I Interrupt this Work Blog to bring you thoughts from a Mommy

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  I have been off of work since Friday of last week.  I have done *some* work.  Some.  That is all.  This week, I am full-time Mommy.  Not that I am never a full-time Mommy.  There is not one moment in my day when I am not a Mommy. For those of you who may argue that because I work, someone else is raising my kids…let me warn you right now…I will not debate it on this particular blog post.  Maybe another post-but not this one.

Being a Mommy, right behind my sacrament of Matrimony, is my greatest calling in this life.  The fact that God allowed me to be part of the life-giving miracle is beyond me.  I am not qualified.  Not in the least.  I was and am ill-prepared to be what my kids need me to be.  But as I am often reminded, God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.

We see this in so many of the Saints.  I think about Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin.  These two amazing parents had 9 children, 5 daughters survived beyond infancy.  They were the parents of Saint Therese of Liseux.  At an early age, both Louis and Zelie felt called to the religious life.  Once they met each other, they knew God was calling them into the sacrament of Holy Matrimony.  Nine times this beautiful couple was allowed a glimpse at God’s creative power.

I think mostly of Zelie.  She is my HERO!  This woman owned a business!  AND

Blessed Zelie and Louis Martin

was the mother of 5 daughters!  She also worked with her hubby at some point…WHAT??? I am telling you, I am focused on her this week.  I think about what she must have sacrificed for each of her children…and of the time she spent with each of them.  It was probably close to the amount of time I am blessed to spend with each of my daughters.  She created a Holy place in their home for their children to play, learn, and grow.  She created a fun place for them; a safe and wonderful environment for her beautiful daughters.  I believe because of her guidance and piety, her children soared in their vocations, and were able to focus on the important things, such as family.

Zelie ultimately sacrificed her life for her children.  She spent 11 years with a tumor on her breast…this was during her child-bearing years.  Finally, when St. Therese was 4 years old, she succumbed to breast cancer.  St. Therese is quoted as saying, “God gave me parents more worthy of Heaven than of earth.”

This week, I have been thinking about Louis and Zelie and how they raised their family.  My 2 little girls were at their grandparents this weekend to play with cousins from Seattle.  This left me home with my teenagers.  I thought the terrible 2’s were tough…well, hold on to your pants, sister!  As I was thinking of Louis and Zelie this week, I wondered how they would listen to their teenagers.  I wanted to do that.

I was not perfect with it this week.  In fact, I got very angry with them at one point for not taking a little more pride in housework.  It was an ugly scene.  I will have to confess it, for sure.  But, except for that instance, I tried to listen intently.  I wanted to hear what they were telling me, and what they were not telling me.  I learned a few things about them this week…I loved learning that.  As we were at my brother-in-law’s wedding, and “We are Family,” came on the speakers, I started crying as all 4 of my daughters were singing at the top of their lungs, “I got all my sisters with me.”  Today, my 6 year old was singing it again, and asked me, “Mommy, doesn’t that song say I got all my brothers and sisters with me?”  I said, “No, hunny…it only says sisters.  That’s good, too, because you only have sisters.”  She says, “That’s right.  I love my sisters, Mommy.”

My girlies with their Poppie at Halloween 2012

It’s the small things.  I learned this week that my kids, oldest to youngest appreciate having sisters, and they love each other.  Love…Thank God.  I’ve prayed for this.

3 Strategies to Listen to Your Teenagers:

1. Turn off the radio.  When I get in the car with my oldest kids, for some reason, it is an automatic response to tell me something big.  Though you may have 2 gazillion things going on in your head (what will I cook for dinner, is the hubby working tonight, what are the evening activities, will I get to read my nook tonight), make a conscious effort to turn off the radio, and say, “Tell me more.”

2.  Go into their space.  My kids are stacked like Noah’s ark – 2×2…no one gets a “private” room.  Usually, the older kids are in their rooms listening to 1D (British Boy Band).  I go in, listen a bit, and then ask, “Hey, what’s going on today?”  Usually, they will tell me a little.

3.  Insist on family time, even with the older teenagers.  Our 17 year old knows when we have reached our limit with friend nights.  It isn’t that the friends are not welcome at our home…they ALWAYS are welcome at our house.  In the past, we have hosted family game or movie nights where the kids’ friends want to attend.  This is where we get to see the kids interact in friendship circles.  After, we are able to process choices, behaviors, and thoughts about the night.

Our job is to raise children with eyes focused on the Lord.  We are truly blessed, not perfect. So thankful at this time of the year for my beautiful babies.  Blessed Louis and Zelie, pray for us.

Peace of Christ to you!

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