sweet hour of chaos

Okay, okay.  I'll bite on this one.  I spied a link on Pinterest on keeping your kids reverent in church without snacks or anything else, and I clicked over.  It was okay - it was one man's opinion, and there is an ideal we should try and aim for.  But then the comments were just plain nasty, talking bad about either side of the issue.

I'm going to just lay my side out because I have no desire to get in a debate over there, but dagnabit, I've got an opinion.  And it is:

LET'S ALL TRY OUR VERY BEST, AND ALSO MIND OUR OWN BEEZWAX.

That's it, really.  It's HARD to sit there for an hour as kids, and it's harder as a parent.  I can't even give my kids a snack after sacrament meeting to keep them from going bonkers in their classes for the next 2 hours because they are so excited to get to class they won't eat.  So yeah, I bring pretzels for them to munch on.  My one goal is to KEEP US QUIET SO EVERYONE CAN HEAR THE SPEAKERS.  I try my darndest to keep the kids quiet and calm so the people around us can pay attention to and feel the Spirit in the room.  (Last week while I was desperately trying to keep the Dude stationary, he grabbed my face and yelled "ARE YOU HAPPY?!"  I smiled silently so he joyfully yelled "YOU SMILE!!"  Just can't win sometimes:)

They are not always quiet, but I try.  I insist they sit and don't get on the floor or move around, but if some other parent does, there is no way I'm going to judge.  IT'S HARD.  We're all trying.  It's hard for me because my husband is sitting up on the stand and I'm doing it all alone, but the sainted mother behind me who comes to church alone with her 4 boys under the age of 5 and has her own toys and tactics to survive in sacrament meeting is doing her very best too.  Every other Sunday, by the time church starts, our kids have already been there for an hour and a half while husband and I are in meetings.  My awesome MIL made little church bags for my kids and I love them.  Yeah.  I bring church bags with scripture books, pictures of temples and Christ, and colored pencils and paper so my kids quietly occupy themselves to keep the peace for us and everyone around us.  Some people don't subscribe to that.  I don't subscribe to toddlers wandering around the aisles either, but I also know how &^%$ hard it is to hold onto a toddler for an entire hour.  We are human.  

I'ts so easy to talk about how our parents did it and get on high horses, but I'm far too aware of Karma and how swiftly it kicks me in the butt when I start getting all high and mighty.  I look at other families with lovely, peaceful kids and force myself to not feel like an awful mother.  As my mom says, comparisons are odious.  And as I also mentioned in my last post, we ALL get our turn.

Just come to church.  And try.  Smile and lift others up and it will lift you up.  And then try again.  And mind your own beezwax.  You can look that up - it's in the book of Reva, 5:24.


Comments

holli jo said…
Amen to that! It's easy to judge, and so, so hard to be a parent! Before I had a kid, I admit that I judged parents. (I feel so ashamed of that now!) But now? I realize that parents do their absolute best, and every kid is different. We have no idea what other people are going through, so we all need to stop the judging!
jennaroo said…
Our last Stake President once said during either Stake or Ward Conference that one of the sounds he loved best during Sunday meetings were the sounds of the children. The church my mom went to growing up actually had a nursery with a glass wall in the back upper portion of their main meeting room. That way the adults could listen and still see but not hear their kids (it was supervised by the way). I can't imagine it. I didn't go to church as a kid but I just can't fathom not sitting with my children. I've had some awful experiences with my kids during Sacrament meeting. I'm pretty sure each of my kids have managed to whack their heads on the chair legs at least once. Oh, yeah, and there was the time that Logan bolted from me and managed to play the organ before I could get to him. Yep, we've all been there.
Jane said…
Ohmygosh do I want to read the rest of the Book of Reva!! There's at least 5 chapters?!! How did I miss that?
Morgan -Ing said…
We have sacrament meeting last, church is from 11-2. So, we miss lunch entirely. And naps. So you better freaking believe I bring food. I bring an ENTIRE LUNCH because by 1:00 in the afternoon my children are exhausted and starving, and I'm supposed to keep them reverent?? Yeah right. Here, kids, have a peanut butter sandwich. Have a banana, a cracker, some fruit snacks and oh, yup a water bottle. There ya have it.

I don't give a tiny rat's patoot what anyone else thinks. It's that or we go inactive. :)
Morgan -Ing said…
We have sacrament meeting last, church is from 11-2. So, we miss lunch entirely. And naps. So you better freaking believe I bring food. I bring an ENTIRE LUNCH because by 1:00 in the afternoon my children are exhausted and starving, and I'm supposed to keep them reverent?? Yeah right. Here, kids, have a peanut butter sandwich. Have a banana, a cracker, some fruit snacks and oh, yup a water bottle. There ya have it.

I don't give a tiny rat's patoot what anyone else thinks. It's that or we go inactive. :)
Mara said…
I was raised pretty much with “military discipline” by my dad so he kept us reverent without any snacks during sacrament meeting. And as you can see, I survived. But I have to admit, it was a torture seeing ALL the kids in front of us, beside us and behind us eat all sort of yummy snacks and only be able to watch it. As a person who experienced both extremes – no snacks at all and seeing some transform the sacrament meeting into a picnic- I think the secret is to find a balance and do your best, like you said.
The Atomic Mom said…
I read that same blog post. I agreed with most of what he had to say, except the snacks part. We bring snacks. Not a lot, but enough, and we clean up after ourselves. I think parents need to do what works for them, with the exception of noisy toys. I think those are beyond obnoxious, so we don't sit by that family.

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