Christian Crunchy Mamas - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 19 Old 04-05-2005, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
Pattyla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,540
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am wondering about other Christian mamas of toddlers and how you handle church.

We are not going to put our dd in the nursery for the worship service. So every sunday we come prepared with lots of toys, snacks and drinks and try to keep her calm enough so that dh and I can participate in the service. Some weeks are better than others. This week wasn't such a good one.

DD is just a very physical kid and sitting still just isn't in her. We don't ask her to sit still, just to stay with us. I don't want her to hate church. I also don't want her to get the message that by acting up she can get out of church and go do what she wants to do. That really isn't an issue yet (dd is just 14 months) but I can see that when she is a little older she may make this connection.

To make things harder, no one at our church understands why we don't just drop her off in the nursery and enjoy an hour without her. (some weeks I wonder that as well) We are the only family parenting as we do at our church. We considered leaving at one point but have decided that at least for now, this is where God wants us to be so we are staying.

We have wanted to bring dd to the nursery class that is before the worship time, but she likes to sleep in and we don't feel good about waking her up extra early on Sundays for that. ( We already have to wake her early for worship, this would be an hour earlier than that for class).

I am just wondering if anyone else is in our boat and how you handle it. I know that many churches have a nursery that is sound proof w/ a window and speakers for parents of young children. We don't have one of those.

Thanks

Patty wife to Jason Mama to Wisteria (6) and Junia (2)
our family is <>< and :
Pattyla is offline  
#2 of 19 Old 04-05-2005, 04:30 PM
 
surf mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: PNW Beach
Posts: 1,428
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Pattyla-I can totally relate to your post. I don't want to leave dd (age2) in a nursery and I felt even less comfortable with the idea when she was younger. Some churches we have gone to have said that they love having kids in the service but I can sense that not everyone feels that way.

We recently moved and I am in the process of finding a church home. I found one church with the room in the back with the glass window....my dd loved playing there and that was great but the church just wasn't right for me. The rest of the churches I've visited didn't seem like they would work for dd. Since I am just checking churches out I leave dd home with dh. She is almost 2 and has only been to church a few times in her life. I'd like her to be more a part but I don't want to leave her in a nursery either. I am thinking that by the time she is 3 she'll be able to sit thru church. And I am going to take my time and find the most family friendly church I can.

I feel subtle pressure from friends, family, church people, etc that there is something wrong with not wanting to leave her in a nursery. It is hard to feel that pressure but I am so committed to doing what is best for dd.

I look forward to reading more on this thread.
surf mama is offline  
#3 of 19 Old 04-05-2005, 04:30 PM
 
Oklahoma Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Michigan
Posts: 318
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We did this with my 3 year old until he started making too much noise in the service. He wouldn't stay in the nursery on his own. I refused to leave him crying. I have a 14 month old too, but we haven't taking him to the service. My dh and I switch off so we each get to sit in part of the service while one of us stays with the boys in the nursery.

Now our church recently closed and the church we go to now has the boys in seperate rooms. We still don't have a workable solution since the boys are in different rooms due to their age.

I did have alot of people tell me to put my ds in the nursery. Once we were visiting a church for their Christmas program with my 18 month old ds. We thought he would enjoy the service with the live animals. Well, the guy next to us made a point to tell us that there was a nursery.
Oklahoma Mama is offline  
#4 of 19 Old 04-05-2005, 05:06 PM
 
Tine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1,589
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Our DS (24 mos.) is an active and talkative toddler. What works for us is sitting in the front row (where he can see and hear what's going on really well) and having a special snack during church. We plop him on the pew between us and give him a little container of Cheddar Bunnies (crackers), and he eats them like popcorn at a movie -- he's usually happy and entertained for about 1/2 hour.

Luckily our church is very welcoming to children, so when he starts getting talkative and restless, it's OK to let him talk, sing, wander, etc. On days when DS has been especially spunky, I've actually had people thank me after church for bringing him, and for letting him be himself. They say things like "If we want to be welcoming to kids, we have to welcome them as they are." In other words, normal kid behavior is expected and embraced. (Obnoxious, out-of-control misbehavior is not.)

There are toys & books (and usually a gaggle of other parents & young kids) in the back of the church to play with. There's a wheelchair ramp near the front of the church (but hidden behind the musicians) that he likes to walk up and down. DS also enjoys climbing the stairs to the balcony. Of course DH or I need to accompany him on his toy/ramp/stairs adventures, but we can still hear, see, and participate in the service while supervising him.

