Monday, January 24, 2011

Dis-discouragement.

For those who are new/er to my blog, I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Our ward here in Vancouver meets at 1:00. 
Was that a collective groan I heard from all you other moms out there??

Guess what time our lil' bug usually takes her daily nap?
Yes, we've been down to one nap for several months now...

1:00.

So far we've managed to get her up early (or in yesterday's case, she got up nice and early--sorry Kirby), and then put her down for a nap around 10:30. Yesterday she actually went right to sleep, so she got NEARLY the two hours she usually does before we had to wake her up to get her ready to go. 

Despite the nap, by the time sacrament meeting is over, she's done sitting still. 
Like, hardcore done.
Only about three more months until nursery!

So each week Kirby and I take one shift, either Sunday School or Priesthood/Relief Society. Then the next week we switch what shift we take.

Yesterday I had the last block--Relief Society.

Emily is really quite pleasant. She hams it up for the crowd--grins, and dances. But she also prefers to travel around the entire relief society room. Which I don't really feel okay with. So after a little while of trying to keep her within a 3-4 foot radius (I was even sitting with another friend of mine and her 10-month-old--you'd think that playing with another baby would keep her in one place--yeah right...) I took her out to change her diaper. I wanted to go back in, but I knew it would be impossible to keep her in one place, and felt bad about bringing a huge distraction back. Even if most of the ladies are probably okay with it, I know deep down there must be at least a couple ladies who are genuinely irritated by it.

So we wandered the halls.
And Emily hammed it up for everyone we encountered out there, too.
And any time someone entered or exited a classroom, Emily would make a mad dash for the open (or should we say rapidly closing) door. Visions of tiny squished fingers are dancing in my head...
By the time 4:00 rolled around I was exhausted and discouraged.

I thought to myself, "Why do we even come!? One of us might as well stay home."
Right away I knew it wasn't true. We both got to partake of the sacrament. And we each got at least 1 hour of additional learning. I knew it was just because I ended on the rough shift, and I'm also not used to spending so much time in the hall. In Orem, I taught the CTR 4's in primary, so Kirby had Emily for the entire second two hours of the block. But I still felt pretty discouraged.

I was thinking about how I felt yesterday as I got ready to eat breakfast this morning. I've been trying to read one conference talk from the last General Conference each morning while I eat. 

The talk I read (correction: I'm still reading it...) this morning is entitled Faith--The Choice Is Yours from Bishop Richard C. Edgley. A couple things have stood out to me.

"Choose faith over doubt, choose faith over fear, choose faith over the unknown and the unseen, and choose faith over pessimism."

"Yes, faith is a choice, and it must be sought after and developed. Thus, we are responsible for our own faith. We are also responsible for our lack of faith. The choice is yours."

What does this have to do with my experience at church yesterday? Lemme 'splain. It was fairly easy for me to feel like there wasn't any point in being at church when I was out of class. I figured I wasn't being spiritually uplifted, so why bother? 

But after reading this, I realized that it just means I need to be more active in finding spiritual experiences throughout the week to keep me lifted up. Whether my faith is strengthened is not up to whether or not my child will sit quietly on my lap durin Relief Society--it's up to me. Hey, there are probably even things I can do while we're wandering the halls! And I know that church is where we are supposed to be, so I will be blessed regardless of whether I'm able to sit through an entire class with my 15-month-old.

Looks like it's time to really crack down on my daily scripture study. 

But hey--I'm sure you moms have had similar experiences. What did you do to keep from getting discouraged? And was there anything you found that helped keep energetic pre-nursery children close during classes?

9 comments:

Erin_C said...

i can't even imagine 1:00 church. we're at 10 and we barely survive. just yesterday i thought, whats the point of going to church until she is in nursery! i've found that eve 15 minutes will make a difference, if you can switch around with kirby? chris is so busy during church, but he can ususally get me 15 minutes :)

Katie Rod said...

We just changed from 1pm church and I am pretty sure all of us with little people were about to form our own ward if the time didn't change. So, yeah, that is a rough time to expect little ones to be happy.

And I am in the same boat with thinking, "wow, I didn't hear a thing for an hour and a half. Why am I here again?" But you're right about fortifying yourself during the week. That would be my only advice to get through this time, but since you've already got it down, you'll do great.

