One hobby (?) I picked up while on my hiatus is taking the kids to daily Mass. We don’t go DAILY, but we try to make it a couple of times a week, so stop thinking I’m all dat and a bag of chaplets.
First, we had to find a church that offered it at a time that worked. Our parish has daily Mass at 6:45 am. Even if we lived closer than 30 minutes to it, this would be a never ever no way time. Even if my kids got up at 5am, I would be too busy wallowing in my pre-dawn misery to pull it together and get there. But, the church down the street has a 9am which is totally doable.
© kmiragaya / Dollar Photo Club
There are obviously benefits to this practice, but here are my flavorites:
- Gets me up and moving in the morning instead of becoming a stale pajama lounger
- Gives me extra fuel (and time off purgatory?) for the week when I fill up with J
- When the kids aren’t being a hot mess, it is intimate enough that they can really soak in what is happening up close and personal
- Tests and, I really hope, increases my patience and confidence with motherhood
- Brings joy to a lot of the older Mass-goers
- Each day, on your way, remind the kids what is expected of them. Keep it to two or three easy rules.
- Our Rules: whisper if you have questions, remain in your seat, do not touch the books
- I actually hide all of the books in our row right when we get there to avoid the inevitable fights over them.
- Go consistently even if it’s rough at first. You will see improvement!
- Talk with your kids afterward about what they saw and what questions they may have.
- Introduce your kids to the priest afterward. If they can make friends with him, they will be more likely to behave when they watch him.
- Make a friend or two while you’re there. We have a neighbor who helps me wrangle if things get bad.
- It might just be MY kids, but I also remind them that donuts are only for times when daddy comes to church too (aka Sunday) – but, you know, that might just be our problem…
- Try to find a row with no outlet if possible. We always snag a row that butts up to a wall. No escapees that way.
Now, I don’t even want to get into the fact that after Mass, I see a lot of the same people at the gym I go to as well as my favorite lunch spot. I just chalk it up to the fact that SAHMs and retirees must have similar schedules. Right? Either that or I am really going to enjoy retirement.
Anyway, visit masstimes.org, find one that works, and try it out this week. Lemmeno what it did for you. If your experience is anything like me, your oldest will spend her time hoarding all of the song books while she loudly whispers questions in your ear wondering if this church has donuts. And, your youngest will last six minutes before throwing his head back and singing his heavy metal swan song of doom while he pauses to scream “Amen!” when things get quiet enough.
But we do it. And God blesses our efforts.
Do you have any tips for making it through a daily Mass with young kids?