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Sundays Suck

It’s Tuesday and I’m finally recuperated enough from Sunday to write this post. Sorry I missed my Makin’ Monday post. I needed sleep and I finally got it, so I’ll share what I made next week. I’ve got a lot of life ponderings to divulge this week anyway.

First, Sundays just aren’t what they used to be. Forget afternoon naps and relaxing with the hubs, this is my hardest day of the week.

It started from the moment I woke up. I was in our nursery, in the guest bed. My daughter was climbing on me and smacking my face. I had wandered in there the night before when my she woke up crying. She was ready to get up for the day and I was begging for more rest.

I tried to shove my boob in her mouth in hopes she’d nurse and fall back asleep–Sometimes it works. But my husband walks in, dressed for church. He doesn’t want to ask me if I’m coming because he knows I’m tired after a long night of work, and that another long night of work is ahead. But our daughter leaps into his arms with excitement and I know I should go too.

He offers to take her downstairs while I get ready. It would have been even nicer had he dressed her while I was getting ready but I didn’t think about it as I hurried to get prepared.

I brought her Sunday dress downstairs with me and we changed and dressed her together.

If I could have freezed that moment of the day and take it with me, it would have been great. But it was all downhill after that.

We arrived right at 9, which meant the good seats were taken, but we’d at least be there for sacrament meeting.

The next three hours that followed were just short of torture.

She didn’t want to sit with me. But she didn’t want to crawl around and play with her toys either. She wanted to walk around. Excuse me, I mean she wanted ME to carry her and walk around.

Every time I tried to sit down, whether in the foyer area, or in the chapel, she wasn’t having it. She’d arch her back and do her loud baby growl/moan until I obeyed, stood back up, and continued my walk.

I know they say you can’t spoil an infant but at some point they learn how to manipulate mommies and I’m pretty sure my little one has always mastered this art. And she knows it.

She’ll suck on my keys and when I try to take them away she sequels until I give them back. And I do because it makes her happy, and because I doubt it’ll kill her.

So here I am walking my bossy baby around the church, and listening to the testimonies when I can while passing by rooms with speakers.

She does ok when I try to feed her in the mother’s lounge but it’s not long before she’s ready to get to walking again. Still whining every time I so much as stop to read a bulletin board.

Now to her credit she’s not always this crazy. Most of the time she’s a very happy baby who loves to explore church and other new places. I’m not sure what got into her this week. I’m assuming (and praying) it’s teething and not a budding personality trait.

I feel like my daughter is the only mini drama queen at church, or maybe I’m just the only mom that doesn’t know how to handle my child. 

Toward the end of sacrament meeting I gave up and turned her over to my husband. His job (or “calling” as we call it in my church) is to count the members and take care of records. He was finished counting and could hold Lil’ J while I tried to listen and get something out of church.

I heard the last bit of one sister’s testimony which was touching, but not as much as the moment afterward, where she walked back to sit down and I realized she was sitting in our row of chairs. She passed me and I watched her go to sit next to her daughter who appeared to be about 9 or 10 years old.

“You did so good mommy,” she told her with a proud glow radiating from her face.

In that moment I pictured that being me and my daughter in 8 or 9 years, and instantly my frustrations melted away. What a sweet picture.

My eyes watered as I tried to soak in the good feeling. It lasted a few moments, because just then, what seemed like only 40 seconds after they had left, my husband and daughter were returning.

I greeted them, and held my daughter, she seemed to be happier–At least momentarily.

We sang and listened to a prayer that ended sacrament meeting. The first of three hours of service.

Yes, you read right. THREE HOURS.

I whispered to my husband that we Mormons are crazy for having tons of kids and meeting at church for three hours ever week. He told me it didn’t always used to be that way, and vowed to go undercover, move up in the ranks, and change it back to the way it was a hundred years ago. Just for me. What a guy!

Off to Sunday school we went. The hubs had to go do clerk stuff so I took Lil’ J to my class. We didn’t make it through introductions before she was flipping out again and I excused myself.

