From a new mother:
What advice is there for a new mother? I have no examples in my life,
I became Catholic on my own. But since I’ve had my baby, all of my
previous devotions I had adapted into my life have gone out the
I use to be able to get up and say my prayers, or even meditate a
little, now my day begins with me immediately taking care of my baby,
feeding, changing etc. Before I would go to bed, I use to do an
examination of conscience and various night prayers, now I am lucky if
I can get a prayer out, If I try to examine myself, I forget half the
day and fall asleep in the middle of trying.
I was told there is no guide book for being a wife and mother, so I
just have to wing it. Religious have endless amounts of guide books to
help them, but mothers have no help of this means? How can I be left
with such advice? Families are failing in massive numbers, but as to
how to discipline, or even how to be submissive to your husband, these
questions are no where to be answered? I’ve never been so confused
since I’ve gotten married and had a baby. I like to have instruction
in a traditional form of raising a family and doing what is required
of me as a wife, but I have no idea how to find these things out.
Maybe this is just me, other mothers may have no problem at all, but I
know I do.
Wow. I think i had better just back away quietly.
But first, I will say that there are the examples among the blesseds and saints of women who have been mothers. It can be done. Of course we know that it can be done even by those who were not, like our Blessed Mother, immaculately conceived, because motherhood is a state that God built into our human race. It is a normal and natural condition and it must be possible to live it in holiness. That said, in the sin of our First Parents, we lost the privilege of having this be smoother. Now we toil and women bring forth children in pain.
Great saints have found it difficult to find space in their lives for prayer alongside fulfilling the duties of their state in life. St. Augustine spoke of this eloquently and wrote about it at length. There is always a tension between the active and contemplative lives. This tension will only be resolved in heaven, I’m afraid.
I am sure that there are mothers who read this who can give you some practical advice, won through years of experience and struggling through the very issues you perhaps are worried about.
I am sure they will both advise and encourage you, even as we men back recede into the background for this round.
I pray also that the father of your child and the other men around you will do their part to shoulder the additional burdens with additional effort, since their lives have now changed as well.