I Hate Sundays

Is it even ok to say that? Does that make me a terrible Mormon? I know I am not the first one to think of this or feel this way, but I dread Sunday. Can I still be a faithful saint and love Christ and think Sunday’s suck? Can I even put those words in the same sentence and not be relegated to some lower level of exaltation??

I freely admit that my faith has been stronger than it is right now. This does not make me happy, but I also know that it will pass, as it always has, and I will again feel more sure of things. The thing about Sundays is when I am in a spiritual lull, it is that much harder to be reverent at the 9 a.m. Sacrament. The mornings are not a good time for a pregnant, sick mama like me. Nothing starts a morning off better than barfing in the kitchen sink while trying to cook breakfast. To get to the meeting on time, we have to be out the door by 8:30, and getting all of us presentable and ready is a super-human challenge I am not meeting well these days. Even giving up control of what the kids wear and being ok with mismatched outfits hasn’t really made it easier. Yesterday, Eric had on green pants and a blue plaid shirt, courtesy of his father, Jeffrey had on blue pants, a red shirt and a bulldozer sweatshirt, and I wasn’t about to complain. (Why can’t men match things?)

When we get to church, we usually sit in the folding chairs in the back, since I know we will be exiting at some point. Jeffrey is finally old enough to sit through the entire meeting, usually pretty happy with something to color or a book to read. But Eric, ah, that is another story. I don’t think there has ever been a worse child in church. He screams. I mean really, really screams, and I am usually out in the hallway before the sacrament song is over. We have the bag full of tricks, we have treats and things that are supposed to keep him occupied. Nothing works. I have tried the whole “holding him in my lap” in the foyer so he doesn’t think leaving is fun. He screams more, and everyone inside can hear him. I have gone in a classroom. They can still hear him. He has given me a bloody nose and knocked one of my teeth loose head-butting me while I try and hold him, seriously. His teachers comment on how strong he is… really? I hadn’t noticed. So now I let him walk around and we talk about the pictures on the wall. But I resent it. I wonder why I got dressed and got here, just to miss the entire service. It seems so futile.

By the time Sacrament service is over, I am a sweaty mess, fighting my nausea, and just desperate to get Eric to nursery, where his teachers also say he is a wonderful child who plays very nicely with others. At least he is only sociopathic to me. Usually I manage to make it to Sunday school, which I enjoy with my husband. Then comes Relief Society. Ugh. I used to like it, but lately, I avoid it at all costs. The room is too small for so many ladies, and they will never open the window, and it gets so hot in there I cannot stand it. Then there is usually someone nearby who in wearing too much perfume, and I have to run out to throw up anyway. The foyer couch has been my third-hour spot lately, and I am happy with the quiet and the coolness. This is what I look forward to on Sunday- sitting alone in the foyer for an hour, letting the cold air wash over me any time someone opens the door.

I cannot imagine there is anything out there I have not tried to make Sundays better, but if anyone has any suggestions, I would welcome them. I may end up being an attending angel if I don’t figure this one out!

11 thoughts on “I Hate Sundays

  1. Well, you could not go. Will that make you a bad mormon? For us, no church, nothing. I am very happy to play soccer and trench the front yard on Sundays rather than go to church. I was there as a child and never want to go back. Oh I do believe but in my own home, on my own time! Much better that way! Good luck Trace! BTW how is everyone? (besides what I read) AEM

  2. I agree. Why force a child to sit through something that they don’t understand, and are not getting anything out of it. Jeffrey is happy because he gets to color or write, he isn’t listening to the service. I thought it was horrible as a child, and I still do today because it was forced. This doesn’t make me a bad person. RLB

  3. It’s hard when your kids are small. I had to adjust my expectations of church–I went entirely for them. Once I got rid of my “but what am I going to get out of it” attitude things were much better. It was still hard (and I was doing it on my own–my husband was inactive) but it seemed like whenever I was going to throw in the towel, pack up early and leave, someone other mother would tell me what a great mom I was. And I’d feel better.

    And I’ll let you in on a secret–no one wants to go to church on Sunday mornings. But after you go, you feel so much better. This is something we’ve been telling our kids, now that they’re old enough to stay home alone, and occasionally want to skip church. We make them go, and then when we get home, and everyone’s cheerful and filling everyone else in on what they talked about in class, we remind them of how much better they feel afterwards.