Last week another mom had given me a tip to visit the nursery with her. I can’t leave her in there alone until she’s 18 months but she could go and play with the toys and hear the lesson now if I was with her. So we went to visit and see what it was all about.

Toys toys everywhere. She wasn’t happy when I set her down but she wasn’t screaming either. There was enough stimulation going on to keep her entertained for about 40 minutes or so, with me playing along with her every once in a while. Around lesson and snack time though, she was ready to go and eat, but not the food these kids were eating, so we excused ourselves again to go back to the nursing room.

I saw a woman I had seen in there earlier with her baby again and we talked awhile. I had given up on trying to have any kind of spiritual lesson that day and just asked her about her family life. She told me how she wants to have six kids, and I asked why in the world she’d want to do that. I mean, sometimes I say I want six kids but deep down I don’t mean it. It was neat hearing her opinion on spawning.

Lil’ J fell asleep while eating and I tried my best not to wake her. Perhaps she needed to catch some Zzzz’s and that’s why she was acting a fool. I’m not sure.

After church I laid down for a 20 minute nap before heading to work. I felt like a failed mom as I handed my daughter over to my husband to tame her while I rested a bit. Why can he handle her better than I can?

I got a tiny bit of shut eye before a 14 hour shift at work. I was already sleep deprived and crying on my way in–Feeling deflated–defeated by my mini me. But little did I know the day I had ahead of me. Yea, I didn’t get hope until 4am after the news from President Obama. It was exciting but exhausting.

The whole day I kept asking myself “why did I go to church?” It’s so awful I feel that way but even in my somewhat refreshed state I’m in right now I do have to ask myself that occasionally. Especially around the third hour of meetings where I haven’t heard a thing from a speaker.

I know this is just the season of life I’m in right now. It won’t be like this forever, and in another 8 months I’ll at least get two free hours of babysitting out of the deal. And if I’m lucky I may even learn something again.

It’s not like this every Sunday–Thank goodness. I think if it was I’d probably go inactive.–But I hope it’s not the start of a crazy long phase where my angel baby turns into a little devil at church.


Fun Mama says:

I’m seriously impressed that you went at all. I can’t imagine how tough it must be. My twins are 18 months old and we are Baptist, so they have been able to go to the church nursery since they were born. I don’t know how I could’ve manage attending at all having them with us in services until now! They love church nursery now and practically run down the hall to “their” room– they have great teachers and friends and the goldfish cracker snack helps too 🙂

Awwwwww (((BIG FAT HUG)))
I’m sorry you had a sucky Sunday girl. It happens erry now and again. Hopefully they’ll get better soon!
3 Hours of CHURCH!?!? OMG I couldn’t do it. I’d nap in the back or something!

xo,
Dani
http://www.okdani.com

Rania says:

I’m sure she will get better soon but three hours is a really long time to go to church. I don’t know how you do it, especially with a baby.

Sometimes I think babies just KNOW when it’s the absolute wrong time to give us problems. Like when we get a call, someone’s at the door, or your hands are full in public. Sleep depriving is right up there with what babies like to do. 🙂 hahah! Hope you’ve had time to get some good rest.

Amanda P says:

I can totally relate to how you’re feeling. Our Mass is only an hour, but we sing in the Choir which is in the loft in the back of our Church. Our two year old stands at the railing and looks down at the people below, asking questions at the top of her voice – especially when we’re trying to sing! I try to sit her on my lap during the readings and sermon and explain what’s going on, but she just wants to do anything but! I’ve basically given up hope for really being “involved” in the Service at the moment and just hope God appreciates that I’m there, trying! 🙂

Kayejaye says:

Bless your heart for sticking it out despite your fatigue! Sundays are similar for me. My 10 month old is Ms. Diva #1 (and not just on Sundays). She will barely go to anyone except me or my husband and Sunday service seems to be her designated wiggle time. Lucky for us, my church has a nursery where we can drop her off for Sunday school and service. We get a pager that will buzz if she gets to be too much to handle. Our pager usually goes off halfway through Sunday school because she is bawling her eyes out and wont stop until she sees mommy or daddy. Last Sunday was the first time she made it through all of Sunday school and through all of worship service which was such a pleasant surprise!

