Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Catholic Family Fun With Sarah Reinhard: A Guest Post From the Snoring Scholar

I'm having Catholic Writer Fun today with a guest post from Sarah Reinhard.

Here's Sarah:

She always looks so happy!

I first found Sarah waaay back when her blog was called Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering. Back then she seemed surprised to find that anyone read her blog, much less her sidebar. (But how could I resist a sidebar entitled "Nose Inserted" on a blog by someone calling herself the Snoring Scholar?! I loved her immediately.)

Over the last six years, I've watched Sarah successfully navigate various writing waters as a blogger, a columnist, and now a prolific author. Over Advent, my family used her lovely new book, Welcome, Baby Jesus. For Lent this year, we loved Welcome, Risen Jesus, which carried us all the way through the Octave of Easter.

Now, Sarah's back with her newest book, Catholic Family Fun: A Guide for the Adventurous, Overwhelmed, Creative and Clueless. I love her for the subtitle alone, don't you? Here's the book:

Ramona took it away from me, sat reading, and giggling, and saying, "We should do this," and then pronounced it all Good. (Ramona may need her own blog soon: Ramona Reviews It All.)

This book must be exhausted from its travels, because it's been making the rounds on a blog book tour:

And today, Sarah's here with a guest post, so I'll sign off now and let her do the talking:


Having FUN with Family Fun: 
Confessions from the Failure Files 
by Sarah Reinhard 

It took me a while to admit that when we were having a family fun time. I wasn't having much fun. 

Not really. 

I was too obsessed about what exactly we were doing, about the details, about the things that were--gasp! horror! shriek!--going DIFFERENTLY THAN I PLANNED! 

Things were not perfect. Though the kids were laughing and squealing, there wasn’t any insightful discussion about Jesus or the saints and no one had asked for a Bible story. 

What was I doing wrong? 

As it turns out, I was guilty of things I’m often guilty of: 

I was setting expectations no family could keep and setting myself up for failure. 

There’s a time and a place to have high standards, and family fun activities may qualify. However, standards of behavior and standards of quality are far different than impossible expectations. I was demanding perfection, which didn’t correspond at all with the fun they were actually having. 

Those impossible expectations were part of a view of what would be “perfect.” And you know what? Perfect might not, in fact, be better than what we actually had happen. I couldn’t foresee the fun we had when I defined what perfect was. 

I wasn’t being flexible. Things were going to go the way I wanted them, period, or else it was a failure.  

I’m far from perfect, and having a need to “plan for spontaneity” is just one of the ways I have worked around my inability to be naturally flexible. My husband suggested it, actually, long before we had kids. It took me a while (I’m a slow learner) to apply it to our family fun, but now that I have, I’m enjoying myself a lot more. 

Family fun doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It doesn’t have to make you feel clueless. If, however, you descend into the depths of those things, let me offer you my support and prayers. I’m with you! You can do it! 


 (For more about Sarah's new book, visit the Pauline website, which features new activities and reflections every month, and visit the Facebook page here.)

Thanks for visiting, Sarah! 

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