Tuesday, February 07, 2012

What Sunday Mornings Are Like for Large Families Going to Church

Well, I was really excited about revival week at church and especially because I really love the evangelist that came in.  His preaching and teaching really ministers and is always right on the money.  (We have hardly been able to make it this week because everyone came down with a bad cold and I can't put my baby in the nursery.)  I don't know about you but even though others think church 3 times a week is excessive, I need it.  My vessel empties quickly and I look forward to those times.  I always leave church with a bounce in my step but if you saw me walking in... well, I barely make it sometimes.

I stare at this picture often to remember that the 6.5 kids I have is nothing in comparison.  Heh heh.

It is NOT easy to get a large family ready and looking decent for every church service.  It's such a different dynamic in the level of energy it takes to get there.  No joke.  It take much more time and careful coordinating.  I almost always underestimate the time I need to get so many ready in the morning.  For me it starts the day before getting everything prepared and ready.  By Sunday morning (for example), just getting up early enough to feed everyone, pull the blankets off the kids, sing the song "Rise and Shine" a few hundred times while opening the shades, reminding the kids over and over to get in the bathroom and brush their teeth.  

They usually shower the night before but there are always a few that didn't get the hot water so they had to wait till morning.  It always takes showing them proof they stink and need a shower to get boys in there. Pulling them out of that nice hot stream of water, finding a towel that someone forgot to put back the night before, is a challenge.  I turn on the steamer to get all the wrinkles out of everyone's clothes while longingly looking over at my coffee maker.  Hopefully I'll get a cup.

If my boys could get away with this 
they would go out like this all the time.

As soon as I finally get the girls ready and send the boys on a shoe hunt, I'll take them over to the bathroom to do their hair.  Oh man, Charles just hopped in the shower.  The girls will have to wait on their hair getting done.  Then I check the boys over to make sure they didn't put on something weird or try to wear white socks with their black pants and black shoes.  I send them off to comb and gel their hair.  Since they think the only part of their hair that needs to get done is the very top and front, I usually end up taking over and showing them how to do it.  The ones that hadn't brush their teeth yet insist their breath smells fabulous and so I convince them to just be obedience and to please not try to do the Dragon Breath Test on mommy to prove it.  Just brush your teeth!  Once Charles finally gets out of shower I gather up my girls to do their hair and put some pretty bows in.  I look over at the clock, we have 15 minutes till we leave and I still am in my pajamas.  Argh.  Trying to look fabulous in 15 minutes I'm sure takes super hero work.  As I'm putting on the final desperate touches, Charles yells out we have to go.  We all run to the van while one of us searches for the missing kid who didn't hear the call and we load up. Just as we pull out I remember I never got that cup of coffee and the dog needed to be let out to potty.

Why didn't I just wake up earlier to have more time?  Usually with getting preparations done the night before I'll be falling into bed pretty late.  Then once I wake up I'm majorly battling morning sickness.  Partiers might hug the toilet because they drank too much the night before but pregnant mommies have their reason too.  It's not because of alcohol, we're brewing a baby.

So if you see a Mom of Many rushing into church at any time and maybe even a few minutes late, don't comment on her lateness, just say, "I'm glad you made it!" with a smile.  I will always say back.... "Me too!"  (Flowers and a congratulations card is even better).  Every single time I happily sit in my chair at church so grateful we really did make it.  No kids were even left behind.  I think.

You know how everyone is all excited for Fridays?  My favorite day of the week is Monday.  Weekends represent busyness, rushing, coordinating, organizing, and going here and there.   It's not too bad with a few kids but start adding to the numbers and it gets a little bit tougher.  Imagine a mama duck trying to get all of her ducklings across the road.  I'm sure the Duggar mama would need a stop light for her ducklings to get across.  Mondays represent a normalcy in a routine and calmness.  Back to our scheduled daily chores, homeschooling, and reliable routines.  Weird, I know.  I just know there are moms out there who understand.


Mindy Kennedy said...

Sundays can be stressful. Here's my tips (I have 8 kids, 1 to 18) Absolutely everyone bathes/showers on Saturday, that means starting them at 4 pm and limited them to ten minutes! Children are expected to lay out their outfit the night before. That cuts down on the girls not being able to decide when we need to leave. Find the shoes, put the black socks in them, make sure nothing needs to be ironed. We go to Mass at 7:30 am. Crazy? No, because then no one has to have breakfast first, we get up early, go and then everyone is ready to eat when we get home! While daddy cooks breakfast, everyone tidies up and changes into play clothes. I am not a big make up person, but I do plan my own outfit the night before, I do not shower, just wash up with a washcloth, brush my hair out that I fixed the day before and get dressed first. Then, if I'm going to put on makeup, I do it in the car on the way, we are 25 minutes from our church, more than enough time for a little eyeliner and mascara! My goal is clean and neat for all of us so I don't bother with fancy hair bows or worry too much about the outfit, as long as it's clean and neat! My 9 year old has her own sense of style so I let that go as long as she is modest and not wearing fifty different colors at once. I do have a couple of cute pony tail holders I use on the 4 year old because her hair always wakes up crazy no matter what! Anyways, off my soapbox, hope I said something you can put to use in your life! I enjoy your blog!

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

What a sweet post! I'm so glad you are able to make it out with everyone. And I'm sure if someone has the wrong socks on, worse things have happened. :)

Virginia Revoir said...

Mindy, thank you for your advice! :) I love it.

Oh, don't worry, Happy Elf Mom, they usually do. Haha.

Karen said...

I'm with Mindy! We all shower/bathe on Saturday night. So we only need to dress and eat breakfast (cereal or pancakes...depending how early someone wakes up) in the morning. I do have to do 2 girls hair, but the one always wants a pony tail and the other usually wants it just hanging. And actually I comb their hair in the kitchen. The older 3 can dress themselves and then they are responsible for clearing the breakfast dishes and resetting the table for lunch. My husband make coffee in the morning. I put mine in a travel mug and drink it at church (we get there early for prayer time...but no one cares if we take it to Sunday School as well). I rarely get a sip before we leave. I invested in a lovely Tervis Tumbler and it does a great job of keeping the coffee hot plus it can go through the dishwasher. Sometimes my 4-year-old (the kid with sensory issues) has been known not to wear socks to church. Oh yes, the boys have buzz cuts so their hair doesn't require any work. :-) Also, I get dressed before putting in an appearance in the kitchen...works much better for me, then Randy gets dressed while I dress the little boys after breakfast. As for make-up...right now it's a very rare occasion when I take the time...

momto9 said...

Oh I understand all right!!! Totally!!

Anonymous said...

As of mommy of 7 I can totally relate.Once I got everyone squared away I realized I am in pj's too. Good thing I don't have a dog or he would suffer too. If hubby is working then it completely falls on me and that's when I wish I had supper mommy powers. Loading and unloading them is also a challenge. I do the best I can. When 1 kiddo is sick we all suffer and miss Church.