Reads for When You Feel You're Failing as a Mother

Source: Pinterest

It happens to all of us.

There are days where I wonder if I am indeed the best person for George to spend his days with. I wonder if I am not completely deforming this beautiful soul God has put in my charge. I wonder if I am any good at this mothership thing at all.

Here are some of my best reads around the web when I feel this way:

When it Feels Like You're Failing at Building Your Cathedral -Carrots for Michaelmas, Haley Stewart.

How Can I Describe the Weight of You? -Carrots for Michaelmas, Haley Stewart.

A Still, Small Voice - Crown and Bough, Christie

Moms, Are You in the Photos? - Cup of Jo, Joanna Goddard

A Rule of Life for Those Consecrated to the Immaculate Virgin -EWTN, St. Maximilian Kolbe

"Parent" as a Verb: Sleep Training -the New Yorker, Emily Flake  (language warning!)

Self-Care and the Prepared Adult -the Kavanaugh Report, Nicole

And because sometimes the darkness of the world can help us appreciate the light and blessings in our lives:

Norway's Hidden Scandal -BBC, Tim Whewell (graphic content warning!)

Bonus: This Podcast Episode about Attachment and the Church -The Catholic Psyche, is also a great pick me up and inspiration to me as a Mother. For those who like to listen rather than read!

Blessed Advent!

One Extremely Simple Thing I Do to Calm Advent Down

If you talk to any Catholic who is trying to participate in the silence of this season of Advent, you will probably find a kindred spirit. It seems like everyone shares in the struggle of slowing down during Advent and not fretting over gifts, Christmas preparations, etc. For the record, I don't think this is unique to our time and culture. I am sure the medievals were just as busy and frantic during Advent. After all, it took them a thousand times longer to do simple things. Maybe they didn't have 20 gifts, but what gifts they had were hand-made out of material they had to go to great lengths to acquire! And imagine the amount of time it took to prepare Christmas feasts back then!

Last year I made a decision that took away one common stressor during Advent. I loved it so much that I plan on doing the same thing from now on.

Have A Quiet Weekend

Norman Rockwell. Source: Artodyssey

What are you up to this weekend?

Shaun and I will be on a retreat. It's one we are designing ourselves but St. Louis de Montfort's Secret of Mary consecration will be the main focus. We have been wanting to make a retreat before the baby comes and we are getting down to the wire!

I recently stumbled across this Etsy shop and found myself favoriting everything. Wait until George gets a little older!

And speaking of Etsy, this nursing cover made me laugh.

We added the the Akathist to the Theotokos into our Advent customs. We love playing this version.

Did Disney really re-make the Lion King?

I thoroughly enjoyed the Catholic Psyche Podcast's most recent episode: Attachment and the Church.

And I have been hooked on Father Thomas Loya's Light of the East podcast as well!

I was over the moon yesterday to receive my maternity/baby wearing jacket extender! We are in a cold snap around here and wearing my fall peacoat with one surviving button just wasn't cutting it anymore! I am back into my down, long winter coat and still feel cute! This Canadian-based company is so kind to us mothers who want to wear our nice coats while popping and baby wear in winter! I got the universal extender with the fleece layer so I can extend any coat/jacket into a maternity and babywearing one, which will be great come spring and the need for raincoats! And I was lucky enough to take advantage of their cyber Monday sale and free shipping!

Blessed Advent!

Montessori Moment Episode 9: A Book Review & Yarn Along

Linking up with Ginny at Small Things for this month's yarn along!

I am using leftover yarn from George's finished Christmas stocking to knit a snood! Lately I prefer snoods over scarves. I am using the same book, "Knit Nordic," by Eline Oftedal. This time I'm trying out the Voss pattern.

A lot is happening in terms of Montessori around this house.

George uses his sink to "wash dishes" every day. I now have a little pitcher of water and a little dish with soap and a sponge at his sink. He is beginning to learn the ritual of washing his hands before meals. I guide and teach, observing what he remembers and does on his own, celebrating his efforts.  Eventually we will transition to him filling his own pitcher from the fridge water source.

Art, hand coordination work, and sensorial exploration is playing a bigger role than ever in his interests and abilities.

George now uses his Grow With Me Chair at the table so I got him the Ikea step stool for helping in the kitchen! And he loves to help slice his bananas with a little hand-held chopper we found at a seasonal barn sale this autumn!

We are looking at potty training the Montessori way.

But for this post I want to review a book I just finished called, "Montessori From the Start" by Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen. It's one of my books to read before the baby comes!

Much like Confirmation Saints, books choose us more-so than we choose them. This book has been on my radar for two years. I even checked it out from the library once before and didn't make it beyond a general flip through before I had to return it.

I am so glad I am reading this book now and not when I was pregnant with George or while George was a baby.

Let me give a bit of warning and say who should not read this book:

Does My Heart Have Room for Two?

Source: Art Studio by Margaret, Etsy

It's strange, but I feel more attached to this baby as an unborn baby than I did with George. This baby is more active. I swear I felt him/her at 11 weeks and even suspected twins with all of the movement so early on! He or she is such a character with all of her/his business. Even our 20 week ultrasound technician repeatedly and affectionally referred to him/her as a little show-off.  When Shaun would put his hand on my tummy to feel George, George would suddenly become very still. This baby however loves the attention and becomes more active when nudged by someone else. I have felt more of an urge to call the hospital so they can just tell me if we are having a boy or a girl this time around! I can make it two more months, right?

And yet, when I think about this baby being born and how that will change our lives, I catch myself wondering if my heart is big enough for both George and this baby.