laundry

For Catholics, There’s Only One Choice

As the grandson of immigrants, I was raised to think that to be Catholic automatically meant being a Democrat; after all, it was the Democratic Party that had been so involved in assisting the newly-arrived with possibilities for financial security and upward mobility. The first presidential election in which I could vote (as a seminarian [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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, [...]

O the Mind has Mountains

It would be easier to follow James Thurber's advice to leave your mind alone if it could be mutual. Besides, you'd have to put your mind to it and that makes following Thurber's advice a contradiction in terms. Mind-boggling, as it were. Of course one could fall asleep, but then Thurber would lose a reader. [...]

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 [...]

Borders that Unite

With apologies to Christine O'Donnell, I am not you. I didn't grow up in places where Mexicans were a distant if ominous threat. I can't say that I came of age only speaking English, that I feel totally grounded in this country (even though I was born here), or that I never helped anyone who [...]

Momnipotent

"Look at me!" I announced to my bleary-eyed husband when he emerged from the bedroom one morning soon after our second child was born. Carefully, I shifted tiny Eamon in the crook of one arm as I scrambled eggs, buttered toast, and poured juice with my free hand. "I can nurse the baby and cook [...]

Crash Call

All ten of us were in the van when it happened. Though we were only running some errands and stopping at the library, I had ignored the eye-rolling of my older kids and insisted on the entire family's going out together. One consequence of our growing-up family, I have found, is that we more and [...]

Dads are now as stressed as moms

Men are still the major breadwinners in most families, but over the past few decades they've been expected to pull more weight at home. Wives now ask husbands to help around the house, share in child-care, and take leadership in areas other than career and finances.  Men are finding this very stressful, according to an [...]

One Little Thing at a Time

My life is ridiculous. Do I need to tell you this, or can you reach that conclusion all on your own when I tell you that I am a homeschooling mother of eight who also works from home? Some days, the different roles I play meld seamlessly together. "Of course I can do this!" I [...]

Big Families Are Boring

Apparently there's a TV new show about a big family.  The Slate reviewer wasn't thrilled:  [T]hey have everything you have, only bigger, better, and cooler. If you shelled out for one hipster pageboy cap, Bob has two, in wool and velour, plus a straw fedora and a ski cap he wears indoors. If your wife is [...]

Marked by the Cross

At about this time last year, I bumped into a friend at the laundromat. My mind was occupied with loaded laundry baskets and grumblings about my broken washing machine, but all that left me the moment my eyes met hers. She was in pain. Her newborn granddaughter, she told me, was gone.There were many words [...]

I Am Woman

  "So what do you do?" I'm asked over drinks at a recent party.   I mentally flip through a list of possible responses. I hesitate, considering my interrogator. I think I remember someone mentioning he works as a neurosurgeon.   He performs brain surgery. I wipe little bottoms.   So here's my quandary: Do [...]

What Love Looks Like

   "How do you do it all?" As a homeschooling, work-at-home mom of many, this is a question I hear fairly often.    Usually, people ask "how I do it all" when I am outside of my home, sitting in the bleachers at a basketball game or standing in line at the pharmacy. The fact [...]

A Mother’s Liturgy of the Hours

  I grew up with a dad who prays the Liturgy of the Hours, and as a result, the Church's daily pockets of prayer have always held a special attraction for me. Perhaps when I am an older woman, I will live the kind of life conducive to praying the Divine Office, but for now, [...]

Going Dental

Last week, Gabrielle made an alarming discovery. "My tooth!" she shrieked. "My tooth is loose! It might even . . . it might even fall out!"  Somehow, in the midst of princess ponies and soccer practice, grocery runs and laundry piles, I had neglected to tell my six-year-old daughter about the Tooth Fairy. Not that [...]

Another Day in the Life

In September of every year, my inbox fills up with requests from fellow homeschooling moms who all want to know one thing: What does your daily routine look like?   We all know the devil is in the details, but I like to think that God is in there, too. So today, I will swallow [...]

Backward Thinking Moves Me Forward

I am such a Neanderthal.    Case in point: One recent day, I was furiously scrubbing the bathtub when my husband Dan peeked into the bathroom doorway.   "Hey, as long as you're doing that," he said, "The toilet in there is looking . . . um . . . really, really gross."   Yes, [...]

I’m No Super Mom

It had been one of those days. Or weeks. Or months, maybe.  Ten years ago, I had a husband who was working extra hours at his second job. I had a cranky, teething baby with an aversion to naps and an impending eye infection. I had a potty training two-year-old who was solely responsible for [...]

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