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…

Gearing up for the busy season

Wow, doesn’t the year just slip away once October is finished! I’ve spent some time today on my November calendar, and my list of things to do next week is super full. I’m trying to stay calm about that, and focus on the essentials. I’m prioritising ruthlessly at the moment. There is much I feel…

These busy school holidays

We’re halfway through week one of the September school holidays and it feels like a lot’s been packed in already. I guess that’s bound to be the case when you have five kids. My husband and I have been tag-teaming work and parenting duties more than usual this week. I worked yesterday while he stayed…

On (mostly) loving family dinners

My column recently published in The Catholic Weekly I like cooking for my family. I sometimes grab the free supermarket magazines for recipe ideas, get my kids involved in our family dinner, and we have lots of fun, and the whole thing is very fine. What turns up on our dinner plates each night is…

A blog post about nothing*

Wow it’s been quiet here on the blog. I haven’t checked in for a while and obviously not many others have either. I’ve been busy, and seriously working on improving my use of time; making the most of those odd and unplanned bits of free time with the kids (impromptu walks, games of musical statues etc.),…

21 Days to a Happier Family

From my Catholic Weekly column. Dr Justin Coulson is a regular contributor to the popular parenting website, Kidspot, and is regularly interviewed on the Sydney Christian radio station 103.2 for his tips on parenting toddlers to teenagers. His latest book, 21 Days to a Happier Family, is for parents who are looking for help with…

The most powerful drug the world has ever seen?

From my Catholic Weekly column last week. We have a three-year old boy and so every day my husband and I are reminded that three year olds are the sweetest, funniest, craziest, and most loving human beings in the whole world. Isaac makes the most of being the baby of the family, but he often…

A second week in hours

I’m currently tracking my time to see how I’m spending my 168 hours each week and what I can do to use them a bit better. A few of my Facebook friends are doing this at the same time. You might also like to try it for yourself and see what insights you get from…

The freedom to believe

From my column in the The Catholic Weekly. Social researcher and commentator Hugh Mackay has a new book out this month with the title Beyond Belief. I’m yet to read it, but the publisher’s blurb says that it is Mackay’s examination of the phenomenon of Australians moving away from organised religion and religious institutions, while…

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…