Church, party of 3

“You really need to start taking her to church so she knows how to behave at Mass.”

I got that little bit of (stern) advice from my mom Sunday afternoon after she asked about our morning.  As usual, I told her that Luciana stayed home with her daddy while I took the older two to church.

I’ll admit — I GLADLY take my mom’s advice on mostly everything — because if I have learned one thing, it’s that my mom and dad were and are always right.  (It brings them great joy that I finally admit that…it stings me a bit).   But when it comes to the whole “you have to take the 1-year-old to church” thing…I’m going to push back a bit.

Let me start by saying this: my church is EXTREMELY WELCOMING.  They are very accepting of crying babies, young children who run up the aisle or who try to high-five the priest as they’re processing into the church.  ALL things MY children have done.

There is a simple reason.  Some may call it a selfish reason.

I need some peace and quiet. I need just one-hour to re-focus, refresh and reset for the coming week.  It’s a calming hour for me…where I normally hear exactly what I NEED to hear.

I don’t want to pick up Cheerios from the floor. I don’t want to keep putting the kneeler up and down because she can’t decide if she wants to sit on it, stand on it or if she wants to lay on the floor.  I don’t want to frantically grab the crayons before she destroys the missale. I don’t want her to throw the fit where her body goes stiff as a board when you try to pick her up.  I don’t want to pick up all of the change, insurance cards, driver’s license and everything in between that she just took out of my wallet and threw everywhere like a ticker tape parade. I don’t want to have to keep leaving the church because she is screaming.

I just want to sit in peace. Just for one hour.

I remember when our oldest was just a baby…I loved taking her to church. But it was for all of the wrong reasons.  I loved dressing her up in the cutest outfits and parading her around the congregation and hearing people say “what a doll!” Forget the fact that I never heard one word the priest said…not one reading…not a bit of the Gospel…none of the Homily…no Communion. Nada.  We were in the lobby of the church the entire time.

For now, it’s just me and the older two. Don’t get me wrong, my 6-year-old son has many moments in church when he hears, “Nico, turn around…Nico, please pay attention…Nico, Jesus is watching.” But he and his older sister also are very familiar with “the look.” It’s been passed down from generation to generation…and there is nothing more effective 😉

Just give mommy that hour.

That reset button is vital…for my sanity and the sanity of everyone else in my family.



12 thoughts on “Church, party of 3

  1. Do they have a 1 year old nursery where you can have your daughter attend while you can concentrate on the sermon? Just wondering, this way your husband can attend the service with you and your older two children.


      1. We had a nursery years ago ( my son is 37) in the balcony. I never got a thing out of Mass when there. It was removed some years later.


  2. Agree, 100%. I start bringing my kids with me when they can handle sitting still and being quiet. I tried several times when they were younger but realized it just wasn’t worth the hassle to try and entertain them and chase them around.


  3. The few times I tried taking mine to church when they were very little, I left so stressed, it just wasn’t worth it. So for the most part, mine stayed home until they were old enough to sit through a kids tv show quietly. I figured once they were able to do that, then they were fully capable of sitting through a mass (relatively) quietly. I had faith that God would understand – and he must have, because they are very good (mostly) in church now!


  4. Totally agree with you. They need to old enough to watch what’s happening in church. My son was as wiggly as they come, but when he started watching what happening on the altar he was good. So good he was ordained a Priest this last weekend and celebrated his first Mass in that same church.


  5. You can come to First Lutheran in Manchester and all kids can be as noisy as they want! Children’s loud noises are the sounds of angels! Plus, my three young boys make all kinds of noise.

    Keep up the good work… being a mama is a sacred ministry as well.

    +pastor tony d. ede


  6. Sorry on this one I’m with your Mom. I family that prays together(in any form) stays together. Just wait until you are years older trying to entertain a 2 year old grandchild in church. The look doesn’t work on grandkids.


  7. I’ve always asked those who’ve thought the littles MUST go to church what they think the children are getting out of it?? I enjoy going to church, I enjoy the sermon, I enjoy the readings. I don’t believe toddlers get much from church. I understand teaching them to sit and behave but I also know that my kindergarten and first grade teacher friends have taught me that children those ages are only able to stay focused for the length of their age, so 5-8 minutes. I find it a little bit much to ask the same child who changes tasks in school every 10-15 minutes to sit for an hour. Keep enjoying your time! That hour makes my whole week brighter and I’m a happier person after Sunday church!


  8. Amanda I am with you on Moms need to recharge too. I distinctly remember sitting in church after the services were over and my 3 year old had been crazy naughty. I looked at my husband and said ” you three head to the car , I need a minute yet.” As the large church started to empty so did my eyes with tears and just as they were really flowin’ the priest shows up next to me and says, “moms need to take care of them selves too.” He reminded me that kids are kids and there is no judgement. Now some times ill go alone, some times we all go. Don’t ever feel like your not allowed your time..


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