What Do You Do All Day?

If you’re a stay-at-home-mum, chances are you’ve been asked what you do all day.  Well, here’s a look at my typical day:

6ish wake and pray the Angelus before making breakfast for the kids and myself (and my husband if I’m nice, but he usually wakes later and isn’t a breakfast person).  If by chance I get up before the kids, I actually get to shower. Put a load of laundry in to wash.
7.30ish sit down to eat breakfast because I’ve already had to change a couple of diapers and hold Charlotte who doesn’t like mornings.  On a good morning I’ve been able to pray the morning office, but this hasn’t been happening lately. 
8.00ish get everyone dressed and brush teeth. 
8.30 rush trying to find the shoes that are supposed to be in the shoe basket by the door so we can leave
8.45 pack everyone in the car and drive to Mass
9.00 Mass
9.30 play with other kids after Mass if they’re there, followed by errands if needed then home; Rosary in the car if running errands or later at home
10.30 snack time if home; put wet clothes in dryer and get second load ready if needed; check email; knit or sew if I’m lucky (easier on One of the two days I allow the kids to watch a little something)
11.30-12.30 lunch
12.30-14.00 clean up from lunch, fold laundry (maybe), play/learn, make dough for any bread for dinner
14.00 afternoon snack for the kids, smoothie for me, little bit of down time
14.30-16.00 try to keep Charlotte awake, help Kieran practice violin
16.00 start prep work for dinner
17.30-18.30 dinner
18.30 clean up
19.00 help Kieran practice if we didn’t get to it earlier, roughhouse with the kids, run second load of laundry if needed
19.30 baths
20.00 start winding down play time, fix snack for myself if time
20.30 get older two in pjs and send down to bed, do family prayers, put clothes in dryer
21.00 get Leo in pjs and eat snack if hungry
22.00 put Leo to bed
Rinse, repeat.
And then we add in:
Tuesdays 15.45-17.00 group violin lessons (on break until August)
Wednesdays 15.30-16.00 private violin lessons (on break until August)
Thursdays 9.30-12.00 play date
Fridays 10.00 library
And then we add in Leo’s various doctor appointments (thankfully there have been fewer lately), helping Charlotte with he toilet, changing Leo or taking him to the toilet if I’m on top of things, reading to the kids, feeding the ducks and/or caterpillars, sweeping up after Leo’s crumbs, etc, and it’s a very full day. 

Indulge Me

After hearing it praised many times, I finally decided to read St Therese of Lisieux’s Story of a Soul.  In it I found a beautiful story of her love for Jesus and His for her.  Something that really struck me was when she spoke of how God indulged her, even spoiled her at times. While I cannot claim to be as holy as St Therese, I can see how God has often indulged me (not always, of course).  Indeed, our God likes to indulge us, I think, though we must be willing to receive such attentions and the ways we are indulged or tried may not be outwardly obvious.

I was thinking of this when I visited the shrine of Our Lady of La Leche recently.  There is an indulgence for visiting the shrine (though I’d actually forgotten that when I decided to visit).  I hadn’t thought before of the root for indulgence being indulge, as I’d only focused on the strict definition of an indulgence.  While it’s good to know how the word indulgence is used by the Church, I can’t help thinking now of how an indulgence really is another way in which God indulges us and draws us closer to Him if we allow it. Even at Mass this morning, as I was gazing at the Tabernacle, I couldn’t help thinking of how He indulges us: the fact that I can go to Mass daily is indeed a way in which I am A bit spoiled, since many do not have that luxury.  I thank God for being so indulgent. 

Just Be

Today was a special day at my parish, for our Bishop was coming to celebrate Mass in honour of Mary, Queen of Peace.  Before Mass, there was Adoration and Confession.  I definitely didn’t want to miss those, and so I took Leo and went.  I always love Adoration and am frequently in tears as I kneel before Jesus.  Today, I came with a lot of things on my mind, a lot of worries, and I immediately launched into prayers of petition.  As I started that, I felt Jesus saying “Just be. Don’t fret, just be with Me.” I started to protest, only to feel Him say that again. So I slowed down, I just knelt there for a bit before bringing my petitions to Him.

As I knelt, I reflected how it seems I am rarely “just there” with God or others. There is always something to distract, something that needs doing.  Yet when I allow myself to “just be”, with God or others, I never regret it and instead must tear myself away unwillingly.  I wanted to just stay there, to just “look at Him [while] He looks at me,” but I had to get home to finish making dinner.  Of course, I can be present when doing household tasks as well, but those times when I’m just there, those are the ones where I can get a fleeting glimpse of eternity. 

Say "Please"!

All too often I find myself telling Charlotte to do something, only for her to refuse.  All too often, I then find myself raising my voice and repeating the directions, this time as an order.  Often I am then chagrined as my eldest pipes up and says, “You should say ‘please’. Maybe then she’ll do it”. 

Talk about a good lesson in humility! When Kieran says that, I can only agree, apologise for shouting, and continue in a better way.  While I certainly expect them to follow directions, I know this is much likelier (and more enjoyable for all) when I do so in a nice and/or playful way.  I also know that Charlotte often just needs my attention. It’s true that I cannot always give her all the attention she wants when she wants it, but if I take the time to give that attention when I can, she will respond better.  Speaking politely in a softer voice, as I would want to addressed, also helps. 
I suppose I’m doing something right if my son can remind me of this. By the grace of God this is improving. I thank God for letting my son remind me to follow the things I expect of my children.  I wish I were perfect in this, but I trust in God’s grace that I may improve.

Crafty Thursday

On Saturday there was a Hawaiian-themed family dance at my parish.  Ever resourceful, I decided to make clothes for the kids for the event.  My dad was getting rid of some old Hawaiian shirts, and so I thought they were perfect to turn into dresses for Charlotte. I’d turned button-down shirts into dresses before, but I wanted to do something just a little different this time, and so I smocked the top. I’d never done smocking before, so that was an adventure, but it turned out to be easier than I expected.  And it turned out to be absolutely adorable.  I basically made the dress like a pillowcase dress after I smocked it.

My little brother had had a Hawaiian shirt that matched one of my dad’s, but he’d outgrown it. So I cut it down for Kieran. The only fiddly part was the collar, really. I used the existing hem and button band and sleeve hem, and even the existing collar, just cut down a bit, but I definitely could’ve placed the collar better. As long as you aren’t too near, it looks great.