Other choice titles: Screaming Sundays, My Last Day at Church, Delighting in ruining Mom's Sabbath, Terror Toddlers at Church, Children not Welcome.
If I didn't have a testimony that the church was true, the gospel of Jesus Christ was true, and that going to church was important. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN MY LAST DAY GOING TO CHURCH. I kid you not.
It started last night. Really it started last night because it had been building up from the previous 2 weeks. Casey has been a work horse to school and studying lately and I have been going solo a lot more in the day than usual. The past 2 Saturdays Casey has been studying all day long so I feel like I haven't gotten a break at all.
So in comes Saturday night. I'M FREAKING DONE. 6:30 we put the kids in the bath to find that all 3 are poopy. Why the freak did Max poop his pants? Never happened before, ugh. Quinn had apparently been poopy for a long time and his bum was all red now to show for it.
Max wouldn't stop screaming because he wanted to watch a show and not go to bed. I'm scrubbing poop out of his underwear, all 3 kids are crying or screaming or trying to get out of the bath and I've freaking had enough. I just couldn't take it anymore. I threw the (mostly all cleaned off) underwear at Max and walked out of the bathroom (crying too). Luckily Casey was close by, stepped in and did the next hour's worth of putting kids to bed by himself and cleaned up the house while I laid on my bed and tried to cry and sleep and forget about it all.
When I got up to brush my teeth I found poop on a towel in the bathroom. Why is there poop on a towel? Turns out Max pooped in the bathtub as well, Casey cleaned up a little bit of it but had to continue helping get the kids to bed and now there were still a bunch of poo particles all over our bathtub. Gross. So much for me wanting to take a nice calming bath that night. Add deep clean to the bathtub to my Monday to-so list.
Alright, so now to Sunday. As always, lots of tears all morning long because no child gets adequate individual attention EVER.
I woke up at 5 am to Max watching TV downstairs and probably ate something that I have no clue about. Marched him back up to bed. Woke up at 6:30 to Max again downstairs watching TV for who knows how long eating who knows what. When I came down to him dripping out of his mouth was some gooey substance I had no clue what it could be.
Force him to turn off the Tv and he has a screaming cat fit of wailing and gnashing of teeth. I put him in his room which makes him scream harder, he begs for Daddy and says he doesn't like me and only wants daddy. I agree with him and tell him Daddy is gone at church meetings. Cries harder.
Lots of tears the next 2 hours as we try getting ready for church and feeding people breakfast and make a complete disaster of the house. More tears, more screaming. Unending. Diarrhea from Max, more tears. By the time we leave for church a bomb went off and you're having to step over huge mounds of STUFF to get through each room.
Make it to church barely on time (but on time! let's see the positives here!). Babies are awful. Screaming yelling, wiggly, trying to get out of the bench, won't stop crawling all over me, pulling my necklace hitting my face, flailing to get off my lap, screaming because they want their apple sauce pouch now but it's not until after sacrament. Max was probably naughty doing something ,who knows what. Casey takes Max to the bathroom and a baby runs after him, the baby left is scream crying during the prayer in my lap because he wants to go too.
I follow Casey out with screaming baby. We all come back in to the meeting. Kids are calmed-ish down with something. Sacrament starts and babies start scream crying again to get out and hitting me. (By the way, I have never been so abused in my life as I have when being a parent. The kicking, hitting, biting, crying, screaming in my ears, etc, it's never ending).I go to the hall with the first baby. Casey follows soon enough with 2nd baby and Max. Begin tears.
I can't do this again. Church is so freaking hard with 3 toddlers. The babies won't go to other people like they used to. When I come in eye sight they just start crying and reaching for me again. Even when people want to help the babies won't let them. Max has been so clingy lately when we get in group situations which also makes church harder.
We sit outside as a family until the sacrament is over. A dear friend sees my struggle and takes one of our babies along with her 4 month old baby back in to sit with her family. Casey takes Max and 1 twin back in. I stay in the hall and cry a little more, compose myself, try to listen a little and get my self back inside to the battleground because that is where I'm supposed to be and I am still needed inside.
