alastair simMiss Sylvia Cotton is our latest guest blogger. Miss Cotton is Founder and Headmistress of St Felicity and Perpetua School for Girls in Upper Gusset, Rhode Island. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Home Economics, Miss Cotton is an avid sportswoman, sailor and world traveler. Author of several books on how to raise Catholic young ladies–among them Seven Veils and Severed Heads and Leave Room for the Holy Spirit!  she collects Civil War memorabilia and sings bass in the Sweet Adelines woman’s barbershop quartet group. Her brother, Monsignor Vincent Cotton is chaplain to the school.

One of the things most widely overlooked in today’s world is morals. “Morals” I always tell my girls, “should be tight, like bootlaces, not loose like a pinafore.” One needs a certain amount of backbone in today’s world to be a proper Catholic young lady.

In my own opinion the Holy Father was right to remind Catholic girls not to breed like rabbits. There is no need for that sort of thing. No indeed. Nine or ten children are quite enough. No Catholic gentleman would demand more of a good Catholic girl. Once all that unpleasantness is finished it is up to the girl to put a stop to it.

She should tell her husband quite firmly that she has better things to do than to continue having little ones. Lord knows we all love the little bedbugs as my mother used to call them, but common sense must come into play.

A good Catholic girl should have a few tricks up her sleeve to prevent any more bedbugs appearing. Of course, if the family home is large enough after nine or ten children it is not a bad idea for the Mother and Father to keep separate bedrooms. It’s quite dignified for the man to have his own space where he can keep his books, his guns, a pipe and his model train set. If he is lonely in bed the dog can be a cozy companion.

Meanwhile the “Master” bedroom can become Mother’s room– a good place for her to do her knitting, breed dogs, make ammunition and store the jars of canned swimsuitvegetables from the garden. My mother was fond of taxidermy and would always have a project on the go in her room. The ibex head Papa brought back from one of his expeditions was an especially fond memory of mine whilst growing up.

In addition to these techniques for avoiding more children a good Catholic girl will pay attention to her wardrobe. No sense tempting the man with revealing clothes and tight fitting dresses.

Boiler suits are extremely practical for the hard working Mother. They have plenty of capacious pockets and are easy to slip out of after a busy day and most men will not look with desire on a woman with such attire.

Swimwear is especially difficult, and I recommend a swimming costume like this which combines warmth, modesty and is very attractive to boot.

One of the advantages to a GCG (Good Catholic Girl) turning off the little bedbugs is that she can devote her time to charitable causes, making hearty packed lunches for her brood and helping to promote the Devotion to the Green Scapular.

As my brother Monsignor Cotton is fond of saying, “A GCG should be a blend of Mother Teresa, Mata Hari and Mary Poppins.”

At St Felicity and Perpetua’s those are the sort of gals we aim to produce.