Sunday, March 29, 2009

Can I show you to the nursery?

I'm going to vent for a few minutes about something that happened in church this morning. It actually happens every week but since I can't vent my frustrations to the person causing them, I am doing it here! Bear with me for a moment...

I am a member of a very large baptist church and one of the things I love most about our church is the incredible nursery and preschool ministry that they offer. There are classes offered during all services for children from birth to 4 years old. (After that kids are expected to go with parents into the worship service.)

Now, I completely understand and have no problem with parents (especially first time parents) who bring newborns and very young infants into worship. Most of those babies sleep the whole time anyways and if not, are quickly given a bottle, paci or are whisked away to the nursing room by courteous mommies.

I personally, don't bring my babies into worship but that is because I have the noisiest babies on the planet, even when they are sleeping. During one Easter morning service (when, of course, the sanctuary was packed) my precious daughter (during a prayer) had an explosive diaper so loud that it literally reverberated through the choir loft and the boy behind me asked his mother, "What's the matter with that baby?" I am too humiliated to ever take an infant into church again!

Back to my venting though...What I don't understand is parents who consistently bring older babies and toddlers into the service instead of taking them to the nursery. It is unrealistic to expect a child of that age to sit quietly for over an hour and it is discourteous to those sitting around said child who are trying to listen to the sermon and worship God! (And the excuse of "oh but my child just cries when I leave him/her in the nursery" is completely lame! Get over it and your child will too! Your child will eventually learn that mommy and daddy always come back and they will have fun in the nursery. Learning to separate is healthy! EJ was a crier until 15 months of age! I still took her to the nursery every week and now she walks in without a backward glance at me!)

There is one particular couple who sits in the same vicinity of the sanctuary as I do that brings their daughter (who is at least 9 months old) every single week. And this is not a quiet child! And what is worse, when she cries, they do not remove her from the service!! This morning, the child started crying (judging from the thump, I think she hit her head against the pew in front of her) and her parents did nothing but shush her (adding to the noise!) Don't you think that at the very least, if a parent is going to insist on bringing a baby into worship that that parent should remove the baby as quickly as possible when the child becomes a disturbance? To me, that is just common courtesy. Am I wrong?

13 comments:

Ehrenfelds said...

HA HA HA! I am seriously laughing really hard.

I have definitely had the same problem before. Of course they should take that noise maker out of service!

In P-cola our pastor had a message that scrolled before the service telling parents where they could locate the nursery for infants/children and to be courteous to others and take your children there. Maybe you could suggest this to PK?

Krystyn said...

Totally agree...they shouldn't be in there. We have brought izzy to the contemporary service when it's for kids and just singing and it's still too much!

And, when Nat was too young, if I even thought she was about to cry, I whisked her out the door!

The Reeds said...

Timely post, Lauren... today was Trent's first time in church.
Mike wanted to take him to the nursery, but I was pretty sure he would sleep the whole time. We compromised that if he woke up, I would take him to the nursery. He slept the whole time, but I would have gotten him out of there in seconds if he made a peep:)

Megan R. said...

Sometimes I feel like I'm not a very good Mom, because I really have no problem leaving Carson. I miss him, don't get me wrong, but I don't need him attached to my hip 24/7. I don't get people who do. You need separation. This couple would drive me nuts, and I would so tell them how I felt. I'm kind of rude sometimes though, LOL!

Emily said...

Amen, sister, amen.

Pam said...

I know right where you're coming from. It can get very distracting to worshiping adults when there are noisy kids and noisy parents. My own kids drive me bonkers!

We always took Caroline in with us when she was very young but she always slept through the entire service. When she got to where she didn't, she started going to the nursery. But, NO, I wouldn't have taken her from Day 1 as there was no need.

Margaret said...

We have this at our church a lot. I took my son to church until he was 10 months old, and no one except those who set by us knew he was there. He never made a sound. I started taking him to nursery at 10 months, because he started walking and wanted down.
My daughter has not spent more than a few minutes in church. She just can't be quite, and after the first couple of times I didn't even try anymore.

It can't be said enough that kids will quit crying after a few minutes. I am now the Sunday School teacher for 0-4 year olds. People all the time try for a minute then take them with them. I keep telling them they will be fine. They also come back to the door to see how they are doing. The child will have quit crying, but of course after hearing and seeing the parent they start all over again. That is frustrating.

Heidi @ Blue Eyed Blessings said...

Oooooh...this is a frustrating one! Mikayla is the best church-goer...always has been, but Austin - nuh uh! We never risk taking him in the service...never have. I think it's good to take your little ones to the nursery. It helps them see how important it is for the mommy and daddy to have some worship time with God. My 2 cents! ;)

Hope you were able to still enjoy your Sunday worship time.

Danielle said...

While I agree with what you said (we were in the service and heard the child) I did want to point out that part of EJ's love for preschool now is that she has two of the most devoted, kind hearted teachers who she can't wait to see every Wed night and Sun morning:) Just a shameless plug for her teachers:)whoever they are. LOL.

Morgan said...

I know exactly who you are talking about! I was lucky enough to miss the latest round of crying since I was serving in the nursery this morning (which is exactly where that little baby should have been!).

I really wish there was a kind and loving way to tell the parents to just put the kid in nursery. I think they would enjoy the service so much more. I know I would :)

Sneaky Momma said...

I totally agree. I understand the trust issue that some parents might have with leaving their babies in a nursery. What I don't understand is why they do not leave the service when the babies get disruptive.

mamaneuf said...

I hear you and I agree. I am now a grandmother, and my adult children sit very well in church, in fact they love church. I am always amazed by the fact that people allow those around them to be disturbed by their children. It seems so rude and inconsiderate. I also love that children can have their own fun time of learning, crafts, singing and snacks. Makes them want to go back. Isn't that what it is all about?

Elaine A. said...

I'm just sitting here nodding my head at your last paragraph. We have a "cry room" at our church that is total mayhem (think of children eating McDonald's during church...) so our little guy goes to the nursery for sure!!