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The longest hour

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have found that going to church is the longest hour in my week. It's so stressful. The baby whines and cries non stop and my 4 and 5 year olds fight with eachother or just act as if they've never been to church a day in their lives. I get all irritated at all of them and my dh who does absolutely NOTHING to help me. I dread going to church, don't get any message out of it, and it ruins the rest of my day. Any advice?

post #2 of 7
you are so not alone! I felt the same way until we switched to an earlier, contemporary service at my church, which is abt 40 min long, and very child friendly. They dont hold it in the chapel, but in an upstairs room, which is good, bc the room is small, the kids are able to see better, and more likely to pay attn. It has made all the diff in my life at church! Do you have a similair alternative?
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
We actually tried a church last week that was a lot more child friendly. It had several "cry rooms" throughout the church and there was so much space in the church for the kids to move around. I asked the kids, though, and they don't want to switch. We've been at our current church for over 6 years and they have so many friends there. We're moving to a town next to this one and I imagine we'll change eventually anyway. The summer is the worst because there's no nursery or children's church. I know not everyone is keen on those but they are a big relief for me.
post #4 of 7
Going to shul (synagogue) is a lot longer than an hour, but it depends on the shul we go to how the kids deal or are welcomed.

Our own shul used to be very open to children doing whatever children do, right in the middle of services and anywhere they wanted, as long as the parents kept them quiet during the rabbi's "speech." My rebbe even frowned on "shushers," those who constantly would "shush" the children. As he would put it, the sound of children opens up the gates. It was the adults talking during services that made him mad. Well, now the rabbi's gone (passed away years ago) and the folks who're in charge now are not so ... lovingly disposed to children, shall we say.

So we now pick our shuls based on child-friendliness, but most of them are friendly only insofar as they supply a separate place for kids to run around, which keeps them out of the services.

A shame, because I think it's most important that they're in the services, and having fun there, too. But it seems I'm in the minority around these parts IRL ...

- Amy
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
I know, I'm so torn about nursery and children's church. It's great for me but I feel like it seperates them from church. Then I think I'm so crabby and irritated when they are with me, maybe it's better when they aren't. I just don't know. It seems that I take it worse when I'm pregnant. It's hard to bend over and the baby wants to nurse and I don't really feel like her lifting my shirt up in the middle of church. Esp. when I'm hugely pregnant! Then I bring books, crayons, etc. and I wonder if that's any better (or worse) than them being in something that's more age appropriate. :
post #6 of 7
At our church the kids stay through the worship part of the service and then go to childrens church during the sermon, and they get a lesson more suited to their understanding and they have fun at church which is the important part.

Ever since the boys were infants we would keep them with us during the hymns and worship part of the service.. They like the music, and they stay during the prayers, but that is about all they can handle and then they do go to either the nursery or the children's church.

That way i don't have to worry about what they are doing or whether they are disruptive and i know my 4 year old is getting a lesson that he can understand.

post #7 of 7
Pynki, that's a good idea for older kids, staying until the sermon.

Ekblad, that must be really tough, with all your kids staying with you throughout the whole service. Are there any other adults in your church who don't have kids but who adore yours? You could sit beside them and ask them if they would mind giving you a hand if the kids get restless.

Could you sit the 4 yr old on one side (next to your dh or one of those caring adults) and the 5 yr old on the complete other side of the pew?

In defense of the Nursery.... my ds (almost 2) goes to the nursery every Sunday and he really enjoys it. In fact, every morning when he wakes up he says, "It's Sunday! Let's go to church!" This morning I had to explain that , "No, today's Friday. So the girls are coming over to play, then tomorrow's Saturday and you get to watch Blues Clues with Daddy, and then it's Sunday." And at night when we're in bed talking, he likes to name all his friends in the nursery, starting with the woman who keeps them. I am so glad he enjoys it so much. I don't know what I would do if there was no nursery for a whole season! Probably just wouldn't even go! I find it almost impossible to keep a toddler under control, somewhat still and quiet for any amount of time!
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