Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 21, 2008
Under the five 'Ps' find personal peace advised parish priest
Author and her family now live according to Mother's Rule of Life
By RAMON GONZALEZ
"Everyone knew when prayer time was; everyone knew when the cleaning was going to be done but it didn't run our lives."
In 2004 Pierlot released a book called A Mother's Rule of Life: How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul. The book, which has sold 30,000 copies, defines motherhood as a vocation and explores how religious orders find success in living out their vocations because of their rules. That's what Pierlot did in her own life.
"Basically I ended up taking the tradition of the Catholic Rule of Life and applying it to the married vocation," she said. "A rule of life is a conscious attending to your vocation."
In practical terms, a mother's rule of life is a time management and a priority issue. That means getting one's Ps in order. P stands for priority and there are five Ps in a mother's rule of life.
Pierlot learned this from an old priest when she got married.
Noting that the first four Ps are all relationship issues, Pierlot said, "It's all about putting the people in your life above the things in your life.
"A mother's rule is about bringing order and peace and God to our lives.
"So many mothers turn this upside down. And fathers too. Fathers spend a lot of time at work and they put work first. Then the family suffers."
When Pierlot put her Ps in order her life changed almost immediately.
"Within 24 hours I noticed a huge reduction in my stress, my house was cleaner, my duties were done and all because I decided to just pay attention to what it was that the Lord was asking me to do and to do it."
Her rule brought order and organization into her home and family. With order, came peace, tranquility and time.
"Everyone knew when prayer time was; everyone knew when the cleaning was going to be done but it didn't run our lives. Everyone knew when mommy was going to get her day out."
The children responded positively to the rule in part because Pierlot stopped calling them out of their playtime to do work.
"An organized mother makes for happier kids."
The Pierlots have prayer every morning. They also go to Mass in the mornings and have an after-lunch quiet time when Pierlot prays for half an hour. They all have family prayer at 8 p.m., which is usually the rosary. Then Pierlot has her own spiritual reading on top of that.
Pierlot began writing her book in 2003, three years after her household began living under her rule.
"I just wrote for two-and-a-half hours every afternoon for four months," she noted.
All five children have specific chores and the only normal housework chore Pierlot does is the laundry.
"I've always sort of looked at it this way - the work belongs to the family; it doesn't belong to the mother."
Pierlot spends her time doing other things now, including homeschooling, writing, lecturing and studying for her master's degree in pastoral and educational studies.
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