I know I will get some flack for this but I really dislike going to church lately. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind praying, I actually like talking with God. It’s not even the ritual of the Catholic Church that get me. I know that is a sticking point for some. It’s the actual act of sitting in church and trying to keep my kids quite and well-behaved for a full hour.
I know people have been doing this for years and their kids manage to behave. But sitting in church trying to get my kids to sit still, pay attention, behave, stop fighting, etc…. will that alone takes an act of God! The whole while the old women who subscribe to the total fire and brimstone, your going to hell because your five year old is acting like a five year old glares at me. I see here judgmental looks, eye rolling and sneers (and yes we are in church you would think they would be more understanding.) But to be honest church with kids totally stresses me out. From the moment we have to get dressed it is an arduous task of finding proper clothes, then forcing my kids to wear them, that is why most of the time we end up there in jeans. (Insert more glaring looks.)
Once we arrive, late as usual we end up having to squeeze our brood into the middle of a pew. I pray (right place for it) desperately my son will not step on the toes of the 80-year-old, we are trying to squeeze past. We are finally seated but that is when the real stress begins. The lying down, the jumping around, the sibling fights, the raised voice. For me the stress. I know the lady behind us is thinking “my children never behaved like this in church,” and “these new mothers can’t control their kids in church.”
My daughter celebrates her First Communion tomorrow and I am proud but equally agitated with the anticipation of trying to get me son to behave and my daughter to not have a fear-filled dramatic episode. Now I know church should be a place of peace, calm and contented contemplation. I believe that it will be. Maybe in the next season of my life. I know I must give my children the foundation and values the church brings. Hopefully they will gain the discipline and self control that increases with age, but for now well… I don’t like going to church.