Don't get me wrong. I'm still Catholic. I still believe in all those teachings of our Church. And obviously, I'm still a mom. And sometimes I'm still a blogger.
|Me. Catholic. Mom. Sometimes Blogger.|
Which I guess makes me a Catholic Mom Blogger, and that in the past gave me an amazing sense of community.
But by the end of 2016 I found that I felt out of place. Many of the topics that I'd blogged outspokenly (and even obnoxiously) about in the past I had (have) done a 180 on.
I have "I'm very disappointed in your wearing pants" messages to prove it.
And often I feel like I'm moving in the opposite direction, on non-Church matters, of most of my friends.
Now I'm going to take a deep breath and start typing and trust you guys. And I'm going to trust that for some of us, we can believe radically different things and still be friends. And I'm going to try to tone down the defensiveness that have developed about some of these subjects (especially the ones relating to autism) and if that seeps through I hope you'll understand.
Here we go:
I am not the same mom I was when I began this blog, know everything and wanting to share all of my advice with the world. I have happily discovered that my kids are okay eating gluten and casein. And non-organic food and sometimes hot dogs and macaroni and cheese.
I have discovered that topamax helped Maggie and I with our migraines more than any essential oil ever could.
I am politically homeless and while I'm prolife I'm also pretty passionate about the good that I believe social programs do in our nation.
I've opened a hundred blog drafts on my computer and started posts about the problems of racism and sexism that I've felt compelled to speak out about that are probably the last thing many readers want to see here, before chickening out and closing the window. Someday soon I want to be brave enough to not do that.
I don't wear a veil anymore in Mass because there were too many hands yanking it off and no matter how cleverly I sewed in the combs or selected my fabrics, they could get it off. I still think it's a lovely practice, but with a sigh I have set it aside as something that is not for me at this time in my life.
And perhaps most shocking in these parts, I'm excited when my kids are up to date on their vaccines (yes I've done my "research," no not really because talking to doctors and specialists and googling and reading other peoples studies isn't really research, at least not when we're talking about "medical research," which we usually are when vaccines are mentioned, but I have educated myself on the topic and reached the conclusion on what is best for my family), and I also enthusiastically hauled five kids in to get flu shots this year, which is something that can get you an equal number of angry and (sarcastically?) laughing faces on Facebook if you admit it these days in certain Catholic moms' groups.
Okay, I should probably apologize a tiny bit for that last part. And not just for the run on sentence, right? When you have kids with different medical needs, including kids on the spectrum you get a wide variety of people with helpful suggestions about alternative medicine and comments like "don't you wish you hadn't vaccinated now?" in your inbox and in real life and after a while it can make you a little bit... snarky... about the whole subject (For the record, no, I don't believe that's why we have a bit of neurologically diversity in our family. As I'm sure our doctors would enthusiastically tell anyone our genes play a big, big role).
|The reaction we all wish we had. Some might be wishing they can use this one after the last few paragraphs, am I right? Hang in there though.|
And now we're getting to the point of this post, that I've been warming up to. The part that some of you may even have guessed at if you follow me on Instagram, or that you know about if we're friends on Facebook. If you've hung in here this far, thanks.
If you've been a long time reader of this blog you know that from the time it began, really from the time I was pregnant with Sadie, I was adamant that I was going to homeschool, and there was never ever going to be a reason that I wasn't going to homeschool because it was always and ever going to be the Only Best Thing.
I mean, sure, I might have allowed, that there might have been other best things for other families, but not for us.
And then reality arrived, and hit me like a Mac truck and I admitted that perhaps I needed a little bit of extra help and that perhaps Maggie needed in home therapy. And she thrived. And after a few years of in home therapy she began attending a therapy center, where she made friends and had a blast.
And then Sadie asked to go to school.
So it happened that Sadie and Patch went to our parish school, and Maggie was placed in a special class room at a local public school.
For a little over a year we gave parochial school a try. And academically it was fantastic.
Academically I do not have a single complaint.
But unfortunately the school experience is not entirely based on academics. There were bullies. And one day the phone rang and I jumped when I saw that it was the school, my heart in my throat.
A list of possibilities ran through my head. My child had been shoved to the ground, in the mud and spit on. My child had been hit in the head twice (and it was repeatedly called "teasing" like "flirting"). And there was just the day in day out bullying that wouldn't stop. Sometimes it was physical, sometimes it wasn't. The days when it wasn't were nearly as bad as the days when it was.