It goes ok for a little while with 1 baby not being in our row and not being able to see us. Granted snacks have now started too which helps for sure. I don't remember exactly what I did during this speaker but it wasn't just sit there and listen. I don't remember hearing much at all of the speaker just helping the 2 kids we did have.
For the final speaker the other twin joins us back in our row. More screaming, fighting over applesauce, hitting me and each other, trying to escape out of the pew, throwing toys hard at the people behind us, just trying to freaking survive. It was awful just awful I tell you. At one point I take Max outside to go to the bathroom again and when I come back in Casey and a dear friend are both at the back door of the chapel each holding a baby because they FREAKED out that I was leaving and they weren't.
We made it through another sacrament service, barely, (let's be honest, last week's ward conference we only made it to the sacrament until we had to take the kids out during it, and knowing it was going to be a way longer meeting we took the kids to the Primary room, run and walk and play the whole time while we listened to the speaker, we didn't even try to keep them in the chapel). But after the meeting ended I was just done. Done with babies being so awful and crying and hitting and trying to get through this meant struggling week after week with no end in sight.
A close friend asked "is it one of those Sunday's?" and I answered every Sunday is one of those Sundays. It's never easy. They're all hard. They're all stressful. I just can't do it anymore. And there I was, that crying idiot mom at church who couldn't just laugh it off and cried because being a mom was so gosh freaking hard. I mean, who does that? Really? At least when you're pregnant you know you have to do THAT for 9 months, with these toddlers and knowing we want more kids there is not end in sight. It never ends. It seems like it's never going to get easier. It may be 5 or 10 years before I don't have toddlers sitting with me. NO END IN SIGHT.
After trying to control a little cry fest I run to the bathroom trying to compose myself because, hey! I need to go teach 8-11 year olds the gospel and red crying eyes would be quite a bit of a distraction during a lesson and the last thing I needed was "Sis Cutler why are you crying?". Of course lots of (wonderful!) friends see I'm crying and ask to help which makes it worse because I'm trying to compose myself and talking about it will only make it worse.
I get through my teaching hour, all is fine.
I get to the 3rd hour to find Max didn't go to sunbeams because he was too emotionally attached to Casey and wouldn't let Casey leave him (super new and weird behavior from Max being clingy and shy). I go find Casey who has Max in the clerk's office with him, switch him for a baby, bring him back to Primary, learn my wonderful neighbor willingly took Bryson because he loves her so much. Max is clingly-ly sitting on my lap (doesn't EVER sit with his sunbeam class now), he's acting really strange. He decides his tummy hurts and he's going to throw up. I get Casey and we leave church early. Luckily Max never throws up but we conclude on the car ride home that those early morning "treats" Max was eating were fiber pills, thus the diarrhea from earlier, thus his endless toots during sunbeams, thus his tummy ache. Ugh.
We 5 go home and sleep it off.
I cry because church was so hard. I cry because I'm crying over being a mom. I cry because I just want a break. I watched this conference talk from Elder Holland , it helped, it also makes me cry more. I didn't know how much the atonement and grace has to do with motherhood. I thought that's mostly for sinners and mistakes, not being a mom. But it does.
And before I really dozed off for my nap I reflected back on WHAT DID YOU HEAR AT CHURCH KIMBER?
I heard something about angels... something in a song...something about angels among us. I looked up the hymn numbers of what I vaguely remember we sang, I only remembered the numbers because I thought it was strange that 3 of the 4 songs we sang were between like 110-120. I picked the one maybe that those words were in and I read:
And i realized I did have angels around me during church. They were angels in the form of some of my dear friends. Those who tried helping with my kids. Those who asked if I was ok. My 3 year old who was a lot better during sacrement than I probably give him credit for. And my dear angel husband, who never just signs off and is always there to catch the pieces when I can't take it anymore. Those words rang true to my heart as I dozed off to sleep.
And fear not, I will be at church yet again, next week, screaming toddlers and all.
(Encouraging words not needed, I'll get over my tears and try to laugh through the pain more next time. No pity necessary. I wrote this down mostly so I could laugh at it in 10 years (hopefully))