An honest question- Do women tend to become more religious when they have children?

So this is an honest question, and I’d really like input from married women with kids. So, over the years I’ve dated a number of Catholic women- from those who were more “EWTN-type” Catholics to those who were Traditional Latin Mass goers, to Eastern Catholics.

In almost all of the cases, these were GREAT women, and they did practice the Faith, but it did not seem like they were very diligent with spiritual practices (daily Rosary, etc) nor did they take an interest in LEARNING more about the Faith through apologetic or reading spiritual books, etc.

On the other hand, I am friends with a number of married couples on Facebook and I noticed that the majority of the Catholic women that are “on fire for the Lord” (as the Protestants would say) are married Catholic women with children. I have this theory that the act of having children triggers some kind of “motherly instinct” where now the woman becomes more religious because she realizes she is now in charge of passing on the Faith to another human being.

It seems the Catholic guys I know are all about studying the Faith and going to Mass and praying the Rosary, whereas the Catholic single women I know, while they are PRACTICING Catholics, are more interested in having fun, going to restaurants, etc.

I’d like some input from married women with children on this. Did you become more religious when you had kids?

Motherhood probably makes an already faithful woman more demonstrative with her faith, because she is intentionally modelling it for her children.

I myself have been more involved in my faith now as a mom because I realize that it’s not just about me anymore. My actions and how I live my faith influence my children. I have a responsibility to them to set a good example. As a single woman, there was less of that.

Both men and women do.

Interesting.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I certainly did. (Disclaimer: I’m divorced.)

A few ideas:

I have actually thought the same of men, and have noticed more women, married or not, practicing the faith than men. Do men tend to go shallow on faith until they meet a faithful woman?

Perhaps the more faithful (in your perception) women pray for marriage and children and get their prayers answered more promptly than the shallow? thus the lack of unmarried faithful ?

Childbirth can be a life-changing experience.

Accountability. When there is a young one there watching you, it becomes more important to BE what you say you are, not just TALK about it.

When I had my daughter I became more faithful, and I wasn’t Catholic yet (my conversion was 20 years away). Having a child makes you feel fully adult all at once and that includes taking your faith more seriously.

After I had produced an child by the grace of God, from my own body, I finally realized the greatness of the responsibility. That drove me to God.

My husband and I reverted to give our son the gift of faith.

BTW - my son just informed me today that a kid has been proselytizing against Catholicism on the playground at school. He specifically told my son and others that Catholics aren’t Christian. A 9 year old! I’m really burned up about it because this kid has been to sleepovers at my house.

I told my son to tell his “friend” that religion is not a topic for discussion. Any other ideas? I’m mightily irritated right now.

I think both can become more so once they have children. Although I have always tried to be spiritual and religious before having children, once I had children it became even more important for me to keep my faith strong. It was more than just me after that.

My parents had fallen away for a few years after they were married, but once I was born, they realized that they wanted to give their child and future children a religion and spiritual background. My father especially got back into his faith once he became a doctor and was involved with life and death constantly. He had started his internship and residency when they were pregnant with me. It helped him make sure we all were raised as Christians.

I don’t think they become more “religious” but I do think they (and men) become more expressive of their faith, where as they may have been more private in the past.

Yes, that and a birth and the thought of what one’s legacy is going to be with one’s children simply has this way of getting people to consider seriously what is important in the big picture, the one that goes on after you die, maybe for generations. People also think about what their parents and grandparents gave to them, what their family is all about, and what they want to hand on themselves.

When this happens within a mixed marriage, it can be very difficult for everyone. People underestimate how important their religious beliefs are to them, before they have children.

Talk to your son about religious intolerance. Explain how and why this is a bad idea. Feel free to use examples of religious intolerance from history. This will not be the first or last time he hears anti-Catholic or anti-Christian sentiments. Teach him to get smart, rather than mad. He could learn some basic apologetic arguments. He shouldn’t have to defend his religion, but it might be nice for him to know enough to answer an obvious lie. Give him the tools to cope.

Then, I would speak to the parents, privately.

I don’t think I became more religious after kids. I’d say I stayed about the same. From my experience teaching religious ed, I’ve seen a lot of families revert once the kids are school aged.

I think part of what you are seeing has to do with the aging process, as well, loath as we do to speak of it. A woman of Faith is more comfortable in her own skin, more sure of who she is in God’s economy, so to speak, by the time she reaches the late 20’s-30’s. Many are married with families by then.

In other aspects I agree with previous posters. I do think marriage can have such an impact on women. We realize we need grace and wisdom to be excellent wives and bring peace to our homes, so we seek God out, we may think of Our Lady for the first time since childhood. As the children come, it takes on a whole new dynamic.

We are building legacy, passing tradition. Suddenly we are the ones getting calls from sisters or cousins, “now, what did Nana always fix for…?” and more importantly, we are interceding for increasingly hurting extended families. If we are not going to be an anchor or watchman, who will be?

Motherhood probably makes an already faithful woman more demonstrative with her faith, because she is intentionally modelling it for her children.

That was true for me. I was not really a practicing Catholic prior to marriage. DH was also not a church-goer (was non-Catholic, but a Believer).

I had had a child out of wedlock (DH was not the father) and other, um, experiences during hs & college yrs which I think, in retrospect, God allowed to show me I was not able to function well without Him intimately in my life - thanks be to God for the sacrament of Reconciliation!

After 25 yrs, DH converted! We have both been blessed so much and continue to pray more and learn more about our Catholic faith each year.

Peace,
Mimi

I did, I think most mothers do and I think many husbands want them to !

I may have become slightly more religious after our children were born, but I definitely became MUCH MORE religious after my parents passed away. That was a major turning point for me instead, but maybe it was just in my case.
You pose a very interesting question!

True for me when I was pregnant a couple of years ago with my fourth. :slight_smile:

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