Sometimes it was witnessed and taken seriously and sometimes it was dismissed.
The child in question loved school. They were learning and flourishing academically.
But when the phone rang that day I was so afraid of what had happened, what the call was going to say, my heart was racing and my hands trembled as I fumbled to press the button to answer the call.
It was nothing. The voice was automated. The schools phone system would be down for an hour. If we needed anything we could call the parish office. But in that moment I knew. We needed to take them out.
I called Paul. This had to stop. We couldn't go on like this. Because sooner or later it wouldn't just be an automated voice.
The next day I went to our public school and picked up applications. And a few days later the bus arrived at our house.
The kids are happier. I'm happier. We spend less time driving, less time in the car, more time as a family. We're getting to know more people in our community.
It's been a month now, a glorious month and my greatest regret is that we didn't do this sooner.
Years ago. Really I regret that it took me so long to figure out that this was what was best for our family and for our kids.
Now if the last years have taught me anything it's that best isn't static. It's that right now best is public school and that something else could be best later. That while that might feel impossible now the one thing the last decade has taught me is that in schooling choices at least to never say never, because the best thing this year for this kid may not be the best thing in five years for that kid.
We shall see.
Things used to be a lot harder.
I believed that they were harder because they were making me holier.
And sometimes suffering is the path to holiness.
But sometimes hard is just hard.
Sometimes something is hard because it isn't the right path, and you aren't meant to be miserable, and your children could actually be learning from loving, caring adults, even if those loving caring adults aren't their parents.
Sometimes the extrovert that was bored at home, no matter the program or curriculum, will come home chattering and excited and reading chapter books and with the highest math grade in the class from public school and when you mention to their teacher in passing that a year ago they could hardly read, despite the fifty seven curriculums the two of your poured over every day, she will be absolutely stunned.
Labels used to matter so much when I was writing here.
In the blogging world it seems like they still do. I mean I guess that's what that whole first section of this blog was, me figuring out who I am not compared to who I used to be, in a way that probably made some people uncomfortable, or even angry.
I guess if I was writing a blurb I would say that I'm a Catholic mom, with a gaggle of kids in public school, and a couple still at home, who likes to knit and write. But doesn't that sound silly and awkward?
I'm not about to begin to pretend that I can write something that can tear down all the divisions that we create and throw up between ourselves and others. But I'm writing this in case there's someone out there reading it who doesn't see a reflection of themselves in the other blogs that they usually read, who might see it here.
I've probably offended half of my readers with my first few paragraphs about who I'm not, which wasn't my intent. It's just that sometimes it can feel like there's a box in this little corner of the blogging world that some of us have called home and if you don't fit in that box and meet certain criteria you don't really belong.
I was just about to stop writing here when I realized that maybe, just maybe there were other people who felt the same way.
I mean you don't have to be the same, that's the whole point. Or part of the point.
And that is where I am beginning again with writing here, for now, knowing far less than I did when I started out, knowing everything.
If you're still here, welcome.
Cammie, I have known you since the Catholic Answers Forums days and I think we were pregnant with our 2 autistic, amazing kids together. I think this post is great! I have learned similar things over the years momming. I think the best thing we can do for our kids is be flexible about what is right for them in the moment. Because being a good parent doesn't mean always knowing what is right, it means learning what is right for each kiddo! You're doing wonderfully well and I'm so glad to see you open up! 🙂❤️ReplyDelete
Thank you. I remember those early days and how confident I was in my comments and laugh and cringe and laugh again (Patch just told me to "put away my teeth" because I'm laughing so hard). We've been praying for you and your family! <3Delete
I'm so glad you wrote this, Cammie ❤ It's so important for people to see that there *is* diversity in opinions and practices among "Catholic mom bloggers" - it can feel like a bubble sometimes, and a very limiting one. There's no one right way to be a Catholic mom, and no one "perfect" model of a Catholic family. It takes humility to admit that your opinions or practices have changed! So if anybody tells you they're disappointed in you, maybe they would do better reflecting interiorly on why how someone *else* is living their life matters so much 😉ReplyDelete
Thank you for being here and for commenting Rosie! You are one of the only blogs that I still read (for a while reading many blogs would make me feel kind of jealous about what I felt like what I loss, but yours always felts so genuine and real!) and so it makes me very, very happy to see you here.Delete
The only thing you have ever done, which shocked me, was when you dip dyed your hair blue! (Not for any other reason than because you didn't look the type to dye their hair blue.)ReplyDelete
I am not Catholic, but my husband and kids are. My kids went to Catholic primary school (we are from the UK - primary school ends the school year you turn 11) and then the eldest went to a Grammar School and the youngest to a special Ed school, because that was what was best for them at that point in their lives.
