Praying With One Eye Open: Taking My Kids to Church

Church
Photo by K. Keys

The thought of taking my little ones to church sometimes seems like a scary undertaking! Every Sunday I find myself wondering, will I make it out alive? Or will this be the day they finally sit perfectly still like the kids on TV? Not a chance! At least not yet. The last time I took them was an adventure, to say the least. Let me set the scene.  The kids are fine and dandy while the choir sings, but quiet moments send a chill through my spine. Something about the quieter segments trigger my 2 year-old to launch endless chatter, belting out a series of babbles and ruckus laughter. I spend these moments vigorously shushing him and convincing him to sit back down in the pew. I am only halfway able to follow along with the congregational hymn.

Prayer, a time when the congregation joins hands and follows along, I am praying with one eye open, hoping I can make it through this prayer without a major catastrophe. Through my open eye I can see that my 2 year-old manages to get his foot wedged in the pew in front of him as he attempts to retrieve his toy train. So right smack dab, in the middle of the prayer, I must team up with the church member in front of me to unhook him, yank his foot out, and slide him back over the pew. Now I’ve interrupted her prayer as well, but teamwork makes the dream work, right? Sweating from my latest pew workout plan, I reach for the funeral fan in front of me and hope we won’t have anymore catastrophes. I belt out a hardy “amen,” hoping the kids at least nap during the sermon.

Wishful thinking, right? As soon as the sermon begins, my 4 year-old leans in and whispers those words that every mom dreads, “mommy, I have to go potty.” Now? Like, right this second? Up we go, my turn-up crew shuffling towards the aisle to make our way to the bathroom, me apologizing as they bump knees and step on feet. We are quite the spectacle as we interrupt the sermon that just started! Twenty minutes later, because it’s always a long “number 2” when you have somewhere to be, we head back to our seats. Are you kidding me?  The sermon is almost over, and I missed the entire thing! Sigh.

I may have missed the sermon, but at least I will take communion. As I attempt to open my juice/cracker bundle, my 2 year-old attempts to fight me for it. His new-found cracker-craving is unrelenting, and I’m witnessing an old-fashioned meltdown in front of the entire church. In my attempt to save my coveted wafer, I almost spill the juice all over my new white dress. But I’m quick and prevailed…. this time. Now my 4 year-old is begging me for the juice. Her pout turns into actual tears. Like really?  You’re crying over my ounce of grape juice? I manage to selfishly take my communion, both children shooting angry daggers at me for not sharing.

During the benediction, the kids fall asleep on the pew. Are you kidding me? They pick the perfect time to sleep and now I’m stuck here in the pew for at least an hour.  There’s no way I’m waking them up! Mama’s the one that needs the nap!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Author
I am a career-driven mother of 3 dedicated to the health, spiritual, and emotional well-being of moms.