

Moms and dads, these problems are important to me:

1.  How do we deal with the bloated cost of a college education so that all of our children at every level of society can not only attend, but can go on to use their talents in the way they imagine?  The answer isn’t to keep our girls home!  It is to examine, assess, and scream if necessary.

2.  Why do we think stay at home mothers aren’t working? Stay at home mothers WORK.  We should value ALL WORK and ensure that the dignity of the laborers is protected.  We need to have this discussion because our view of work demeans the contributions, creativity, and gifts of people who earn no or little paid salary.

3.  Why do some folks (like Fix the Family) assume working mothers are abandoning their families?  The Church does not require all mothers to stay home with their children.  CAPC supports mothers who work for pay and those who are full-time mothers.  We also support those moms who fall somewhere in between.  (All of them are working!!)  In fact, Pope John Paul II made it very clear that the unique gifts of women need to be felt not only in the home, but in the parish, in the boardroom, and in the public square.  (Incidentally, you will far more effective at making that kind of impact if you are educated, informed, and articulate . . .)  But in making these choices we have to use prudence and wisdom, and that means being informed about how our choices will affect the well-being of our children.  THIS is what we should be talking about.  We should love and support one another, especially mom to mom.  We are sisters in Christ, on this thorny road to heaven.

4.  How do we raise children who enter adulthood passionate about our Faith, confident in their own dignity, who easily live the virtues of mercy and justice in order to protect the dignity of others, including unborn children, women, and the poor?

5.  How do we nourish the masculinity of husbands and the femininity of  wives, while celebrating our shared dignity and our equal right to use our gifts and talents?  I was reading some remarks from a theologian recently on how real love brings out the uniqueness of each partner.  Love really isn’t blind.  Sometimes we see beautiful things in our spouses that they can’t even see.  Isn’t that amazing?  God also reveals more of us to ourselves when we love our husbands and wives completely, when we seek mutuality and communion rather than domination.

Now this stuff is interesting, at least to me.  What problems are  important to you?  Maybe today your biggest problem is getting toothpaste out of the toddler’s hair!  But do you see what I mean?  I think Fix the Family is dangerous because it distracts us from more productive and enriching dialogue.

I would like to share my story eventually about why I chose to stay home with my babies; why I chose to homeschool; why I don’t think you need to make the same choices that I did to be a wonderful parent.  I want you to know me better, because I think we parents need to share our personal stories of uncertainty and confusion, and how we grappled with them in the arms of Jesus.  Please share with all of us your journeys, too.  Please write guest posts for CAPC about who you are and how you ended up in this virtual “corner” with the rest of us.  All of our voices are valuable at the table.

God bless.

Breastfeeding and Working

Maternite, Mary Cassatt

Maternite, Mary Cassatt

Love this repost of a great article on attachment parenting and working over at Attachment Parenting International.  As I’ve said before, an attached lifestyle isn’t only for at-home moms.  I think especially when Mommy is working away from baby for part of the day, attachment practices will benefit that sweet babe.

The article gives general tips for practicing an attached lifestyle while working then focuses on pumping while at work.  The author suggests moms begin pumping well before they return to work, then pump on a regular schedule while at work.

When both parents work away from home, it’s especially important for Daddy to participate in keeping the home running smoothly, especially focusing the care of  older kids and directing their evening routine while Mom sits and nurses baby.  This commitment shared by both parents can only bring them closer together as long as they have the right perspective.  Instead of asking each other”what  have you done for me lately,” start with “what can I do for you today to make your life a little easier?”  All parents share a joint mission in creating a safe, loving environment for everyone in the family while balancing the needs of the children and parents, but I dual earner couples have to be especially aware of this mission.

The Domestic Church Images the Last Supper

The Last Supper, Duccio

The Last Supper, Duccio

I was scheduled to be on “More2Life” with Dr. Greg & Lisa Popcak this  morning, but Dr. Greg is sick and has lost his voice!  Prayers for you, Dr. Greg.  We all hope you recover quickly.  I  thought I would briefly explore the topic we were going to discuss on the show:  “The Domestic Church Images the Last Supper.”

Today is Holy Thursday, the first day of the Triduum, and the day we recall the Last Supper.  At the Last Supper, Christ instituted the Eucharist as a supernatural banquet that nourishes believers spiritually. He also washed the feet of the 12 Apostles in an act of profound humility.  How do we, as Catholic parents, live in concrete ways the significance of the Last Supper in our own homes?

The Domestic Church Images the Eucharist 

The Second Vatican Council called our families “the domestic church” because we image and participate in the work of the Universal Church.  In fact, families are critical to the mission of the church.  Just as the Universal Church repeats Christ’s sacrifice on the altar at every Mass for the benefit and unity of all believers, so we parents as heads of our domestic church feed our families spiritually through the sacrifices we make as parents.

