Its Sunday. Get out of bed Chelsie. It feels harder. It’s like they know, they being my children. Why is breakfast harder to eat on Sunday? Do I get you dressed for church first, then get myself ready and chance you getting filthy? Or do I dress myself and then you but chance being covered in applesauce and boogers before we even head out the door?
No, walk quietly kids, church has already started. Why are you running? I just said to be quiet! We sneak along the back, that’s where we sit. From there we can take our children out if needed and the very necessary snacks we bring, which always end up on the ground, are easier to clean up if they aren’t ground into the carpet.
Do you not know how to whisper little one? Like this, do you hear mom talking? Talk like this. No, still loud. Ugh, I give up. Where’s the baby? Oh no, no baby those aren’t your snacks! I’m sorry, I should have been watching her. No, you can’t go get a drink, you’ve already been out there, hey, stop trying to take your sisters toy! Wait, why are you crying? Yes bud, I know you need a drink but you can’t keep getting up and down. Okay fine, if I let you go get a drink will you come back and be reverent? Wait, how many speakers have there been? What have I missed? Oh baby, you’re so tired, let’s walk and see if you’ll fall asleep.
Why are we here? I’ve heard nothing. No words from anyone except the very loud definitely not whispers from my children. I’ve felt anger, frustration, sadness. I’ve been overwhelmed, tired and done, none of which have let in the spirit or allowed me to feel at peace. So why do I come?
Classes have started, baby is finally asleep, let’s take the kids to class, endure the melt down of not wanting to go, even though he always loves it and then find a seat in my own class. It feels good to sit down, no no no, baby it’s fine, keep sleeping. Maybe if I bounce her she’ll go back to…ugh okay, let’s just go back out. Only an hour and a half left…why am I here? Why do I choose to go somewhere that I’m counting down until it’s time to leave? What am I even getting out of this? Nothing. I’m getting nothing.
Last hour. I can do this. Baby is awake now, she doesn’t have room to walk around in my class. Please sit on my lap baby, I’ll feed you veggie-straws. See, look at me waving the veggie straw, yep, good girl, come sit on my lap. Wait, why are you getting back down? No! Remember the veggie straws? Maybe if I shake the bag…hey, where are you going? Dang, okay out into the hall we go. She walks the hall and I just follow. Why am I here? There’s so much laundry at home, I could be doing that. Baby probably would have even slept longer in her bed. I’m tired, why did I wear heels? Is it inappropriate to take your shoes off in a church because I haven’t sat down for hours.
The final bell, music to my ears. Let’s pick up the kids and get out of here. This baby needs another nap, who’s calling for momma? Oh that’s mine! Hi buddy! You ready to go? Yes, yes I would love to hear what you learned in class! Let’s just walk to the car while we talk yeah? Cause this momma can’t wait any…oh, you learned that Jesus loves you? You learned that you are never alone because he is always there for you? You learned that you will always be enough for him? You learned that he is proud of you and wants you to pray so you can be close to him? That’s great dude. There it is…the why.
Taking my kids to church is one of my greatest sources of stress. I hear nothing, I feel no spiritual experiences. I’ve picked more snacks up off of the ground than I believe they ate. I hate trying to break up my kids arguments at home let alone in a quiet meeting, they don’t take my whisper as seriously as my stern voice. I think very highly of myself every time I walk out of a sacrament meeting and none of us are crying because guys, ITS HARD!
Raising children in the gospel is hard. Encouraging high morals and helping children develop standards based on love and respect for themselves and others is hard. Teaching children about how to structure your time and set priorities in a way that allows you to do the things that will build a relationship with their Savior is hard! It’s hard! I go to church to stand in that hall so that my kids know that we go to church. I go to church and bounce the baby until my arms are going to fall off so that my kids can learn that Jesus loves them. I walk the halls following a waddling toddler so that they can hear that their Heavenly Father will never leave them alone.
I go to church because I love my Savior and I recognize that this is just a phase of my life. Someday I’ll be sitting in those rooms able to hear everything that’s said and feel the spirit and be able to contribute to the conversations that are had. However, when I get to that point I hope my children are in their own wards. I hope they are sitting in sacrament meeting. I hope they are attending their meetings and partaking of the spirit because when they were young I hung in there. I hope that when things get hard that they turn to prayer and when they want answers they’ll open their scriptures. If I want those things, I have to walk those halls.
I’m already dreading next Sunday. I’m going to have night terrors where I wake up drowning in crushed graham crackers screaming PLEASE JUST WHISPER! I’m going though. This stage is important, no matter how hard. So take them anyway. Sit in the back, let your kids talk a little above a whisper if it means staying sane. Don’t worry about your baby that’s visiting with the people at the other end of the row and breathe. You’re doing the right thing. You’re in the right place. A place where your children can start their relationship with their Savior. That’s why you go there. It’s worth the sacrifice and someday you will see the blessings for your efforts until then, don’t ask why you’re there, just keep going.