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Messy Family Podcast : Catholic Conversations on Marriage and Family

Parenting is not a clean-cut, simple process for those who like to follow the rules. Family life is messy and unpredictable, but it is the greatest adventure you will ever have. We are Mike and Alicia Hernon, parents of 10 children ranging from 10 to 27 and we would like to invite you into some of the conversations we have had with each other about marriage, parenting, and Catholic family life. Our hope is that our conversation sparks a dialogue between you and your spouse that leads to greater unity and intentional Christian parenting in your home. Listen in to our podcast and start the conversation as we seek to lead our families to heaven. Visit us at https:///www/MessyFamilyProject.org for resources, guides, links and show notes.
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Messy Family Podcast : Catholic Conversations on Marriage and Family
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Now displaying: 2023
Jun 19, 2023

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. ” – Mark Twain

All families need to play together.  Why?  Because this is how you lay the foundation for your child’s belief in God, his self-esteem, and this is how you communicate to him, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you love him.  In this podcast, we dive deeply into the importance of doing an intentional Family Fun Day and give some practical tips on how to do it so everyone wins.  This month’s Play and Pray Challenge is a great excuse to think about how you can grow closer as a family through play and fun!  

 

Play and Pray challenge - www.messyfamilyproject.org/challenge

Getaway - Early bird ends 6/30 - catholiccouplesgetaway.com

MFP 091: King of the Home - https://messyfamilyproject.org/mfp-91-king-of-the-home/

MFP 205: Nine First Fridays to Change the World - https://messyfamilyproject.org/mfp-205-nine-first-fridays-to-change-the-world/

 

Jun 12, 2023

“Do a date night! It’s cheaper than marriage counseling.”

This is an oldie but goodie podcast for you. We released this one way back in 2015 when we were just starting out but the content in it is something that even we need to be reminded of! When we have gotten into “slumps” in our marriage when we don’t feel like we are connecting, working together, or in sync with each other, that is when we need to take a look at our date nights. Are we spending intentional time together? Are we having fun together? Are we making room in our lives for our spouse? Listen in to this podcast where you will get some inspiration to not just get out of the house, but to also make your time together effective and impactful for your relationship.

 

Play and Pray challenge - www.messyfamilyproject.org/challenge

Website - www.messyfamilyproject.org

Date Night Herbecks - 6/15 - www.messyfamilyproject.org/programs/date-nights/

Getaway - Early bird 6/30 - catholiccouplesgetaway.com

Watch episode here: https://youtu.be/r6NACXjUaVs

 

 

Jun 5, 2023

“If all fathers fulfilled their duty of watching over the discipline of their children, we should have but few crimes and few executions.” ~ St. Alphonsus Ligori

If you haven’t listened to MFP239 on the foundations of discipline, you should do that first.  This podcast will give the practical steps for those principles.  Once a parent has clear in their mind why they are discipling and they have made a plan on following through, they need to actually work that plan!  In this podcast we give the practical things to keep in mind as you work to discipline, or form the hearts and minds of your children.  There are six questions you should ask yourself when evaluating your child’s actions.  Not all behavior is a child acting out or defying you.  How do you know the difference and how should you respond?  Listen in! 

 

Play and Pray Challenge - www.messyfamilyproject.org/challenge/

Catholic Couples Getaway - www.catholiccouplesgetaway.com/    

Watch here - https://youtu.be/vl0t6KbGJok  

May 30, 2023

One thing that we at the Messy Family Project are passionate about is family culture. We call it “the secret weapon of the Catholic family” because it can be so powerful! In this interview, we talk to Elissa Tiprigan of Catholic Family Crate, a business that is in the business of Catholic culture. We talk about how and why she started her business, the importance of beauty in the home, and the elements of what it takes to bring a family together. This episode is full of great ideas of how to engage your children from toddlers to teenagers and bring them into closer relationship with you and with the Lord who is the source of life. As a special gift, we are also including this download on Building a Catholic Culture at Home that you can use to look at your family culture and get some ideas to strengthen it. In addition, Elissa gave all our listeners get 20% off sitewide by using the code MESSYFAMILY!

