Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Day of Rest?

I'm very frustrated right now. I used to love Sundays, but with two young boys, it's hardly a day of rest anymore. I spend most of sacrament meeting so focused on keeping them quiet that I only hear bits and peices of the speaker's talks. And though I used to use the time during which the sacrament is passed to reflect on my own spirituallity, remember the Savior, and truly think about my baptismal covenants, now I just spend that time fretting about whether or not my kids are distracting the rest of the congregation from this sacred ordinance.

I'd like to spend the majority of the day after church reading scriptures, the Ensign, and other church materials, or taking a much needed nap, or quietly meditating, but those no longer seem to be options. After lunch today, I let the kids play outside for a while, then we read and I put them down for naptime and quiet time. My youngest usually still takes a nap, and even if he doesn't sleep, he will just play quietly in his crib during naptime.

It's a different story with my oldest. He seems to need constant attention! I told him to have quiet time in his room today so that I could take a nap. I gave him plenty of things to do in there. He has puzzles, coloring books, picture books and toys to play quietly with. I left him in there at two o'clock, and told him to stay until I came and got him.

Then I went to my room to read and relax. I read an article from the Ensign, then lay down for a nap. At 2:20 (probably five minutes in to my nap), I was awakened by my oldest coming in to show me one of his toys. I groggily told him to go back to his room until quiet time was over. He left, but he didn't go to his room. He went into his brother's room and started talking and laughing with him. I don't know if he woke him up, but he knows he's not supposed to go in there during naptime. I got out of bed and angrily told him to go back to his room and stay in there until quiet time was over. This, of course, made them both cry, which is turn, made me feel frustrated and guilty. I was unable to rest after that.

This scenerio is not uncommon for us on Sundays. In fact, it is the norm. My oldest always says he hates Sunday, and I can't really blame him. He doesn't get to do a lot of the fun things he does on other days. Things like going to the store or the library, jumping on the trampoline, running through the sprinklers, or helping me with the laundry. I feel like I've already ruined him and he's only four years old. I would like to help him focus on things we get to do on Sunday, rather than those we should refrain from doing, but, honestly, what is there for a four-year-old to do? He says that he hates primary, and he just seems bored the rest of the day.

How do I teach my children to look forward to and enjoy the Sabbath? How do I get to a point where I look forward to it like I used to, rather than fretting about what to do with my children all day? What are some things you do with your chilrdren on Sunday? I know part of my frustration stems from the fact that I don't have my husband here with me now to help out, but even before we moved here, I still often got frustrated and was at a loss of activities to do with my kids on Sunday. If you have any suggestions, please offer them!!!

Since quiet/naptime was a flop, we are going for a drive now. That is something we frequently do on Sundays to pass the time. The kids are strapped down, and though I can't sleep, at least we can listen to church music and enjoy the beauties of the earth and each other's company. I'm feeling better now after venting. Blogs can be good for that sometimes.


Arlynda said...

It only gets worse with each kid, honestly. I was thinking about how I used to look forward to Sundays because my life shut down for one day. I didn't work, I didn't do homework, I didn't do housework... Now, pretty much it is another day with a three hour block of meetings and a husband that doesn't get home until two hours after I do.
I get really frustrated before church trying to get everyone ready (which I'm working on, luckily DH keeps things together). Luckily little man is usually asleep when we get home and I put on a church movie for the kids so I can make dinner in peace. Now that Bailey and Abby are getting older I'm starting to realize that someday I'm going to be able to have restful Sundays again.

Leslie said...

I often wonder what the point is to even go to church on Sunday, since I no longer seem to get anything out of it with a wild and crazy kid running around--but if for nothing else, we are teaching our kids that it is important and that is where we should be--you are a great mom (and you haven't ruined your kids!).