There is a babysitting service at our church, but I prefer to have our family all together, and to expose DS to the rich liturgy. I figure the best way to cultivate an appreciation of church and to help him learn how to behave in church is to let him actually be there!

Christine , wife of Ron , mama to Tony (4-25-03) and Maria (3-19-06) :
Tine is offline  
#5 of 19 Old 04-05-2005, 05:08 PM
 
emmalala's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 854
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
hi - hope I am not butting in, I'm mostly a lurker...

We have no nursery at our church & always have brought all 3. Some days *are* better than others!! But the more you do it, the easier it gets, though we don't expect them to give attention to the service, just to allow us to.

Often people don't mind kids unless they are actually crying - check with the pastor - check with other parents - you do have a 'right' to be there too!

Have you tried taking a longish walk first? We try to give them equal physical and church time & that helps us.

Also we have a Bag of Tricks that can only be played with at church - quiet toys that become specially interesting coz they're only churchtime toys...

HTH
emmalala is offline  
#6 of 19 Old 04-05-2005, 05:15 PM
 
Leilalu's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SW Washington
Posts: 7,916
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Our church has a nursing moms room. DD and I went in there for service. I was pregnant. She only slowly got adjusted to nursery when we tried several monthds after ds was born. It took a month or two. She was almost 2 then. We also have a muti-purpouse room, with a full kitchen, and a large area where people can watch a huge screen tv of pastor preaching, and families are welcome to sit.
DD was always very active, so it was hard for awhile.
She really likes nursery most Sundays now. And it is good for her to interact. But I think 14 months is still young,and I wouldn't until she is ready. Good luck. ASnd if you do put her in later on- go slowly. Like, I would start off with 15 min, next week 20 or 25, so on. Then one day she didn't cry at first and ran in herself!!!
But everybody wants to take ds. And they keep saying- when can WE have him??? I think to myself--um, in a year or so!!!:LOL

Besides, then I couldn't wear my uber cool sling to church or sit in a comfy rocking chair in a room with other nursing mamas. As if!

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
.
Leilalu is offline  
#7 of 19 Old 04-05-2005, 09:31 PM
 
mysonshine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 552
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have only put DS (14mos) in the nursery twice. Not sure if I will do it again. I told them to page me if he cried. Found out after the service he cried for a while - not sure how long a "while" was. Then I noticed one little girl in there obviously had a cold.
I don't like how far away I am from the nursery. We meet in a Y so I'm at one end and he's at the other. I can't focus very well on the sermon because I worry about him.
I thought it might be good for him because we don't really have anyone to socialize with and I want him to be around other kids but I don't think the nursery will be for us - at least while we meet at the Y, we'll see what happens when we actually build the church building.
mysonshine is offline  
#8 of 19 Old 04-05-2005, 11:13 PM
 
MovingMomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 2,340
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Our church has a nursery with a speaker but no windows. Childcare is sometimes provided by volunteers from the congregation, sometimes not. I don't leave dd there by herself either way! Services are generally about an hour long, and we arrive about 10 minutes late, which means we miss the announcements and the first hymn, but not usually any of the liturgy. Hannah stays in the sling for a little bit, then I try to keep her occupied for a bit longer with books, Cheerios, crayons, etc. We typically head for the nursery just before the sermon and stay there until it is time for communion. Sometimes we have to go back in the nursery after communion, sometimes we make it through the rest of the service. When my husband is home (he's in Iraq now) we alternate visiting the nursery each week. I think it's important for dd to experience the church service. And boy, do I wish our church had a cry room with speakers *and* a window!

-Shannon, momma to H reading.gif 8/03, N heartbeat.gif 9/06, & P homebirth.jpg 8/11, missing S brokenheart.gif born at 11 wks 1/09 

 


 
   

MovingMomma is offline  
#9 of 19 Old 04-06-2005, 06:25 AM
 
sunnylady303's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: KY
Posts: 1,043
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My dh and I are both ministers but I am not serving a church right now. The little old ladies at our church don't understand why I won't leave dd in the nursery. But she is a really clingy child and I won't let her cry. Because church is where daddy works she spends lots of time there and wanders around the sanctuary and stuff when it is empty. This makes it hard now because during church she wants to go up to the chancel like always and go up and down the steps and talk to daddy. Plus daddy is talking and she thinks that means she should talk back. So we have a tough time. Usually if I come with LOTS of snacks and distractions can keep her in for the first 10 -15 minutes when it's not such a big deal if she interupts. Then I try and bring her back in for the last 5 minutes. I will usually go to the nursery and be with her - they used to have speakers in there which was nice but they're not working lately which bites. I feel like a yo-yo, up and down the whole service. But I don't know what else to do. The folks at church think Samantha is so spoiled (except when they think she is deprived because we don't give her candy or let her watch tv :LOL ). They are great people, just a bit different from us. It's one of those churches where they like having children in the service up to a point, then it's bothersome. Although I probably am more sensitive to it than what they are. I keep hoping she'll get to an age where it's easier for her to sit still and quiet for a while.
sunnylady303 is offline  
#10 of 19 Old 04-06-2005, 07:47 AM
 
kiahnsmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NEW ZEALAND
Posts: 382
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tine
Luckily our church is very welcoming to children, so when he starts getting talkative and restless, it's OK to let him talk, sing, wander, etc. On days when DS has been especially spunky, I've actually had people thank me after church for bringing him, and for letting him be himself. They say things like "If we want to be welcoming to kids, we have to welcome them as they are." In other words, normal kid behavior is expected and embraced. (Obnoxious, out-of-control misbehavior is not.)

!
That is so awesome i wish my church was like this, i pretty sure that at the moment im the only breast feeding mum, and dont get me started on the 'just leave her its only for an hour' comments. I really believe that i am supposed to be at this church so i dont cave in i stay in to feed her and will let dd play quietly at the back shes just very vocal at the moment so i usually end up in the nursery which has no windows or speakers. I read a great article on the aboverubies.org website about children staying in church and i feel even more now that they should be with me, so im gonna tough it out and you never know there might be other mothers who have wanting to do the same but have felt to pressured to conform.
kiahnsmum is offline  
#11 of 19 Old 04-07-2005, 12:56 AM
 
crunchymomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Great White North
Posts: 457
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My daughter is 16 months old. We've gone to church several times since she was born, but not regularly until just recently. She used to sit and enjoy cuddling with us for the service, but now she's more active and not wanting to sit still. The church we attend has music for the first half of the service, then the sermon/announcements, and then a few more songs. I really didn't want to put dd in the nursery, dh really wanted to. We compromised - dd stays with us during the music and then I drop her off in the nursery to play. Dh and I get to have about 20 minutes of quiet spiritual time just the two of us and then dd joins us again.

Most of the parents in my church drop their kids off at the nursery as soon as they walk in the door. One couple told us (when dh asked) that the nursery is great and the kids are super safe (security-wise) and encouraged us to enjoy the service alone. Nobody has said anything to us about this, nor the fact that I sit and nurse my toddler in the pews before I take her down to the nursery.
crunchymomma is offline  
#12 of 19 Old 04-07-2005, 07:18 PM
 
Eli's_mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Canadian foothills
Posts: 70
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I too don't want to leave my son in the nursery. He turns 1 year in a couple weeks. My husband is the associate pastor, and I play the electric bass in the worship team. It is hard because I get my son up extra early to go to the worship practice and by the time the service starts he is ready for his nap but can't fall asleep. So someone else sometimes holds ds for the music portion of worship until I'm done playing and then I take him to the nursery or try to get him to nap in his car seat. Sometimes he just hangs out with me at front. I want him to be in the music part of the service...he likes music and I want him to learn about worship through music. He is quite a talker, so he babbles almost the whole time. I'm sad because I think I have to stop playing on the worship team. That is such a huge blessing for me to be able to, and now I feel I have to stop. I'm sad. My son is my priority, of course, but I'm still sad that I have to stop for a while. I like my son to play in the nursery because he gets some interaction with other kids there, but their toys are gross and haven't been cleaned for eons (I'd offer to clean them, but I have enough of my own that need cleaning and I have no time for that anyways) and one of the boys in the nursery is mean (he's grabbed things from my son and hit other kids...he even bashed a 6 month old in the head with a duplo block!!!) and I'm afraid to have that kid near mine let alone leave my son in there without me!
Eli's_mom is offline  
#13 of 19 Old 04-08-2005, 12:06 AM
 
kiahnsmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NEW ZEALAND
Posts: 382
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli's_mom
I'm sad because I think I have to stop playing on the worship team. That is such a huge blessing for me to be able to, and now I feel I have to stop. I'm sad. My son is my priority, of course, but I'm still sad that I have to stop for a while.
I had a friend who sang in the worship band and she used to put her son in a back-pack while she sang, sometimes he would nod off in there! If being part of the worship team is something you feel strongly about i'm sure you will find something that works.
good luck
kiahnsmum is offline  
#14 of 19 Old 04-08-2005, 09:13 AM
 
coopnwhitsmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Underneath the staircase
Posts: 2,369
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We have gone to three churches since our oldest ds was born. The Church we were at when he was born is nice, there is a large window across the entire nursery and speakers they encourage parents to stay with the babies. But we had to move :-( The second church the nursery was way back in the corner away from everybody. If we kept ds in service with us we would get the evil eye from the pastor. so we left that one. The third church we went to gave ds and ID number YES and ID number and required him to be in the nursery...if they had a problem they would flash the ID number on the big screen. Didn't like that so we left. We are going to check out another church next week.
coopnwhitsmommy is offline  
#15 of 19 Old 04-08-2005, 12:34 PM
 
eksmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: the Dingo commune
Posts: 3,656
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We have attended 2 churches since our 18 mo. dd was born. We moved to a new state when she was about 13 months. She only ever stayed in the nursery once or twice in our old church. I just didn't feel right about leaving her at such a young age.

We moved back to my old hometown and are currently attending my old church (with my parents). Lately it has become our routine to take dd to the nursery after the children's time (about 15-20 minutes into the service). In fact, last time we went she said "chuch, chuch" during the drive there and as soon as we got in the sanctuary she said "pay, pay" (play). She is so talkative and active that it's pretty hard to keep her with us during the service.

Now, I know most everyone in the church and they are good, kind people but I think they are pretty mainstream and I think they aren't always up on the latest in kids' safety. So sometimes when I take her to the nursery, depending on who is the care provider (volunteer, no paid staff) or if there are a lot of kids, I will just stay back there and help out for the remainder of the service. DD actually mostly ignores me because she is having a good time. She doesn't go to daycare so I figure it's fun for her to get out and play with different toys and be around other kids. I do think she picks up sicknesses there, though.

We are getting ready to try out some new churches, and that will be a whole different story. I simply will not leave my child with someone I've only just met - so we'll have to figure out a new approach.

Katherine, mama to Emma Kate (7) and Griffin (3)

eksmom is offline  
#16 of 19 Old 04-08-2005, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
Pattyla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,540
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Eli's Mom [hug] I was singing on the praise team for a while. Dh would sit in back w/ dd and I would go back and nurse her durring the sermon. I realized after a while that it was just too much for our family. I love to sing (so much that I have a bachelors in it) and I will go back to it some day, but for right now the right thing for us is all of us together at church.

Thank you everyone for sharing your stories. It is really helping me to feel less alone in this.

Patty wife to Jason Mama to Wisteria (6) and Junia (2)
our family is <>< and :
Pattyla is offline  
#17 of 19 Old 04-08-2005, 05:33 PM
 
Bufomander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,345
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
sunny lady,

i can identify with what you said -- my husband is a seminary student and is currently doing an internship. the last time he preached, our daughter (12 months old) kept trying to crawl up to him and was pretty angry when i wouldn't let her. afterwards, several people told me that i should have let her, which i thought was cool. i would have let her, too, if i didn't think would have been a major distraction. let's face it, dd is more interesting than dh.

i also identify with what you said about people thinking your dd is spoiled until it comes to candy and tv... i experience this at church as well as with some people in my family. sigh..

[QUOTE=sunnylady303]during church she wants to go up to the chancel like always and go up and down the steps and talk to daddy. Plus daddy is talking and she thinks that means she should talk back.

The folks at church think Samantha is so spoiled (except when they think she is deprived because we don't give her candy or let her watch tv :LOL ).
Bufomander is offline  
#18 of 19 Old 04-08-2005, 05:57 PM
 
sewingbarbj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: 17 acre farm in Quesnel BC Canada
Posts: 504
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I can totally relate! I have had such a hard time finding a comfy fit in a church since I had the girls.
Our latest church has a good nursery were I can watch the serviced but they want me to be much more involved than I have time for.
Working full time at home, and having two children unber 4 is all the challenge I can handle.
I never felt right with the idea of leaving my daughters in the nursery. I would see that it was often teenagers running it. They would do things like put the babies in the swing without a safety belt. They would give snacks with peanuts and other things I just didn't want for my girls.
I really beleive that God wants us to put our job as moms first, our children learn about Gods love from being loved by us.
I see some moms that stress them selves out trying to volenteer for every project and there kids end up hateing church.
I would rather step back a bit and teach my children to love God .
sewingbarbj is offline  
#19 of 19 Old 04-08-2005, 10:12 PM
 
kiahnsmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NEW ZEALAND
Posts: 382
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by coopnwhitsmommy
The third church we went to gave ds and ID number YES and ID number and required him to be in the nursery...if they had a problem they would flash the ID number on the big screen.


It so nice to see other mums putting their families first, this thread is so encouraging.
kiahnsmum is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off