  4. I don’t think it’s a matter of who is right or wrong. If you choose to endure Church, then you choose everything that goes with it. What amazes me is that since I was forced as a child, I no longer go to church, and others that never went to church as a child, seem to figure out what they want out of life, and if it’s religion then they decide for themself. RLB

  5. maybe your youngest isn’t ready to sit through a sermon…is it possibly to meet up with family after the sermon is over…maybe spend some quality one on one time with mom and son in the mornings at home and meet up with dad and other son later when the more organized…more entertaining part of church is happening? i know that means you have to miss out on the sermons…but you are missing out on them anyways…and having a miserable time in the lobby trying to calm an unsettled child. just a thought?
    love ya, ccg

  6. Hey – sometimes I don’t want to go to Church. And I’m not even pregnant! ;-)

    My 4 year old doesn’t sit well at all through Sacrament. It drives me crazy – I see so many other kids doing just fine. But that’s just who she is. She’s very full of energy and hates being confined to the pews. So we both take turns taking her out. And you know what? It’s frustrating as heck! But we do the best we can and that’s all the Lord requires of us. If making it to the ‘bread and water’ is all we can do – I’ll take it.

    You’re doing your best and the Lord is happy you are there.

    Best of luck and I hope your barfing phase ends soon!

  7. Tough call there. RS is important, especially now when you could use the love and support to be offered by your fellow sisters. That being said, I’ve been volunteering in Nursery and haven’t gone to RS or Enrichment in who knows how long, and I’m pretty happy not going, which could actually be a bad road to start down in hindsight, hmmmm.
    I like to skip class since my youngest is 11 months and won’t sit still or allow me to pay attention. So we’ll go to the mothers lounge or the foyer and hang out, there’s always bound to be someone there to talk with. I think it’s a good idea to take scriptures and read, or spend some time in thought, meditating on your week and how to improve for the next one. Let’s face it, when your in the thick of battle isn’t a good time for meditating. So I guess you can skip class and as long as you use the time wisely you can ignore any guilt that may creep in, us moms are good at that guilt thing. BTW, I was forced to go to church as a youngster, but I am the only person currently active in my family, so I think that can go either way. Sorry this is so long, I ramble :)

  8. Sundays are rough for us too. I have an 11 month old daughter that just learned how to walk. She does not want to sit on my lap either. DH and I take turns trying to keep her occupied, and take turns every other Sunday keeping her for Priesthood or Relief Society. Sometimes it works, sometimes we end up walking around in the hall. If I can get one thing out of church each Sunday then I feel like I’ve acomplished something. Don’t feel bad because you can’t sit through all 3 hours. Just focus on little things here and there. Oh and by the way, my parents forced me to go to church when I was a kid too and I’m stronger for it.
    Jamie J

  9. I wish I had an answer for you. My 13 month old is a good little guy, but church is still a struggle. Little tiny kids just aren’t designed to sit still for 3 hours. They aren’t “bad” because they can’t handle it, they are normal. As they get older, we can start to teach them how to behave at church and be reverent, but it’s unrealistic for us to expect them to be able to behave like little adults, because they aren’t.

    Right now I just accept that I will be spending most of SM out in the hallway with little guy. And often, I just walk home with him after SM. Trying to get through RS and SS with him is pointless. 5 more months till nursery – yahoo!

  10. I used to find myself in the same quandary every Sunday. Getting my children and myself to church was NOT a spiritual experience, and one Sunday I even found myself consumed with anger at something my then 2 year old was doing during Sacrament meeting.

    I decided to take a break from church for a few weeks. I decided to try studying the scriptures at home and following the lessons on my own. It was the best decision I have ever made.

    As I read and studied and pondered, I discovered some interesting information regarding church history that, well, confounded me. I realized that the Sunday morning Hell On Earth was not worth it for me, and that the church is not what it says it is.

    A few weeks turned into a few months, and now it has been several months – close to a couple of years now – since I have set foot in a Mormon church.

    My marriage is better – I love my husband for who he is instead of the expectations I used to have of him being a “righteous priesthood holder”. I love my children for the beautiful things they do and say, not for the things I must teach them before they’re eight years old.

    There are other choices. And you won’t go to hell. I promise.

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