No one person knows everything, but as a parent, you have a duty of care towards your children to do the best you can with the information you have at the time, and if anyone ever says that you should do anything different then maybe they should stop for a minute and check whether they are talking to you from a good place or whether it's their ego talking and they are infact stealth boasting.
We all have to evolve or else we become stagnant which isn't good for you or your family.
I'll stop now as I'm starting to sound like a bunch of clichés.
The first line of this comment made me laugh because two days ago I went to the store and found "brown black" dye on sale for $2.50 and dyed the lower part of my hair back to match the upper half to please a certain nine year old who had managed not to say anything other than "when I am a grown up I will only have naturally colored hair" but who was ecstatic when I showed her the hair dye.Delete
And you're so right. I'm constant surprised though, how different the future looks than I imagined it. But in a good way! But now I sound like a cliche!
Awesome post. You have no idea how much I relate to this. Here in Massachusetts it's been hard to find friends with out being able to attend catholic homeschool group functions. But I found myself saying, "I can't homeschool my kids so that I can have friends." Anyway, I know the feeling of where do I fit in being a catholic mom who's children attend public school...and they thrive.ReplyDelete
Thanks for posting, merry Christmas to you and yours!
I don't think I realized how much making friends depended on kids as a mom until now! It really is hard. Everyone in one of my mom's groups online was talking about a mom's app called Peanut which is "like Tinder for Moms" and Paul was making fun of me for considering it, and while I haven't used it because it made me nervous and I'm such an introvert, I was trying to explain to him how hard it is to make friends as a mom and that's why stuff like that exists.Delete
Many times YES! Having gone through several different schooling options, right now I have 1 flourishing in public school and 4 flourishing in our parish school. The one in public school often has theological debates with his classmates and seems to thrive on learning more about his faith in response to others' questions. The ones in Catholic school seem to thrive on being surrounded by their faith. And all are doing amazing academically.ReplyDelete
I still veil but don't sweat it when the baby pulls it off. Maybe people wonder when I end up going up to receive Holy Communion without it but it's just my life right now.
I still remember changing my mind on vaccines years ago. I felt like I had to keep a secret. Now I do try not to overload our babies at one time but they are fully vaccinated by the time they enter Pre-K.
It is very empowering and even freeing to finally do things based on what is best for our family at a particular time. The truth is, the only one we have to answer to is God.
I chuckled when I realized who it was when I read the line about why people would wonder when you went up to receive. Life with littles is so hectic! Their little hands are so grabby!Delete
I just lost my entire comment and it makes me want to cry....ReplyDelete
Not judging or offended, you know I can't.
People change, that's life. Nothing stays the same. I've changed so much as well. In some, most, ways... It was more getting back to who I really am than not. Still a change though. Mine differs in that I did leave the church. I'm still a bit touchy �� that, but it's been for the best and no regrets other than maybe not realizing it sooner.
As for your points.
Wearing a veil isn't mandated. I love them too, but grab by hands are a real issue lol.
Vax does not equal autism I agree. Do what works for your family and ignore the comments. We're probably moving in the opposite direction due to mthfr mutations. It sucks, but if it's best for us to stop we'll have to.
Public schools can rock. I know some amazing public school teachers. We had a horrible experience a few years ago, so I tend to be bitter about that... But I know it's not all and we do plan to send most of ours back eventually.
Modesty varies by person, pants are great lol.
Politics are hard. Very very hard. I have more respect for people who, while disagreeing with me on some issues, still see that and the problems going on. The head in sand thing bothers me so much.
