Sunday, March 10, 2013

First big Mother of Five Test: Church with Five Kids and One Parent

So, this was my first week of doing church on my own with five kids.

I felt like I should document it because it felt like such a huge task to take on with Henry being only 2 1/2 weeks old.

Sambo was working the zip so I was on my own a bit sooner than I was planning on. That's okay, I'm all about ripping the band aid.

I was up half the night thinking of my plan of attack for sacrament meeting (non Mo's, this is the main service where everyone needs to be quiet. You know, a kid's favorite part of church). When Sam went back on the road last year we moved where we were sitting to accommodate his need to be able to slip in the very back for a few minutes then take off without causing a stir. While it was super important to me that we all sat as a family, I have loathed sitting in the back. Folding chairs are loud and Oz loves to escape and, blah.

Since I knew Sam wouldn't be needing to slip in and out I decided to move up to the soft pews where Oz would be more caged in and easier to manage.

Then I had to sort out how to handle the boys' constant "need" to use the bathroom and their little games of "Poke the Bear" that they like to play with each other. This took a special conversation with the kids. It went something like this:

Me: Okay, we're going to be going to church soon.

Kids: Yay! We get to leave the house! (So, we all have some serious cabin fever here, can you tell?)

Me: Yes, but here is the deal. There are five of you and Dad is working and I cannot go to church and have you acting like hooligans and making me crazy, so this is how it is going to go down. Everyone pees before we leave and you all MUST hold it until church is over. No bathroom breaks at all. Also, we are sitting in the soft seats...

Kids: YAY! We hate the chairs in the back! (See? We really do sacrifice around here for Big Daddy!)

Me: I know, but listen. I need Oz to not run around so we will be by a wall and in the soft seats and you must all sit and have good manners and not fight at all. What do you think will happen if you are rowdy or try to use the bathroom or are mean to each other?

Kids: Um....

Me: Let me tell you. I will gather you all up and we will go home immediately. Then you will all go to your rooms for the rest of the day while I eat pizza and other snacks and you will be sad. Do you want this to happen?

Kids: (so very seriously, because pizza is a big deal) No. We will behave.

Me: Yeah, you will.

And with that, everyone used the bathroom and we left.

I have to hand it to the kids, they were really good. Every so often one of them would get some zany idea about doing something naughty and I'd give them the look of doom and they would reevaluate their life choices and peace would remain.

We actually nearly made it to the end of sacrament, but Oz decided to try to squirm out of the pew and Henry decided to be starving at the same time. I didn't want to cause too much of a scene so I hauled all the kids out to the hall to settle the littlest ones down. We found a quiet corner and I fed Henry while Belle managed Oz and Buddy quietly had a nervous breakdown because he thought they were in trouble and were going to their rooms. I had to straighten that out really quickly.

Once Henry was back to happy we finished church and it really went okay. Sam ended up making it for the second half and that was nice because Ozzy is still not so sure about nursery so he was in and out a lot. But, at the end he stayed with the nice nursery people and they all applauded him at the end. It was pretty funny. I'm glad the people in the nursery are being so patient with him. Makes it all less stressful for me.

Also, none of the kids tried for bathroom breaks! It was a miracle!

So, that was church on my own for at least part of the time. I would say that was the hardest part too so I'm pretty pleased. I won't lie, I didn't think we would make it, but we did and I feel a lot more confident in my momming abilities on Sunday.

Although, I have to be honest and with the time change and church being at 1pm I am debating putting Ozzy down for a nap at noon some Sundays and being a little late to church just so he gets that nap in before nursery. I think it would make everything run smoother personally. We'll see.

Right now I'm just happy that we survived our first attempt at church with only one parent wrangling five kids. Go me! And go kids! I am really proud of them for stepping up and making good choices during church.

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