Parents have the grave duty to form their children’s spiritual lives.  It takes time and planning, but as heads of our domestic church, we have to recognize our supreme role in leading our children to Heaven.  Our families need to pray together and live a Christ-centered life within our homes.  In addition, we feed our children spiritually when we treat them with dignity and respect.  Children are made in the image and likeness of God: they have the capacity for self-giving, selfless love.  But when their parents scare them, hit them, ignore them, or focus only on their external achievements, children are distanced from that capacity within themselves.  John Paul II exhorted the domestic church to become “communities of love” as witnesses to the world.  When we take that extra moment and go that extra mile to understand things from our child’s perspective, to discern their true needs not just what we assume they need, to guard their hearts, we are building up our communities of love.

Gathering our little flock at family dinners is one of the most beautiful ways we image The Last Supper in our homes.  As we sacrifice our time and energy to present a beautiful meal to our children, and often extended family and friends, we are providing an opportunity for communion. Communion is an exchange of gifts, not just mom or dad doing all the sharing and giving.  We can provide opportunities for our children to share their ideas and talents at the table, and to work with us to present the family meal.

The Washing of Feet: We Kneel Down to Exalt Our Children

At the Last Supper, Christ kneeled down and washed the feet of the disciples in an act of humility that has reverberated through history.  If you attend Mass tonight you will see your priest imitating this same action on the altar:  He will wash the feet of 12 men (sometimes men and women).  Well we parents imitate this action daily in our parenting vocation.  Pope Benedict XVI pointed out that in this moment of the feet washing, Christ was taking on the task of a slave.  It shows that “God doesn’t want to trample on us, but kneels down before us to exalt us.  The mystery of the greatness of God is seen precisely in the fact that he can be so small.”  He kneels down before to exalt us.  Wow.

We parents image this action every day.  We literally wash our children’s feet.  We wipe their dirty bottoms, clean their boogery noses, and clip their toenails.  Parents are willing to make themselves small in order to keep their children clean and healthy.  But this extends to our child’s emotional health as well.  Creating an atmosphere in our homes that fosters strong bonding and connection usually means parents have to make themselves small in some way: Dad has to do the dishes so Mom can nurse the baby, both parents have to sacrifice achievement outside the home in order to do what’s right for their family, we let our kids put capes and wigs on us so they can be in charge of play sometimes.  Making ourselves small in these ways raises up our children in dignity.

When we’re having a tough day, I hope we can remember Benedict’s wisdom.  When we kneel down in order to exalt our children, we are imaging Christ at the Last Supper.  We all hope our homes will become holy and peaceful; we all hope we will have the wisdom and charity to create an atmosphere that reflects what the Holy Family’s home might have looked like.  But we’re dealing daily with the effects of sin and the hand of the Devil trying to muck up everything we do.  We move toward conversion through grace, with our families resting in the hand of God.  Conversion in our homes doesn’t happen all at once.  God offers us small opportunities for conversion as we walk our path together as a family. When we make sacrifices and surrender our own needs in order to help our children become stronger emotionally, physically, and spiritually, I think we are participating in a very real way Christ’s work of conversion.

Have a blessed Holy Thursday with your families, the domestic church.

Reactive Attachment Disorder

Giving hands

If you’re having a hard day today and wondering what the point is of all this gentle, responsive parenting stuff, please read this chilling article about RAD or Reactive Attachment Disorder by a therapist who treats children who have it.  Children with RAD are very poorly attached to their parents, “show contempt for adults and authority, a terror of abandonment, and hatred for siblings and anyone who compete with them for mom’s affections.”  How we treat our children from the first days of their lives matters.

Children need warm, loving care from their mothers in infancy.  They deserve it.  Infants deserve their mother’s arms more than their mothers deserve a promotion, a raise, or a pat on the back.  This view is unpopular.  In fact, I should probably check my tires in the morning especially given the political climate I inhabit in the San Francisco Bay Area.  But I’m doing to say, damn it.  Babies have rights!  Their rights take precedence over the rights of the adults who have been blessed with their births.  This is called being a grown up and taking care of the people who have been placed in your care.

The author of the article, Dr. Faye Snyder, writes that:

RAD children were not born RAD. They were born to love and be loved. Every child I ever met with a propensity for violence was the natural product of extremely painful treatment, usually beginning with being left in daycare too young (perhaps as newborns) and too long (daily, throughout their first years).  It was so painful the child drew a conclusion that they were alone in the world, and they gave up on the deepest drive and hope of all, love. They gave up on loving and being loved and cherished. They were not loveable. They decided they were on their own and there was no adult in the world they could trust. They decided never to be vulnerable again, because it hurts too much.

