As a catholic mom, we all go through a period of feeling overwhelmed and stressed. I’d like to call this catholic mom chaos, but truthfully most moms I know go through this a little bit at some point.
You know when you have three back to back pregnancies. And life is just overwhelming.
How I organized the chaos.
I’m going to share a little about how I got myself together, how I organized my home to run more smoothly. As a Catholic mother with little ones, this can be challenging for many of us.
I found a system that saved my sanity, gives me time to focus on the things that matter most – my family and how we focus on God as the center of our entire life.
But first, a little background…
I used to think that I had my life together. That I was an organized person. I am a Type-A personality and I thrive on lists and schedules, and on organization and structure.
Then I got married and became a mother.
I found myself falling deep into this hole of clutter and chaos. I didn’t know how to pull myself out, and it was becoming very frustrating. I wanted to have a life of structure or at least feel like I was in control, somewhat.
I don’t believe that just because I have children, I should have a messy home. Or that I should feel miserable in my vocation as a wife and mother.
I recently saw a couple of memes floating around on social media that just irk me. Maybe you’ve seen them too.
The first read something like this, “Good moms have sticky floors, messy kitchens, laundry piles, dirty ovens, and happy kids.”
The other had a pyramid and read, one in each corner: “Pick two. Your sanity, happy kids, or a clean home.”
But why couldn’t I have all three?
I’m here to tell you friends, you can have all three!
Why is it commonly depicted the in order to have happy children, our homes need to be in disarray? Yes, children make messes, but it doesn’t mean that we allow them to destroy the home in order for them to be happy.
Or that we allow them to leave all of their toys out when they are done playing with them. This doesn’t to fall only on mom to clean up.
If they spill something on the floor, they need to learn how to clean it up.
If we train our children properly (and it’s definitely not easy to do so) they will understand what is expected of them. They need structure.
Ok, I know what you’re thinking. Get real, lady! Right?
I am a work at home mom of three small children, all under 5 years old.
My toddlers are learning what it means to have structure. We are very busy and work hard. What works well for my children are routines and having consistency in their days.
They also learn from example.
Who you are speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
What message am I trying to send to my children?
I knew that I needed to get myself more organized and out of this hole that I was in. And I’ve been able to do just that. I feel as though I am finally on the right path with living out my vocation.
So, what has changed?
First, I did a major home declutter.
I cleared up all of the stuff that we have been collecting in our home. I really don’t know how it’s accumulated, but it was everywhere. If we have a cluttered home, it is harder to keep clean.
Did my children really need a huge toy box filled to the top? Nope.
They just dumped them all over the play room multiple times a day. I would pick them up and then they were dumped out again five minutes later.
It was a vicious cycle. They weren’t playing with them. They were just dumping them out onto the floor.
So, I go rid of them.
They have a few quality toys that they actually play with.
I also set up a chore chart for them to complete each day. This really helps us to stick with our daily routines.
We Are Mostly Screen Free During the Day
I got rid of all the time sucking apps off of my smart phone. Plus, there’s this awesome extension I added to my laptop called, newsfeed irradiator.
It keeps my Facebook feed invisible so I don’t get sucked into that productivity waster.
I Changed my Laundry Routine
I pared down what we own, organized, and finished one complete cycle every day. Between our clothes, my husband’s yuck farm clothes, and towels, it can pile up fast.
So completing it every single day helps me to keep up.
Lastly, I read this book…
I totally recommend this book to every single Catholic mom!
Especially those who are struggling with living out their vocations as God intended.
This book saved my life. Truthfully!
The author does an excellent job of explaining how to get our lives back on tracking following a “rule”. Just as religious orders follow, but tailored to our lives as wives and mothers.
It isn’t another one of those get organized or cleaning routine, but rather a rule to follow.
The neat thing is, we create it ourselves. So, what works for me, won’t work for you. And vice versa. You’ll find what works for you and build from there.
The tagline for the book reads, “how to bring order to your home and peace to your soul.”
I couldn’t explain it any better. Those are just a few of the joys which I’ve experienced since finding organization and structure within my life and vocation.
Since the will alone is held captive by God, the other faculties are free to attend to tings relating to God’s service; and this they do with far greater energy.
Then, when the soul is engaged in exterior works, it continues to love God ardently; this is the union of action and contemplation, of the service of Mary and the love of Mary.
-A Mother’s Rule of Life, 182
Putting it all into practice
Once we begin the practice of following a rule and focusing on priorities – God centered around our entire day, we will find more time for Him.
More time to devote to prayer and recollection.
This is something that I struggled with for quite awhile. I was trying to fit God into my life, but He was getting my leftover time. I wasn’t putting Him first.
I was overwhelmed and trying to find a balance. I failed miserably. The moment my rule started coming together, and I devoted time to God first, everything else naturally fell into their proper places.
I found structure within my day. I felt like for the first time (in a long time) since discovering my vocation, I finally had my act together!
As Dom Chautard says in The Soul of the Apostolate: ‘Let the following conviction become deeply impressed upon your mind: namely, that a soul cannot lead an interior life without a schedule…and without a firm resolution to keep it all the time.’
For this reason, A Mother’s Rule seems to be very much a necessary prerequisite to contemplation in our daily lives. And contemplation, remember, is the experience of God Himself.
-A Mother’s Rule, 187
My spiritual director has told me that without order, prayer life is nearly impossible.
And truth be told, since discovering this life changing book, I truly feel at peace! I feel as though my life has true meaning.
Before reading it, I had just been going through the motions. Trying my best to survive as a Catholic mom amidst chaos.
It won’t be easy, but it will be worth every single effort you make!
Have you read the book? Share your thoughts!