And here is their website: Catholic Family Crate

And a link to all their free resources: Free Downloads

Watch the episode here: https://youtu.be/RZdxVvyDGmw

May 22, 2023

To become a better parent, I need to become a better person ~ Mike and Alicia

One of the subjects we are most often asked about is discipline.  We know how hard it is to form the will, heart and mind of a child!  Though every child is different and every parent is different, there are some principles that we can give you to help you make a discipline plan that works for you and your spouse.  In this episode, we start with the foundational points..  First, we need to get our hearts right and recognize why we are taking the time to discipline in the first place.  Then, parents need to speak with confidence, set clear boundaries, and do so keeping in mind that your role in affirming your child is essential.  Listen in as we start this essential conversation.  

Play and Pray Challenge - www.messyfamilyproject.org/challenge/

Catholic Couples Getaway - www.catholiccouplesgetaway.com/    

Watch here - https://youtu.be/vmEzF1MCvPE 

 

May 15, 2023

“When we're able to put most of our energy into developing our natural talents, extraordinary room for growth exists. So, a revision to the "You-can-be-anything-you-want-to-be" maxim might be more accurate: You cannot be anything you want to be—but you can be a lot more of who you already are.”

― Tom Rath, Strengths Finder

Very often parents focus on improving the weaknesses in their children, but actually the opposite is more effective.  The best way for any person to grow is to focus on their strengths - virtues, talents, or what they are naturally good at.  Using those strengths builds confidence and actually can then make up for the weaknesses.  Listen in as we discuss how to empower children through “strengths-based parenting”.

Play and Pray Challenge - www.messyfamilyproject.org/challenge/

Catholic Couples Getaway - www.catholiccouplesgetaway.com/    

Watch here - https://youtu.be/TTV85m_tlp0 

 

May 8, 2023

“You know that feeling you get after a good night’s sleep?
Yea, me neither.” - Every Parent Ever

If you feel like you are living in a state of almost constant exhaustion, you are not alone.  It's not just the sleepless nights and crazy days - that’s a reality that parents have always had to deal with.  We believe parents are more exhausted today because  there are certain elements of our culture that do drain our energy more than parents in the past experienced. In this podcast, we pinpoint those elements so you can see them, recognize them for what they are, and learn how to manage them.  You do not have to be worn down all the time!  Managing the stressors of parenting is possible and hopefully we can help you with these tips and tricks!

Play and Pray Challenge - www.messyfamilyproject.org/challenge/

Catholic Couples Getaway - www.catholiccouplesgetaway.com/    

Watch here - https://youtu.be/inI8NPgFzsg 

May 1, 2023

 "Men do not fear a powerful hostile army as the powers of hell fear the name and protection of Mary." -St. Bonaventure

One of the questions we ask parents as an icebreaker for our in-person events is “How many of your childrren have used rosaries as weapons?” This is a common experience of families with young children as parents try to pray.  We get it.  For a long time, we found it hard to encourage devotion to the rosary with our children, but we have grown and learned a lot over the years! As we launch into the month of May, we wanted all our listeners to take some time to reflect on why the Blessed Mother is so important to families.  In this re-release of an earlier podcast, we talk about devotion to Our Lady, how to pray the rosary as a family creatively, and how she can inspire us in our family life.  Listen in and be encouraged and inspired!

Find all this and more at www.messyfamilyproject.org

Play and Pray Challenge - www.messyfamilyproject.org/challenge/ 

Apr 24, 2023

“Before we began the adoption process, before we could be the parents our children needed us to be, I had to grieve those losses.  I had to offer my broken dreams to Jesus, and trust He would not permit me to carry the cross of infertility unless He could bring something beautiful out of it.” - Emily Stimpson Chapman

This interview with Emily and Chris Chapman is an amazing conversation about some deep and painful topics, but sprinkled with laughter and joy!  Emily Stimpson Chapman is an accomplished author and Insta personality, but she is also a wife, mother, and friend to us!  Through their own journey in the ups and downs of single life and then marriage, Chris and Emily have learned many lessons that they share with us in this podcast with wisdom and humor.  It's amazing to hear how you can go from living alone, to living with a husband, to living with 3 babies in a very short amount of time.  Add to that a basement flooding with sewage, ailing parents, and adjusting to family life overall makes for some interesting conversations!  Join us for this visit with the Chapmans and be encouraged on your unique journey with the Lord.