I can relate to this as well. I think many of us can. As humans we like to put things in boxes and set standards for ourselves so we can know if we are doing a good job - as moms we are our own bosses so how else do we get feedback on how we are doing ? When I was younger and only had a few kids, I had lots of time to dream and think up all the idealistic ways I was sure my life would go. 9 kids later, we are also eating hot dogs, getting a few vaccines and attending school part time. My organic food, long skirts and Latin for kids books are still around but they aren’t what defines me anymore. As we grow we need to give ourselves permission to break some of those ideals. Not because we are failing, but because we are growing in humility... and understanding that Our Lord is so much more gentle with us than we are with ourselves. I love the part where you mention that sometimes hard is just hard. It’s so true!!ReplyDelete
You are a wonderful momma!! Thanks for being so honest :)
Thank you! I was just thinking back wistfully to Sadie's baby days and being so determined to teach her prayers in Latin and it was beautiful and wonderful and so different from now.Delete
I've enjoyed your blog from the early days through your evolution. We all have to do what we believe is best for us and for our families, and what is best can change over time. I for one relate much more to you now than I did before.ReplyDelete
Thank you! I'm almost afraid to look back over my old posts, but I also love to look back on the baby stories too! I'm glad you're still here, even with the infrequent posts!Delete
I feel ashamed as a fellow Catholic that some of us are judging you or pushing you into a corner of doubt because of you and your husbands decisions for your family. I always love seeing your viewpoint on certain aspects: I do not have special needs children but reading about your journeys has given me a small insight into the medical community and how hard the waiting can be.ReplyDelete
One thought kept coming back to me while reading this post: everything is a season. I am currently 5 months along with our 1st baby (we have a few in heaven), I have been ill for 16 weeks, the couch and saltines are my best friends. BUT this will end eventually and I will be able to attend Mass once again. The wearing of the veil, sitting in a pew with all the children for the entire Mass, sending them to a particular school, all the appointments... everything is a season.
I hope you remember (and do not become discouraged) even when some people are not being kind, that your blogs are part of your vocation. You have a gift of giving people insight into your lives and we all know there are some days you don’t want to share; it’s too hard, it’s too soon, it’s too controversial, it’s too personal. Your blogs mainly revolve around your children but some touch me in ways they may not touch others. How people act toward you in Mass, how you ended up having to put your dog down, your daughter unlocking everything and escaping in CA, trying to connect with your husband on a daily basis, and many more.
You will always be one of the blogs that I read (I eagerly await a few for when the Christmas season ends) and your family will always be someone who is in our prayers for comfort, peace, and answers.
I’ve read your blog since you were in Florida with your two oldest. I don’t plan on leaving. Your “I’m politically homeless” paragraph speaks to me! Thank you thank you thank you!! The whole paragraph! I’m looking forward to reading your posts and diving into these topics. I’m so sorry about the bullying, but I’m so happy they are enjoying school and thriving.ReplyDelete
I’ve followed you for a long time. Probably 5 years now, or so. I like checking in to see how you and your kiddos are doing. I’ve gone the opposite direction as you, but I’ve reached the same conclusions. I homeschool now, when I swore I never would. There isn’t a one right way of parenting. Keep your heart at peace through all the decisions, and re-evaluate yearly, or as often as you need to.ReplyDelete
Golly, then we are going to be good friends. Because I wear pants, have never veiled, still 100% undecided about what school choice is right for my kids though right now we are at our parish preschool, we vaccinate and have always vaccinated and we are Catholic. (Oh and politics. I feel your statement so deeply and definitely think there is no one "party" that meets my needs.) I always liked your blog whether or not I agreed with your opinions and I will probably continue to like your blog regardless of what you write.ReplyDelete
Oh, I think by all the comments you've written that we absolutely will be good friends! I'll really glad that you're here!Delete
well, this one gets a ♥ reaction from me. I haven't blogged much lately because, yeah, I don't fit the mold. in many ways I'm at a different stage of life and living a different kind of life, but your post still resonated with me, a LOT. I finally started tentatively blogging again, because, darn it, I want to carve out a space for Catholic women on the internet where they can just say their piece. I don't fit the mold because on first glance I look like a "traditional Catholic" (you know, walking the woods in a long skirt singing stuff in Latin and talking about Aquinas), but then I'm like, "yeah, I'm kind of a feminist, I guess," or "never Trump," or "preferential option for the poor," and all hell breaks loose. haha. and for a long time I've been kind of clammed up, but I'm slowly realizing that I'm feeding one of the things I hate most: the idea that women exist to please others and make life comfortable for them. so I'm trying to break out of my shell, and not be afraid of doing and saying things that might make people uncomfortable because they don't fit the mold, or because I don't fit their definition of a REAL Catholic woman. that's ok. and I hope that by doing that, maybe other women will feel free to do the same, most of all my own daughters. and I figure we've got this long list of female saints, like my girl Hildegard von Bingen, or Teresa of Avila, or Joan of Arc, who have got our backs on this.ReplyDelete
