Sunday. The day of the week when you can finally unwind, relax with your family and friends and dread that the next day is Monday. Sunday in many homes also means a day to put some time aside to focus on faith. After a long week of work both in and outside the home sometimes mommy and daddy come to the conclusion that only Jesus is going to provide the strength to keep on parenting successfully. As the saying goes, the days are long but the years are short. Not always easy to remember when exhaustion kicks in and patience dwindles.
Prior to having children, I always dreamed about how nice it would be to have that perfect Sunday with my husband and children. Nicely dressed little ones, hopping happily in the car to attend church, where they would sit quietly on our laps and sing along with the choir.
Post 3 children, that perfect Sunday consists more of, dressed little ones being dragged to the car who bounce around in the pews singing frozen songs and whining that they are either a) tired b) hungry c) bored or d) all of the above. That’s when the patience is challenged and in my home I try to hold it together because I know that daddy is ready to gather up the crew and walk out because it would be so much EASIER to just stay home.
It’s easy to just wait until everyone is older to attend mass. When the toddler tantrums end and naps will be a thing of the past. But then we will have puberty and teenage years, and I remind myself that there will always be something and not to make excuses for this phase of life.
Some may wonder why I find it so important to ‘force’ the entire family to go to church. I am the first to say that no person should be judged for what they believe nor be forced to believe what I do. But for me, going to church is not only about faith in God. It is about learning to be strong and find faith in ourselves and in one another. We often go in beat and come out refreshed and hopeful. That is, my husband and I at least. The children, it depends on the day, but that’s ok.
If we are strong, and stay consistent in teaching that we work through difficulty as a family without giving up just because not everyone is happy….with time I hope that my children will learn that sometimes it is important to be selfless. It is important to do things that you don’t necessarily enjoy to support the people you love.
So I am reminded to stay strong when those days seem never ending. Stay strong when I sit in a messy home with children who push all the right buttons. And finally to stay strong when the easiest thing would be to give up on things that challenge me and my family, especially those Sunday mornings.