On Learning How To Respond To A Cry

On Learning How To Respond To A Cry

I haven’t been blogging a lot lately. And it’s the usual excuses. However, there’s been a topic on my mind for some time and I’m hoping others can benefit from the hours I’ve spent pondering it. I’m hoping I can benefit from getting all of my thoughts out onto the page. When my baby cries, or even whines, I have a deep, strong impulse to respond immediately. Maybe it’s hormones, maybe it’s the fact that I’m his mama who loves him and wants him to be happy. There are times I think I would do anything to make that crying or whining cease. The problem is, my anxiousness to make him happy isn’t always a good thing. In fact, at a year and a half old, it’s beginning to be rarely a good thing. He demands a piece of chocolate and I would love nothing more than to give it to him and to enjoy the four seconds of silence that ensue while he chews. And then he’ll demand another. He’ll cry because he’s tired and he’ll cry because my eight months pregnant body just can’t bear to hold his 25 pounds all day long. These are all problems that I can’t fix and requests that I simply can’t fulfill. Because I love him, I can’t give him chocolate for breakfast. So I must listen to the whining which I detest so much. For these reasons, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to teach myself how to not be so affected by his cries and his whining. Yes, this sounds cruel, cold and calculating. It seems, to an outsider, like I’m attempting to...
This Just In: Life Is More Than a Countdown

This Just In: Life Is More Than a Countdown

There are a lot of things I’m currently counting down to. I count down the weeks until my husband comes home. I count down the weeks left of this pregnancy. I even (gulp) count down the hours until my baby’s bed time. By these habits alone, you’d think that I had a pretty miserable life, where I’m just desperate to get to the next thing. Nothing could be further from the truth! I love my life! Whenever I’m in a halfway unpleasant situation, though, my mind immediately goes to a time when things will be easier or more comfortable. Ease and comfort are things that I’m reeeeeeeally attracted to, and counting down is a way of escaping the less pleasant. The thing is, if you’re so busy counting down to the next thing, you miss the beauty of what’s right in front of you. Obviously, I’m not the first to ever present this idea, but it’s striking how guilty I am of ignoring it. Time with Peter by myself until John gets home is a gift. Babies are a gift. Any time with them is a gift. Late nights/ early mornings of caring and feeding and loving are a gift, as are the tough mornings that follow. All are symptoms of  and indicators of the biggest gift of all: life.  I often think how much I’m looking forward to when our kids are in school. I’ll get to have uninterrupted time to read and the quiet that I so enjoy. Some day, I will sleep more than a few hours at a time on a regular basis. I can’t wait until they’re older and we can talk...
The Intentional Catholic Family

The Intentional Catholic Family

A few days ago, I read this article about how couples who are intentional or decisive about their actions and decisions as a couple are more likely to have successful marriages than couples who simply go with the flow, or let life dictate their decisions. While the finding may seem obvious, the reality is that many couples avoid real decision-making. Many couples living together, for instance, did not sit down and talk about cohabitation. Often one partner had begun spending more time at the other’s home, or a lease expired, forcing the couple to formalize a living arrangement. In other words, the simple act of regularly sitting down and talking about a decision, like living together before marriage, makes a huge difference in your overall future together. Again, forgive me if this all sounds obvious, but I’m beginning to realize that the same kind of conversations have to occur between the parents (and children, eventually) if your desire is to live as a Catholic family. I love to sit down and talk about things with my husband, but I don’t know that we’ve ever specifically discussed how we’re going to be a Catholic family. I’m just beginning my life as a mom, but I can honestly say I’ve done a pretty sub-par job being a “Catholic” mom. I could blame it on the fact that my husband is deployed or that our parish isn’t super helpful to young families, but the stubborn fact remains: I’ve just been getting by and going through the motions with my faith. We go to Mass each week, sometimes the baby comes, sometimes he stays home with family. I don’t remember the last time I prayed a...
5 Aspects of Deployments That Aren’t Horrible

5 Aspects of Deployments That Aren’t Horrible

Originally this post was to be entitled, 5 Things I Love About Deployments, but that title would basically be a lie. I loathe deployments. I understand that they are just a fact of life for my husband’s career and I try to cope with them in the most mature, adult way I can, but none of that changes the fact that I dread them. My husband is amazing; I love his reassuring, rational, hilarious presence. I hate being a temporarily single parent. All of that being said, we have to make the best of these things. These are five things that I’ve grown to appreciate about these periods of separation in our marriage. We don’t fight: There’s not much to fight about when John’s overseas. We talk about our days and what our son is up to and what’s happening in the news. There’s no kitchen that one spouse didn’t clean. There aren’t those small things we can do to irritate each other, so at least for these past two deployments, they’ve been months largely without disagreement. I’m grateful for that! Our Relationship Grows In Different Ways: Since we don’t always have a lot of time to talk on the phone or video chat since John’s busy with work, a certain one year old likes to grab the phone, and the time difference is challenging, we write about in-depth things in actual letters. There are few material things I cherish more in this world than my letters from John. We write about abstract things that we probably would never talk about in person, but both of us have a lot of time to think when...
Literally Loving The One You’re With

Literally Loving The One You’re With

I know plenty of people complain about the prevalence of cell phones. We all know how annoying it is when you’re having a meal with someone and their neck is bent the entire time, “talking” to someone else via their cell phone. It’s rude, it’s shallow, and it’s obviously uncalled for. They make it seem like they’d rather be with whoever their texting with, instead of you. Lately, however, I’ve realized that it’s just so much easier to love friends and families when they’re hundreds of miles away. People tell me they miss me and then, when we’re together in person, it still seems like they’d rather be elsewhere. They’re missing someone else and loving someone else who only needs a text, not an actual conversation. The thing is, people can just be hard to be around, especially when it’s family, and especially when it’s around the holidays. It’s easy to put the phone down when you don’t feel like texting or ignoring something you just don’t want to read. But, is this the point we’ve gotten to as human beings? When someone annoys us, we just choose to avoid the situation? Loving as God loves means loving the entire person, quirks and all. It means loving them 24/7, even when you can’t. freakin’. stand. them anymore. I write this mostly as a reminder to myself that, loving someone via my phone is ridiculously easy and not at all what Christ calls us to.  Hugging someone when we don’t feel like being friendly, saying something rational and courteous when we feel like saying something snarky and sarcastic, and choosing charity over selfishness no matter how...