With this handy guide, taking your baby, toddler, small child, or unbelievably sassy older child to Mass is no problem at all!
1.) Get a (not) solid five hours or so of sleep the night before.
More would be great, of course, but we get it- sometimes (all the times) there are bad dreams and night feedings and I don’t know, an uncomfortable sock or something to contend with. It doesn’t matter, you’ll all be bright eyed and bushy tailed to sit quietly and behave the next morning!
2.) Spend a quiet half hour or so making yourself presentable.
It helps to have children in the bathroom with you saying things like “Ha! You look funny in a towel!” or “What are you doing to your eyes?” or “why do you look so tired?” or “I’m going to clean the toilet with this brush.”
3.) Reject small child’s dress suggestions.
Because they consist of a.) a tux, b.) his old halloween costume and c.) a Super Mario costume. Suggest khakis, a polo shirt, and maybe a nice sweater vest. Stand there while he yells at you, “BUT THEN EVERYONE WILL LAUGH AT ME.” Keep mouth shut, even though it’s really, really hard to not ask, “But the tiny Roman collar is a cool look?”
4.) Reject older child’s suggestions.
Because they are that she be allowed to wear makeup and perfume. “But you wear makeup and perfume!” “I’m THIRTY. When you’re thirty you can wear makeup and perfume to church.” Marvel at how you have actually become your mother.
5.) Lay out husband’s clothes.
You know what? I’m not even mad about this one. He gives me no trouble about my choices.
6.) Rudely notify children of the time remaining to get dressed every five minutes or so.
Rest assured they will still yell at you, “I DIDN’T KNOW IT WAS TIME TO GO???!!!”
7.) Tell them no, they can’t bring snacks.
We don’t bring snacks in our family once you’re not a toddler. Somehow this is still a shocking discovery every single weekend.
8.) Ditto on stuffed animals.
If you’re old enough to receive communion you’re old enough to pay attention. Don’t look at me like that, young lady.
9.) Pray in the car on the way.
Ahahhahahaha. Sorry. I meant referee whatever fight is happening in the backseat and then send snarky snapchats to your friends because you a.) have makeup on for once and b.) need to tell them how many times you’ve yelled already because the devil definitely knows it’s Sunday.
10.) Get inside. Sit down. Say a prayer. Feel the calm wash over you.
Even though you know that ahead of you, you have at least an hour of pulling the little one off the floor, redirecting the big one’s attention to the sanctuary, and whatever it is you people do with babies (I’ve blocked it from my mind.) Think about the look on your son’s face as he genuflects before the tabernacle. Think of your daughter receiving communion and being thrilled every time. Realize that all of it is worth the hassle of the morning.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Until they are doing the same with their kids.
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About Kathleen Kirchner
Kathleen is a cradle Catholic, but on a journey to greater understanding and reverence. Formerly a historian specializing in Vatican foreign policy and Jewish-Catholic relations, now she homeschools her two young children and tries to get them interested in...anything other than Netflix. Married to Matt, her engineer and personal Geek Squad for five years and counting. If it's not the school day, you can usually find her playing with makeup, reading a book, or napping. You can read her personal blog at www.pencilsandeyelashes.com