Second P: Person

Where to Start on the 2nd P?

Dear Holly, For several years now I have put myself very last most of the time. I recognize that I need more than I have been giving to myself, but I am really uncertain how to proceed. I have prayed about it and trust that God will answer me, but I would like to know if you have any suggestions for where or how to start. I tried thinking about what I am doing right but came up mostly blank. I have found a lot of joy in my life and I do not suffer from depression. I am not coming from a negative place in my life. Actually, I generally feel very fulfilled with the things I do although lately I have felt a need for something more. I have wanted to have a better, more focused rule recognizing that it will be a very good thing for me. I look at this as a good opportunity to make a very positive, very big change in my life. It feels right. I just find myself a bit clueless on figuring out this particular... read more

When One Must Attend to the Little Ones…

Dear Holly, I have a question I imagine has been asked before, so forgive me if you’re forced into redundancy! I’m wondering how to balance the ‘P’s’, particularly person/partner in the midst of a difficult newborn. My husband and I have 7 kids under 13, and our 4 month old girl has been quite a handful! I feel that just taking care of her needs fills my entire day. She cries if not held (won’t let the other kids hold her, much to their chagrin), and refuses to sleep without my nursing her. My basic needs really haven’t been getting met (just getting a shower is fantastic, never mind brushing teeth!). So I’m at a loss when I think of how I could even begin to put myself or my husband first, never mind that the other kids have gotten brushed under the rug as well. I can see that I could ask my husband could pitch in more with the baby so I can take care of me a bit, but how on earth can I put him or the other kids before a demanding... read more

Almost-Empty-Nest Mom & a Mother’s Rule

Dear Holly,Well, it is finally here. My youngest child is graduating from high school and will be entering college out of state at the end of the summer. I have been a stay-at-home mom for 28 years and homeschooling for 15 years. I have been practicing a Rule of Life for about 5 years and I just don’t know what to do now. How do I create a new balance between Person/Partner/Parent now that the Parent part is not looming so large? I don’t know how to describe my feelings about this. I guess that I am a trifle distressed by this. I have set aside so many dreams and hopes while raising my children and now I am overweight, middle-aged woman who isn’t sure what she wants to do... read more

Finding Time for a Day Out!!!

Dear Holly,I am really feeling the need for a regular Mother’s Day Out. I am an introvert and recharge by being by myself. Each Sunday evening, I drive an hour, attend mass, and then drive another hour back. But I really do not feel like that is enough. Plus, that mass will be ending in about 8 weeks. My husband works nights so sleeps during the day. I have 6 children aged from preschooler to sixteen. The 16yo babysits frequently for me — including Sunday evenings when my husband is at work and I am at mass. The other main factor in my situation is our schedule for school: we are in school now and follow the liturgical calendar. So we take off Church Feast days (feasts, not memorials), birthdays, baptismal/first communion/confirmation/saint days. We usually get about 1 day off per week, but are scheduled Mon-Sat so in reality we get about 5 days per week of school. We take off all of Eastertide for our ‘summer’ break. That was the setting, now the dilemma. I do not feel like I can take a MDO on a school day. I think you understand. I don’t think I could count on it for the irregular day off. We just have too many other things going on: 16yo babysitting job, music lessons, mass, field trips, etc. I could probably swing it on Saturday afternoons and evenings since my husband usually has that night off, but we usually go to mass as a family that night since my husband cannot go in the mornings due to his work schedule (he stays up... read more

Moods and Feeling Down…

Dear Holly,I can relate to so many things you wrote in your book. I, too am depressed and moody sometimes and haven’t found help or anyone who will stick by me. I try to offer it up and take St John’s Wort. I have prayed and prayed for God to take my moodiness from me and after many years have come to the conclusion that this is just the cross He has given me. None of this other stuff matters as long as I can one day hear God say “Well Done”. Being the mother of five with a husband that has his own emotional issues is overwhelming sometimes. I am hoping that one day my rule will bring order to my vocation and help me to be the mother that God wants me to... read more

