Whether it means changing diapers or building dioramas,
driving carpools or helping with college applications,
parents everywhere can attest to the old expression: A
mother's work is never done.
With all that work undoubtedly comes a few sacrifices,
including nights without sleep or a few less frivolous
purchases. Often, parenthood can mean less time for
relaxation or catching up with old friends - circumstances
that can lead to feeling burned out or isolated.
To help deal with those challenges, some local mothers have
looked to the Internet. By starting their own blogs, these
Catholic mothers have been able to find camaraderie and
inspiration, all from the comfort of their own homes.
From daily journals to coupons and crafts
Liz McGuirk, a parishioner of St. John the Apostle Parish in
Leesburg, is the mother of three children under the age of 5.
She discovered the world of frugal living blogs back in 2008
when she and her husband were looking for a way to lower
their grocery bill.
In January 2009, she started her first blog, Frugally
Blonde, where she gives tips on saving money while
couponing, shopping at thrift stores, cooking and gardening,
as well as roundups of weekly deals at local grocery stores
like Wegmans. This fall, she launched a second blog, Catholic Deals,
where she gives updates on sales from various Christian or
Catholic online companies. Through Catholic Deals, she hopes
to help families afford things like books, sacramental or
religious materials - all items to bring their families
closer to God.
"If people are looking for a Catholic gift, I want this to be
a place they can come and find reasonably priced items that
will help them enhance their spiritual life," McGuirk
Another local blogger is Lacy Rabideau, whose blog, Catholic
Icing, launched two years ago. A parishioner of St.
Francis de Sales Parish in Purcellville, Rabideau is pregnant
with her fourth child. She was inspired to start her blog
when she was unable to find ideas online for an All Saints
Day party she was planning.
Rabideau, who studied art in college, had planned on becoming
an elementary school art teacher. Now, she focuses her
creativity on crafts and recipes that are kid-friendly and
spiritually educational. She posts her best ideas on her blog
- everything from edible Advent wreaths to pipe cleaner
rosaries or nun finger-puppets. She says her goal is to bring
Catholic ideas to people who wouldn't see them ordinarily and
to encourage others to celebrate the liturgical year with
"I think arts and crafts are very important to children,"
Rabideau said. "So many things about the Church aren't the
most fun thing for them, so to make the Faith fun and bring
it to life for them is very important."
Other mothers take a more personal approach to blogging,
writing about their opinions or anecdotes from their
Local blogger Sharon Babineau, a parishioner of St. Mary of
the Immaculate Conception Parish in Fredericksburg, started
her blog, Musings of a Catholic
Mom, three years ago. Similar to an online journal,
Babineau writes about her life as a mother and Catholic
convert, and how she is working to raise her children in the
"It is kind of a journal," Babineau said. "I write about my
family, I write about interesting things I've read, places
I've been, things I've learned while being Catholic and
Local blogger Ginny Foreman, another parishioner of St. Mary
of the Immaculate Conception, also writes about her
day-to-day life on Small Things. It's filled with
photos and anecdotes documenting her life as a home-schooling
mother of six children.
Through Small Things, Foreman talks about the things she and
her family are doing, including field trips, knitting
projects or books she is reading. Her faith is always in the
"Catholicism and our faith is really the most important
aspect of our life, but I like to present what that looks
like in daily life. I'm not an apologetics blog. This is more
of, 'This is what it looks like to raise a big Catholic
home-schooling family,'" Foreman said.
Another local blogger is Elizabeth Foss, a Catholic Herald
columnist who writes about her life at In the Heart of My
A hobby that gives back
Of course, blogging is not always as simple as it sounds.
Maintaining a blog takes some web know-how and considerable
effort, especially if one hopes to make a profit.
Rabideau, whose blog has more than 4,200 subscribers,
estimates she spends 15 to 20 hours a week working on
Catholic Icing. This past summer, much of that effort went
toward publishing her first book, a side project that was a
Catholic preschool curriculum for home-schooling mothers. Her
next project is a picture book to help children follow the
new Mass translation.
Even those who blog simply as a hobby must devote
considerable time. Babineau says she makes an effort to post
several times a week on Musings of a Catholic Mom. Foreman
and McGuirk both spend about five hours a week on their
The time commitment can be tough to fit into already busy
schedules, but it's something that can be done while children
nap or work on projects.
"(Blogging) is something I have no deadline for. I have my
own time and I can fit it in around my family," McGuirk
And the time spent can pay off. According to a recent study
out of Brigham Young University, stay-at-home mothers who
blog report more feelings of social connection and less
"It's a great way to reaffirm that we're not alone, that
we're trying our best and we're not perfect and there are
other people who are going through the same things I am as a
mom and a Catholic," Babineau said. "Blogs can reaffirm that
these are struggles and we all go through them. We can
encourage each other and give each other support and
Blogging can also be a way for mothers to take a time-out
from a busy schedule and reflect on their own interests or
"It's a fun outlet to exercise my creative side," Rabideau
said. "I had a lot of hobbies before I had kids, but so many
of your own hobbies go to the backburner. It's really fun
that I get to design crafts and bring my hobby to my kids.
They really like it."
By writing Small Things, Foreman said she has learned to
focus on the positive aspects of her life and become more
"I learned by taking pictures and capturing these moments
that might take 20 seconds, those moments are frozen and you
are able to focus on the good in your life. It's become a
really positive place to be able to dwell on the good rather
than the bad," she said. "I'm just a lot more peaceful and a
lot more thankful and a lot more aware of all those blessings
that really surround me every day, but are sometimes quieter
than the hard times."
Since they are writing from a Catholic perspective, the
mothers say their blogs can also become a type of ministry
for non-Catholics or those who have fallen away from the
Church. Foreman says she gets emails asking about the Church
at least twice a month. In response, she redirects readers to
visit apologetics websites like Catholics Come
And even for other Catholics, she thinks blogs can be a
ministry because they bring together people with similar
lifestyles that are not always embraced by modern society.
"Our faith is so misunderstood," she said. "By reading other
blogs written by Catholic moms, there's an understanding
there. We're on the same path and we're treating what we're
doing as a vocation, a calling from God. It's always good to
have that support."