Trouble getting to Mass?


#1

Hi all :slight_smile:

A little background from a new poster :wink:

My husband and I are both Catholic. I am a convert (1999) and he is a revert (1991) after falling away in his teens. We met on a faithful Catholic website in late 2000, met in person for the first time to go to Mass together, dated for a year and were married in 2002. We weren’t perfect, but both of us were faithful Mass goers when we were single, while we dated and after we married. We missed Mass only if we were sick; we always researched the location and Mass times of a local parish when we were away from home on a Sunday.

About a year and a half after we were married, I was diagnosed with infertility and we began the long, stressful, and rocky road of adoption. After a failed match, we finally brought our beautiful son, Z, home with us in 2007.

When Z came home, he was nine months old and very, very stressed. He had left the only parents and home he knew to go home with strangers to a strange place. He cried often and was difficult to console. Still, we were usually able to take him to Mass 95% of the time and we took turns walking with him while the other stayed in Mass.

Now it’s two years later, Z is older (and faster) and is rarely still. He dislikes Church (not the priest or Jesus or anything, just the sitting still part :o ). We don’t usually take him in the “children’s room” for Mass because, as uncomfortable as he is sitting in Mass, he’s ten times worse when he gets to the absolute zoo that is our children’s room (kids yelling, ripping altar cloths and playing dress up with them…it’s the daily chapel…, playing tag and using the chairs as slides, forts and jungle gyms, etc). We take turns taking him outside, but he just wants to get in the car and leave. It’s very difficult to get him back in the Church at all.

We’ve had a job change, too. Due to some seperation anxiety issues Z has been going through, DH watches him during the day and works at night. I work during the day and watch Z at night. A lot of the time, there is only a half hour or 45 minute window where both DH and I are home together. We are both exhausted, especially since Z has sleeping issues and often does not go to sleep until after 10:00 and wakes up before 6:00 or 6:30, no naps during the day, despite mandatory “quiet time” every afternoon.

Needless to say, though it’s shameful, my husband and I dread going to Church most weeks, the activity that was so central to our lives for so long. In the last six or nine months, our mass attendance is probably around 50%. If we go, often it’s because either my husband or I has gotten the other up and going. If we’re both feeling run down, it’s usually a sure bet we’re not going to get there.

Sorry for the epic saga here :blush:…just wondering if anyone else has gone through this and if you have any advice. No flaming, please. We’re not trying to avoid going to Mass, we’re trying to figure out how to come up with a plan that works for our family.

Thanks so much, guys, and it’s wonderful to have a place where you can really trust the suggestions of others. You rock! :thumbsup:


#2

I know that it is very difficult; you and your husband don’t get to spend much time together right now as it is, but have you thought of going to mass in shifts? This way one person goes to mass while the other watches Z. At 2.5 - 3 years of age, these little guys really have a hard time being in church for an extended period of time and I often hear the three year olds asking mommy and daddy if it is time to go home yet.

There are 2 schools of thought, one is splitting the mass as above, or being consistent with the mass and attend at least weekly, keeping your Sunday obligation. If you are not consistent and Z gets his way even 1% of the time then he will continue to fight you on any given ritual, in the hopes that he will get away with what he wants again.

But there is nothing wrong with keeping him home until he gets older. Children are not required to attend mass until the age of 7. However, we as adults do need to attend.


#3

“soblessed” I feel your difficulty. :hug1: But I think that “Schluns” has given you the solution. There are many parents of young children in our parish… who do just this. I know that it will be hard for you, to attend Mass apart from your spouse. But keep in mind… that the important thing is that both of you DO attend Mass. “Z” won’t be little forever. He will grow, and as he grows… it will become easier for you to try attending Mass as a family again.

God bless you, dear. I know the difficulty. I attend Mass with my 87 year old mother who has Alzheimer’s (and occasional behavioral difficulties from her illness). But please hang in there and persevere in attending Mass. You’re in my prayers.


