When my first child was born, I was working full-time for our local church. I regularly taught other people how to pray. But do you want to know the irony of my chosen profession? About four months after my son was born, I realized that I had not prayed on my own (or with my husband) since his birth. I felt like a walking hypocrite, but more than anything I felt like an overwhelmed, semi-lost first-time mom.
After a long conversation with my husband and a few months of trial and error, we settled into a new prayer life routine as a family. I just had no idea how difficult it would be to find time to prayer as a mother. If you’ve struggled to find time to pray, consider these 5 tips for fitting prayer into your life as a mom.
1. You can pray for an hour in an hour, or you can pray for an hour over the course of an entire day.
Before I got married, I used to pray for an hour every morning before I left the house. It was a gloriously quiet, prayerful hour, but it was also an impossible endeavor once I became a mom, unless I wanted my hour to take place between 4-5am (the only hour of the night that my son generally did not wake me up). So instead, I made a list of all those prayers I prayed during my holy hour, and spread them out over the course of the day. Fifteen minutes here and fifteen minutes there didn’t seem nearly as overwhelming as trying to fit in a full hour.
2. Ask your husband to help you make that time for prayer when you need it.
Once a week, I spend an evening at the church, in Eucharistic adoration and attending a parish Scripture study. That means that once a week, my husband puts the kids to bed by himself. Navigating bedtime solo can be tough, so if that doesn’t work for your family, consider taking a weekend morning or afternoon to get out of the house and pray in peace and quiet. Many parents might opt to alternate who has private prayer time and who stays with the kids, allowing both parents to have some time to themselves for prayer.
3. Pray as a family.
Family prayer time can be hectic when your kids are still young, but if the majority of your days are spent with your children, you have to do your best with what you’ve been given. Recently, a seasoned mom told me that her only goal with family prayer was to do it and finish it. That meant pushing through the rosary swinging, toddler tantrums, and bathroom breaks. As your kids get older, they will become more capable of sitting still and one day they’ll even be able to lead some of your family prayers as well.
4. Use your time in the car wisely, and make your steering wheel holy.
Nearly every morning, the kids and I pray a decade of the rosary together and listen to the Catholic Sprouts podcast. Nearly every afternoon, we pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet and listen to a story of a saint. Nine times out of ten, most of these activities take place in the car on our way to and from activities. Consider listening to Christian music while you drive, or else tune into the classical music station to provide calming background music for your own mental prayer.
5. Make your chores a prayer by dedicating them to the intentions of friends.
Every morning, the kids and I choose our intentions for the day. We offer up our morning rosary for the intentions of family and friends, and for the rest of the day, we periodically recall the day’s intentions. Whenever we transition between activities (and I remember), we say an Our Father for those people we have chosen to pray for that day. By doing this, chores become prayers, and the day-to-day tasks take on a whole new meaning for us.