My guest for the episode, Colleen Duggan, was just as lovely to talk to as I thought she would be. I love how down-to-earth she is. Her balance and honesty make for a refreshing episode that brings us all back to the same page when it comes to Catholic parenting. She reminds us that there are a thousand ways to be a great mom, that messy doesn’t mean failure, and that in the end there’s not a magic set of parenting practices that ensure your kids will be happy, faithful, and successful in life.
We hit off right away, especially after I confessed that an hour before we recorded the show I was getting stitches in my foot at my dad’s veterinary clinic! I had stepped on a broken fish bowl in my living room, courtesy of my five-year-old and a poor now-deceased frog (you’ll have to listen to the episode for the full story).
Colleen is a Catholic wife and mother of six who hails from the Northeast but confesses that her heart still lies in Louisiana (where it turns out we have lots of mutual friends!). She has written for many Catholic media outlets over the years, including Catholic Digest and The Integrated Catholic Life, and she is active in her diocesan and parish communities as a speaker and group study leader. You can read more about Colleen here.
Some of our thoughts and advice from this episode:
- The importance of respecting your spouse’s opinion when making parenting decisions
- There is not one set of parenting or spiritual practices that will make your family successful, happy, or holy
- The importance of remembering that every couple and every family has special circumstances that have an effect on the kinds of decisions they are able to make or choose to make as parents
- Advice for discernment in making family decisions: prayer, the guidance of a spiritual director if possible, and personal counseling if needed to deal with any issues that are getting in the way of a good decision
- The need to trust that God has given you what you need to parent the children He gave you
- The power of the sacrament of confession for dealing with anger and mistakes as a parent
- The need to ask Jesus for advice, first and foremost, rather than all of your friends or favorite bloggers
Links from this Episode
Sorry, Catholic Parenting is Not an Insurance Policy for Well-adjusted, Faithful Children (the twice-viral post that is how I first found Colleen’s blog)