I too believe that it will be a while before I can get much out of church without being distracted. However, I see this is my time to groom my daughter as a Christian. Although it would be easier just to stay home, she would miss out on the socialization of church which I think is important to learn at a young age. Our church actually has an interactive Sunday school curriculum for infants which is so very adorable! They get lessons using toys, songs, and illustrations. Although I dont get much out of service (except last sunday), I know its worth it because I am helping to build her faith foundation. Before you know it, lil J will look forward to church and will know how to co port herself (when it’s age-appropriate of course). In the meantime, just know that she is soaking in good stuff even if it seems that she is all over the place.

I NEVER thought church was too long until I had dustin… now it feels like an ETERNITY!!! thats a great idea to go visit the nursery, usually we just sit outside the primary room and dance along while the kids sing 🙂 dont worry, you are NOT the only one going through this!! dustin is just as clingy/indecisive and sometimes it drives us NUTSO!! BUT BUT BUT thats why they are so cute.. so they can get away with it. thank goodness for nursery at 18 months!

Sassy Sites! says:

As my mom sat on the row with us 6 kids, ages 8 and under, she asked herself this same question many times! My dad was in the bishopric since I can even recall and my mom was on her own to “handle” us during sacrament meeting. She looks back on that time now and is thankful she “stuck it out”. I absolutely agree with Kayejaye, and I appreciate her comment so much. We are hopeful that in some moment of craziness, our children will feel the spirit and remember the feeling that they had there at church. Being in the right place brings the right spirit! Hang in there! Soon enough you will be dropping her off in Young Women’s! 🙂

Honestly, I’m so glad I’m not the only one dealing with this every Sunday! My daughter goes to nursery now, but sacrament is still hard to get through and honestly, I’m sitting there trying to get her to stay in her seat, entertain her, trying not to get her to run off and just keep her happy and somewhat quiet. It’s hard! And my husband is a police officer, so he works every other weekend, so every other weekend I go to church by myself. It’s a struggle for me to go on those days. Hang in there, it does get better, but it’s still hard and I think it will be until they are old enough to understand to sit there by themselves. :p

Tina says:

I’m thinking this may be my story soon. Long church days= fussy baby. When we finally have a baby I will remember this post. My husband is a minister, so our life on Sundays is crazy with several services and Sunday school. I’ll pray for you (and me). Good job mommy.

Anonymous says:

Hang in there. I too have cruised the halls during the entire 3 hour block with tears streaming down my face, wondering what I’m supposed to get out of the experience. Just know that every church going mom has been there at one point or another. The Lord knows how babies and small children are, and He truly does bless moms (and dads) for the efforts that they make to bring those children to worship services. Remember that even if you don’t feel spiritually uplifted at the time, you are recieving blessings, and setting a good example to your children by showing them your commitment to the Lord.

Jessica says:

I know EXACTLY how you feel. Throw in a cranky 3-year-old and having to run the Primary virtually single-handed and my Sunday was pretty much exactly like yours. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve thought, “Why do I even GO to church? I don’t get anything out of it because of the kids.” However, I’ve learned that my husband and I are blessed when we attend church despite the mayhem because we are keeping Heavenly Father’s commandments. We’re also teaching our children that the most important place for us to be on Sunday is in the Lord’s house, worshiping Him, which is a very important lesson.

Maybe it’s just me, but I would HATE to go back to the old schedule of church. Having to get the kids clean and dressed and to church TWICE on Sunday? No thank you. I’d rather get it all out in one block. 🙂

EVERYTHING is harder when you’re tired. For you, and for your munchkin. Not that what you are doing is ever easy 🙂 Keep at it, you’ll all find what works eventually! My personal opinion is it never hurts to cut yourself some slack. If you need the nap, and you have the opportunity to take it…don’t squander it. You’ll feel like a better mommy when you are able to get a little extra rest/me time (or at least I do…after I got over feeling guilty about it).

Wait. Did you say there are speakers at church? Huh. In the recesses of my mind, I think I remember that.

