Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Marriage and Motherhood

Today's featured Catholic mom-writer is Lisa Hendey, creator of the wildly popular and author of the recently released "Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul" (Ave Maria Press). Lisa's new book covers just about every aspect of motherhood, from budgets and menus to prayer and organization, but today I want to focus on the fact that this book about motherhood starts not with children but with marriage.

Here's what Lisa had to say about that:

"I had such a wonderful role model in my own parents, who raised five of us. I’m the oldest of five. And they really always prioritized their time together. It wasn’t always go out on a date night, but it was very clear to us that they truly and deeply loved each other, that they had fun with one another, and they demonstrated that in front of us. That gave all of us a very healthy role model for what a happy Catholic marriage looks like. Certainly they had their stressful or difficult times, but we had enough of those really happy times where they just enjoyed each other’s company and clearly had fun together.

"One of the things in my own marriage, being married to somebody who didn’t share my faith for a long time -- although he was incredibly supportive of it -- was that there was a big hole. We talk a lot about a sacramental marriage and putting Christ at the center of our marriage, but I wasn’t quite sure what that looked like in my life because we didn’t sit down and pray the Rosary together. Just looking at serving Christ by serving my spouse has been a huge thing for me, and the joy of that relationship and modeling that for my kids so they have a healthy sense of what a happy marriage looks like.

"For many mothers, the key to motherhood begins with marriage, with becoming one with your spouse and complementing your personal identity with being in that relationship. The fact that that comes first I think is a great precursor to motherhood where you put the demands and the needs of others sometimes ahead of your own."

Lisa's comments were a good reminder for me. What do my children see when they look at me and my husband -- co-workers who are getting a job done or true partners who demonstrate on a daily basis what it means to live out our vocations as spouses and parents with Christ at the heart of our home?

The "Handbook for Catholic Moms" is filled with stories, advice, practical tips and spiritual inspiration for mothers from every walk of life and in every type of mothering situation. To learn more, visit Lisa's website by clicking HERE. Lisa is also featured in my story on Catholic motherhood in the May 9 issue of OSV, which is available to subscribers by clicking HERE.


Roxane B. Salonen said...

Mary, I just had the privilege of hearing an author/illustrator speak about leaving ND and heading to NYC to make it in the Big Apple. She ended up successful, but it all came back to the confidence her parents instilled in her. When an artistic director told her, "It's too competitive here -- go back to North Dakota," she thought, "Boy, he's not very confident in himself." I have seen this time and again how parents pave the way for their children's success. It's reassuring, and at the same time, causes me to wonder whether I'm doing all I can for my kids in this regard. Thanks for the reminder of this and of Lisa's lovely book!

Roxane B. Salonen said...

P.S. I know my comment didn't necessarily address marriage, but I think it all is woven together. When the parents are confident in their relationship and take time to nurture it, the kids develop a sense of confidence that they can tackle the world as well.