Worn Out & Discouraged

Dear HollyI have an inablity to create a working rule (or any kind of peace and order) for myself and our family. We have five kids, from infant to teens. My husband and I both work full-time ~ this is a necessity where we live because we just couldn’t get our bills paid. We’re up to our necks in debt. We’ve been on the brink of divorce several times and I can’t recall a time when the atmosphere at our home has been calm and peaceful except when the oldest two kids were small. Since then there’s always been some strain. There’s no problems of violence or substance abuse or anything like that, ‘just’ selfishness on both sides, mutual disrespect. When I started working, all of a sudden my husband expected me to pay all the bills and use the money he earned only for his own needs. Another area where I have been building up resentment is contraception. I’ve had difficulty learning NFP and my husband has counseled me to have abortions, and has seemed glad when I’ve had my many miscarriages. About parenting, we’ve never had any kind of discussion with my husband about principles, I feel so alone there too. All we are capable to do is blame each other when something goes wrong. I was given a free upbringing myself and somehow I just subconciously feel I’m restraining the children or something when I try to get them to do their chores or just to obey. I guess I just don’t know better, even though I’ve read tons of books on parenting. I’m happy that... read more

When Nothing is Helping…

Dear Holly,I just have to take a minute to thank you for MROL – your book has been life-changing. The story of your life seemed so similar to my own. I was raised a Catholic and went to Protestantism when I thought they had something I didn’t have. I have dealt with health issues for which no cause can be found but I always feel sick and have no energy, and I am always dealing with slothfulness and an inability to focus. I see so much that needs to be done that I don’t do anything becuase I don’t know where to start. I also fooled around with the ouija board as a teen. I homeschool and it has been only by God’s grace that my children are succeeding because I switch curriculums constantly as I can’t stick with anything. It’s almost like I want someone to tell me what to do and use because I just can’t seem to do it myself. Even with different healthy diets, I can’t stick to them for more that a couple of weeks because I just don’t know what I should be doing. Nobody else seems to have these problems and your book was the closest I’ve ever come to feeling like I had a kindred spirit. I’m always looking for an answer but I can’t find any. Just recently I’ve returned to the Catholic faith because I figured I had tried everything else and this was the only thing left that I hadn’t tried. I’m glad I did this but it’s not helping. I’m also having trouble with devotion to the... read more

Toddler Play Dates Lead to Ill Health…

Dear Holly, Thank you so much for your website….it has been a huge help to me. However, I’m having one problem that I hope you can help with regarding the 2nd P. I have two young children under 2 years old. Over the past few months, we have had many more play dates and my oldest has been around more children. The problem is that she and I are constantly getting sick. She seems to get over her illnesses quite quickly, but they stay with me for at least a week or two. I have not had more than a two week stint of being well since January. Needless to say, this is very taxing on me and our family and I find I can never get on top of my rule as I am constantly getting sick. Everything gets behind and it takes me a week or two just to get back on track. I’m wondering if you have any advice or tips for staying healthy, especially during winter. I know I will get sick some, but the amount of times I have been sick seems unusually high. I am getting decent sleep at night, but I’m wondering if my diet isn’t right or something like that? My pediatrician said this is just to be expected when you have little ones, but I can’t imagine spending every winter like this. I have been to the doctor also and I know I don’t have any auto-immune disorder or anything like that. Any advice would be... read more

After the "Woe-Is-Me's"…

Dear Holly,I come back to your site when I tend to hit bottom. After years, I have yet to implement a rule, though I know it to be the answer to so many of my prayers. So after an episode of the “Woe-is-me’s”, which comes around every so often and can be so painful, I can recognize now what God is doing, I was begging God: “Please show me what I am doing wrong and please give my heart a little extra pep to accept what You are going to tell me!” (You see, I know what He is going to tell me – to develop a Rule !!! It’s just embracing it beyond my mind alone, to truly live it in my actions and be convicted of it really deep in my heart that is the hard part!!!) I have made so many Rules and for many wrong reasons and in so many wrong ways, I tense up even thinking about it!! So I have been doing a lot of reading in the years in between and at the end of my tears today, and after a well-needed Rosary, I had the thought that I had to “exercise” my heart.. I had to actually start practicing the love in action. I am praying ahead of time, this time, to begin the Rule instead of diving right in. Oh pray for me, I am a work in... read more

In Need of Personal Healing…

Dear Holly, I have LOVED reading your book!! It has been an answer to my prayers, because I have been able to identify so much with your spiritual journey, and how God leads us back to Himself and blesses our families all the more when we seek Him and turn our lives back to Him. My husband and I have six children, and even though I spend time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, say my daily devotions – especially the Holy Rosary, regular Confession and daily Mass – I realize I am in need of some healing and confession of my past as well as forgiveness to those that have hurt me. My question for you is do you know of a priest I could see, a book I could read or a healing retreat available for this... read more
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