We're moms, which means we don't always do the best job of making time for ourselves. For me, going on a retreat is a rejuvenating experience, but at the same time, one that comes with a cost. Retreats can be far away, expensive, and time consuming. They often require us to find childcare and make arrangements for the family, while we’re attending the conference. As you’ve heard this week, there is a wonderful opportunity for moms to experience a retreat. There is no travel needed, no babysitting required and best of all it’s FREE! What could be better than an absolutely free conference that you watch from the comfort of your couch, in your pajamas?
When I heard about the conference, I was eager to listen to the sessions but I had a nagging thought. Conference talks usually last about an hour. By the time I sit down after a long day, the idea of focusing on a talk seemed almost impossible. I logged into the site and realized the talk was only 20 minutes! I wondered if there was a mistake, or if this was only a portion of the talk. I found out that all the talks really are that short! It was a completely doable amount of time to stay focused and engaged. The talks can be listened to during naptime at home, or lunchtime at work.
As a Catholicmom.com writer, I was given the chance to prescreen one of the talks for the conference. I chose Steven Ray’s, “Joy in the Family.” There were a variety of points that Mr. Ray made, which challenged me to look at my motherhood and the choices I’ve made in my parenting. Today, I will just share a few with you, as I wouldn’t want to spoil the talk for you.
The first point that stood out to me was, that eventually we must all wean our children. As they get older, we need to let them break away. I tend to feel like a helicopter mom, always worrying about my kids. Are they behaving, are they hungry, are they playing nicely with others, are they getting made fun of? Through the gift of counseling, I’ve been able to practice detachment from my need to control. I’m praying that as my children grow, I can allow them to make their own choices. I pray that I won’t feel the need to control the outcomes for them or enable them in any way.
Steven Ray mentioned that many of his children were married at a young age. When asked about their reason for their young weddings, one of their sons admitted that Steven and his wife had made their marriage look so fun. He wanted to join the fun as soon as he could. It really made me wonder about what our children think of our marriage. They see us argue, but do they also notice when we have fun together? Do they see how much we outwardly and inwardly love each other?
The last point I’ll mention today is something I feel like posting on the fridge as a daily reminder. He said, “A kid’s job is to play.” I don’t know if I have ever really stopped to consider that. We homeschool and so I see the benefits, especially for my boys, of being able to run around and play outside when they need to burn off some energy. I think that society is so focused on being productive and having something to show for it, that play gets ignored and removed from the schedule. After my sons run around and play, they come back inside and I can see an improvement in their learning. They are more focused and more attentive.
Steve Ray’s talk is just one of the many talks being offered during the conference! Each day, a few talks will be available for viewing. The talks change daily, so make sure you don’t miss any. I can’t encourage you enough, to take the time to participate in this conference. Take the time for yourself. Allow yourself to be rejuvenated and refreshed. Think of this as a crash course in parenting. Take a moment to be inspired and uplifted, to head back into the land of motherhood.
Copyright 2018 Courtney Vallejo. All Rights Reserved.
Image Credit: Used With Permission from Catholic Conference 4 Moms. All Right Reserved.