Find all this and more at www.messyfamilyproject.org

Watch here - https://youtu.be/QBesLrHJ4vw

Apr 17, 2023

“How can there be too many children? That’s like saying there are too many flowers.” - St. Theresa of Calcutta

There is great confusion in our world, even among good Catholics, about the purpose of marriage and even the purpose of having children. Catholics do not “discern having another child”.  Instead, our default is that we are always open to new life in our families, but in grave circumstances, we can postpone pregnancy for the overall good of our family.  In this episode, we discuss how we can form our conscience to come to a deeper understanding of the role of children in our marriage that includes, but also goes beyond, financial considerations. Discerning this area of marriage can be tricky, so we called a lifeline for this one, and invited Jonathan and Amanda Texiera, founders of WalletWin, to come on and help us to navigate this issue and give couples good questions to discuss with each other and options to consider.  

Watch the episode here: https://youtu.be/x_vnTYkxO9Y

For more information on this and other topics visit: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/

 

Apr 10, 2023

“Its better to be wrong together than right alone” - Mike and Alicia

 

There are many things that spouses need to navigate in life - finances, educational choices, work issues, in-laws - and for all of these issues there is an “X factor” that makes all the difference - UNITY.  Without unity, even the most perfect of scenarios will not bring peace, but with unity there is nothing that life throws at a couple that they will not be able to handle.  The question is, how do you forge that unity with each other when you have two different visions of what your family should look like?  In this episode, we tackle this difficult question by encouraging couples to “push up”; to look at your life from the 50,000 foot level.  Instead of starting with the details, start with the big picture.  Those are the conversations that are most helpful.  Listen in as we give couples some concrete questions to discuss with each other to build that unity that is absolutely essential to a flourishing marriage and family life. 

Find all this and more at messyfamilyproject.org

Watch episode here - https://youtu.be/q365bqR8NTI

Apr 3, 2023

“Dream big, plan simple, act now.” - Mike and Alicia Hernon

Dreaming is an integral part of living a life to the fullest.  But dreams that take us away from our vocation are fantasies and actually detract from living an abundant life.  What is the difference and why is it important? Dreaming in the best sense is an essential skill to have. Not everyone is a natural dreamer, but we can all learn to be!  In this podcast, we discuss having a Growth mindset versus a Fixed mindset and how that affects our family life. We also give some tips for how to rise above the everyday work that we do and create a vision for your family that will motivate and inspire you to grow. 

Watch here: https://youtu.be/Sh-X0FGePeo

Find all this and more at messyfamilyproject.org

Mar 27, 2023

“Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting.” - Brene Brown

The emotions of young people can be overwhelming to us, but we have to realize that they are overwhelming to them as well!  How can parents help children to regulate their emotions in a healthy way?  Not every emotion needs discipline, sometimes kids need understanding and empathy to assist them in learning how to move through their own feelings.  In this podcast, we give some practical steps for parents to help their child to recognize, express, and get in control of their strong emotions.  This is an issue that can be tough for parents, especially if they have never learned this skill themselves, but it is essential for the well-being of every child. 

Family Board Meeting Course - https://messyfamilyhood.com/

Find information on this and more at https://messyfamilyproject.org/

Watch episode here - https://youtu.be/ZGS5dMBEMCc

Mar 20, 2023

Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents’ welfare. - Gaudium et Spes, 50

Listener questions are back!  We had a wonderful time visiting with listeners all over the East Coast and as we traveled we collected questions from them.  Here are a few of those questions including how to emotionally handle the mess and chaos that inevitably comes with young children, getting kids to behave at mass, and family of origin issues.  We also talk about bringing the Montessori philosophy into how you view your children and the importance of living with purpose.  Listen in to our conversation with Katie who asks us these questions from the perspective of “every parent” who deals with these issues on a daily basis. 

 

Family Board Meeting Course - https://messyfamilyhood.com/ 

 

For more information on this and other topics visit: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/

 

View the episode here - https://youtu.be/ICRiQC2bftA

Mar 13, 2023

When we look at the lives of those who have faithfully followed Christ, we are inspired with a new reason for seeking the City that is to come and at the same time we are shown a most safe path by which… we will be able to arrive at perfect union with Christ, that is, perfect holiness. - Lumen Gentium, 50

One of our great gifts as Catholics is the “older brothers and sisters” that God has given us in the saints.  There are saints for every personality, vocation, and even job type!  In this episode, we interview the creators of the podcast “Saints Alive!” who tell dramatizations of the life stories of the saints.  This is a great tool for parents in this digital age when we are all looking for good media to put in front of our children and into their minds. We hope this will be a valuable resource for parents looking to fill their children's minds with good and holy things!      