Dr. Greg Popcak commented on RAD in this blog post.  Dr. Snyder and Dr. Popcak are not suggesting that if you work outside the home when you have an infant your child will grow up to be a murderer.  What they are trying to push back against is the message in our culture that what babies experience early on doesn’t matter because they’re brainless blobs who don’t notice anything.  They notice and it goes right to their hearts.  They are pushing back against the societal pressures on parents to neglect their children in the name of “success”.  How could any parent really feel self-fulfilled when their children are suffering?

Why is it okay for women to give 100 percent to their careers, but not to their children?  Why is the latter looked upon with suspicion, like we’ve been brainwashed into it by evil patriarchal forces?  The force that moves a mother to respond to her baby with tenderness and availability isn’t patriarchy but love.  Love is the force that moves and animates mothers in those early months, but some moms aren’t given permission to name it, to honor it, to live it.  When they sense it, they’ve been brainwashed into thinking, “What’s that?  I think that’s oppression.  Can somebody take this baby while I go to the office to save myself?”

Now, I know some moms have to work.  This is understandable and gentle parenting isn’t only for stay at home parents.  However, I am angry with the view in our culture that a mother is “weak” if she doesn’t return to work two weeks after delivering her baby.  That’s not only stupid, it’s inhumane.  For the sake of all of us — not just the family in question, but our entire population — if it’s at all possible, in the first months of an infant’s life it’s much better that Mommy is there for that baby.  I didn’t say Mommy can’t have people caring for her or helping her care for baby, but babies want their mommies. Even in cultures with extended support systems for infant care, the mothers are still the primary caregiver for their infants.  Mommies, take all the leave you can get from work, even unpaid leave.  When you have to return to work, can you return part-time?  If you’re returning before your baby is two or three years old, a single caregiver is usually preferable to commercial daycare where the staff turnover is high. (I know there are exceptions.)  Babies thrive better with a consistent primary caregiver who is warm and open than a whole staff of people who come and go.  And if you work, when you’re with your baby, strengthen that bond through play, nursing, and co-sleeping.

As Catholic parents we are always seeking to love our children “mercifully”.  Mercy requires us to identify what it is our children actually need, then to meet those needs as best we can.  Science is clear that little babies need consistent, warm, nurturing love.   Is it hard sometimes?  Yes.  But it’s a lot easier than dealing with the fall out of a child who is emotionally scarred or even psychotic because of our choices.

Thank you for loving your children even when it’s uncomfortable and even unpopular.  Not only does it help your children, but it’s a way of loving every human being your child will ever encounter!

Attachment Parenting for Working Moms by Jana Thomas Coffman

Editors Note:  In her latest guest essay, Jana Thomas Coffman offers her experience in being a successful attachment parent while still working.

When I read about attachment parenting online, most of the moms posting, blogging, and commenting seem to be stay-at-home moms, often homeschooling their children. Yet as a working mom, I can say attachment parenting does work for us, although perhaps with a few tweaks and modifications to the more “traditional” model.

I teach full-time at a local high school, and I love my job.  I find working with my students rewarding and stimulating, and doing something I enjoy makes me a happier, more well-rounded person in general, which I believe translates directly to me being a better mother. Teaching plus my extra-curricular duties do keep me busy, but my husband and I have persisted in attachment parenting with our 14 month old. Here are a few ways we keep it up:

1.  Find the right caregivers. When you have to be away from your child for eight hours a day, my advice is this: don’t just find caregivers you trust, find caregivers you love!  I prayed hard about finding the right babysitter for my daughter, and I interviewed several people when pregnant.

Ultimately, I settled on two choices: my mother keeps my daughter once a week, and the other four days she stays with in-home caregiver less than a mile from my school.  This arrangement is perfect for us! She loves the built-in Grandma time every week, and I rest easy knowing my daughter is being cuddled, played with, cherished, and absolutely showered with attention from a doting, adoring family member.

At first, I was a little more nervous leaving her with the babysitter, but she has proved to be a Godsend.  It is obvious she adores my daughter.  Every time I pick her up, even at unannounced times, my daughter is being cuddled, or having her diaper changed, or being fed, or playing happily. I get a detailed update on all her activities throughout the day. The babysitter sends me text updates, photos, and videos throughout my workday so I know what my daughter is doing and can enjoy her smiles and grins even at work. She has also been very supportive of my desire to breastfeed and has been flexible with me showing up unannounced to breastfeed when I get a break.  I love our babysitter and feel she is a perfect fit for our family. Even when her father and I aren’t with the baby, I know she is being cared for and showered with attention and affection in an environment that is very compatible with our attachment-parenting philosophy.

