Posted by: dinainsuburbia | March 24, 2010


My transition from mother of one to mother of two hasn’t gone as smoothly as I hoped.  I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and my temper has been short… ridiculously short.  I’ve become that “yelling mother” I never wanted to be.  While Madeline has her amazing, awesome moments, she also has those moments where I want to pull my hair out and run fleeing from the house!  True, no one ever said being a mother was easy.. but who knew it was going to be so gloriously difficult!

Of course there are those sweet, delicious moments that make this crazy “parenthood” ride so worth it; the weight of Joel on my chest as he naps, the way he wrings his hands together while having a bottle- these are just so precious.  And Maddie.. the way she twirls into a room, her dimples, the joy she expresses when I come home and she hasn’t seen me all day long…. all pieces of her that I will always carry in my heart.

So, why then, aren’t those pieces enough to sustain me, or better, prohibit me from getting all “mommy dearest” on them?  And sheesh- worse has been my behavior towards John!  He certainly DOES have the patience of a saint- I don’t know if I would’ve been able to deal with myself!

I have been feeling misaligned, I suppose.. it’s the easiest way to put it.  But I feel SO much better now. 

This past weekend I went on a retreat at the Bishop Molly Retreat House in Jamaica Estates, Queens.  I never thought I’d be the type of person to go on a retreat.  I thought retreats were for “holy” people; people more religious or saintly.  People that were in some way “better” than me.   What I’ve learned is that anyone can go on retreat- you don’t have to be a perfect Catholic.. and anyway, there is no such thing.  You don’t have to pray all the time or be a “holy roller”, although you’ll definitely leave feeling more “holy” than you did before.

The first cool thing about retreat is that you are on it with like minded people.  The retreat I went on was solely for women; and it was seriously cool to be around 50+ women that took their faith and their spirituality seriously; insomuch as they went on a Catholic retreat.  I have never been around a group of women that were so open to meeting people, so interested in your story and your life, and so warm and friendly. 

I was nervous that I wasn’t going to know anyone and that I was going to be the youngest one in attendance.  While, yes, I was rather young, there were a bunch of young women that were there as well… and the older women were pretty cool and easy to speak to. 

So, what do you do on retreat ?  The retreat leaders (Father Cleary & Father Lee) set up a theme and they have presentations/workshops that you can attend (or you can do nothing and sleep the whole time if you want as well).  The retreat house has a beautiful garden that you can walk as well (it was a beautiful weekend so I did spend some time out doors).  There is also time to pray, and there are different methods of praying.  I took a workshop on Centering Prayer with Father Lee (sort of like Buddhist Meditation in that you try to clear your mind and just “be” in the presence of God) and participated in Taize prayer Sunday morning (beautiful sung prayer). 

You get your own room (no TV- but there is a library for you to borrow books) and all meals are prepared (and the food is darn good).  They even have snacks available at night (the oatmeal cookies were to die for).

I feel completely realigned and recharged now.  I feel closer to God and more confident in my spirituality than I ever have.  And yeah, I know how weirdly “holy roller” this sounds, but when do you ever have an opportunity to just focus on your relationship with God for a weekend without the distraction of “regular life”.  I didn’t even know how to go about having a “relationship with God” before this retreat… going to Church was something I did because I wanted a relationship with God- but I maybe didn’t know how to go about it… This retreat gave new dimension to that relationship and a fostered a better understanding of this in me.

If anyone is reading this, I hope you aren’t rolling your eyes thinking, ‘that’s it, she drank the Kool-Aid” because really, there wasn’t any.. but I can see how it would look that way.  I encourage everyone to go on retreat- whatever your faith- and get in touch with your spiritual self- it has certainly  made a difference in my life, and my patience and level of kindness!



  1. Two is exponentially more difficult. You are an awesome mom and an amazing wife. Never doubt it. I love you. (even if I think you might have been drinking just a little bit of kook aid! Lolol)

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