Sunday Morning Blues

This morning, as I do every Sunday morning, I attempted to go to church.

My alarm went off at 7:15, which should give me plenty of time to get everyone ready for our 9:30 service, but it seems no matter how early I get up and how quickly I get dressed, I am still late.

Today it was because Jake didn’t want to take his pajama’s off.  Hoping it would help, we had a whole conversation about horses and how he was going to wear some on his socks – it took at least 15 minutes to just get him in the mood to take his PJ’s off and allow me to put his dress shirt on, and then another 15 just to get him dressed, another 15 to get him in the car… you get the picture. The kid moves like molasses, seriously.

Brandon has to be at church early, so on Sundays I am a single mom. Once I get the kids, as well as Jake’s church backpack {which are filled with quiet toys that are SUPPOSED- key word here- to keep him preoccupied} and all the rest of the things I need for the morning in the car, I drive like a maniac down Eight Mile Road, passing cars every opportunity I get and praying that I haven’t missed offering time {the most opportune time to enter unnoticed}.

This morning we were actually doing pretty good time wise, only about 20 minutes late….big whoop and holler here for me! It was raining, so we dash into church as quick as possible and to my dismay Jake spies some of the young girls who he LOVES from the youth group. Normally this would be great, and I would pass him off to them, except this morning these girls were sitting ON THE FRONT ROW! Jake pulls away from my hand, runs down the aisle and plops himself down with them, right next to my pastor’s wife. He still had his toggle coat on and his rainbow stripped mittens, and probably the whole church saw him since he was jumping up and down, clapping and waving his little stripped hands right along with the choir.

I was dying.

We have a huge church, and on most Sunday mornings we have around 2,000+ people in attendance. I could see it now- Jake deciding to have a meltdown and my pastor’s wife, right in the middle of the message, having to carry him by his waist in front of all those people back to me. To have him sit there was A BIG NO in my book. I was just so not up for it. ha.

So during offering, I went down to take Jake his $1 he set aside “for Jesus” {so cute} and when we walked it to the basket, I just kept walking him right towards the back pew where I was sitting…but he was not to be fooled.

About halfway up the aisle, he realizes he is not going back to the front row. He looses it and starts screaming, “I want to sit with Kayla {one of the girls}” over and over and then proceeds to throw a tantrum right there in the middle of the aisle. I’m threatening disciplinary actions, which he of course can’t hear through his screaming and the music. When I tried to pick him up, he goes limp, so I end up dragging him out the door to the lobby by his sweater.

I was so embarrassed.

I take him into the Genesis Room, our meet and greet area, which was thankfully empty, and we have a very good chat- that probably the entire lobby heard- which results in Jake sitting in the corner crying and screaming, {thinking it would make me get him out?!?} “I’m tired, Mommy!”

I sat across the room with tears in my eyes thinking, I’m tired too! I’m sick and tired of going to all the trouble getting to church and then end up leaving my precious baby girl with my in laws while I spend the entire service in the lobby disciplining an out of control toddler. I’m tired of trying to hear the message through the cracks in the door and attempting to piece some sort of makeshift service together in my mind from the little that I hear.

Yes, I’m tired too. Maybe I should find a corner and throw a good fit right along with him. Sheesh.

Once Jake calms down, we start walking to the bathroom to wash his hands and face. I run into another mom who had just arrived with her two kids. She was super embarrassed and said, “I’m so ashamed that we are late. Why can’t I get it together?”

I wanted to hug her. I so know her pain. I told her I am late EVERY Sunday. She said, “I would never expect that from you. Thanks for telling me.”

It made me realize something.

All of us moms are so busy with our own kids that we forget to look around and see that all the other moms are in the same boat. None of us are getting much from services, and none of us feel like we have it together. Parenting is REALLY HARD, probably the hardest job I have ever done, and it takes a lot of work, and tons of sacrifice. It takes diligence and perseverance. It takes giving up things that mean a lot to you. I think that is the hardest part.

I know this time will pass, I have been told that over and over. And I know I am doing the right thing by giving myself to my babies, molding them and shaping them, and being consistent. And despite the suggestions from well meaning friends, I will not stop trying to go to church. If I keep at it, someday they will get it. Someday Jake will understand how to behave during service.

