A softer Lent of little penances

My Lenten penance this year was easy to settle on. This life in the suburbs with routines of work and a clutch of young children, shows me very clearly every day, what my weaknesses are, where I can become a bit better as a person, where I can give God a bit more leeway to…

Restless nights and welcome dawns: An Advent reflection

At this point during Advent, Gaudete Sunday, I always remember one particular early dawn. Or rather, how it felt to see that day dawn. It was the day our first child was born. I’d been admitted to hospital the afternoon before, to have labour induced. My mum and husband had stayed while I had dinner…

When getting out of bed is hard to do

A couple of months ago I read the War of Art by Steven Pressfield, and I get why it’s such a classic book, it applies very well to the whole of life, not art alone. One main concept in his book is that of Resistance, a powerful and pitiless force that often has the effect of preventing us…

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…

A spirituality of motherhood and creativity

From my Catholic Weekly column, which I was recalling today. I still very much feel that this is true about the creativity of motherhood, or at least, my experience of it. Though we live very different lives, I could relate to what the celebrated Australian artist Michael Leunig described about the way that he is able…

Feeling better after burnout

I had a rough start to this year, but am feeling much better and am trying to make changes to the way I do things to make sure I don’t get as run-down as I was in February. Greatly encouraged by the Restore workshop, which was offered again this year by author Elizabeth Foss,  I’m…

Summer Bucket List

I was just looking over my 40 by 40 list. I’ve done nearly everything on it. Doing that list was such a good motivator for me. Some great things got added into those 12 months that might not have happened otherwise, and the whole family benefited as well. It’s also good for me to look over…

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…

Parenting fails and God’s mercy

My column published last week in The Catholic Weekly. Photo by Schlomit Wolf. I’ve had my fair share of ‘parenting fails’, as all parents probably do. I’ve left children at school until late in the afternoon, only realising I had to pick them up when they rang me from the office to ask where I…

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…

Parenthood, War, and Peace

  After a busy Saturday spent travelling and socialising, last Sunday was what we call a catch-up day in our household. After Mass and morning tea we got to work cooking, doing laundry, sorting out Christmas gifts, and generally tidying up for a couple of hours. The children mostly played or read books and watched…