2.  Remember why you work. Many moms have to work for financial reasons, and many choose to work. Either way, keep focused on why you are working. I keep a photo of my daughter right by my desk so I can see her and remember I work, not just because I enjoy it, but also so I can support her, provide her with a fabulous insurance plan and medical care, enjoy holiday vacations and long summer breaks with her, and have a family-friendly workplace that understands when I take sick days to be with my ailing baby.

3.  Make the time you do have count. Although we’re not with my daughter all day, my husband and I make up for it in the time we have with her in the evenings. We follow the CAPC building blocks of baby bonding, empathic response, playing together, and gentle discipline. We fill our evenings and weekends with playtime, cuddles, and family bonding. I nurse her on demand, one of us rocks her to sleep, and we bed share for at least part of the night so she can nurse more at night to make up for the time we miss during the day.

4.  Advocate for yourself and your baby. Some elements of attachment parenting, especially breastfeeding, are made more difficult in a full-time work environment. I solved this problem by becoming a self-advocate. As a teacher, I have a set lunch hour and planning period and cannot take several short breaks throughout the day as many breastfeeding websites recommend. While this was not ideal for pumping, I made the best I could out of the situation. I insisted on having my own space to pump, and with the help of our school’s wonderful secretary, finally found a closet/office space with privacy and a refrigerator. I had another teacher watch my lunch class so I could pump longer. When my supply started to dwindle, I prayed hard about it, and I also tried herbal supplements, lactation tea, and a higher-powered pump. When that did not keep up with my growing daughter’s intake, I prayed harder, and I also started pumping hands-free on the car ride home and waking up at 1 am to pump. Thankfully, these measures allowed me to exclusively breastfeed my daughter until her 6th-month birthday, at which point I gratefully stopped stressing out about my supply and started supplementing her diet with solids and formula as well as continuing to pump.

I was also not afraid to stand up for my pumping rights myself during in-service days, parent-teacher conference nights, or on field trips, when I had no planning period to pump. I simply told my principal where I would be and disappeared for a half hour, and my school leadership was very understanding.

When the next school year came around, I asked the counselor to arrange my schedule to better space out my pumping breaks. She bent over backwards to accommodate me, and I was very pleased to be given a schedule with two evenly spaced breaks to pump, as well as a free lunch hour so I could continue breastfeeding my daughter for longer or leave to feed her in the middle of the day.

5.  Prioritize. Finally, my husband and I had to prioritize. God comes first, followed by each other and our family, followed by everything else. I enjoy holding leadership roles at work and church, and when I wanted to take part in committees or extra-curricular activities, we prayed about it and discerned which opportunities to accept and which to pass up. I accepted an offer to be a dance coach at my school, with the understanding my husband would pick up the baby after work and bring her to dance practice to spend time with me or take her home to have much-needed Daddy time. I also happily agreed to go to a professional development weekend in New Orleans, where I maintained my supply by pumping. However, we decided to pass on the opportunity for me to attend a weekend conference for the National Teachers Association, not willing to spend too many weekends away from home. At church, I decided to volunteer my time as a cantor and Eucharistic minister, but regretfully declined to be a group leader for a new women’s Bible study, citing my busy schedule and need to spend some time at home with my daughter. For every opportunity, we try to balance our work, church, and social lives with our daughter’s needs and our time together as a family.

As attachment parents, my husband and I strive to make our time with our daughter precious. We try to maintain a balance between our need for professional development and social time, and our daughter’s need for love, attention, and affection. We’ve found that if one of us is working or busy on a weeknight, it’s a great opportunity for her to have some quality alone time with the other parent or with one of her grandparents. It also helps that we’re both blessed to have very family-friendly jobs that let us off early (my school day ends at 3:00 pm and my husband gets off work at 4:30) to spend our afternoons and evenings with her. Both my parents live near us, so we’re lucky to have helping hands around whenever we need a break.

We also try to watch our daughter to gauge how well we’re meeting her needs. If she is sick, or tired, or simply acting clingy and whiny for a day, we realize that’s her way of telling us she needs some undivided Mommy and Daddy time, and we cut back on our schedule to really focus on her and her needs. For us, it’s the perfect balance of work and family.

Jana and Kaylie

Jana Thomas Coffman lives near Kansas city with her husband, Chris, and their daughter, Kaylie. Jana and Chris serve in their parish as marriage prep counselors and Extraordinary Ministers of the Holy Eucharist, and they are an NFP (Natural Family Planning) teaching couple through the Couple to Couple League. She holds a B.S. in Spanish with a minor in religious studies from Missouri State Universiy, as well as a M.S. in Spanish Education and a graduate certificate in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).  Jana teaches high school Spanish and college ESL.

Childcare image credit (childcare):  Diego Cervo