#4

Thank you so much, guys :slight_smile:

While I don’t like the idea of attending Mass without DH, I’m so distracted and worried about Z’s antics that it’s hardly a worshipful visit with the Lord and the same goes for DH.

We had thought about going in shifts, but I was taught that children should be at Mass for the grace they receive from being in front of the sacrament, even though they can’t attend and I don’t want to deprive him of that.

However, without the support of a Sunday school, it’s turning into a struggle for all of us and we are all struggling in our relationship with the Lord.

Again, thanks for the advice…:thumbsup:


#5

My dear friend

It’s great you make an effort but as you know God wants everything, not half hearted efforts. Be sure to go to confession before holy communion if you miss mass without a serious reason. I suggest you meditate on our Blessed Lords passion and death. Think about how He did this for you personally. How He was in the garden sweating blood as He thought about you and agreed to suffer infinite suffering and die for you. If you were the only sinner He would do it all for just you, you know? Think about the agonising scourging, the crowning, the total humiliation, the nailing to the Cross and death. Not least of His suffering was our rejection of Him, it is here that His suffering was infinite. Are you starting to see how much God loves you. Love Him back. That’s all He wants. Just love Him by doing His will. That’s all He asks. God loves you no matter what but you must love Him back if you want to be happy in this life and the next. God wants to give you everything which is Himself here and after. You will be happier the closer you get to God. Perhaps watch Mel Gibsons movie about the Passion and Death and really meditate on it. It’ll help no end. Pray the rosary if you can too.

I’ll pray for you that lukewarmness doesn’t overcome you:thumbsup::slight_smile:

God bless you

John


#6

“soblessed”… Does your parish have Eucharistic Adoration? Perhaps you or DH can take “Z” for short visits to the Blessed Sacrament… outside of Sunday Mass. Just a thought. Even if your parish doesn’t have Adoration… you could still go, and just sit before the Tabernacle with him… for as long as he will sit still. Maybe bring a little book, with pictures of Jesus in it… and talk to him about Our Lord. And remember… he will grow, and mature and soon be able to sit through Mass.

Might be worth a try ;). God bless all of you.


#7

I have similar problems. Between my wife and small child, I too have difficulty getting to mass. I want to go, but somehow I end up not going on the majority of weekends it seems.


#8

thanks so much, everyone, you’ve all been so helpful.

I think we’re going to see how the Mass in shifts goes.

I don’t feel like being lukewarm is the problem, but I’ll include it in our Rosary.

traillus: I feel your pain! We’ll both get it back on track :):thumbsup:


#9

“traillius” While your child is small, maybe Mass “in shifts” would work for you and your wife, as well? I pray that it may be a solution for all parents with young children. God bless all of you. You have the most important, blessed… vocation God gives to a human being. Bearing and raising children.


#10

*soblessed,

I am so very happy that so many parents who have gone through similar situations with young children have responded

I would add my agreement to that of the posters that suggested shifts for now.

While it is true that a little one will receive grace from attending… At this point in your lives it seems that it would be better to take shifts.
That way both of you can receive the graces that come from your weekly Mass attendance and also avoid the “young person wanting to go home syndrome” [Eventually as he matures he will be able to sit through what to him seems like a long Mass… In the meanwhile perhaps a quick 5-10 min trip each week to visit Jesus will get him used to going?.. Maybe read a book in the chapel when services are not there??? Tell him a short story… something appropriate for his age level??? ]

I hope and pray that all works out as you also seem to be dealing with a difficult growing period in your young sons life

We shall be praying for you Blessings of Peace and All Good!*


#11

Thanks so much for all the replies. I very much missed my DH and my little boy, but Mass was wonderful, nonetheless. Can’t remember the last time I was able to concentrate on the homily. So, looks like a go for now…

Thanks again, everyone, for all your great replies :thumbsup:


#12

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