Danielle Bean

Danielle Bean, a mother of eight, is Editorial Director of Faith & Family. She is also author of My Cup of Tea: Musings of a Catholic Mom (Pauline 2005) and Mom to Mom, Day to Day: Advice and Support for Catholic Living (Pauline 2007). Her blog is a source of inspiration, encouragement, and support for Catholic women of all ages and life stages.

recent articles

Don’t Trade Halloween for Reformation Sunday

Last October, my 12-year-old son stood in the aisle of our local pharmacy and held up a life-like foam replica of a human skull. “How about this one?” I winced. My son rolled his eyes. “Come on!” he coaxed. “St. Francis had one!” Of course he did. I placed the skull in our cart, along … Read more

What Lies Beneath

My husband and I are madly in love. I feel the need to announce this publicly because, on the surface, it can be hard to tell sometimes. Some days, the most romantic thing Dan and I do is grunt at one another about the funny noise the dishwasher is making again before going to bed, … Read more

In the Dough

I was going through some old pictures on the computer the other day. Organizing family photos is a project I assign myself on occasion in order to avoid doing real work. Nothing makes sorting through decades’ worth of jumbled digital images seem like quite so enticing a task as having real work with a real … Read more

More of You

A mom recently emailed me a complaint. “You never share stories anymore! I always loved your stories.” It’s true that I regularly used to share stories from my real-life experience as a Catholic mom of many children. It turns out that misery really does love company, and the woes of nighttime teething and tantruming toddlers … Read more

Loads to Do: True Tales from the Laundry Room

Of all the crosses that have come my way since joining the ranks of motherhood, one of the most maddening has got to be the fake laundry. For the blissfully uninitiated, I should explain: Fake laundry consists of perfectly clean clothing that somehow manages to tumble out of children’s closets or dresser drawers and onto … Read more

Five Ways I Don’t Love Natural Family Planning

I don’t want to write about NFP. I hate to write about NFP. And yet, here I am…writing about NFP. I brought this on myself. I completely forgot about an editorial deadline and found myself scrambling for a column topic at about 10:00 p.m. Naturally, I turned to my dear friends, Mrs. Twitter and Mr. … Read more

Air Your Grievances Here

“When is our next meeting?” eleven-year-old Juliette harrumphed as she slouched on the couch beside me. “Because I have a grievance to air.” This isn’t just a melodramatic pre-teen talking; this is our family’s latest lingo. In our house, the “grievances” are real. And we air them at family meetings. A few months ago, it … Read more

Tokens of Love

Four-year-old Daniel recently gave me a picture he drew of me. In the pencil and crayon drawing, I stand smiling, arms outstretched, surrounded by hearts and flowers. I was struck by the fact that it is an especially loving and adoring image. A shrine, perhaps, to Mama. My own mom, a mother of nine children … Read more

Like Lambs

I knew I wanted him the minute I laid eyes on him. He was comically rotund, with round, dark, knowing eyes and a fluffy fleece. He was a lamb. Not a real one, of course, but a large stuffed lamb, an Easter decoration or a child’s toy. There, in the grocery store, I stopped my … Read more

Six Rules for Facebook

The day my mother joined Facebook, I updated my status to read: “That loud crashing sound you just heard? That was worlds . . . colliding.” Imagine the noise, then, when my 16-year-old daughter created her page last month. Kateri is a responsible young lady, and yet still I felt the need to set some ground … Read more

Lopsided Lent

I am not a crafty mom, but I sometimes let fantasy and ambition get the best of me. Two days before the start of Lent this year, my oldest daughter reminded me of a family activity we had done together many Lents ago. It was a craft I had read about in one of those … Read more

Giving Gifts, Counting Costs

Rumors are flying. Is she or isn’t she? Will she or won’t she? The subject is celebrity mom Katie Holmes, naturally, and the second child she is rumored to be currently gestating or planning to conceive with her husband, Tom Cruise. Let the talking and stalking begin! I don’t usually pay much attention to tabloid … Read more

Another Day, Another Ride

Many years ago, my mother compared her life as a mother of nine children to a Merry-Go-Round. She said it felt like she stepped on each morning and spun around and around until the end of the day when she stepped off, slept a little, and got right back on the neext day. Back then, … Read more

Mommy Wars, Schmommy Wars

In a recent article at Salon, writer Katy Read admitted something that raised some maternal eyebrows: She regrets having left a respectable job and steady paycheck to be an at-home mom to her two sons for ten years. It’s not the quality time with her children she regrets, but the financial toll she’s now paying … Read more

The Long and Whining Road

My husband and I were recently inspired to pack ourselves, our eight kids, and 13,000 Capri Sun juice boxes into our twelve-passenger van and drive more than 1,500 miles to spend Christmas in south Florida. It was epic — if by epic you mean a wildly memorable trip that was “so perfectly worth doing” but also … Read more

Racing toward Christmas

One of the first Christmas gifts I received this year was a speeding ticket. For years, I have made a hobby of collecting verbal warnings for driving too fast. I know I drive too fast. I am working on it. And I am getting pretty good at smiling, apologizing, and offering sympathetic and yet entirely … Read more

The Joys of Boys

“Your son,” a woman once told me after Mass, “is a bully.” “Really?” I asked, surprised by this characterization of my normally well-behaved (at least in church) sons. “Which one?” She told me that she had observed my three oldest boys, all altar servers, putting on their cassocks in the sacristy before Mass. The youngest … Read more

Littering Love

Are children like litter? Helen Fisher, a Rutgers University professor, thinks so. In a recent video clip from the Joy Behar Show, the esteemed professor compared having many children to “littering” and explained that “we’ve got too many people on this planet to begin with.” Other members of the panel agreed that refraining from having … Read more

In the Company of Saints and Sinners

I was a teenager when he died. We went to visit him one last time when I was about 14 years old. Nobody said it was “one last time” — not to me, anyway. They said we would be taking some short trips to Canada — just a few of us kids at a time … Read more

Outsourcing

A quick look around the Catholic mom-o-sphere might leave you with the impression that most Catholic moms — especially those with large families — are a bunch of Frugal Frannies. And that might be so. Depending where you click, you can find articles about sewing your own clothes, baking your own bread, and making your … Read more

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