5 Important Reminders for Moms
Since we can’t meet face to face, live at our local parishes, we at CatholicMomsGroup.com have been hosting virtual Mother’s Group meetings. Every time I have been invited to speak at one of these meetings I am doing my best to remind moms of five things.
Seek and Acknowledge the Blessings
COVID – 19 is a horrible pandemic, but in the midst of the chaos, confusion, worry and anxiety, blessings do exist. As mothers, it is important to seek and acknowledge and meditate on some of the the real blessings that blessings associated with the new “normal.” At every virtual Mother’s Group meeting, I ask moms to share with the group an unexpected remarkable blessing in their new “COVID-19” circumstance.
One mom shared that both her and her children have often missed their husband and dad who is hardly ever home, because of his demanding work schedule. They have missed him terribly. Her husband is now always home, her children are ecstatic to see their dad so much, as is she. To top it all off, he is an amazing cook, who is now whipping up a storm in the kitchen, which means mom is getting a break from cooking it and loving it.
Another mom shared how she found a job during the COVID-19 pandemic and is being allowed to work from home as a customer service representative. The pandemic caused a surge in the particular industry that she works in. She had been looking for a job for months prior!
I have heard dozens of remarkable beautiful positive stories during this time!
Remember, if you only look at the negatives associated with the current situation, it will be so easy to fall into the trap of thinking negatively, of succumbing to worry, despair, anger, or maybe even depression.
Disciplining the mind, and asking the Holy Spirit to help you seek and acknowledge the real blessings.
Remember mom’s mood multiplies in the home. Are you a dispenser of joy and hope? You can be!
Guard Your Catholic Faith
Right now, Satan is having a bit of a field day with certain souls. It’s true that with luke warm souls; missing one Mass, two Masses, three Masses and so on, will likely mean that they won’t return to Mass, once it is available again. How well rooted is your Catholic faith?
It’s important to remember that there is a battle going on for your soul, right until the moment of your death. And so now, if we give in to the spirit of despair, and stop all of our regular routines, we could in fact loose our faith. Or, we could backslide, regress spiritually. Make a resolution right now, a decision now, to examine what has happened to your character and your home since the pandemic.
Because of all of the changes and confusion, have you stopped some of your regular prayer routines? Are you praying your morning and evening prayers? Are you participating in Masses online? Tho the sacrament of reconciliation is not available, remember an Examination of Conscience at the end of the day still is available.
Use this time to make resolutions to grow in virtue and ask our Him,
“How can I use this time to serve You Dear Lord? How are you wanting me to use this time?”
Remember mom, what you do, effects the entire family. Think of the mother duck, whose ducklings waddle along behind her. Where will you lead your little ones at this time?
What Makes a Good Day Good?
Let’s admit it, as a way of coping, many moms like to vent, to share, to complain. We have all done it. As a Mother’s Group Leader, I am always nervous, when a mom starts to vent at a meeting. Venting and venting some more then complaining with no ceasing, with no hope in sight is destructive. It can wreak havoc not only in a Mother’s Group meeting, but in the soul of the complainer and in family life. Do you notice that when a moms starts complaining at home, everyone runs in the opposite direction?
We all have a record of our good days and bad days. We all know what makes a bad day bad: a shouting match, emotions flying high, sleepless nights, no meals prepared, tantrums, cross words, sarcasm, sickness, financial worries and so on..
It’s very important that we inspire ourselves and others by first asking ourselves,
“What makes a good day good?”
I know my good days include:
1. Joining Carinal Collins for daily Mass – his homilies are thought provoking and inspiring
2. Going for a brisk walk in the neighbourhood – leaves me feeling refreshed.
3. Attending an online live virtual Mother’s Group meeting – gives me the opportunity to talk and connect
4. Home cooked family meal – sitting and chatting with the family, watching my son cook, fills my heart
5. Writing – I find writing allows me to process my feelings, clarify what works, what doesn’t
6. Serving others – every day, I like to ask the Holy Spirit how I might serve someone else
7. Praying the Rosary and Chaplet – gives me the grace to keep moving forward.
8. Finding alone time in different rooms – I relish in silence, so finding a space to be alone is critical for me
9. Setting professional goals – finding new ways to fulfill my work responsibilities, learning new skills helps
10. Making phone calls – getting on the phone and talking to people, rather than being stuck behind a screen
11. A shower and makeup – always make me feel better
12. Looking for reasons to laugh – refreshes my soul
If you want a good chuckle, I invite you to listen to this Italian grandma who makes quite a few
good suggestions on the dealing with the COVID – 19 pandemic! I just love it.
Anyway, you get the picture, assessing what makes a “good day good” is a tremendously helpful practice. I would love to hear what makes YOUR day good. One mom mentioned her love of puzzles! Another her love of baking and so on. Recently I have taken to writing a list of things I have always wanted to do, if I only had the time!
Support Your Parish, Support Your Priest
As we sat as a family, with thousands of others who joined (remotely) Cardinal Collins and the priests of
St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica celebrate Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday celebrations, my heart was pierced in a particular way. Besides being saddened by the empty pews, my hearts longing to be there — I was gripped by the heroic courage of each of the priests, who were fulfilling their duties in an empty cathedral.
The virtue of preaching to an empty cathedral struck me very deeply for some reason. In my professional life, I have delivered corporate seminars and I wondered,
“What would it be like to deliver a seminar to an empty room? One with no participants? Could I do it?”
Thinking about priests, whose very purpose is to serve it’s congregation, to administer sacraments, having no congregation, could pose a spiritual void, perhaps a crisis? During this time, it is so important to pray for our priests, to reach out to them with a view to support them, encourage them, is so important.
Remembering that your parish still has bills, even tho you are not attending Mass means that those who can might consider dropping off or mailing what you would usually put in the collection plate. Check with your parish to see if there is a way you can make online donations.
I know myself, I have been called to find a way to donate to St. Michael’s Cathedral, in thanksgiving for the remarkable spiritual support during this time.
Watch Screen Time – Feed Your Kids Spiritually
All of us are probably spending more time on the screen than usual.
Now might be a fantastic time for your kids to grow spiritually. Instead of being immersed in secular media, playing computer games etc. (after homeschooling). Why not be deliberate about how your kids use their screen time with a view to grow in their Catholic faith? Have you considered starting a study of Catholic saints? I absolutely love the series produced by CCC of America for children.
Perhaps now might be the time to have your kids watch the series Catholicism by Father Barron.
Several thoughts have come to me about screen time:
“What if the internet was taken away from us next?”
“Are we really self isolating with all the time we spend online?”
“Maybe God is wanting even more of our time?”
Saint Faustina was known to comment that graces that were dispensed to her in the morning, were different than the graces dispensed to her at night. Remember that God’s grace is not limited because of COVID-19. Oftentimes, God’s grace is multiplied during times of trial and suffering. Consider this time might be a gift, a time to grow in holiness and a time to nurture your domestic church.
Remember to seek Him. Seek Jesus.
He is there with you, smack in the middle of it all.
Dorothy Pilarski is the founder of Dynamic Women of Faith, author, motivational speaker, blogger , guest columnist with the Catholic Register and a facilitator on Salt + Light TV.