• MMH Press

To the Mom with Quirky Kids


Hey, friend.


I’m going to say something you’ve probably been thinking but have maybe been too nervous to say out loud:


As a mom living in the digital age, you feel it necessary to mold yourself to a certain set of expectations.


They’re everywhere:


On your Pinterest boards, featuring crafts your kids would never sit still for.


On the websites of bloggers you admire, celebrating the liturgical year with panache.


In the pew in front of you at Mass: touching examples of large families with moms who seem put together and kids who are reverent and attentive.


And then there’s you, decidedly NOT nailing it.

You wonder: maybe God was confused or made a glaring mistake with your motherhood. Maybe if you were a better mother, a better person, more prayerful, more faithful, you wouldn’t have to manage the outbursts, the meltdowns, the impulsive behavior of the kids He’s given you to hold.

You’re drowning, not with 4+ kids, but with one or two.


Craft time devolves into chaos.


You can’t get to Mass on time because someone can’t stand the feeling of clothes or shoes.


Community events are embarrassing because invisible disabilities look like behavioral problems, and what are you supposed to do anyway? Carry pamphlets that say, “Hey, let me tell you about us and Diagnosis X”?


You wonder: maybe God was confused or made a glaring mistake with your motherhood. Maybe if you were a better mother, a better person, more prayerful, more faithful, you wouldn’t have to manage the outbursts, the meltdowns, the impulsive behavior of the kids He’s given you to hold.


And you wouldn’t be so confused, either, because through it all, your kids are so perceptive and smart.


How is it that they can handle advanced math and reading concepts but can barely tie their shoes or sit still during the consecration?


Clearly, there’s potential for them to change this pagan world (a la Mother Angelica).


But you have to make sure they survive to adulthood and stay faithful to the magisterium first.


Why would God pick you for such a difficult job?


Here’s the hard-won truth, my friend.


It’s because He knows you.


It’s because He knows your kids.


He formed you, and He formed their beautifully different wiring. Their neurodiversity is intentional and needed.


And so are you, to help these children follow God’s will.


Like St. Maximillian Kolbe, who despite having had zero executive function skills, was devoted to Our Lady and embraced true sacrifice.


Like St. Zelie Martin and her daughters St. Therese and Leonie, who were stubborn, ill-tempered, and overtly melancholic, yet fully surrendered to God.


Like St. Thorlak and St. Joseph de Cupertino, who were socially awkward and shunned by men, but were created on purpose by a perfect God for a perfect purpose.


Like the Saints who hid from school as children (St. Ignatius).


Like the Saints who fixated and spoke their minds (St. Teresa of Avila).


Like the Saints who were different, and weird, and quirky, and stood out from everyone around them because their different-ness meant something, signified something, mattered (St. John the Baptist, St. Hildegard of Bingen, Brother Juniper).


They were unusual.


Unique.


Absolutely unrepeatable.


Remind you of anyone you know?


So, yeah. Maybe your family looks different from the one in the pew in front of you, the family you’ve admired at church.


Maybe the blog moms and their kids don’t look or act anything like the way you have seen or imagined your family.


Maybe the prospect of Pinterest and liturgical living and taking your kids to Adoration makes you break out in a flop sweat.


It’s okay.


It’s perfectly imperfect.


It’s your work in progress – honest and filled with opportunities for grace.


St. John the Baptist yelled a lot. He never brushed his hair. He didn’t deviate much from his diet of locusts and wild honey. And yet, God chose him as the voice crying in the wilderness, preparing the way for the Lord.


St. John the Baptist, St. Maximillian Kolbe, St. Zelie, and St. Therese, and all the others were weird, wild, and wonderful.


Drop Pinterest, and the blogs, and that unfair expectation.


Trust the Father.


Quirky people may be different and a handful, but they go out and change this pagan world.



St. Zelie, pray for us.


Ginny


Ginny Kochis is a Catholic wife and homeschooling mom to three quirky kids. Once a classroom teacher and adjunct professor of English, Ginny is now an advocate for Christian families raising gifted and twice-exceptional kids. Ginny believes God gives curious, creative, intense children the exact mother they need to thrive. You can connect with Ginny at her online home, Not So Formulaic.

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