So for now, I will continue to grasp the small portions of the Sunday message that I can. And maybe I can lower my expectations a little and understand this is small time in my life. That I only have these precious babies for a little bit and that giving up some of the things I enjoy {like sitting uninterrupted in church :) } is a small sacrifice in the big picture.

And if you are reading this and have perfectly well behaved children and never struggle in church with them….please don’t tell me! ha! Ok, maybe you can, but only to mention what you have done to get them like that? :)

Hope your Sunday was blessed and tantrum free! xoxo

7 thoughts on “Sunday Morning Blues

  1. 1
    SoShawna says:

    Oh man, this was so painful to read because it's EXACTLY where I am in my life! When I go to church, since my husband is involved in ministry and music, I sit alone and deal with two energetic young kids. I always feel like I'm distracting everyone around me…should I stay and try to get the kids to behave and hope that people around aren't getting mad at me…or should I just take them out and forego getting anything out of the service, yet again… {sigh} Thank you for your blog and the reminder that this is only for a season! Love you Ames!

  2. 2
    Anonymous says:

    I am so with you Amy!
    I have to hold out hope that God makes allowances for us Mom's because seriously I can't tell you the last time I've gotten anything out of service.
    If by some glimmer of hope Ella and David are sitting with us and they take the boys, at that point I'm so physically exhausted that I'm nodding off during service and still don't get anything out of it.
    This is why I'm glad you have your blog. Like you said its so nice to know we are not the only Mom's.

  3. 3
    Regina M. says:

    sorry that was from Regina M.

  4. 4
    LaDawn D says:

    This is my life EVERY Sunday as well, except I am fighting with 2 kids that won't cooperate. I will say that my oldest in just a peach during church, but the 3 year old and 21 month old are so trying! I keep trying new things, bringing new toys, snacks etc but so far nothing seems to be working. There are just days when I want to sit back and cry like you did. Thanks for the post, I know other parents are going through or have gone through the same things, but it's nice to hear or read it every once in awhile:) Last Sunday my daughter had a dance recital at 2:00 and of course I am little miss "mom of the year," so I volunteer to make the programs…except now it's Sunday morning just hours before the recital and the programs haven't even been started! UGH! So I decide I need to skip church and get these done…but I, like you, think that repition and practice will make my 3 year old learn how to act in church so I ask my mom to take her to church for me. She happily accepts the opportunity, but what I didnt think of is that my dad was out of town for work, and my mom is head of the praise team…therefore she is on stage often singing….so my sweet little Zoe takes her Curious George stuffy up front with Grammy and proceeds to rool around on the floor while kissing and hugging George. I of course hear the story and am mortified, but MANY people from church have contacted me to say what a joy it was to watch her on the stage as if no one else could see her…long story short…they all LOVE and ADORE our kids even when they do things that are embarrassing to us as parents….keep going with it and I know it will get better…Maty was 4 or 5 when I think she finally became the perfect little pupil at church…your time is coming:)

  5. 5
    LaDawn D says:

    I also wanted to ask if you know of any great youth pastors looking for jobs or to make a move? Our church is currently seeking a youth pastor, and I was hoping maybe to find a sweet family like yours that would like to live in rural USA:) North Dakota has been a wonderful place for us to raise our family….but I know it's not everyones first choice. Just let me know if you can think of anyone! I really appreciate it. you can email me or reply to your comments on this post.

  6. 6
    Jenni says:

    Ok, so I admit that I don't go to church every Sunday, usually I only go when my parents are in town, but when I do go, I would say that your story is exactly how I feel. I am too busy worrying about the kids to really get anything out of church and the message. Sometimes I wonder what the point is, but I know it is important to my parents and my kids, so I stick with it and try to get what I can out of it.

  7. 7
    Amy says:

    Honestly, Jenni, sometimes I wonder why I go too. Our church broadcasts online and that is so tempting every Sunday. I wish Jake would go into the nursery, but he hates it and I get buzzed EVERY TIME! :( I always tell myself it would be so much easier if Brandon wasn't sitting on the platform and I wasn't all by myself, but I see other moms in the hallway every Sunday so I guess its universal. so frustrating!

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