Danielle Bean

Danielle Bean, a mother of eight, is Editorial Director of Faith & Family. She is also author of My Cup of Tea: Musings of a Catholic Mom (Pauline 2005) and Mom to Mom, Day to Day: Advice and Support for Catholic Living (Pauline 2007). Her blog is a source of inspiration, encouragement, and support for Catholic women of all ages and life stages.

recent articles

Sleep Is for Wimps

Tiny hands cupped my face. “Mama, Mama,” I heard a voice whisper. “I need you.” “Gah!” I responded. To explain my somewhat inelegant response, I should tell you that it was about 2 a.m. when the tiny hands cupped my face and the small voice awakened me from a sound sleep. The little person needed … Read more

Forbidden Fruit — and Sponges

A few years ago, my son Ambrose was hospitalized with a lung infection. The two weeks he spent away from home were trying times for our family, but I have one particularly fond memory of his stay. One day, when I returned to his hospital room after being away for a few hours, he made … Read more

On This Rock

Two-year-old Daniel jabbed a small, pudgy finger at my face in the wedding photo. “Mama,” he announced confidently, and then, “Papa,” as he pointed to his father. “Yes,” I told him. “That’s Mama and Papa on the day we were married.” He squinted at the photo for another moment before turning to me with an … Read more

Meeting Mary

When people stop me after Mass to tell me how well-behaved they thought my children were, I usually smile and say “thank you.” I have got to stop taking credit for any of it. I recently attended a Sunday-morning Mass without my husband and without my two oldest boys. It was just me, two big … Read more

A Simple Little Christmas

Years ago, we belonged to a parish where the pastor was an elderly “retired” French-Canadian priest. Monsignor Leo was a little rough around the edges and sometimes a bit deaf in the confessional, but we loved him just the same. We especially loved him at Christmastime. Every year, at the end of the first Christmas … Read more

Glamour Moms

Her gleaming grin caught my eye in the checkout aisle. There she was — Angelina Jolie. Newly pregnant, the headline told me, with her seventh child.  The evidence of this latest “pregnancy” was helpfully highlighted for readers with the use of a yellow arrow marked with the words “baby bump.” There, beneath a fitted dress, … Read more

Alleluia in the Dark

Last weekend, we attended a funeral Mass for a four-month-old baby girl. She was the beloved daughter of my husband’s cousin and his wife. These are the kinds of life events that threaten to expose me for the faith fraud I fear that I am. It’s easy to say we have faith when all goes … Read more

What’s In a Name?

The other day, a proud Grandma I know announced to me that her daughter had recently given birth to a fourth child. “They named her Zipporah,” she beamed. “Zipporah?” I raised an eyebrow. “Yes,” she explained. “It was Moses’ wife’s name.” Hmm. I kind of like it. Besides, who am I to judge anyone for … Read more

Gift of Grace

“The juice! Don’t forget the juice!” my mother-in-law, Dolores, called after me as I made my way down her front steps and toward my car. Her anxious face appeared in the doorway and she thrust a half-gallon bottle of cranberry juice toward me. I didn’t want the stupid juice. “Thank you,” I answered weakly. I … Read more

Scheduled Chaos

Fancy calendars and datebooks are all alike. Every fall, at the fresh start of a new academic year, they get to me. Irresistibly coy in their cloth-bound covers, they call to me from bookstore shelves. “Buy meeee!” they whisper alluringly as I pretend to be perusing the fitness section. “I have all the answers! I … Read more

Sounding Out

Here we go again. Another school year has begun. As we are a homeschooling family, I once again find myself diving into a daily routine of phonics worksheets, read-aloud assignments, writing practice, grammar, history, religion, mathematics, and science. I am fortunate in that my husband takes on those last two. But the others? They are … Read more

Mom for VP

The usual politics aside, there’s more to John McCain’s recent appointment of Sarah Palin as his running mate and candidate for the vice presidency. While many pro-life and pro-family voters cheered her appointment, some are more hesitant to elect a mother of five children, one of whom is still an infant, to the vice presidency … Read more

Finer Things

As I opened the package that arrived in the mail, a little voice inside my head told me I was nuts. “Have you lost your mind?” it wanted to know. “You can’t have nice things!” The little voice was right, I suppose. If 13 years of parenting have taught me nothing else, they have quite … Read more

Are We a Pro-Life People?

Last week, Simcha Fisher invited us to talk about natural family planning, and boy did we comply. More than 90 comments later, one thing is clear — this is a topic we like to debate.      I’ve read many different discussions about NFP where Catholics will debate its use and its abuse, its effectiveness … Read more

Angels without Wings

I like to think of myself as a seasoned mom.  But even a seasoned mom sometimes meets her match. It’s in our most trying motherly moments, I have found, that God graces us with the gift of humility — by opening our eyes to our helpless dependence upon others. One warm spring Saturday morning a … Read more

Coveting and Contentment

I only saw her for a moment. I was leaving the grocery store one recent afternoon as a small, white-haired lady was heading in. I steered my loaded cart past her on the sidewalk, our eyes met, and we nodded politely at one another. As we did, I caught a glimpse of something that she … Read more

Mass in the Gym

On the wall behind the altar, where I am accustomed to finding a crucifix on which to focus, hangs an enormous clock, reminiscent of ones I remember from elementary school classrooms years ago. It hums as it tirelessly ticks its way through the Mass. When we stand for the Gospel, metal folding chairs scrape against … Read more

A Mother’s Space

This morning, I conducted an experiment. 8:15 a.m.: I lock myself in the bathroom.    8:15 a.m. and 4 seconds: The baby’s fat fingers appear at the bottom of the doorway. “Mama?” he calls out in alarm. He plunks his bottom on the floor just outside the door and whines. 8:17 a.m.: Three-year-old beats on … Read more

Being There

Yesterday morning I spent 15 minutes washing the breakfast dishes. I spent 30 minutes matching socks, folding underwear, and returning these items to dresser drawers. I spent 12 minutes looking for my toddler’s sandals. I spent 25 minutes on the phone with the doctor’s office and insurance company making sure a recent office visit would … Read more

‘Are They All Yours?’

I once met a mother of triplets in the parking lot outside of Wal-Mart. Her three babies had bright, blinking eyes, honeyed hair, and rosebud lips. They reached toward their mother with chubby arms, dimpled at the elbows, and made the most delicious slurping sounds as she scooped them from their car seats and plunked … Read more

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