Saints Alive Podcast - https://www.saintsalivepodcast.com/episodes

Family Board Meeting Course - https://messyfamilyhood.com/ 

For more information on this and other topics visit: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/

View the episode here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBVi8fszH6k

Mar 6, 2023

Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most solemn obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators. This role in education is so important that only with difficulty can it be supplied where it is lacking. ~ Pope Paul VI, Declaration of Christian Education

 Educating children is one of the most important and daunting tasks parents must face.  For some parents who have good resources at their disposal, the choice may be easy.  For other parents, the choice is agonizing - charter school, Catholic school, homeschool, or public school…. What is the best thing for my child at this time?  But the needs of your child are not the only thing that you need to consider.  In this episode, Mike and Alicia give parents a framework for the conversation they need to have with their spouse on educational choices for their children.  There is not only one answer!  Listen in to this reboot of a classic conversation on marriage and parenting. 

 

Interested in Cana90 for your parish or yourself - https://messyfamilyproject.org/cana90 

Family Board Meeting Course - https://messyfamilyhood.com/ 

For more information on this and other topics visit: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/

View the episode here - https://youtu.be/zK3fPkNt2Oc

 

Feb 27, 2023

Children have not been given to parents as a present, but as a trust for which, if lost through their negligence, they must render an account to God. ~ St. Alphonsus Ligouri

 

Raising teens is an art, not a science.  It takes finesse, subtleties, and nuances to get it right. Children are pushing back and trying to become independent adults while they are still not yet ready for the responsibilities of adulthood.  How do you slowly give them more freedom while making sure you don’t give them TOO much?  In this episode, we interview Bill and Tanis Merimee, parents of 9 children and founders of the ministry Marriages of Grace.  Bill and Tanis have a unique perspective also because they are both musicians and have children who are particularly artistic.  Teens who are artistic have special challenges and needs because they have a great gift to give the world - their art!  How can parents nurture this artistic temperament while avoiding the pitfalls that can come with the godless culture that is growing in the art world.  Listen in and join the conversation!   



Interested in Cana90 for your parish or yourself - https://messyfamilyproject.org/cana90 

 

Moms and Dads Courses- https://messyfamilyhood.com/ 

 

For more information on this and other topics visit: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/

 

View the episode here - https://youtu.be/eRnjftj7r5w

 

Feb 22, 2023

Each day be conscious of your duty to be a saint. — A saint! And that doesn’t mean doing strange things. It means a daily struggle in the interior life and in heroically fulfilling your duty right through to the end. ~ St. Jose Maria Escriva

 

One of the things we teach couples all the time is that marriage and family life is your path to holiness.  So the celebration of Lent and Easter should look different if you are a married person!  Sacrifices and commitments that take away from your vocation should be avoided because the first step in discerning anything is to consider your state in life. This means that you and I can become holy by not just having an hour of adoration, but also by playing with our toddlers!  Or taking your teen out to coffee, or having a weekly date night with your spouse. Catholics need to explore more of what it means to be a saint in our homes.  Listen in to this webinar we did on the Monday before Ash Wednesday to explain our Cana90 program for couples and families. 

Interested in Cana90 for your parish or yourself - https://messyfamilyproject.org/cana90 

 

Moms, Dads, and Family Board Meeting Courses- https://messyfamilyhood.com/ 

 

For more information on this and other topics visit: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/

 

View the episode here - https://youtu.be/9XXXCgvrRgI 

Feb 13, 2023

“When she’s in your company, your daughter tries harder to excel. When you teach her, she learns more rapidly. When you guide her, she gains confidence. If you fully understood just how profoundly you can influence your daughter's life, you would beoverwhelmed, or both.” ― Dr. Meg Meeker

All girls have a certain pattern of physical development that will change them into women, but these changes need to be guided, nurtured, and shaped by loving parents.  The genius of womanhood is a great gift to the world and parents are the ones who help a girl realize this gift. We did this podcast to help all parents encourage the feminine qualities within their daughters.  Not stereotypes, but honest, strong, and true womanhood.  Listen in as we give some insights, inspiration, and practical advice.  

