Friday, 21 September 2012

these baby days...

It's true that mothers are always worried. I have discovered in the last year that I am no exception. And since Isaac has, for the most part, been healthy, happy and thriving I've had to invent things to worry about. For example: should he be eating more solids? Or maybe he's eating too much and not nursing enough? Is it normal for hair to take this long to grow in?

The big worry monkey on my back tends to be milestones. Shouldn't he be sitting, crawling, standing, talking by now? I am very sad and very ashamed to admit that I'm one of those mothers who thinks her baby should be some kind of prodigy. It's something that I struggle with. He IS my beautiful, amazing prodigy child no matter when he hits his milestones. I'm torn between loving him so much and savoring these fleeting baby days, and wanting him to achieve at the same pace or faster than other babies his age.

The next big milestones for him are walking and talking. He's coming up to a year old, the age I had in my mind as the time when he would start doing these things. And he is actually. As I read this to myself it sounds utterly ridiculous because he is pulling up and getting better and better at cruising along furniture, and he says Mama and Dada (somewhat randomly, but still) and tries to repeat sounds that you make for him. So he really is well on his way for an almost-one-year-old.

Sometimes I worry that I should be spending more time trying to teach him things. On the other hand, he will learn in his own time and I just want to enjoy these last days of babyhood. He is his own person with his own ideas of what he wants to do or not do, not my little puppet. Of course, I'll teach him things as we play, because that's what parents do, but I will not push him into things he's not ready for.

In conclusion, I'm silly and I need to stop worrying so much.

Sunday, 9 September 2012


I love my boys. I love that I can say that. I love that I can watch Sean with Isaac and swoon over my incredible boys.

When I was pregnant I think I secretly wanted a boy. I'm not sure why. There's just something so fun about them. I like to be feminine but I'm not really into pink or sparkles or princesses. I know that many girls are with me on this, but my nieces currently have a major disney princess obsession, so that's what I've been exposed to lately. Of course, I would have loved a little girl too and there are so many more cute things that you can sew for a girl that I'm excited for when we someday (hopefully) have a girl.

My mother-in-law, who raised 6 boys and 2 girls says that girls are more particular and boys are more laid back. Boys can be more of handful because they tend to be more adventurous but they're also easier to please in a lot of ways. If this is true then it's definitely a good thing that we had Isaac. We are a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants kind of family right now. His adventures can be a challenge but he really is so easy going and flexible.

Anyway, I just had a swoon moment. We were trying to get Isaac settled down so we were playing with him on our bed. At this stage this means he'll look at a toy for thirty seconds, then lunge at one of us headfirst (in order to bite us...? Or give us kisses...?), use his head as leverage to get himself back up, repeat. Then Sean took Isaac to put him to bed and I just looked at them and thought--oh how I love my boys.

Friday, 7 September 2012


The other day I was reading from Luke's Gospel about the healing of Peter's mother-in-law. The part that has always struck me is that once she is healed "immediately she rose and served them" (Lk 4:39). I picture her getting up and starting to cook, or pouring them another glass of wine, or tidying up the room. This passage struck me especially today for some reason. We are all called to service, but I know that I'm particularly called to the same type of service that Peter's mother-in-law probably rendered that day. Being a stay-at-home-mom I'm called to love my family through cooking and cleaning (among other things, of course). I'm not very good at it. I find it difficult to do much while Isaac is awake because he always has to get into everything and while he naps I'd much rather sit down with a cup of tea and put my feet up than pull out the mop. Anyway, why am I writing this? Well, I suppose I'm reminding myself of the beauty of such service. Service, even in such small things, is good and noble work. It is work that is undervalued in our society.

I am part of a generation that was taught that being a "housewife" is not enough. It may have been good enough for our mothers but we're better than that. This attitude has been very damaging for many women, myself included. Don't get me wrong. I'm not an ultra-conservative traditionalist. Women have more options now and that's great. I just think that the traditional family structure, flawed though it may have been, was in place for a reason. Many women find great fulfillment in being full-time mothers. I mean, how many women really want to leave their kids to be raised by strangers eight hours a day? We want to be with our children, we want beautiful homes, yet we feel that if that's "all" we do we're selling ourselves short.

What a pack of lies. Looking after a home and children is a full-time job (hey, if I didn't do it I would have to pay someone to, right?). Heck, it's way more than a full-time job. It's give every ounce of yourself 24 hours a day 7 days a week. And then, when you've already done that, it's give some more because it's 3 am and the baby is teething.

Anyway, there have been many things written in defense of the whole wife/mother gig and that's not really what I intended this post to be about.

Awhile ago we were at a friend's wedding and one of the readings was about what it means to be a good wife. Ok, so the quotation that I can find is: "Like the sun rising in the heights of the Lord, so is the beauty of the good wife in her well-ordered home" (Sirach 26:16 RSV). But it must have been a different translation at the wedding because I remember it talking about the "radiance" of her home. I also remember being very humbled by that reading. When's the last time my home has been radiant? Probably never. Substitute "grimy" and "chaotic" for "radiant" and "well-ordered" and you've got a better idea of what kind of house we live in. I try not to be too hard on myself for this kind of thing. After all, in order for me to keep Isaac occupied while I clean I have to let him empty out the pots and pans cupboards. It's hard to tell that I've just been cleaning when there are pots and pans all over the floor. Also, sometimes I can get caught up in the details and forget the bigger picture: I think the greater point of this Scripture passage is that a wife should make her home a welcoming place. It should be a peaceful, loving environment that family members look forward to coming home to every evening. There's much more to that than order and cleanliness.

BUT, before I let myself off the hook completely--there is something to be said for order and cleanliness. In fact, there's a lot to be said. Keeping a clean home is part of my calling right now so it should be a form of prayer for me. If I tidy up after dinner out of love for my family with cheerful spirit of sacrifice I'm going a long way toward making my home radiant. So I guess I'm finally coming to the point of this rambling post: (with God's grace) I can do better. I can start each day with the resolution of making the most of it. I can patiently tidy up after my never ending whirlwind Isaac. I can make an extra effort and offer up those tasks that I find less than thrilling. And I can bend my creative energies toward making my home more beautiful. Lord, help me! I better print this out and tack it up somewhere that I'll see it everyday. Now, maybe I should go do some cleaning...