The good news is that she will outgrow the wiggles and just have to go potty or get a drink during meetings and she will grow accustomed to nursery and you will enjoy those 3 hours (except the first one) just in time for baby #2!

Please. Just call me Mary Sunshine.

Jennifer says:

If there was no nursery I wouldn’t have went. It is too stressful when they hit they age she is at about right now. They want to interact a lot more and there is no way she can just sit and do nothing for three hours. I’m really surprised they don’t have a nursery for babies.

I figure God gives me credit for going….and the other sisters take comfort in seeing they’re not the only one going through it.
Let dad take her out more….if it’s not a feeding thing. Moms baby their kids too much….we can’t help it. Dads are more practical. It’s not a bad thing…it’s just why kids need a mom and a dad.

AmyRyb says:

My church is only an hour, and it’s a struggle. Toys and snacks only do so much. He’ll be three in June, and he just wants to move…all the time. As it is we sit in a back room where we can see and hear everything, but the sound of the kids is muffled from the rest of the congregation. While I could send my son to the nursery so I could get more out of church, I don’t want him associating church with hardcore playtime, because it won’t always be that way. Coming up in the next year or so we’ll have to decide if we’re going to send him to Sunday School while we’re in church, or if we’ll stay for a second hour–one hour of church for all of us, one hour of Sunday School for him (and potentially us as well). I’m not sure what the plan is yet, but I’ve held strong that I want to be there and I want him to learn how to sit like a good boy. It’s all a part of the process, and while I’m frustrated that I’m not getting much out of it these days, I’m looking at it as an investment in his faith.

YUMMommy says:

She’s just going thru a stage of exploration and wanting to be in constant motion. I remember those days with and they seem to still come back every now and then. Hopefully, they will taper off soon though.

Erin Marie says:

My son is 12 months and that’s what almost every week feels like, but my 3-yr-old loves nursery, so we go.

Also, it’s not that your husband handles your mini me better than you. Babies have split personalities when around different parents. My son, for example, is quite content to just chill on his dad’s lap or play on the floor… until I walk in the room and then I have to be holding him and allowing him to play with anything remotely electronic and put him down, pick him up however many times he wants. I want the son my husband has! At least they outgrow it, if my 3-yr-old is any evidence.

Jenna says:

I know, know, KNOW how you feel! I even wrote a blog in response to this. Head over to my blog to check it out.

swank|mama says:

Like I said before, I honestly don’t know how you do it. Working 14 hour days and then coming home to your family all while trying to keep your sanity. And then you have your millions of projects and this blog to keep up! Yes, you are crazy 😉

Don’t worry about Lil J. She is just going through a ‘phase’. I’m sure you know all about them and that is just what it is. Mine has gone through so many. After over a year of being able to put J down to sleep by himself (he would put himself to sleep), just last month he decided he needed mommy or daddy to sleep with him or rock him to a drowzy state. Annoying when I need to get stuff done but super cute when I just want to cuddle with him and live in the moment. Which I should do more.

Just know that you are handling your child just fine and that our babies will be unpredictable at times. You just have to work with what you’ve got!

Sorry for my long comment but just hang in there mama!! xo

Gramee says:

My kids were born “Before Block”. We went to Sunday school in the morning, then had to go back for Sacrament Meeting.. BELIEVE ME! 3 hour block is better! We seldom made it to both meetings on Sunday. I felt so “inactive”.
31 years ago when the block meeting was created I rejoiced.. LOL..

Mrs. K says:

Wow…so this is what I have to look forward to some day. LOL. Just kidding.

De Su Mama says:

Oh Mama… I know the feeling. Mine is 15 months now, and still not a “sweet little girl”. She’s a wild one, indeed. And demanding and loud. Ah well, I chalk it up to the independent, fierce woman she’ll be one day.

And yes, next time, keep your behind at home.

heather says:

I ask myself this question every Sunday. The funny thing is that once your kids r old enough to go into nursery they give u a primary calling so u don’t even get to go to relief society. And yet, I still go every week because I am being an example to my kids. We go because we have testimonies but at the same time we are teaching our kids the importance of church through our example. Just like that little girl that told her mom she did great in her testimony. We too will have that as long as we are doing what we should be.