One thing I've started doing is trying to sit through RS as long as I can and then moving out to the hall when things get crazy. And then while out there, I really try not to talk or socialize with others the whole time. We have Ensigns, church news and other reading materials that I can actually read while Allie is crawling around. And amazingly, she doesn't make a peep while we are out in the foyer. :)

We've tried snacks, toys, etc., but they end up just making a mess if little ones throw a fit. So we just do without.

The Browns said...

love that talk... i had to give a talk on it. great stuff. my sis always struggled with feeling motivated to drag her busy baby to church every sunday too. keep up the good work!

Adriane said...

<3 to you! I just went to a ward with sacrament last from 2:40-4. O.O Man, that stressed me out pretty badly! One thing I try to do is NOT make walking the halls more fun than being inside sacrament (yeah, I know. the concept sounds great. the execution? not so much). So the kids only get to read books/color/eat goldfish crackers if they are behaving inside. Otherwise, they have to sit with me on my lap out in the foyer. No wandering or fun allowed. Once they understand the concept, they are usually much more excited to go back inside.

It's way too easy for the kids to learn that all they have to do is scream a little and they get out of sitting through sacrament--and then you're stuck!

This works great for sacrament--and maybe it would work for you since you only have to survive for one of the hours. Unfortunately, I'm not much more help than that, since I've been in primary both hours since before I had my kids! I'll ask Mike if he has any tips for you!

I was also going to mention bringing snacks (which you prolly already do) to keep her close to you.

The Moss' said...

We've got church at one too!! It's hard, but thankfully we've just adjusted naps for that day, somehow it works! I'm glad it's working out for you too, hopefully it continues to get better.
For us the best thing is food and books. Those are the only two things that keep her near us and not wondering the room. Lucy isn't so bad anyways though, because she gets too nervous of people she doesn't know. So usually it's not too big of a problem, but the food and books help to keep her quiet too :)
Good luck! Let us know what you end up doing that works out!

Bobby and Melissa said...

And let the good times begin of never hearing church! We have been in this game since oh 2004?! It seems like we finally get one over it and the next one begins!
We have this 90 year old very wise woman in our ward (she still rakes her own leaves and lives alone...she's amazing) and she told us once that looking back the time that she didn't get to hear at church seemed like only a drop in the bucket. So that's what we always remind ourselves of! It won't last forever!
So, we feel like H. is still a little young to understand the whole concept of only getting good things when she's sitting in class so I don't even attempt that yet. (I do when they are a bit older). For now I try to notice what stage she is in(like H. is totally into putting things in and out of things) So I will bring something like that (Bobby used his pocket the other day. She stuck things in and out of his pocket). That seems to help some. Bobby's other fav. is to do something totally out there to them. When B. was a baby Bobby would stick a stuffed animal in B.'s shirt just out of his reach..it kept him busy for a while!
Keep reading those conference talks! I know I have been blessed for going anyway...and I know you will too :)

April said...

Ah, we are in the same boat! Here are a few thoughts I've had:

1. I will be blessed for staying at church and NOT taking Michael home for his nap (which I know some people who do, but to each his own).
2. While I'm in the halls I can usually find people who may need a friend or encouraging word. It seems like I can interact with people who may need me, or I may need them.
3. It's good pondering, reading, thinking, evaluating time.
4. Aaron and I switch off too, but often during Relief Society/Sunday School I just take Michael to Nursery and play with him there. At least I get to interact with the other nursery leaders and Michael is getting used to Nursery. :) He actually LOVES it! Can't wait until April 24th! Anyways, I'm pretty sure all church leaders are okay with it if you are there the whole time, however, you should be in your meetings, so I don't know! :) I guess I've trained Michael to fuss so he can go to Nursery. :)
5. Books, snacks, toys, other kids toys, anything to keep him quiet in the meetings - and if we have to take him out during sacrament meeting try and sit in a room alone and hold him on our laps to teach him it is more fun in sacrament meeting (however, this is hard to do and I prefer to let him walk around).

ah - we have the same struggle. It's a challenge, but you seem to know what you are doing and how to keep up on what is most important. :)

Ashley said...

amen sista! and we only have one kids!!

Ashley said...

kid***

 

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