Why being Catholic and guilt go hand in hand

When it comes to going to church on Sundays we go through spells. Sometimes we will go months without missing once. Then we will go weeks without thinking twice about not going (OK, true for the rest of my family but as you can see I beat myself up about it for days afterwards).

It's not that Bret and I loath church. I actually like going to church together as a family. The problem is always everything else. Bret works a lot of weekends. This means that 1) we don't get to spend very much time with him and 2) we have to find time to go when he is not working/sleeping/or recovering from working.

The kids are just not at an age where I can manage them both by myself during the hour long mass. Emily is actually really good during mass and manages to be quiet and sit still for the most part. Palmer on the other is just not there yet.

I think that is the other reason we kind of subconsciously dread going. We really don't feel like we get much out of church when we spend most of the mass making sure that the kids are quiet and sit still. We take church related books or coloring books and *gasp* we usually take some sort of snack for Palmer too. On good days we feel great when leaving church but on bad days we feel exhausted and frustrated that our 2 year old couldn't be quiet.

I laugh sometimes as we are leaving because I see the other parents with the same grimace on their face as they are relieved that mass is over and that they can then take their children home and beat them (of course we don't beat our children nor do we advocate it but I'm just saying that at times you might want to).

So do you go to church weekly? What do you do to keep your kids quiet? I would really like to get back into the habit of going every week but with Bret working the next 2 weekends in a row and then a trip to KS it sure is an ideal time to make a real effort. Instead I tell the reverent women in our lives (our mothers, grandmothers, and great aunts) to pray for our souls. Laugh you might but let me tell you sometimes I think these women in our lives that pray so fervently have a direct line as we have seen the results of in our lives many times over.


Curly Muse said...

yes it is difficult with kids, I dont have any but I can imagine. I am sure that God understands that you need not go every Sunday especially when we are unable to worship and follow the service. I think you can be a good Catholic with out going to church (even if others may raise their eyebrows at this!) I have seen people who never miss service but dont follow good morals outside of the church. You seem like a great person so dont worry, even though guilt is part of being Catholic!

Autumn said...

Honey I hear ya! After not missing a sunday for almost a year we have successfully missed the past THREE MONTHS due to the flu, the stomach bug, not getting enough sleep, getting too much sleep (stupid alram) ER visits that lasted until 4am Sunday morning, the car breaking down....
Seriously! I keep saying we will go this coming Sunday, but then one of the above (or worse more than one of the above) happens to someone in the family. I haven't given up yet, we will eventually get back into the routine of things, but gosh it's been hectic these past few (ok many) Sunday's!!!
Glad to hear I'm not the only one struggling to make it every now and then!

Angel said...

Ahhh you got me girl, I had to post a comment on this one. :-) We have discussed our views on religion many times and I am happy that with very different opinions we have always been able to have some good conversations on this issue.

With that said...

In any religion it is not how many times you go to church that makes you a good person or spiritual person, it is how you live your life and practice your personal spirituality.

Don't let "rules" of what you are "supposed to do" ever make you feel guilty about not going to church. All in my opinion and I know everyone may not agree and nor should they because where is the fun in that. :-)

Love you girl!!

Darci said...

they don't have a nursery at your church? i can't imagine sitting through a service and keeping kiddos quiet. you are amazing if you can!