Sunday, January 4, 2009

Troubles at Church

I'll start out by saying I LOVE going to church on Sunday. I am involved in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program for 3 to 6 yr olds. It is very rewarding seeing the kids "get" our religion at such a young age.

It took me a long time to find a new church home, but I thought that I had finally found the perfect "home" for our whole family. My 18 yr old is currently not interested in going to church & we are giving him his space, hoping that he will come back to his faith on his own. Our 21 yr old comes to some events, but doesn't attend services on a regular basis. The 10 yr old and the 8 yr old go every week. They are in the children's choir and they are very involved in all aspects of church life. The 3 yr old is in the Catechesis class that I assist in and doing very well.

The 1 yr old is the current problem child. She is too young for any of the programs offered and she is too aggressive in the nursery. In December the nursery director and I agreed that we would keep her out of the nursery for the month in hopes of giving her some time to get past her biting phase. One week I took her to Cathechesis with me and the other weeks there wasn't any Sunday school hour because of other events on the church schedule. I had to leave the church service a couple times because she was too rambunctious, but I was able to return in time for communion and she didn't seem to be bothering anyone around us.

Today was her first day back in the nursery. She did fine during Sunday school and seemed to enjoy being back with her "friends". I asked her if she wanted to go into church with me, but she insisted she wanted to stay & play. Just after the second reading in church the nursery pager went off and I had to go pick her up. She had scratched the face of one of the other kids. The nursery director and I decided that she definitely seemed tired and that next week it would probably be best if she only stay during Sunday school. Taking her into church proved to be a disaster. She was tired and hungry and only wanted to cry. Unfortunately, this church has no mother's room or cry room. I started getting glares from old ladies and had to leave. Even in the foyer, she would not be quiet for me to listen to the service. I ended up taking her into a whole different section of the building and when it became obvious that she wasn't going to settle down we went to the car to wait for the 8 yr old & 10 yr old to come out.

Now, I'm left feeling that until she outgrows this phase I won't be able to attend church services. Hubby & I had planned to attend the Epiphany service tonight, but decided to stay home, since she already had such a bad morning it wasn't wise to take her back so soon. I'm tempted to see if the cathedral downtown has a cry room & go there for church after attending Sunday school at our current's only about 5 minutes away. Going to the cathedral would mean leaving my 8 yr old and 10 yr old, then going back for them after church, I'm not sure I'm comfortable doing that. The whole thing has left me feeling very sad and alone. Church is currently my only outside activity and it seems I will have to give it up. Hubby works every Sunday and the older boys are not available, they also usually work on Sundays.


Ms. Levit said...

I feel that church at this age is far from a godly experience for me. I attend services with all three kids alone(as Lev is Jewish) and often feel like I am just barely (and really just barely) able to hear, see or participate in mass. I can only hope that it gets better!!!!

Deanna said...

I agree. I get nothing out of going to church because M is usually crawling all over me. However she does need to learn to behave in Mass, particularly because she'll be going once a week in school next year. We don't have a cry room (former pastor chose not to add one with the new renovation because the kids are also members of the church) and we don't have a Sunday school class or nursery (not enough interest in people to watch the kids).
I don't have to tell you it DOES get better. I hope this phase is over soon!