There are so many parts of a woman’s identity that tend to slip away from us as we are enveloped by the grind of motherhood. We no longer party like a rockstar. We don’t talk to friends as often, much less actually see them live and in the flesh. Spiritually, these things can happen too. We can no longer attend daily Mass as often as we would like. When we do attend Sunday Mass with family in tow, we certainly cannot pay much attention to anything other than keeping our children quiet and still. We can’t get to adoration on a regular schedule anymore, and our prayer life slowly begins to slip away, often when we need it most. It is painfully difficult to carve out quiet time for solitude and prayer. For me, when I finally do get to sit down with my Rosary to pray, I wake up 30 minutes later not knowing what day of the week it is #power(oftheHolySpirit)nap. These “failings” used to make me frustrated with myself and see myself as some sort of weak, undisciplined disciple; then I realized, maybe the Holy Spirit sent its peace over me so that I could rest, because that is what I needed most. I have found that the easiest way for me to get some conversation time in with the Lord is with my children. Here are some ways to #KTF with little ones.
Infuse your faith into your daily life
We say our morning offering every day while driving to school. A time when everyone is restrained in the car together is about the only time I know I have their attention, so we go with it. We include standard prayers: Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Guardian Angel Prayer, Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, and the Morning Offering. We also talk to God directly and ask his blessings on each child and mention specific things they may be worrying about for that day. We as him to bless our children’s teachers and call them by name. We ask blessings on my husband regarding his duties throughout the day, and we ask that God bring him home safely to us at the end of the day. We ask blessings on myself, with specific requests for peace and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, and the guidance of Mother Mary. We pray for the souls in purgatory and for the reparation of the whole world. We include any loved ones who are ill, and we finish it off with what I have affectionately dubbed “The Keating Litany:”
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us; Immaculate heart of Mary, pray for us; St. Patrick, pray for us; St. Luke, pray for us; St. Catherine of Laboure, pray for us; St. Jane de Chantal, pray for us; St. Joseph, pray for us; St. David, pray for us; St. Rose of Lima, pray for us; St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us; St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us; and ALL YOU HOLY ANGELS AND SAINTS [the kids usually yell this part], pray for us.
We are usually about halfway to school by the time we finish … or just turning off of Verot thanks to Lafayette traffic.
We let the kids take turns leading Grace before meals. At one point, they each had their own version they learned at school, so it was fun for us to “expand our Grace repertoire.”
We say prayers at night before the kids go their separate ways for bedtime.
We include our children when praying for others, and often my children are the ones reminding me to continue praying for a particular person.
We pray FOR our children WITH our children when an issue arises. It could be difficulty with friends at school or frustration with handwriting, but if there is something pressing on their hearts, we bring it before God and ask Him to help them.
Adding in some faith-filled fun!
We teach our children about their patron saints, and celebrate their saints’ feast days at home with that child’s favorite dessert.
We try to celebrate religious feast days in fun ways:
Making Sacred Heart cake
We eat blue food on Marian holidays
We crown of our home statue of Mary during the month of May
We bless crucifixes on feast of Corpus Cristi. You could even remove your crucifixes from the wall and have each child bring one to Mass to have the priest bless for you.
Keep holidays centered on Christ
All Saints’ / All Souls’ Days follow Halloween. You could have your child choose a Saint to dress up as, or learn something about. We may visit a cemetery to remember those who have gone to heaven before us. This opens up discussions about life, and death, and what our faith teaches us about the afterlife.
Easter traditions for my family include:
Baking Resurrection Rolls and Easter cookies
Displaying a small Resurrection tomb scene
Covering religious imagery during Holy Week (the kids are tasked with finding all of the imagery)
Keeping Good Friday solemn
Keeping a family penance for Lent (Last lent we recited a decade of the Rosary every day as a family)
Pacqueing eggs on Easter Sunday — you can read all about that particular tradition here.
Christmas traditions could include displaying a nativity scene, withholding Baby Jesus from said nativity and having Santa bring Baby Jesus with the gifts on Christmas morning or completing acts of kindness / works of mercy for the homeless because the Holy Family was homeless