Why church is hard

I know not all of you fellow moms choose to attend a place of worship on a regular basis. But for those of us that do, can we just be real for a minute? Church is hard.

If you’re a mom whose kids are old enough to head off to children’s church classes and you can sit and relax, socialize with friends, and absorb the sermon points … well, let’s just say I’m looking forward to joining your ranks someday.

For now, I spend most of the worship portion of the service feeding my daughter snacks so she’ll sit still for a few more minutes, or letting her play with my phone so she’ll be quiet for a few more minutes. Then, when her wiggles are too much for me to contain, I sigh and head out to the lobby, where she runs around and dances and leaves cracker crumbs on the carpet. Everyone comments on her cuteness, how big she’s growing, how active she is. I smile and nod – it’s all true – and try not to let her constant movement exhaust me.

Eventually, we head upstairs to the nursery. She rarely lets me leave her there for more than a few minutes, so I plop into a chair while she plays with the other kids, straining to hear the preacher broadcasted over the sound of their play.

It’s fine, really. But the service ends, and she’s ready for a nap. So I wave to a few friends and dash to the car so I can get back before she has a meltdown.

And I arrive home wondering, what was the point of that?

Hey, I asked if we could be real.

I desperately love my church. I love what we’re about and what we’re doing and everyone there. It’s just genuinely hard to be connected in this season of my life.

We still go, faithfully. Every Sunday with few exceptions.

It’s a habit, a priority, a crucial part of our lives. I keep reminding myself that, along with things like: she’s learning, she’s absorbing something, she’s socializing, she’s realizing the importance of church community.

And so we will continue to go. Even when I’m tired of trying to keep her still in our seats or tired of chasing her around the lobby. We’re there, and that’s what matters.

Cheryl Hazelton
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