Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mommy-Pastor: Children's Time Struggles

The mommy-pastor struggle was in full swing today. I left the house early so that I could have time at the church to get some post-worship meeting stuff together. I was feeling the loss of a day since Monday of last week I was still on vacation. I lost one day in my work week. My lovely EconMan didn't quite seem to get the point of that. I had been in my office at the church for MAYBE 20 minutes before I saw him walking across the parking lot with the kids a full 90 minutes before worship was starting. LadyPrincess LOVES coming to church so she can do "her work" in my office while I'm working. Very cute, but not so great when I really need to get something done in a pinch. I shut my door and he got the hint. They stayed out of my way while I got things done. Not a major crisis.

The bigger issue was the children's moment today. I only give these once a month, so maybe this isn't a huge deal, but it left me rattled and unsettled today. It wasn't the children's moment itself (although it wasn't my greatest by any stretch of the imagination), it was my daughter's presence. I'm not sure how she got there becuase today was EconMan's turn in the nursery. I think a well-meaning church member went and got her from the nursery just to come in for children's time. I didn't go well. She was ON STAGE, laughing horribly loud when things weren't that funny (or funny at all), answering questions by screaming, even trying to aim those screams at the microphone when she realized that's what was attached to my robe. She was climbing up my side trying to hang on my back. It was bad news. It frustrated me because I couldn't just stop to reprimand/tone her down. It was disruptive to everyone and became a show for others.

I don't have huge existential questions about how to be a pastor and a mom at the same time. I just have these annoying little details to work out. I want her to be able to come forward with the other kids, but I don't want her to be any more of a distraction than any other kid! I think I need another adult to be willing to come with her and help keep her there, but not the center of things. Her distraction really threw me off my game today and that sent me into the pulpit and sermon a little flustered. I know the congregation is OK with all of this; it's totally my thing/issue, not theirs, but it is an issue for me. I want to do my job and fulfill my call to the best of my ability. I also want to be a loving, attentive mom whose children get to participate fully in the life of the church. I don't want my call to stand in the way of their experience of church.

Hmmm....a work in progress.

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