Read more on masculinity and femininity - https://messyfamilyproject.org/resources/gender-differences-taking-the-risk

Interested in Cana90 for your parish or yourself - https://messyfamilyproject.org/cana90 

Moms and Dads Courses- https://messyfamilyhood.com/ 
 
For more information on this and other topics visit: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/

View the episode here - https://youtu.be/Al0Wlyat9iI

Feb 3, 2023

Manhood isn’t something that simply happens to boys as they get older. It’s an achievement – something a boy accomplishes, something that can easily go awry. If we ignore the importance of this transition, and fail in our duty as parents to guide boys through it, then we will learn the hard way why traditional cultures invest this transition with so much importance. - Dr Leonard Sax

In today’s world we cannot assume that all boys will grow up to be masculine men.  But this is the task of every parent of a boy!  Parents need to recognize that boys need to be guided on the road to manhood.  It doesn’t just happen all by itself.  To give this guidance well, parents need to first realize that boys and girls have been created with different gifts.  Though a truly balanced man finds within himself both masculine and feminine qualities, parents need to start with encouraging a boy’s strengths, his masculine qualities.  Listen into this conversation as we discuss how parents can take an active role in encouraging masculinity in their sons.  

 

Read more on masculinity and femininity - https://messyfamilyproject.org/resources/gender-differences-taking-the-risk

Interested in Cana90 for your parish or yourself - https://messyfamilyproject.org/cana90 

Moms and Dads Courses- https://messyfamilyhood.com/ 

 For more information on this and other topics visit: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/

 View the episode here - https://youtu.be/yFwQIagpisg 



Jan 23, 2023

"Creating informal rituals when you can connect emotionally is critical in a marriage" ~ John M. Gottman, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

 

Dating your spouse consistently is the easiest thing you can do to keep your love alive - and its fun too!  We have been challenged recently to spend more time with each other and just have fun.  Because our work puts us in each other's orbit all the time, it can be easy for us to think that we don’t need MORE time together, but we do.  Date night reminds us that our relationship must come first because it is the foundation of our family.  Listen in as we give some encouragement, ideas, motivation, and inspiration to always, no matter what, date your spouse. 

 

Family Board Meeting Webinar - https://messyfamilyproject.org/our-events/date-night/2023-family-board-meeting-webinar 

Interested in Cana90 for your parish or yourself - https://messyfamilyproject.org/cana90 

Moms and Dads Courses- https://messyfamilyhood.com/ 

For more information on this and other topics visit: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/

View the episode here - https://youtu.be/dAwqkXM3UMg 

Jan 18, 2023

“Anger isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can be.”

For some reason, dealing with sons and daughters can bring out anger in a person who has been mild mannered and easy going their whole life!  Why is that?  What we have noticed is that children do not create our weaknesses, they reveal them. It is good to understand why we react so strongly to certain situations in order to grow in virtue.  In this podcast, we shed some light on the truth about anger, give some tools and ideas for handling anger, and share some of our own experiences and difficulties.  If you struggle with anger you are not alone!  Listen in and join the conversation.  

Family Board Meeting Webinar - https://messyfamilyproject.org/our-events/date-night/2023-family-board-meeting-webinar 

Interested in Cana90 for your parish or yourself - https://messyfamilyproject.org/cana90 

Moms and Dads Courses- https://messyfamilyhood.com/ 

 

For more information on this and other topics visit: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/


View the episode here - https://youtu.be/aYv3whGxIdo

Jan 10, 2023

“The sacrifices our parents made to give us brothers and sisters is one of the greatest things they have done for us.” - Mike and Alicia Hernon

We usually talk about family life from the perspective of parents.  But for this podcast, we are going to take some time to talk about what it was like growing up in a family of 6 for Mike and a family of 10 for Alicia.  We didn’t realize it as kids, but our parents' lives were really hard and they made a lot of sacrifices having the large families that they had. We see now that although our parents had difficulties, they were not prevented from giving us the greatest gift that they could - our brothers and sisters. Our siblings haven’t blessed us just as children, but we have been able to benefit from those relationships into adulthood!  Our brothers and sisters have colored in the outlines that our parents traced for us.  We hope that all parents listening will realize that more than money, premier schools, or fancy clothes your children need brothers and sisters.  Those relationships are riches they will have for the rest of their lives! 

Get your Messy Family gear -  jacket, pullovers, and Yeti at : https://messyfamilyproject.org/give 

View the episode here https://youtu.be/3Ely0kr-Ifw

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