Thursday, May 02, 2013

Church Working Parent

Thursday mornings are hard.  Very hard.  Little Goat wants to keep sleeping and really who can blame him.  I want to keep sleeping too.  Thursday mornings are hard because Wednesdays are long.

Like we get to church at 9am (Preschool is also at church) and we head home at 8:15pm.  Little Goat too.  He is in Preschool and extended care until 3pm and then he is my helper, watching videos and making copies with me until evening programming starts.  Then he's in programming - either the nursery or my own program if I take pity on him (he's technically a year too young still, but if numbers are low it works fine).

We head home after things wrap up at 8pm after I clean up of course.  Dad is also on sight in the church choir.  Then we drive 20 minutes home and begin the bedtime routine.  Normal bedtime begins at or before 8pm.

On the one hand, I am grateful that Little Goat loves to be at church and really has a pretty good attitude about it all.  But on the other it is just hard on a 4 yr old to be out that long.  He needs downtime.  And when he kept insisting that he was sick this morning just to stay home and rest, I felt awful because I know it was a direct result of the long Wednesdays.

Sometimes I feel so paralyzed by it.  My work is crucial to our family for that whole money/benefits thing, but I also do enjoy my ministry.  I love to work with kids and even then Wednesdays are long on me.

Still I wish on Thursday mornings that I could be a stay at home mom.  Or that Wednesday nights were not church nights, because on Thursday mornings I feel acutely that I am failing my child.

But I make him get up, and eat breakfast, and put on his clothes.  And we are late to preschool, and there are tears (his) and drop off goes badly.  Despite the fact that he loves school.  He is just tired.

And I head up to my office up the stairs and I am tired too.  And there may be some more tears (mine this time).

But what can I do?  This is our reality so we push forward, Thursdays and all.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What you don't see.

I see you sneering.  Judging my child and me for his behavior.  You see his loud "whispers" in worship, and his wiggles, and his difficulty staying still.  You see how he runs around following worship, often heading back to the sanctuary.  You see and you stop me and let me know just where he and I are going wrong.

But there are things you don't see.

You don't hear him whisper the Lord's Prayer along with the congregation.

You don't see his pride in his Father singing in the choir.

You don't see him sharing stickers with the kids around him who don't have them.

You don't see him wave his Palm with a Hosanna.

You don't hear the questions he asks after worship.

You don't see him thank the Pastor for the Children's gift.

You don't see how he listens in worship and how parts of the sermon come up in his play later.

You don't see him smile in welcome to all members of the congregation.

There is a lot that you don't see.  Instead you see what you want to see and nothing more.  You are entitled to your opinion on me and on him, but I ask you, who is truly being the better example of Christ's love here.

And frankly, regardless of your answer, I happen to believe that God gives enough grace for all of us. Hosanna, Blessed is He who Comes in the Name of the Lord.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I miss it here

I miss this space.  A space without pressures, to just be me.  While there feels like there is pressure to perform in my other space, to lose weight in the "right" way at the "right" pace, I feel out of step with this spot that was just a place to be me.

I want to be able to write simply because today I am feeling sad and I can't quite tell you why.  Or that I am sick of the never-ending winter.  Or that my son thinks "poop" is the funniest word in the English language, and sometimes in the way he uses it, he might just be right.  (It is a hard-learned parent skill to keep a straight face when you really want to laugh).

I want to be vulnerable and authentically me.  I want to lament that I had no one to BOGO at Caribou today, though I brought a surprise to my administrative co-worker.

I created this place because here I was me, enough just as I was.  Right now that "enough" feeling is fleeting and transient.  Sometimes it is there but too often I am bogged down by my perceptions of the expectations of others.

So I am throwing a few words down, and hitting publish and putting the "just me" back out there. I hope I can stay.