How to Balance Life as a Catholic Mom
Discovering the Practice of Balancing Life as a Catholic Mom
Balancing your life as a Catholic mom can be fun, challenging, and overwhelming-all at the same time! The key thing to remember is that being a Catholic mom is your vocation, your calling from God. He will help you to live it out well each day.
Knowing that is the easy part. The next part is knowing how to do this. How do you balance your role as a mother with your role as a spouse and your role as a disciple of Christ? Can it be done? How can it be done? And the biggest question of all: will you get enough sleep at the end of the day?
There are three factors to balancing your life as a Catholic mom: God, self, and family. How will you show your love for God, yourself, and your family each day?
Show your love for God.
Where can you make time for God in your day?
The purpose of prayer is to open your mind and heart to God. Prayer is communication with God. You can pray a Rosary, a Diving Mercy Chaplet, pray some sections of the Liturgy of the Hours (also called the Divine Office), or simply pour out your heart to God with your own words.
Set aside time each day to pray, whether it be when you first wake up or at different times throughout the day. Even a short prayer, like “Jesus, I trust in You,” is a good way to help you focus on God and call on Him in your day.
Spend quiet time with God. Even if you can spend five minutes with Him, that is great. Spending quiet time with God allows you to listen to Him. It allows you to be in His presence, adoring Him and spending time with Him. Simply just be with God.
When you love someone, you want to know all you can about them. You find things in common, find ways that you are different, and learn to get along even better that you already do. You grow together as friends in love and care for each other.
Your relationship with God can be like this. Get to know Him in prayer and in reading more about Him. Read the Bible and spiritual books to learn more about God, the Catholic faith, and men and women of faith who have gone before us.
Spiritual reading is not only a way to learn more about God, but it is a way to learn more about yourself and to find ways to live your faith more fully and deeply.
The Catholic Journaling Bible is the NAB-RE version. It has wide margins so you can write notes or draw right in the Bible.
Show your love for yourself.
The second facet of living a balanced life as a Catholic mom is to show love for yourself. God created you as a unique person. There is only one you in the entire world. You are special to God and loved by Him.
When you show love for yourself, you are showing God that you care for Him, too.
How can you take care of yourself? Make sure you take care of your basic needs: eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep and rest. Also, make time to renew yourself. What do you enjoy doing that helps you to relax? What do you do to have fun? These are important activities to schedule into your day or week as well.
Remember, you are part of your family. Just as you work to take care of your family, you also have a responsibility to take care of yourself, too.
Show your love for your family.
This third component of balancing life as a Catholic mom has two parts: your spouse and your children.
Show your love for your spouse.
Your spouse is the most important person in our life. You are united together in the Sacrament of Marriage. You have professed your vows to love, honor, and cherish each other.
As you well know, once you are married, it is not as if you will never have disagreements, irritations, or problems. Staying strong in your love and commitment to each other is key.
Love your spouse.
Ask yourself each day, what can I do today to show my love for my spouse? Whether it is a little thing or a big thing, make sure you show your love for your spouse every day in a concrete way. For example, give each other a goodbye kiss whenever one of you leaves home and a hello kiss whenever you or he returns. When you do this, you are making each other a priority.
If you are unsure of where to begin, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman is a great resource to help you and your spouse learn more about how each of you understands and shows love.
Is there a household project you have been talking about doing? Make a concrete plan and get it on the calendar to get started.
Working together does not need to be on a big project. Build a gig-saw puzzle, work on a hobby, or do a family project together.
Whether big or small, enjoying building something together is the key.
Have fun together.
Prioritize date nights together. You can plan weekly or biweekly date nights. Date nights don’t have to be expensive or even require you to leave the house. Be creative. Logan and Jen at Surprised by Marriage have fun stay at home date night ideas and other resources to help you enjoy and strengthen your marriage.
Grow in faith together.
Work to grow closer to God with your spouse by praying and studying your faith together. God is the One who brought you together. Spend time growing together with Him in love and faith.
Show your love for your children.
Love your children.
Ask yourself each day, how can I show my love to each of my children? As you know, each child is unique. One of your kids may like to tell you all about the project she is working on and another of your kids likes to help you make dinner and spend time together.
Think about what makes your kids tick so you know best how to show each of them every day that you love them. Gary Chapman has a book focused on kids: The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively that can give you more ideas and insights if you are looking for more guidance in this area.
It can be so easy to do something by yourself, but when your kids ask to help, let them. How else will they learn? Also, as they get older and you want them to help, they may have heard no from you so many times that now they don’t want to help.
Kids want to know, they need to know, they are valuable and important members of your family. Include them in projects and activities such as household chores, gardening, and preparing meals. You will be glad you did!
Have fun together.
Play games together. There are ball or games you can play outside and cards, board games, or other games inside that you can play together. Read together. Watch a movie together. Build a fort inside with blankets and furniture. Just have fun.
Sometimes you may be thinking of all the other things you could or maybe should be doing instead of having fun with your kids, but what you are doing is so important. Spending time together is important.
A key question to ask yourself is: when your kids have grown up and you look back on these days with your kids, will you wish you had spent more time with them or less? The dishes can wait a bit; the laundry can probably wait a bit longer, but your kids will only be home with you for a limited time. Enjoy the time together now and foster your relationship with them now.
Grow in faith together.
As Catholic parents, your vows included a promise to bring up our children “according to the law of Christ and his Church.” This is part of your wedding vows. It is your responsibility, your vow, to raise your children in the Catholic faith and to teach them about it.
It is okay if you don’t feel adequate to do this or if you wish you knew so much more. You are not the only parent to think this way! Many parents feel this way, too. You can grow in faith with your children. You can learn more together as a family.
There are many great books and videos available that teach to all age levels about Christ, the Church, the Sacraments, the Saints, prayers, and every topic you can think of.
Each day, do something that will help you and your children to grow in faith together.
Saints for Young Readers for Every Day: January – June and Saints for Young Readers for Every Day: July – December are a great set of books featuring one saint each day.
Use these steps each day to help you to balance your life as a Catholic mom.
Each day, make time for God, for yourself, for your spouse, and for your kids. Love, work, and have fun together. Grow in faith together. Enjoy life together.
We each have only one life. May we live it well.