Put on Your Mom Jeans!

  1. What famous person would your friends say you are most like?
  2. What would you be doing professionally if you had it to do it all over again?

These were the two impromptu questions I was asked when being introduced to my new colleagues on a conference call. Fran Drescher is the famous person my friends would proclaim as my doppelganger. We share an ethnic look and a nasal voice. Question one – done and easy.

Question two – not so much. I was in a minor panic as my mind searched for an acceptable answer. I blurted out, “If I had to do it all over again I would be college professor.” This was a perfectly acceptable answer. It was also a complete lie. I could never tell the truth. If I really had a “do over,” I would use it to be a mom. Motherhood would be more than my profession; it would be my vocation I would have a whole house full of kiddos. I instantly hated my lie, but I knew to tell the truth would be career suicide.

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The TEN COMMANDMENTS (according to 10 year olds)

I’m a Catechist for the Right of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). I lead the RCIA for Children class at my old home Parish. We provide catechesis (religious Ed) for the children of Catholic converts who are entering the church during the Easter Vigil. One of the things I find the most challenging about leading this group is that the children are of various ages (8-17) and have such diverse religious backgrounds. Some are just learning about Jesus for the first time; while others already have an intimate relationship with Him through their Protestant background.

We have recently been studying God’s Ten Commandments. Children, much like adults, don’t care for rules. Teaching others about God’s commandments is challenging because as a society we don’t like being told what to do; not even from God and especially not from His Church. I understand why children feel this way as they have yet to form their consciences. I admit to becoming a bit more frustrated with adults, who like me, struggle with pride and often neglect God’s laws. Continue reading

The Vacation Mirror

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Sorry I’ve been away. We have been in a post vacation coma of sorts. When we woke up it was back to school time; which meant neglect for the blog. My boys are currently watching the Ohio State football game with hot homemade submarine sandwiches in their bellies. This leaves me with some time to write.

For vacation this year Eric and I returned to the house in Emerald Isle, NC where we spent our honeymoon. The beach house is owned by a friend and a weak long stay was gifted to us when we were married. It really is a special place filled with warm memories. This is our first return since our honeymoon and this time we had my mother and my step-sons S-man and C-man in tow. The kids have affectionately named my Brooklyn grown mother “MeMaw.” It’s funny because that name encompasses the antithesis of who my mom is. My mother is a cosmopolitan woman who would prefer her grandchildren call her by her first name Chris in public. My boys think she is a hoot and very different from any grandmother they know. They call her MeMaw; even my mother appreciates the irony. Continue reading

Step-parenting is REALLY hard (but not for the reasons you might think)

I have the privilege of step-parenting two boys. I’m unable to have children and I was lucky enough to marry a man with two. I love these kids. They are one of my greatest sources of joy and they are one of my greatest sources of pain. I imagine, in that way, step-parenting is very similar to organic parenting. For the sake of this blog post I’m defining organic parenting as a child living with a custodial mother and father who are either biological or adoptive. Organic parenting involves a child being in your home full-time and decisions (good and bad) are made by both mom and dad. Organic parenting is natural. It’s never perfect and it’s not always successful; but it is the best parenting model. It’s been tested; it’s the old tried and true. Organic parenting is the only parenting model which unites children with both their mother and father.

Step-parenting is none of these things. It’s not organic. My step children are not in our home full-time; they split their time between two homes. Decisions (good and bad) are not made by both mom and dad. My step children do not get to experience a parenting model which unites them with both their mother and father. My step children have to live with a parenting model in which mom and dad are split. It’s not natural; nothing organic about it.

What makes step-parenting difficult is that there is nothing a step-parent can do to rectify this situation for their step-children. Many adults are unable to acknowledge that this problem even exists. Just the mere mention that step-children do not get to experience an organic parenting model angers many adults. We have created soft phrases to describe split parenting such as “co-parenting” or “modern family.” Continue reading