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Catholic Mother’s Rule of Life

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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.

mom holding a toddler while sitting in a chair

Organizing chaos with a mother’s rule of life

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 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 busy homeschooling mother of 4 small children.

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.

bible with journal and pen

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. This way I can still engage with the groups and pages that are important to me without wasting time scrolling a feed.

My children don’t watch TV during the day. 

Divine Intimacy book with a blue coffee mug

I Changed my Laundry Routine

I do laundry every single day. 

I pared down what we own, organized, and finish one complete cycle every day. Between our clothes, my husband’s dirty farm clothes, and towels, it can pile up fast.

So completing it every single day helps me to keep up and avoid overwhelm.

Lastly, I listened to a great sermon

This sermon was by a traditional catholic priest who talking about the importance of living a rule of life. And its importance of structure for our vocations.

What is a rule of life?

It is a schedule or set practices that help us towards holiness in our vocation or state of life. Having structure in our lives helps us to avoid chaos. So following a rule of life is really life changing.

Especially those who are struggling with living out their vocations as God intended.

Learning how to follow a rule of life is so helpful when things start to get overwhelming in our daily duties. And then we begin to learn how to organize all of the things in our daily duties, to get our lives back on track by 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 quick systems or cleaning routines, 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 need to find what works for you and build from there.

I would consider reaching out to your confessor or spiritual director for advice on forming your mothers rule of life.

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. And ultimately to contemplation.

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!

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.

Dom Chautard

Blessed Mother statue on a desk

My spiritual director has told me that without order, prayer life is nearly impossible.

And truth be told, since discovering this life changing rule of life, I truly feel at peace! I feel as though my life has true meaning.

Before learning about 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!

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  1. Scheduling social media and apps on phone are def. my problem. A consistent nap time would also be helpful 🙂 You reminded me that I should listen to my favorite book again.

    Though the hard copy can be hard to find its worth it.
    Would LOVE to hear how you organize your daily schedule and organize your blog posts the are lovely!

    1. I will look into that book, thank you for sharing! 🙂 Although the audio will be nice for an upcoming travel or while working on tasks.
      I may work on a blog post about scheduling sometime in the near future…

  2. Thanks for getting me remotivated. We are building a house while living in it and the place is a mess. I feel like I’m drowning in clutter. I also feel so unorganized and was attributing it to my perimenopausal brain fluff symptoms!
    But despite the construction and brain fluff I am going to take this rainy day to pack up the clutter until I have closets and shelves so I can regain my sanity.
    I read the Mother’s Rule of Life many yeas ago and found it very inspirational also.

  3. Thanks so much Mary for this great post! I just read Holly Pierlots book a couple of months ago and have started implementing some of the rule. I completely agree- the book is a lifesaver or should I say- soul saver… Look forward to reading more on your blog. God bless Shannon

  4. I’m so ready to rid our home of clutter! I’ve felt that I can’t be the best Catholic mama I can be because I’m surrounded by chaos. (Hard enough with 3 under 5!) Thank you for sharing your wisdom and for the book recommendation.

    Can I ask where you got your Marian statue? A friend of mine is looking for a pregnant Blessed Mother figure. Thanks! Good bless you and yours.

  5. I am 77, mother of 2 beautiful daughters, a grandma, a widow and have lost the “edge of sanity” when I retired. I had to go out to work when my husband passed away, the girls were at uni. So my routine was not difficult to master. Then in2016 I retired, 2017 I purchased a new home to be closer to grand kiddos. My home is a mess and I felt disorganized, then I read your article above and everything fell into place. I was not starting the day with my Lord. Easy to correct and I have a day planner and I am good at making a list. I no longer have the energy to complete my extensive list of 31 years ago but can adapt if for where I am today and tomorrow.
    Thank you for getting me back to the most important relationship I have neglected. I had ended my day cramming my prayers into the end of the day rather than taking time throughout the day and often fallen asleep before I had finished our “conversations”. I am feeling so much lighter and am ready to recreate this older self. We are never to old!

    1. Never too old! 😀 Thank you so much for sharing this, Joyce! It’s so inspiring and I’m so grateful that you shared with us. God bless you!