Do you know Parenting with Grace by Greg Popcak? I absolutely love this book and I think it is very inspiring for thriving families! Reading this wonderful book and pondering the thoughts of the authors I felt I wanted to share what I have learned lately.
Popcak connects the Theology of the Body with his parenting concept which was surprising to me at first, but turns out to be not only intriguing but convincing and powerful all at once. To Pope John Paul II self-donative love is the core of every human relationship – be it marriage, friendship or the relationship we have with our children.
Living self-donative love will result in so many wonderful things
Christ is the one who modeled self-donative love to us. From him we can learn how to love our neighbor, spouse and children. As Christ models self-donative love to us, we model the same to our kids and they will imitate us. They will learn from us. They will internalize it. Self-donative love will be natural for our kids and it will be the way they treat others and themselves.
Living in a family that lives self-donative love will ultimately result in a joyful home. And that is what we all want, don’t we? But in order to get something (the joyful home) we have to give something (ourselves). That is the secret.
Will a joyful home always be joyful?
No, it won’t. We all are human beings, we’re not perfect and we don’t need to be. Attachment Parenting is not about perfectionism or eternal happiness. That’s not going to happen. Attachment Parenting is about a secure bond between parents and children and this bond will result in a solid foundation of the family.
That way a family can brave stormy times. And that’s what a joyful Catholic home is. A joyful home is not home that is always happy, always all smiles, flawless. A joyful Catholic home is real. There will be bumps in the road, there will be hard times. A joyful Catholic home is a solid foundation that can help every family member to cope with these times. A joyful Catholic home is a home with a certain atmosphere. The atmosphere of self-donative love…
What a turbulent time! Our weekend started with our parish priest stopping by for a cup of coffee and some home made waffles. Later on friends came over and spent the night. We had a great time talking, cooking, eating and watching the children play. Could there possibly be a better start for a great weekend?
Other than that we basically spent the weekend packing up…
… which was a lot of fun for the kids, but not so much for us. Every once in while we had to take a break, though…
On Sunday after Mass we decided to eat out and to enjoy the sunshine and a little free time…
The end of the weekend…
How was your weekend?
We have had an eventful beautiful weekend – family trips, playground time, Holy Mass and great food. Is there anything more you can possibly dream of? Our weekend started on a very early Saturday morning when we were headed to the railroad station. What an adventure for the kids!
Going on a family trip by train is something we enjoy as a family – we love trains and everything that goes with it! The kids had fun time looking out of the window, snacking, reading and running around.
Since we had mostly sunny and warm weather we spent most time outside – on the playground, in the park, taking a walk. And also in the zoo. Although I really hate zoos…
I think the kids enjoyed our trip to the zoo, though – and I don’t blame them. However, I really can’t help it, I always get so sad watching those beautiful creatures caged for our pleasure. Catching a glimpse of this baby zebra made me feel very ambivalent. Somehow I was happy to watch the two of them, but at the same time it made me so unhappy to realize that this cute baby zebra will never know what freedom is…
Those two rhinos seemed to be very relaxed and didn’t bother being stared at by the crowd outside the compound. But I don’t like to see them caged. Aren’t they majestic creatures? It breaks my heart that they are critically endangered animals.
Oh yeah, and I love this llama.
It has been a long weekend – which doesn’t necessarily mean that our kids are tired and need to sleep, though…
Well, never mind. It has been exciting for our kids, so I do understand they can’t sleep. I wouldn’t mind your prayers, though, maybe they can sleep at least through the night?
Anyways. How was your weekend?
Our weekend has been quiet – well, not all the time, little kids you know… – and lazy which has been perfect for these warm summer days. We enjoyed spending time outside and at home, at the playground and in a nice little café in town.
Since we love windy weather we were so happy about a pleasant breeze – and the sunshine of course (although we don’t mind rainy weather, that’s for sure!)
Both our kids love playgrounds and we know quite a few which is nice because we can give a little variety to it all. The toddler loves monkey bars, swings and slides. The baby prefers a sandbox.
As much as we love to spend time outside there is always something that needs to be done inside the home – like laundry…
Our kids, however, love to play at home, too. Sometimes they play together (which is so cute!)…
… sometimes each of them plays for himself.
The toddler turns out to be very loving and caring doll mommy which really warms my heart.
How was your weekend?
This past weekend has been very relaxed for us. We spent a lot of time just being at home or going for a walk. Nothing fancy really. Nothing special. But VERY comfortable! And we enjoyed it.
In our family we are very passionate about reading. Actually I think there is hardly a better way to spend a relaxed weekend than to read just as much as possible. My toddler apparently feels the same way…
We also enjoy spending time in the kitchen cooking and baking all kinds of things…
Our kids love to just be with us while we our doing housework. They either watch us do what we do…
… or they participate as much as they can.
Then again we stop and watch them as they learn and grow up right before our very eyes.
The end of the weekend: Don’t you think rainy weekends really are utterly romantic? I most definitely do!
How was your weekend?
Have you followed my article series “Two under two”? It’s awfully quiet in that department at the moment, isn’t it?
Yes, it is. And you know why? Because our toddler is two years old now – and we simply don’t have two kids under two any more. However, life is pretty busy and loads of fun with a toddler and baby, even though they grow up.
So don’t worry, I will keep you posted about our family life, our kids who are growing up right before our very eyes and about learning processes, child development, milestones and changes.
So what actually has changed the past few months?
I’d say it’s gotten easier, more peaceful, calmer. I mean, it’s not really calm around here with the little ones playing, learning and working. But I guess we have grown into all this. We have grown into our noisy and chaotic family life – and it really is a lot of fun.
We’re looking forward to future milestones! How are you doing?
The past week has been HOT. So we’ve more than relieved that this weekend has been much milder. Finally we were able to spend some time outside and to enjoy summer and nature.
Our toddler loved to check out all those different tiny flowers at the playground…
… and she also enjoyed climbing on those fantastic monkey bars! Who can blame her?
In our family we all enjoy being barefoot and since that is something we can only do for a short period of time due to our climate being barefoot made this weekend extra-special for all of us!
I love those lights and shadows – and can you spot father and toddler?
I love my baby’s concentration, she could play with her baby sling for hours and hours! Well, not all the time of course…
If you’re already a regular reader of Living a Catholic Fairy Tale you will most definitely know that in our family we love to bake and to cook. So this weekend we had pancakes…
… and cherry cake.
The end of the weekend:
How was your weekend?