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?
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?
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?
Just last week I told you about my idealistic values and how that affects my life and the life of the people around me. This week I want to talk about perfectionism. And I want you to understand something very important: Idealism is not perfectionism!
Being idealistic means to stick to a certain value orientation, to believe in certain values and to be willing to always learn and become better at things. It’s actually an optimistic worldview – and it’s really not about being perfect. It’s just about getting better and better.
Perfectionism means to always strive for the best result possible. And that’s basically all, it’s not about learning and growing – it’s just about never being good enough, because no one of us is perfect. Perfectionism is a very pessimistic worldview.
Do you know perfectionists?
I do. Almost every mother I know is to some extent a perfectionist. Moms tend to always feel they could do more and what they are doing is just not good enough. So many Moms always feel bad because of that. And that’s horrible.
So what is my goal with this article?
Actually I want to encourage you and tell you that you perform a whole lot better than you might think. You can’t do it all. I can’t do it all – nobody can. And that’s OK, you know? Just think about it: Do your children really mind when the house is messy? Do they mind eating pasta for the third day in a row? They don’t.
And you shouldn’t either, because taking care of your kids is the most important thing you do. And as long as they are happy with you – no matter how imperfect you are – you’re doing a pretty good job.
So what am I doing here?
I’m striking a blow for imperfectionism. Be imperfect! You are imperfect anyway, so let’s celebrate it.
I’ve always been an idealist. I’ve always been called a do-gooder and a goody two-shoes. And you know what? I agree.
I think being idealistic is a wonderful virtue. And I think there is a dramatic lack of idealism in our society. Being idealistic doesn’t mean to be naive. I know my ideals will never come true – but that doesn’t stop me from striving for them.
The way is the goal – remember?
When I first became a mother people laughed at me because of my idealistic parenting values. But I still stick to them. I know I will never be a perfect mother, or a perfect wife or a perfect Catholic – that’s not the point. The point is that I’m confident that I will learn and grow so much along the way that I will benefit from that. More than that: Others will benefit from my ideals, too.
I am pretty confident that my children will not only benefit but also learn from my idealism. I strive to teach them that it’s a good thing to treat others well, to act responsibly, to be eco-conscious and to honor God. I want to teach them that it is worth striving for ideals.
How do you feel about idealism?