Oh I do hope you write more, because I would love to read what you write. This comment makes me want to read everything that you write because, different stage of life or not, it sounds like exactly what I want to read.Delete
Hildegard von Bingen, or Teresa of Avila, or Joan of Arc, who have got our backs on this.Delete
I think this blog has always been good and have enjoyed watching you and your family evolve. Today's is one of your better posts. Your voice is strongest when you are letting yourself be you.ReplyDelete
Thank you. It's always easiest to write when I just let it flow, but also hardest in a way. Maybe just hardest to post.Delete
I'm a longtime reader but this is my first comment on your blog. I think you are doing a great job with all the things you have going on! Truly! I have 4 kids all with different strengths, abilities and disabilities. A lot of what you have blogged about over the years really resonates with me. I'm also a Catholic mom and my kids have done public and 2 different Catholic schools. We are contemplating pulling them from where they are and starting a new catholic school next year due to various reasons. I've considered homeschooling or online schooling also but, deep down, I don't think it's for me...I have NO patience with some things and it would probably be a negative experience for everyone lol! I've never felt at home with the Catholic mom world for various reasons. I will say that I started wearing a head-covering about 5 or so years ago. I even bought 3 of your convertible headband coverings and I still wear them (I love them and can't find anything decent anywhere else!) I just wanted to say that I think it's great what you're doing and I love reading about what's going on with you and your kids! My kids are close in age to yours and it is comforting to me to know I'm not the only one going through XYZ etc... Keep up the good work and God bless you and your family!ReplyDelete
We sound like we have so much in common! These decisions are so hard. I sometimes feel like I have less and less patience, or maybe it's just that more kids makes it feel that way! I think knowing that there are other moms out there going through the same things is a big part of why I keep writing, so the part of your comment about it being a comfort resonates so much! God bless!
Thanks :) I forgot to add that I love the blue and purple hair you had! I spent the better part of last year having blue hair (bleached and dyed my whole head...I'm an artist and I wanted to do something crazy lol!) I would have kept it up but the bleach wreaked havoc on my scalp and I started shedding everywhere so I had to cut it all off and dye it back to normal. :( I'm also from the midwest (northern Indiana) so I can relate to your posts about the weather here as well :).Delete
I was so incredibly tempted to dye everything and have mermaid hair everywhere!Delete
And my guess is you're being being slammed be winter as well now? It has most definitely finally arrived!
Mermaid hair is definitely pretty! We spent most of last week with snow and below normal temps but this week is bringing us temps in the upper 40s. Next week I think it's back in the 20s. Gotta love crazy Midwest weather :)Delete
I was shocked that it hit forty here today! It's been in the twenties and suddenly there are puddles and the foot of snow we had last week is melting everywhere!Delete
I attempted two comments on this, the first I know I lost.. But did the second one as well?ReplyDelete
I think so? Ugh. My blog always does this to you, doesn't it? It's so frustrating (and has to be a thousand times more frustrating for you!).Delete
I have had issues with commenting on blogs in general, not just yours. Is part of why I stopped. This wasn't one I am 100% comfortable putting on FB though, not sure why it isn't bad nor do I hide things.. But still. Maybe if I break it down? LolDelete
Short version though. Hugs. I hear you. Change is normal. I've been there, ESP lately (so much lately). Crabby hands make veils difficult. Vax is a personal decision, and no not autism related. We have mthfr mutations though and looks like we may have to head in the opposite direction because that doesn't work well with them. Public school can be awesome. It wasn't here. I'm still a bit bitter, but I still recognise the amazing teachers that work in that field and that it's best for some families. Politics is a horrible subject in general right now. I don't think it's easy at all, and I have serious respect for those who differ from me on issues that are still recognizing there are problems. Deep breath will this post? LolDelete
It did! That has got to be so frustrating! And it's been going on for so long! I admire so much how you've handled things on Facebook and on your blog. I feel like we've know each other for years through so much and so many babies and so many transformations. And what roller coasters these last years have been.Delete
Thank you! I kinda needed to hear that. Things have been rough with family through this. I've been blocked by several, just for posts on my own page. I almost never engage on others posts if I disagree. Too many can't have civil discussions and I just don't want to deal with that.Delete
And yes it does feel that way! I'm glad you're still around on my 📄 despite everything lol.
I picked up on that here and there but it's definitely seemed like you've handled other people's craziness with grace. And I'm thankful that we've been able to stay in touch through facebook!Delete
Wonderful post. You're a great mom, and you have a beautiful family. That is why I subscribe to your blog - and yours is the only blog I follow which can be loosely defined as "Catholic mommy blogger", or that even mention family life or religion. My 5 are grown and gone, so that lovely period of my life is history. I enjoy reading your posts and seeing your family photos. You have cute kids, and you're likeable...so, here I am.ReplyDelete
Thank you! <3 So often it's been a blessing to have readers who've been there and done, for advice and commiseration and just not feeling alone during those years when I hardly left the house. Thank you for reading!Delete
"Now if the last years have taught me anything it's that best isn't static."ReplyDelete
Amen. The children are growing. You are growing. We live life forwards and learn it backwards. At the altar pledging my vows thirty-some years ago I had a lot of firm ideas. Five kids and layers of healing later, we tried home-school, private schools, public schools, and Catholic schools. Eventually year to year, kid by kid. "The best" changes as they change. Motherhood is love + flexibility + humility. You're doing wonderfully! God bless your lovely family.
Thank you. I laugh now at how the me of a decade ago would have been shocked at how much what was "best" has changed. Now the hardest part seems not getting to attached to any notions of "best' just in case it shifts again. Change can be so good but so hard when we're going through it!Delete
Hi Cammie, I have read your blog off and on for years and I have always valued your insights on things. It was such a treat to catch up with you. A friend linked to your post on facebook. I smiled through the part about homeschooling because I was super gung ho about that when my oldest was a baby and I started going to the local Catholic homeschool conference when she was 2 1/2...eager beaver I guess! LOL! But then our priest asked us when she was 4 if we would consider putting her in the Church's couple day a week preschool and I thought "sure, why not, she LOVES people, but you know we are bringing her home for kindergarten." Ha, ha...and God laughs when we tell him our plans. Not only did she thrive like I knew she would, but she craved going to school and asked why she couldn't go every day. ;) It truly was eye-opening to me and I prayed for guidance and really felt a deep peace about sending her there for kindergarten. And she is loving it. I still say "one year at a time and what is best for that child, that year" and this year it is kindergarten at the parochial school and she loves it and we love it. But more than anything, there was this deep sense of freedom that came from giving this decision over to God in prayer and knowing that I wasn't homeschooling out of fear or because it was what everyone else was doing. I still love so much about homeschooling and know that if we need to, I am willing to take that on, but am grateful for this opportunity right now. And I am not opposed to the idea of public school either, again, what is best for the child, that year. Anyway, that is probably a super long comment, just to say, I am still here and reading and valuing your contributions to the blogger world. God Bless!!ReplyDelete
I've been coming to this realization as well. Because my husband and I both work full time outside of our home. We can't homeschool. I'm the breadwinner so I can't quit working. So feeling overwhelmed about balancing everything I told God that He needed to help me find the balance, and figure out my priorities. So He promptly gave my 2 year old an ear infection that kept her up all night and then magically went away as soon as I committed to getting a sub (I'm a teacher) and staying home that day. But I had to go to work the next day. Life is hard, but I don't need to make it harder by thinking about all the things I "should" be doing that are not Church teachings.ReplyDelete
"Life is hard, but I don't need to make it harder by thinking about all the things I "should" be doing that are not Church teachings."Delete
I love this line. And now that the kids are in school, every time someone gets sick (and it's so often!), I think of my friends have jobs and wonder how the heck they do it all, because at least, even when I was sick last week and got a call that Sadie was sick too, I could throw on shoes and rush down to the school and get her. I'm in awe of the working moms that I know. You guys are amazing. I wish I'd blogged more last year, when I was working outside the home. And I wish we had more work (outside the home) mom bloggers in the Catholic world (although I understand why we don't have them, because they're busy with a million other things!). I know there are a few, but yeah.
