On Thursday 26th March at 6.39am, we welcomed little Jacob Peter into our family. He was 40 weeks and 4 days when he was born and weighing a very healthy 9lb 2oz.
Jacob was born in the first week of lockdown due to the Corona virus outbreak. It has been so strange that no-one outside our family has met him yet and he is already 5 weeks old! We are trying to focus on the positive side, like not having to leave the house with a newborn (especially for the school run!). It has been so nice not to have to rush anywhere and just be with Jacob and enjoy him. He is getting so many hugs and kisses from Benedict, Rose and Clara. He is incredibly loved!
We were very blessed to have my sister stay with us while we were waiting for Jacob’s arrival – this is becoming a tradition when I am about to give birth… and we are so grateful!! The schools closed the same week Jacob was born and so my sister took it upon herself to homeschool Benedict and Rose – how lucky we have been!
The Covid-19 outbreak also meant that Eoin wasn’t allowed into the hospital until I was in established labour. So from 2.30am until 5.30am, I was alone in a hospital room and Eoin was sitting outside in his car in the hospital car park while I called him on FaceTime. It was the most surreal experience. Once I got into the delivery suite, everything went fine and we had the nicest midwife who reminded me of Miranda Heart! We left the hospital that evening and Jacob was greeted by some very excited siblings.
For three weeks now I have been mostly housebound. The first two weeks our car was broken and then this week Rose has been unwell with tonsillitis.
It’s been very slow moving and I’ve had a tendency to busy myself in the housework. But in a lot of ways it’s been a welcome-break; not rushing around doing the school-run or preparing to be out for the day, or needing to be somewhere at a certain time. It has “forced” me to stop my busyness and take time to hear the silence.
A couple of days ago, I was sitting on my bed in the morning listening to the silence (a very rare experience for me these days!) and then I heard Clara climbing up the stairs singing to herself.
I was filled with very conflicting emotions has I heard her coming closer! Part of me just craved more silence, to be still with the Lord a little longer, and then as I continued to listen to her innocent voice, I realised there would come a time when all the children have left home and no-one comes to interrupt me!
I’m loving the Abiding Together podcasts at the moment and for lent they’re discussing Father Jacques Philippe’s book: Searching for and Maintaining Peace. It is amazing!! This quote from his book really struck me:
[We have] the temptation to believe that, in the situation which is ours (personal, family, etc.) we lack something essential and that because of this, our progress, and the possibility of blossoming spiritually, is denied us.
For example… my immediate family prevents me from organising my spiritual activities as I wish.
This was definitely written for me! I need this constant reminder; that this is my life – a busy wife and mother of three small children – not some other life in an ideal world. These are my busy days and God is still present in my busyness; He just needs me to recognise those seconds of silence in the day and then continue along my path of motherhood beside Him.
I’m learning to love the interruptions and to cherish that smile on Clara’s triumphant face when she found me sitting on my bed! I’m thankful for this ‘welcome-break’, but when Rose is back to full health, I’m ready to carry on living this busy life God has given me with those special little moments of silence.
I have been decluttering my phone and sorting out my notes and reminders ready for a new year, and I came across a bible verse I’d saved on my phone in August 2014 – Matthew 25: 35-36 (the corporal works of mercy)
I’d saved it in my notes under ‘motherhood’and it was something I really needed to be reminded of I think:
I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to see me.
So fitting for us mothers; for us to be reminded that every ‘task’ we do for our little ones is a work of mercy… Also very fitting for this year of mercy!
Its been a long time since I’ve written anything! There aren’t too many changes in our daily life, but it seems like Benedict continues to grow even faster each day.
As for B’s latest craze, it’s books… It’s always story-time these days! I should be over the moon about this, and I am really. But sometimes it can get just a bit too much! After reading the same book so many times you don’t need the book any more to read it, it’s quite difficult to keep up the enthusiasm!
A few days ago, when Benedict was following me around with his book in his hand and making the noise which means “read to me, read to me!” an image randomly came into my head – it was the sign that Fr Alexander had up in his sacristy at St Patrick’s:
Celebrate this Mass as if it is your first Mass, your last Mass, your only Mass
I think it was Mother Teresa who originally said it. And it really struck me – I know reading a book isn’t the same as celebrating the Mass, but I thought, actually yes – I need to read this book as if it was Benedict’s first book, last book, and only book that I read to him. I know Mother Teresa spoke often about doing small things with great love, and motherhood is slowly showing me the reality of this.
So whether I’m reading to B, preparing his meal, dressing him, bathing him, picking him up, or changing his nappy, I need to stop my groaning thoughts, and see these tasks for what they really are, an opportunity to love.
Mother Teresa and Housewives – The Road to Holiness is a really short but inspiring article for all wives and mums!
I had to post this – It’s quite American but then I don’t think “Mum-nipotent” has the same ring to it! The video was made by Ascention Press for Mother’s Day and its pretty sweet. Ascention Press have also got a book by Danielle Bean for Catholic mothers: Momnipotent: The Not-So-Perfect Woman’s Guide to Catholic Motherhood. It’s had very good reviews and definitely worth a look.