I am in the process of converting to Catholicism. It is still early days and I have not yet begun RCIA (if this exists in the UK) but have had a meeting with our priest and will be meeting again soon.
At the moment so far as I am aware I don’t have an obligation to go to mass as I am not yet a Catholic but I am making the effort to go as much as possible (until now I had duties at my previous church which meant I couldn’t go weekly). Now I am free to go to mass every Sunday but have a slight issue with my 5 year old son who does not like mass. He has pretty severe anxiety which we are working on separately but basically the main thing apart from the fact that he finds all change anxiety inducing is that our old church had a crèche where there were loads of toys to play with (a couple of us had introduced some bible stories and songs to this too but the toys were still available). Our Catholic Church has a children’s liturgy which is great but it is only for part of the service, which I prefer but my son would obviously rather be playing with toys like at our previous church.
The other issue is that my husband is an atheist and will not come to church. Not only that but he actively discourages Church going by offering my son other more exciting activities such as bike rides on Sunday mornings.
As a result it is becoming increasingly difficult to get my son to attend mass with me. I have 2 sons, the other being 2 and a half and he always comes with me. My husband doesn’t offer to take him as I think he probably doesn’t want to look after both of them at once if he can avoid it.
Over Christmas I ended up going to Christmas Day mass by myself because my 5 year old son basically refused to go (and I decided to leave my 2 year old at home partly, I confess so my husband could see what it was like looking after both of them while I was at Church, I regretted this later as mass is not the same without the kids). I was very tempted to just say “No, you are coming, end of discussion.” But of course my husband was on my son’s side and said I shouldn’t force him to go because it would put him off going if he was forced to go. I’m not sure I believe this as we “force” children to do lots of things they don’t want to do because it’s for their own good, e.g. go to the dentist, get vaccinations etc. Obviously my husband differs in that he doesn’t think going to mass is good for you.
Basically I am looking for some advice about what to do. Should I just say no, the kids are coming to mass with me, even though this will cause problems between me and my husband in the short term or should I not force my 5 year old to come along? Thanks for reading.