Thank you very much for your post. My husband has very long bouts of severe depression, our son has anxiety and ADD, our daughters seem pretty average, and I have had anxiety and have counselling to help me cope with living with so many challenges. I too have learnt that conventional medication is sometimes the best treatment, that I need to do what is best for MY family, and that I need to leave my expectations in God's hands. Thank you very much for your post.ReplyDelete
Thank you for reading and commenting! Here and there I've seen a tendency to disregard more traditional medical advice (especially psychological) and I always wince. We've had some experience with anxiety in our own family and I saw a therapist for quite a few years and that's one area especially where I'm thankful for more mainstream ideas (although in others as well!)! God bless!Delete
I'm so glad you wrote this! And I'm so glad you will continue! Though we are very different in our personal beliefs I have really enjoyed watching you become the amazing mom that you are. I had some strong thoughts with my first too and my kids and my experiences humbled me. And made me a more accepting, loving and better person and mom. I loved reading about your evolution while you held strongly to your core beliefs. And started trusting "the village". Haha. Took me a long time to do that! Thanks again for continuing the blog. Though I'm not Catholic anymore,I have thouroghly enjoyed it! Your Aunt MichelleReplyDelete
Trusting the village has made life so much easier (and pleasanter!). I'm so thankful for this technology that allows us to stay in touch like this from across the country. It's been such a process and reading the responses and how understanding and accepting everyone has been has been truly amazing. Love you guys.Delete
I loved your post! And that part about not fitting with "some homeschool moms" oh my, oh my, yeah, I understand. Our local "Catholic" homeschool group truly was the snottiest, most cliquey group I ever met in many years of homeschooling, and the girls 100% ignored my daughter when we tried to join. Said not a word to her in a 2 hour long activity at a local park. We never went back. The memory still stings. It was part of several incidents that made me... reluctant to be Catholic. I still am, but struggle. Dear Cammie, you juggle so much with the health issues in your family that NO ONE has any right to judge you. I can't imagine how you do it all. And homeschooling? I did for several years. But that doesn't mean it is wrong when that time ends. Medicating children? Yep, done it. Because while I can firmly believe that medication is used too liberally at times, at others it is needed. Period. My daughter has been on medication for several years (she is now 18). She NEEDS it. Her autism-related anxiety issues are severe. She can't eat out in restaurants. She developed an eating disorder that resulted in hospitalizations because she was starving herself from the anxiety-induced nausea. This isn't just a little bit of anxiety of a test. Ok, I won't drone on and on but good grief, you are an awesome mom and always do what is the best you can for your kids.ReplyDelete
Oh Angela I'm so glad that you commented. I sometimes feel that I become the most awkward person in the world among the other Catholic moms I know in real life. I'm not sure how it happens but it does. Every time in every group, it's like it's a given. I think it has to do with the fact that they always all know each other and I'm dreadful at coming in and being the new person if I'm not one on one.Delete
I'm amazed at what you and your daughter have gone through, through your comments over the years. I mean, it can be complex when kids are little but just adding that degree of autonomy when they're older has got to make it so much harder. You're amazing and I'm glad you're here, especially as my kids get bigger.
