Sunday has always been the day of religion and "God's day" when I was growing up. Yet having 5 children changed that.
Don't get me wrong, in our home Sunday is still that but although I would love to say that nothing gets between this family and God I would be lying, and those two don't go.
We have our day's where we are the first one's entering the church doors. Primed and pressed in our Sunday bests. And than we have days like today where we are 10 minutes late shuffling amongst the church pews, separating amongst the crowds, and just barely holding on.
For the longest time I was torn.
I always enjoyed Sundays at church, listening to the glorious music, listening to the preaching and responding in chorus, and drawing close to all the beliefs I hold dear. But the problem was not one thing but five. No I'm not a horrible mom and yes I referred to my children as problems... hurdles they are five hurdles. I always worried about the people around me. The ones that my toddler may be trying to tug on, or the one that my loving 5 year old try's to chat up with during the opening prayer. Sunday is a day of reflection and more so when you're in church. I worried that my children would take that from some.
Here is my realization:
Everyone starts somewhere: we all started going to church at some point in our lives, most when we were little. Now I know that I can't speak for everyone but I will speak for myself when I say I was restless, I talked, I wiggled in the pew, and I'm sure I was an aggravation to some. But through that I have learned the proper etiquette of church. I have learned to enjoy church, and my children will one day reach that point as well.
Church is a place for foregiveness: We pray for forgiveness, we confess our sins, God accepts us for who we are. God surely won't be angry that my toddler is prancing around in church and not sitting like a statue, in fact it counts that I brought my restless child to church, and I am making the effort to raise my children in the religion and give them a belief system. You may be snickered at and frowned upon by the people surrounding you in the instance but they are the ones that count. You're not there for them.
Children mass is for CHILDREN: arriving to church a few minutes late meant that my family was torn from one pew to another. There I sat in between an elderly couple and a family of 5. There I was in the middle of a church pew with a restless toddler. Fantastic. It was quite clear that my toddler was making the surrounding individuals comfortable as the older couple got up and moved half way through mass and the family actually left. I felt bad. I felt angry. And I felt like my experience was ruined. I wanted to leave mass.
At the end of mass my feelings we're quickly changed by several families applauding my children's behavior, as well as my effort to get my spunky five there.
From one more of a large blended family of five. Do what makes you happy, sometimes you have to let others opinions and feelings not bother you. And if church is what makes you happy than I applaud you to go!
Sara, Mommsie Knows Best
As I navigated the aisles of Walmart with a screaming toddler tucked under my right arm, while pushing the cart with the left, and a very opinionated 5 year old eagerly directing me, I cringed as I passed each and every by-stander. There was staring, some pretending not to stare and the few who offered to help. And every single offer that I had was from a mom, a mom who "remembers those days", or "has been there before". And just as I am sure they declined the offer, I too declined with a simple "thank you, but I'm ok".
I wasn't ok.
Sure I was okay in that moment, in the sense that I wasn't crouched down crying. I wasn't broken yet, but I absolutely felt close to my breaking point.
A rainy morning, a dirty car that the kids didn't empty that they said they emptied. A garbage scattered yard because my 9 year old was told to bring out the recycables and he did but simply threw them in a pile. A morning conversation that I play favorites and that my step children were far from my favorites. A good morning spill of coffee all over my car, with crumbs of rolls and bagels tossed around so elegantly because "mom allowed us to eat in the car", a screaming baby because she's 15 months old and she simply can. It was just "one of those days". And I could have used the help, someone to push the cart while my 15 month tried to break free from my mom grip. Someone to help me pick the baby shoe up off of the floor for the tenth time in a 2 minute span because today just wasn't the day for these shoes, or someone to help wipe up my spilled sanity I mean coffee off of the cereal aisle floor. I would have loved the help, but I'm mom, I got this.
We've been here, or close to it. But when your day is a rainy day it's hard to see past it, without the noise of the windshield wiper reminding you that it's a sucky rainy day. You're going to get through that rainy day. Just as I did, but when it's pouring and you just can't see past the rain, take the help. Say yes for once. For the creation of umbrellas were for a reason. Let that kind offer be your umbrella and give you brief shelter from the rain.
Sara, Mommsie Knows Best
Everyday my eager 5 year old wakes up with a grin from ear to ear, happy to greet the morning.
Eggs, toast, and the Disney channel fulfil her morning.
Patterned leggings, a tutu, and a shimmery t-shirt outfits her, with of course an adorable pair of shoes.
Pig tails, or braid, for mommy to do, and when I am not quick enough I get a brush waving in my face.
11am hits the clock.
And the earth shattering words of “get ready, your bus is coming soon” hits her ears.
Suddenly, my eager grin bearing independent lady isn’t so eager any more.
“I wish I was a baby again”.
“I’ll go to school tomorrow, but not today”.
“Life was so easy when I was little”.
As much as I want to laugh at her, and of course give her mom cuddles and save the day by letting her stay home, what exactly would I be teaching her?
Unfortunately, life is hard.
We all grow up.
Now I’m not saying that I am forcing my baby to grow up quicker than she needs to, but I can’t coddle her either.
We all have a job.
A task we must fulfil.
And her task is preschool from 12pm to 3pm. In those moments, she gets to feed her brain, to learn, and to be introduced to things outside of her world at home that I can’t necessarily do for her.
In those small three hours she is learning what sharing is, and that she is able to ask other people for help. She is learning that other people outside of mom and dad say no. She is learning that there are other children who are equally as important as her.
The thing is, my daughter has hearing loss.
She has a speech impediment.
So although I would love to keep her home, safe in my arms, away from the harsh world, I know that the more I shelter her, and the more I try to prevent her from being hurt, that when it does happen it will hurt more.
She’s going to be made fun of.
Children, even adults are going to make fun of her.
I have a hard time accepting that. But truth is, even at my age I still get made fun of. I think that because I know the pain she is going through that I want to protect her even more, but I know I can’t.
Every time she cry’s that she wishes she was a baby again, I want to cry with her.
She may know that preschool is tough for a 5 year old. But what she doesn’t know is that when she has her first crush that he may tease her, and say eww. She doesn’t know that one day her face may be dressed with acne, and she may go through a chubby period where she gets made fun of. Middle school is going to make or break her, she’s is going to learn about sex, and drugs, and all scary things for a parent, that’s going to be tough. High school is going to come, she’s going to be learning who she is, she’s going to lose friends and find out who her real friends are, school is going to be challenging, she’s going to be faced with temptation and the struggles of being a teenager, and that all is going to be hard.
Seeing her cry about not wanting to grow up breaks me.
I don’t want her to grow up.
I want to lay on the couch, wrap her in my arms, and coddle her. I want to breathe in the sweet smell of her bubble gum shampoo, and talk about all things Shopkins, and Sophia the first.
My task is letting her spread her wings, and her job is to take off soaring.