I was just telling my husband why do I bother going to church? It just stresses me out! I think I will be better off doing at Bedside Baptist! LOL

Keya says:

It will get in a couple of months.

Keya says:

It will get better in a couple of months.

Darcy says:

i so needed this post because i feel the same way about my little guy lately. i feel like i can’t keep him entertained, and i can’t helping wondering if it’s my fault. ‘have i spoiled him?’ ugh. i feel exhausted sometimes trying to keep him entertained, but really i don’t know how else to do it right now. i refuse to ignore him while he’s fussing. i do feel like he behaves better for my husband too. that’s frustrating. and exhausting. but we are not failures. we are awesome amazing mothers and parents who are doing the best we can.

allisa says:

Ah, I almost feel guilty for skipping church this past Sunday… almost. 🙂 Good job for sticking it out Mama!

Rick Taylor says:

I remember taking you to church and you weren’t much different. Babies want to *DO* and do *WITH* you; sitting reverently isn’t DOING anything, so that makes a cranky baby. Don’t worry–it’s a phase you’re going through. NOTE: YOU are going through. 🙂

What helped us was to practice reverence at home by turning off the TV on Sunday and sitting quietly for about 5 min spurts. It helped us…to this day, the TV is off on Sunday and the kids (even Jacob) sits reverently. It wasn’t over night…so…be patient. You’re doing fine.

Jess says:

And this is exactly why we haven’t been to church in months…

I so feel your pain! It’s so hard to the simplest things now and church once was a chore but you will love the nursery once she’s able to attend. It’s a life saver!

Natalia says:

I really think the church should institute a nursery for the under-18-months-yet-already-mobile crowd. The parents could alternate taking turns caring for the kids so no one would have to miss out every single sunday.

Riddlez says:

Aaaah, church after baby. You’re at the hardest age. She isn’t content to sit still and wants to be off and running. She has an opinion and she gets tired, but forget napping. And volume control isn’t even part of the vocabulary.

Rest on the Sabbath? Pfft. Right. It’s like any other day except you have to do your chores for 3 hours in a dress.

Sometimes, I would take my youngest into the mothers’ lounge, leave the light off, and have snacks while I listened to the talks. She got to toddle around without bothering anyone and I got some chocolate to help me stay sane. I highly recommend it.

Our 3rd baby is now 12 months old and we can’t wait until she is old enough to go to nursery. My husband and I always say “once they go to nursery, the church is true again!”

Although her older sister (who is 2) won’t go to nursery to save her life so I’m not sure why I even care at this point.

You’re doing the right thing, as much as it sucks.

And she’s dang cute while she’s being a banshee.

db artsy says:

You are not alone! There are many of us who have gone through what you went thru last Sunday. It really feels like you are not getting anything out of it, but you do, somehow.
I felt like going crazy when my girls were babies too, but it helped to have them in their stroller for as long as they would stay inside without crying. I sat by the doors too so I could sneak out without bugging too many people. Take turns with your hubby walking her outside, she’ll be fine.
When my girls got older I went into the nursery and turned on the speakers, and that helped me a lot. Now, they are older and if I find a pew, they’ll stay, especially my youngest. She can still be wild. Last week I had to seat on the seats on the back, that are individual chairs, so there is all these open space for her, and what did she do?
She ran around the chapel! Yup, my four yr old took off on me and I could not grab her. I stayed where mortified. This brother tried to grab her, but she ran the other way. She ran three laps before someone took pity on me, and grabbed her. Boy, was I upset. It hadn’t happened in a while, thank goodness. I still had a good time after sacrament meeting, though.
Count your blessings, and there are many more that are in store, just by following this commandment. She’s healthy, beautiful, and you have a supporting husband going thru this with you. Keep strong.

The time between when they can roam and 18 months when they can go in the nursury is so hard, especially those last few months. We spent most of our time in the foyer and walking the halls, or taking a walk around the outside of the building. Someday it will be better, I promise!

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.



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