Thank you for being you! Your shared experiences have helped me more than you’ll ever know.ReplyDelete
You're welcome! I'm so thankful that I've gotten the chance to get to know you over the years on Facebook! <3Delete
When you've blogged this long, you are bound to see that kind of change. I mean, you are fundamentally you and always will be... but to go through years of motherhood and marriage and not be changed in so many, many ways... it's unlikely. I sometimes cringe when I see clickbait from younger blogging moms such as "Why you need to..." or "How to get your kids to..." because I know how things can change. We think we know who we are and who others are and who are kids are and what to do (because it worked with one kid). And then we don't. I think a temptation for long time bloggers is simply to dig in and BECOME the message they started with... out of pride. I am the same Catholic woman I was when I started but there has been change. So much. Our stories are different in the details but the pattern is similar. The topics are familiar even though outcome is different. In these years, I stopped vaccinating after being an advocate, I finally reached the bottom of homeschooling reserves and understood fully for the first time why people stop (even though I didn't), I swallowed my pride (not easy) and joined the gluten free masses when the reality of celiac disease hit, and navigating the political and social changes and community differences... you know, we just do our best. And the hardest part with writing it publicly is developing the flexibility to change when needed and the strength to remain fundamentally who we are supposed to be. I stopped reading most blogs a few years ago and will only occasionally click on something from FB. Because it's a small, small bubble. And it doesn't accurately reflect back to me who I am and who I desire to be. But I love knowing the women behind the blogs and I understand why it is necessarily narrow. I'm guessing that almost 100% of them will understand your words... they are living it, too. We tend to follow like-minded bloggers and that can make the world seem so small... but it isn't. Thanks for sharing your heart and for keeping it honest.ReplyDelete
Thank you for commenting and for sharing. I found myself smiling and nodding because I remember writing those "7 ways to get your toddler to..." posts in the beginning because something had worked for one month with Sadie and I was so sure I had discovered the secret to whatever it was I was trying to teach her. It is so humbling. Thank you for being her on this journey and for sharing it with me.Delete
"I am politically homeless and while I'm prolife I'm also pretty passionate about the good that I believe social programs do in our nation."ReplyDelete
As am I...I just haven't had the time or inclination to blog for years! I'm also not religious but I do have a soft spot for much of Catholicism.
I kind of stepped away from blogging altogether, both reading and writing. But yours was one of the first I remember reading :)
And I always recognize your name when you stop by to say hi! You've been here from the early days and of course you're always welcome! I sometime can hardly believe the page has been around this long. <3Delete
I've missed your frequent blogging. Also, you might be interested in knowing that Rebecca Frech, the author of "Teaching in your Tiara" and Catholic mom of 8--recently sent a few of her kids to public school. You do you!!!ReplyDelete
Thank you! And yes! We're Facebook friends! She's awesome!Delete
I'm glad you've come to see so many of these things in your life and that your whole family is doing so much better. There's such freedom in figuring out who you are and being okay with that and distancing yourself from people who aren't okay with it. Life is too short. But with this part, "I'm a Catholic mom, with a gaggle of kids in public school, and a couple still at home, who likes to knit and write. But doesn't that sound silly and awkward?" I don't think it sounds silly or awkward at all. I think it sounds incredibly approachable.ReplyDelete
And I'm terribly sorry your child was bullied. I hate bullying and I hate it even more when it happens at a Christian school. Ugh! Your poor kiddo!
I actually went back and forth on whether or not to put the part about the bullying in there. It's such a huge part of why we ended up where we did, but I felt like it almost gets swallowed by the rest of the story. And it feels strange at times because I'm glad we ended up where we did, but I wish it was without that particular child going through all that trauma.
Thank you for your honesty. I'm sorry you ended up giving up the veil and skirts, but I can totally understand why! At a guess, you and I probably disagree on a lot of things, but this post reminded me of me, anyway. Not the specifics, really, but the trying to be comfortable with old friends as you change and you're different than the person they knew. I've been in therapy for PTSD, and have been working on telling people who've never seen me anything but perfectly put together - including always wearing full-length skirts - that in fact I'm terrified all the time and only ever even change out of pajamas if I'm leaving the house and the person they think they've met largely doesn't exist. So I appreciate your courage telling us that you've changed. Yours is one of my favorite blogs, as you're so honest about your struggles and how messy life gets. That's what I *like* about your blog. It helps me feel less alone when I don't have everything put together.ReplyDelete
Thank you and that you for sharing here. It's so easy, especially on line to put up a facade of sorts, but it can make it so hard to make friends, I think because it does make us feel more alone, so thank you for sharing a little bit here of your own experience too.Delete
I love your honesty here. I too struggle with fitting in for similar reasons--I'm also politically homeless, and my fourth child has been in public school for six years. I've had kids in parochial school, and I've homeschooled (rather badly) off and on. I would NEVER EVER have thought I would have kids in public school but it has been such a good experience. Parenting should never attempt to be a one-size-fits-all thing and maybe someone who is struggling will see herself in your post and be able to make some brave choices like you have done.ReplyDelete
Thank you and also thank you for commenting and sharing your experience too! I think I'm loving more and more how many different ways that education can be very, very good, especially when it's the best fit for the individual child.Delete