Saturday, July 25, 2009

We are the loud one's behind the glass..

Went to church tonight. Got our God on... Then I remembered why we don't make it every week. We are Catholic and since having children I have started to envy other churches with their blessed nursery. For the most part, Catholic churches do not have a nursery at every service instead they have the cry room. You would assume from the title that it is the room where parents taking their crying children. In reality it is the room where parents take their screaming children and parents go to cry . It is a glass fronted room where you can see the service and supposedly hear through a speaker, but really you hear nothing but just follow the cue of others, sitting, standing, sitting again, kneeling, "oh, are we getting up for communion?"; but are about as engaged as one can be while trying to keep your four-year old from standing on the seats, and and occupying a baby with puffs because if you don't keep his mouth full he feels he needs to show everyone how talented he is by screaming na-na-na-na at the top of his baby lungs. I am pretty sure we won't be there next week.

Now if you ask "why don't they have a nursery program" and any reasonable person would ask is because the church feels that children are part of the family and should experience the church with the family. True in theory but not in reality! You have room full of families you are simply trying to maintain and in our case maintaining ineffectively. The four year old makes is 20 minutes then he is done. So for the next forty minutes is a series of threats and the eventual time out where I or my husband drag him screaming from the "cry" room.

He is simply not ready to sit through a 60 minute service quietly despite my best efforts to come fully armed with books and coloring books and small cars. I leave feeling like a horrible and ineffective parent. In my opinion it is a real issue with the Catholic church and an issue that keeps young families from feeling fully included in the community.


kisatrtle said...

I feel your frustration. As a mother of three it is difficult to get anything from a church service when you feel like your child is distracting others.

I agree with you a nursery should be provided. Our church(methodist) has a nursery for kids up to 5 years of age and then after the opening singing and greeting they have a junior church program for kids K-3rd grade. My oldest is going to 5th grade and I still allow her to bring a book to read.

My heart wants her to "get something out of it" but my head knows that she isn't ready to be fully engaged.

Sometimes she reads and sometimes she listens. But I never make her do either.

Visiting from SITS! said...

This frustration is not limited to Catholics, I have 4 year old triplets and our religious outings have been limited to Christmas, Easter & the occasional baptism. I have brought special 'church journals' with crayons, soft toys and even tryed bribery. I usually leave embarrassed feeling like I ruined every ones day.
Maybe this year will be better.
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