Age Quod Agis: Being Fully Present as a New Mother

14 Jul

Being fully present as a new mother is a daunting and difficult task. I have a one year old boy and have found that without conscience effort, it is easy to slip out of being present in his presence, to focus on my “to do” list instead of “doing” mothering.

Blessed John Paul II’s 1988 papal letter, Mulieris Dignitatem, encourages women to embrace who they are, what they are given, and what is around them in this new journey of parenthood. Mulieris Dignitatem discusses the complexities of femininity: worker, wife, sister, daughter, Theotokos, partner, thinker, and mother, and affirms the sacred vocation of motherhood. Search for “Mulieris Dignitatem” (Latin for “The Dignity of the Woman”) and take a perusal yourself. Catholicism offers a true feminism that is gripping and genuine, and encourages women to be fully present as they give the gift of themselves to their families.

Self-control and autonomy are included in these facets of femininity; two characteristics that flex as a new mother. You can’t be as you were pre-baby with regard to chores, emails, work, maintaining relationships. Forgive yourself and when you’re with your child, just be present to your child. To smile, tickle, read, sing, massage, and repeat: “I love you” over and over again. Pray for fortitude, strength, and patience as a new parent. Ask Our Lady, our Heavenly Mother, for assistance and inspiration. She was a fabulous mother! Be in the moment so as to be open to the graces and love that come with a new child.

As new mothers, let us try to give the gift of ourselves whole-heartedly and whole-bodily to our little miracle. Shut out the rest of the world and focus on cultivating that little soul. Age quod agis, as Saint Paul writes: do what you are doing.

-Nell Alt

2 Responses to “Age Quod Agis: Being Fully Present as a New Mother”

  1. anna July 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    Nell, this is a very nice post. I can relate to this as a new mother.

    • Novice Natural Mama July 25, 2011 at 10:30 pm #


      Doesn’t being a new mother provide infinite joys and challenges? Each moment is more precious than the next at these young ages where one day the baby can’t walk, and the next he can!

      Hope you enjoy reading Heart of the Matter and stay tuned for more doses of God & life from her editors!


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