What NO Mom Wants to Hear


Editor’s note: Today, we are happy to welcome Monica McConkey to our CatholicMom.com family of writers. Monica can be found sharing her amazing creations at EquippingCatholicfamilies.com and Arma Dei – she has such creative ways of sharing the faith and I’m thrilled to have her on our team! LMH

I remember the first couple weeks with my first baby. We lived in a one bedroom apartment and when our baby girl was one week old, one of our favorite priests came to stay with us for the weekend. All of us were a little naive about what those first nights would be like with our one week old baby. Challenged by breast feeding, just a little sleep-deprived and a wee bit hormonal, the words from our newbie-priest-of-one-year guest have stayed with me for sixteen years: “staying with you has really confirmed my vocation to the priesthood”

Now don’t get me wrong…I’m happy to be a part of a priest’s confirmation of his vocation to the awesome priesthood, and honestly, I think it’s pretty funny now, knowing what an earnest compliment it was intended to be.

I remember not a week or two later, my best friend, pregnant with her first of five children came to stay with me. In anticipation of her first child, she brought a textbook she was reading: “How to raise children God’s Way.”. From what I glanced at (and didn’t block), it was all about getting the baby on a schedule, and ordering the child’s needs from the start. Needless to say, pacing with my screaming little newborn at three in the morning, I glared at that book sitting on the coffee table, never really giving the book more than a feeble flip. I never did pursue the rigid schedules and have not achieved consistent discipline of my kids in every little facet, but I’m not all that disappointed about that.

The truth is, my house isn’t exactly orderly or even clutter-free. Bedtime isn’t nearly as early or consistent as it should be. Chores are assigned and performed more than a little haphazardly. My kids aren’t predictably well behaved in public. (insert video of our two year old at Mass or on the recent airplane ride from Florida here) I see disapproving looks from people in the pews or perhaps I’m just self-conscious and expecting there to be. I know for certain that we get approving looks, compliments on our kids and unsolicited reassurance that we are in fact doing a great job.

The truth is….we have good kids with personality and charm. They are not afraid of their parents and I don’t wish them to be. They don’t expect all of the conveniences that their friends are given, and they do their best to take care of the things they earn and cherish. They all have something to learn …time management, social formalities, organization, priorities. They also all have some extraordinary gifts: gifts surpassing those of their parents. They don’t always get along and they may not fully appreciate their siblings, but I think that that’s a work in progress.

We laugh about that weekend we shared early on, along with our priest friend. Fr. Scott. All of us were adjusting to our new vocations, recognizing the challenges and growing into our new responsibilities. Sixteen years later, we can better recognize the fruits.

Fr. Scott is now the moderator of an awesome order of priests (the Companions of the Cross), and can fondly reflect on many awesome priestly appointments, missionary work and a loyal flock of spiritual pilgrims. Our five kids are awesome human beings, growing and learning as they discover their own path and ultimate vocations.

My prayer is that despite all of our faults and failings, we can help them to grow in their love for God and strive to do His Will. I hope that we can reflect the Lord’s Love for them enough to make them yearn for more.

And in the words of another favorite priest responding to my anxious question “what if I wreck my kids?” Fr. Roger said with a smile….”the Lord loves your kids even more than you do…

…and He will heal them.”

 Copyright 2012 Monica McConkey


About Author

Monica, mom of 5, is usually blogging about Catholic crafts and family traditions at EquippingCatholicfamilies.com. She is the author of A Treasure Chest of Traditions for Catholic Families, Hand in Hand with Jesus (a Faith Journal through the Sacraments) and a series of paper Cathletics Craft Kits and Cathletics quizzing cards to help teach the Catholic Faith. The Catholic teaching tools and gifts are available through Arma Dei, the Catholic family publishing company founded with her husband Bill. Monica is also one of the founders of the Catholic Bloggers Network, a venue to link and promote Catholic blogs.


  1. What a wonderful post! And a wonderful encouragement for all of us in the “trenches” of motherhood! This brought tears to my eyes and hope to my heart! I’ve been a little lost in the fog with my two little ones! Thanks for sharing such a great perspective!

  2. Fr. Roger Vandenakker on

    Great post Monica! First time I have had the chance to see your blog.
    Keep up the awesome work you are doing. It is truly a beautiful and heroic vocation you are embracing although I know it doesn’t seem so in the day to day domestic chores and struggles with which you have to contend. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. Our first born is almost 15 and our “baby” is 7. Love the last line! It’s reassuring to hear. Even a seasoned mom with years of experience under my belt, wonders and worries every now again!! :)

  4. I really enjoyed your post Monica!

    Not only is it inspiring, but it brings back lots of common memories!

    love Mom

  5. I have to share with you a funny story from about 12 years ago…which also involves a newly ordained Fr. Scott! We had him over for supper and while he loved & enjoyed playing with our 3 young boys for a couple of hours, his parting comment after his “thank you” for our hospitality & dinner was, “I am going to KISS my celibate bed when I get home tonight!” LOL I couldn’t help but laugh & it still makes me laugh. He was wonderful with children but he totally recognized that his was not the calling to family life, that he was right where God wanted him to be. It is still one of my favorite memories from when the boys were little (I often wonder what he would say now since my daughter is busier than the 3 boys EVER were! lol)

  6. Lucia Borkowski on

    Monica, I LOVED your post. You are an amazing person and such an inspiration! I think us mothers are constantly questioning ourselves if we are doing things right. We need to trust God that we are doing His work and raising His kids. Raising a family is tough, but so worth it. We are enjoying another new stage with our kids – teenagers. We still have little ones, but having teenagers is now giving them an opportunity to really put their faith into practice. Keep up the awesome work Monica!

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