Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mothering with Grace Conference 2014

On Saturday, I attended what is hoped to be the first annual Mothering with Grace conference. When I registered a few months ago, I told my husband I would go just for a partial day because I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving nearly 22-month-old Joseph for long. But as of last week, I told him that I would be able to go for the whole day and he agreed that I should.

A friend gave me a ride and, by the time we pulled into the church parking lot half an hour later, I was feeling aching arms and a wee bit of panic. She had her seven-month-old with her and I kept glancing in the back seat for my baby.

I confess, it was pretty hard for me to turn off my Mommy brain which is so necessarily accustomed to thinking of other's needs all day long. I sent Chris many emails . . . 

Joseph will be extra hungry because I'm not there to nurse him. (Reply: What should I feed him?) Here are some ideas . . .

Has the plumber arrived yet?

Please ask the kids to do their music practice.

Does Mary need another dose of ibuprofen for her tooth?

Is Joseph down for his nap yet?

Thankfully, I had the consolation of holding my goddaughter sometimes to help fill my empty arms. How desperately I needed a retreat, but how much I am unaccustomed to it!

A selfie with godmommy and god baby
The event went absolutely beautifully. We mothers were very impressed with the leadership who organized it.

The day began with coffee and shopping at the vendors' tables, then Confession and a Reflection given by a priest. We attended Mass, then visited with each other before an ice breaker game and a meaningful sharing event (so girlie!). The catered lunch was delicious, and then we prayed the Rosary and a Litany to Our Lady together. Finally, the grand finale was an inspiring and useful talk given by Danielle Bean: original Catholic blogger mom, homeschooling mother of eight and now published author many times over, and motivational speaker.

I arrived home to a content little family. My husband told me that Joseph did just fine without his Mommy ritual of nursing down for half an hour and instead Chris just laid him down, he squeaked for ten seconds, and then was asleep. Then the two biggest kids went upstairs and tucked themselves into bed (how random is that?) before the three-year-old requested to take a nap. Yes, all four children took naps simultaneously, something I perhaps have never achieved. I haven't had the two littlest napping together in probably a year or year-and-a-half (because the preschooler dropped her naps). So Chris had a fun session of watching Poirot in the middle of his Saturday. A little rest and retreat for both of us?


  1. Awesome! Ben and I are Poirot fans!!!! And I'm also a Danielle Bean fan!

  2. I know my son Chris and believe there was a huge bribe for them to all volunteer for a nap! Love, MIL

  3. I'm definitely going next year! And what a huge blessing for both of you that Chris also got a break! That's God letting you know that you can get away more often (wink, wink!).