Catholic Spirituality,  motherhood

Soul Blockage

For my Catholic readers, have you ever been so acutely aware of your need for Confession (not talking mortal sins here, just a metric ton of venials) that you could literally feel the obstacles stacked between you and God’s grace? Yeah, that was me the past, oh, 3 weeks or so.

I normally don’t let 2 months lapse between visits to the box because I am one angry mother when I don’t regularly take out the trash — it’s so much more apparent than before I had children and a husband to care for. It was easy, at least for me, as a single person to kinda let things sliiiiiide in the reconciliation department because honestly, I didn’t have all that much in my life riding on me being in a state of grace. I mean, except for the glaringly obvious possibility of dying while being willfully separated from the mercy of God. Yeah. But other than that…it wasn’t all that obvious to me when it had been ‘too long’ so to speak, in between sacramental sessions.

Now I have children and a spouse, each of whom challenge me in unique ways and each of whom are worthy of my best self, not the nasty sin-bedraggled self who loses her damn mind when watermelon rinds end up in the toy box and wet towels are slung across her precious footboard. I mean honestly, sometimes I can lose sight of what is a legitimate complaint (using the shower curtain as toilet paper comes readily to mind) and what is merely something that comes with the territory, something that I shouldn’t let drive me down the road to rage but should instead calmly and serenely correct and then forgive.

This second category would probably involve every particle of food under our kitchen table. And perhaps dirty socks that are bunched up rather than stretched out. And, okay, fine, crystalized toddler urine ringing the toilet seat and, frankly, the entire “guest” bathroom. (Boy moms: Does anyone else have such a hideous toilet situation that you direct your guests to tromp through your bedroom to use the master bath rather than face the shameful music to the tune of tinkle tinkle in the secondary latrine? No? Just me?)

Anyway, confession. It’s amazing how fresh and clean the week can seem when Sunday starts out with a double dose of Sacramental grace. Add to that the two excellent books I devoured this past week (the Nesting Place in a matter of hours, truth be told) and I’m just feeling so much more rightly ordered. And I know they know, if you know what I mean. At lunchtime Joey smiled and me and said “You’re pretty when you make a happy face, Mommy.” to which John Paul immediately chimed in “You’re pwetty mama.”

I’ll take it, boys. But don’t think I didn’t see the pile of bread crusts and roly-polies (sicksicksick) you left me under the kitchen table. Lucky for you mommy’s soul was in a state equal to the challenge.

p.s. Speaking of walking (which we weren’t, but, you know, last week we were…thanks for the huge response!) this made me feel even more firm in my resolve to move mah buns every day. Who knew?


  • October Rose

    Yes yes yes. And getting to confession is so hard these days. There’s a church up the road but the one time I showed up for confession the priest wasn’t there (argh). The place we normally go to Mass–20 minutes away–has confession every single day with an AMAZING priest … but it’s at bedtime. Sigh.

  • Francine

    I’m due for Confession again, especially since I just went to a new priest’s first Mass and I love me a good indulgence. Now that I’ve read this post and Jen’s talking about The Nesting Place, I feel a need to get my hands on that book. I’m sure my family would thank me.

  • Meaghan

    Thanks for the post Jenny! Yes…sometimes I hear Benjamin laughing from the bathroom and when I go in he proudly announces to me how he was “trying to make a track on the wall for Lightning McQueen to race….” Lovely. Boys are wired a little differently….

  • Mitzi

    Yes, yes, yes!!! To all of it, including the “Guests cannot use the guest bathroom because Little Boys.” And a most sincere thank you for the warning about shower curtain double duty – I was thinking it was time to graduate to liner + curtain and you have saved my family from much anger! Bless you!

  • Kris

    What is UP with the boy bathroom? I have 4 that share and that place constantly has that under-smell of urine. Seriously. I don’t care HOW much I clean it. I replaced the toilet seat last year and when I was taking it off, I could barely stop the dry heaves. This time, I bought a seat that pops off easily and I now regularly take it off and clean underneath the brackets. Because GROSS.

  • EW

    YES. I never thought I’d be going to confession every month, but I turn into goblin mommy without it. Also essential? Making my boys pee sitting down. I don’t know if they are even aware that it’s possible for boys to pee standing up, because I’ve never taught them to do it. I’m sure someone somewhere will say that I’m robbing them of their masculinity or something, but I think it’s a good trade for my sanity.

  • Maeghan Strope

    Great post! I’ve been reading your blog for a little while and I love it. My husband and I are attempting to go to confession once a month and it’s been about a month, I’m feeling it. I hate going to be honest but eternally grateful that we have it. And I don’t have a son but I have heard tales of woe of the boy bathroom issues, gross and you’re not alone!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *