Imperfect Family Life


by Charlotte Siems

One thing that’s true for all families is that life isn’t perfect. We can’t smooth everything out as easily as ironing a shirt. Work schedules, financial pressures, issues with children and much more require decisions on the part of parents.

Those decisions relate not only to adjustments and working with what you have, but also to the attitude you’re going to have about your circumstances.

Recently a married couple asked me about how to work their schedule around the husband’s shift work. We talked about the hours that changed every four days and the difficulty of keeping the children quiet so Dad could sleep during the day.

During the conversation, the wife tried to think of ways to create the best atmosphere for her husband’s sleep needs. Meanwhile, the husband would interrupt with comments that he could sleep through their noise, and he didn’t want them to feel stifled to stay quiet.

We all agreed that there was no perfect solution and that their situation would require constant adjusting and shifting. But most of all, I was struck by their mutual attitude of honor for each other. They were both trying to do what was best for the other person.

I pointed out that no matter what solutions they found, their children would grow up remembering that Mom and Dad loved and honored each other. They would look back with fondness on the times that their mother reminded them that they needed to let their father sleep because he worked hard for the family.

With that atmosphere in the home, a constantly changing schedule and inconvenient arrangements will be a minor complication. The attitude is what their children will catch, not the perfect answer for their schedule. All is not lost if the love and respect shine through.

No matter what family situation we’re dealing with, our daily attitude is what our children are watching. Better an imperfect schedule lived with an attitude of love and cheerfulness, than rigorous efficiency with a cost of aggravation and disappointment.

Life will never be perfect. Schedules will never run perfectly. Just when you think you have it all figured out, life will change. But living that life with grace for yourself and others will smooth out the wrinkles.

Often what we’re so stressed about today doesn’t even matter by next week. What does hang around is the damage to relationships and memories caused by our negative attitude and words. Be sure to keep the big picture in mind while you’re ironing out the details to deal with your circumstances.

“That they be loved in the things which they themselves like by a sharing in their youthful interests; in this way they will learn to see your love in matters which naturally speaking are not very pleasing to them, as is the case with study, discipline, and self-denial: in this way they will learn to do these things also with love.” -St. John Bosco

Our attitude changes our life…it’s that simple. Our good attitude greatly affects those that we love, making our homes a more cheerier and peaceful dwelling! To have this control…to be able to turn around our attitude is a tremendous thing to think about!
This Gratitude Journal is here to help you focus on the good, the beautiful, the praiseworthy. “For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 – Douay Rheims).
Yes, we need to be thinking of these things throughout the day!
You will be disciplined, the next 30 days, to write positive, thankful thoughts down in this journal. You will be thinking about good memories, special moments, things and people you are grateful for, lovely and thought-provoking Catholic quotes, thoughts before bedtime, etc. Saying it, reading it, writing it, all helps to ingrain thankfulness into our hearts…and Our Lord so loves gratefulness! It makes us happier, too!
Available here.


Beginning with the first day of Advent and continuing through the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, these selections from the immortal pen of Fulton J. Sheen encourage readers to explore the essence and promise of the season. Those looking to grow in their prayer life and become more attuned to the joy of Advent and Christmas will find a wonderful guide in this spiritual companion….

You are about to make the season of Advent more meaningful than you ever have! This Advent journal is for busy moms who need a little help making this season special within the home. It will help you stay on track and be consistent with the customs you have decided to incorporate within your four walls. I have broken it down into bite-sized tidbits that, when laid out for you, will be easy to accomplish. As you check each item off you will get a sense of fulfillment knowing you are getting done what is truly important in this expectant season! The other things will get done….but first things first! At midnight, on Christmas Eve, when Baby Jesus arrives, you and your family will look back upon your Advent and sigh with satisfaction, knowing you truly have celebrated with the Church, that you have put your best foot forward in making this a spiritual, enchanting, holy time for all! The first few pages of this book will have a run-down of the special Advent customs and activities that will be on your checklist each day. They are simple, they are doable. I hope this Advent is more special than ever as we walk hand-in-hand making the Liturgy come alive in our homes!

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