Out I stepped into the glorious sunshine one Sunday morning after Mass, the church steps a bustling ground of laughter and pleasantries. However, looking around, I noticed a group of mothers gathered together. There were many tears and hugs being shared. What was happening, I wondered? Was there a miscarriage? A child in physical or spiritual harm? A weighty financial burden? The feeling of failing at homeschooling? The feeling of failing at life? I do not know. But I can say that there was a realness to what I saw. It was raw, severe, sorrowful, and, I think, holy.
Rather moved by what I saw, I attempted later to connect with my long-neglected inner-feelings and write what my wife calls a mom blog. Unsurprisingly, I failed miserably at appearing compassionate. The best I could muster was to vituperatively tell a few Catholic moms that they needed to stop beating themselves up if supper was late, the potatoes burnt, the house a tornado disaster area, the children worn out from crying all day, or if they themselves were worn out from crying all day. Mrs. Facebook-Perfect does not exist. The only Mrs. Perfect is Our Lady, and she would be far too sensible to spend a moment on Zuckerberg’s leftist paradise anyway. Yes, life is hard, but a mother nurturing needless guilt helps no one.
The response I received from several moms after this little write-up surprised me. I expected to be told to mind my own business, or even that husbands should try complimenting their wives occasionally. However, this was not the case at all. Apparently, many tears were shed from hearing the simple words, “stop beating yourself up.” It took me off guard, and it enlightened me to the feelings of guilt many Catholic mothers struggle with when their lives are, inevitably, not in perfect order.