A week’s worth of (interrupted) hours

Last week I decided to keep a log of all my hours after reading how a time-management expert, Laura Vanderkam, kept a log of hers for a whole year. She wrote both on her blog and in a New York Times article about how tracking her time helps her to ensure that the way she spends it…

Apples and lollipops

This kid. He is the youngest of five and knows very well that his is a privileged position. We both love the days that he’s home from preschool and we hang out together. These are the days he tells me, “Mummy, it’s just you and me and a cup of tea.” He was sick with…

Thank you…

…to the readers who went on over and liked the CathFamily Facebook page the other day, you got me over my goal within a day which was really nice to see! I just wanted to share with you this photo my husband took yesterday. While I was working he took our five young children to…

Kids, Communities, Parties and Holidays

Around this time of year, many parents begin to look forward to the children going back to school in February. My husband and I aren’t among them. Every January I’m surprised and gratified anew at how lovely this extended break from school is for our family. Even with work re-starting again for both of us…

What Are We Really Doing When We Take a Photo of Our Kids?

Children often give us lovely moments. But occasionally there are some which seem so perfect they are un-real, literally breathtaking. Why do they come with such a pang of loss, of saudade? Is this why we so often reach for a camera, to quell the feeling of panic of losing a beautiful way of seeing…

Another Conversation With My Kids About Death

Image by Andrew Ruiz “I don’t want to die,” the five-year-old announces matter-of-factly from his seat in the middle row of the car. “Anyway, when people die, what happens to all their things?” “Well other people, their friends and family, usually look after their things.” “What’s dying like anyway?” the nine-year-old wants to know. “Sirius…

There’s No Such Thing as a Non-Working Parent

Article published recently in The Catholic Weekly.   On my blog recently I referred to ‘non-working parents’ and to a school day I spent at home with my young sons as one of my ‘non-working’ days. But of course, while I had not been in any income-producing employment I had worked a lot on that…

Not-So-Sweet Parenting Scrupules

Image by Brian Turner. School holidays have ended and I am relieved. Not for the reason you might think; I love having the children around. We also hugely enjoyed the long break we had from the whole lunchboxes, uniforms, homework, and basketball routines. No, one big reason I am happy to be getting them off…

10 Shades of Love this Valentine’s Day

This is republished from the blog So Totally in Love by Lorissa with her permission. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Several summers ago, during our family vacation, we took our kids to our hotel’s outdoor swimming pool for a few hours. While the kids were splashing in the water, I…

Moving From ‘Delay’ to ‘Discernment’

My column published recently in The Catholic Weekly. For Christmas our older children finally got the iPad they had wanted for a while, one for them to share. It had been an item on the older two children’s Christmas wish lists – long lists they weren’t invited to make but left around for us to…

Peace, judgement, culture of life

My column published recently in The Catholic Weekly   I’ve been following lately an excellent book study on the Interior Castle by St Teresa of Avila run by author Connie Rossini on her blog Contemplative Homeschool. I highly recommend this Doctor of the Church’s teachings on prayer and the nature of spiritual growth. Like with…

Oh Christmas tree! Thy leaves are so unchanging.

  This is my column as published last week in The Catholic Weekly.   It’s taken a while but I think I have learned to embrace the mess that comes with having a brood of young children. Things that use to dismay me, like spilt milk at breakfast time, muddy footprints on just-mopped floors, and…