As I delve into serious planning for next year’s school, I do what I always do – scour the blogs for ideas. I want to add more Catholicism to our everyday lives, so I find myself going to blogs like Totus Tuus Family, Shower of Roses, and Sanctus Simplicitus. These families are truly living out their faith every day. I have found great inspiration from them, but…
…there is a fine line between admiration and guilt.
I look at all the wonderful things these women do with and for their children (more children than I have, I might add) and at first I think, “I can do that.” Then, “I should do that.” Finally, “I don’t want to do that.” That is when the guilt sets in.
Can I really take all three of my small boys to daily Mass? Should I even try? I’ve never regularly attended daily Mass before.
Can I get us all to say a nightly rosary together? I don’t do this for myself.
Can I plan our homeschool around the Liturgical calendar, celebrating every feast and saint along the way? I can’t even pronounce the names of some saints.
Not only do I not do these things, I don’t really want to try. Some of that stems from a feeling of inadequacy. I’m such a baby Catholic myself, how can I possibly teach other babies how to live their faith? There is a fear that I will do it wrong. And some of it is laziness. Who in their right mind wants to wrestle three boys in a pew more than once a week?
But won’t I damage their relationship with God if I don’t make the extra effort? I will have failed my most important parental responsibility. The guilt piles up.
Being who I am, I try to search and dig and plan and schedule my way to a deeper desire for God. It always fails. I know I must submit myself to the mercy of Christ and ask for an increase in faith. I must be like Mary and choose the better path, but God made me a Martha. I need an orderly house. I need a schedule for the day. I need to be busy.
Prayer is a struggle, not one of time, but one of want. I know in my heart that my service to my family is a prayer in itself, but sometimes it feels like I am speaking a language that God cannot understand. I am lost in translation.
The beginning of school approaches. The books have been bought. The lessons are being planned. Long ago, I brushed off the pull of competing with other moms on child rearing. I don’t much care about breast vs. bottle feeding, attachment vs. independent parenting, or how anyone gets their baby to sleep at night. But as I look to other Catholic homeschoolers for encouragement, I find myself asking, “Am I Catholic enough?”
The greater question is, “Catholic enough for whom?”