A little background from a new poster
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 …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!