Sunday, May 17, 2009

Why Sundays Are the Hardest


I loved Sundays when I was young. They were truly a break from the chaos of the rest of my week, a day of rest and peaceful thought and reflection. Even when I would be busy with callings in college or my singles ward, Sundays were the best days. I didn't do homework, housework, or watch T.V. on Sundays. I tried to invite the Spirit by listening to peaceful music and reading good books and magazines. I would go to church, listen to the speakers (even taking notes!), attend Sunday school and Relief Society, having read the material beforehand. The afternoons would be filled with a nap, visiting teaching, a dinner with friends and roommates, and then possibly a fireside in the evening. I would emerge from such a Sabbath feeling rejuvenated, energized, and ready to start a new week.

Fast forward to today, an example of a typical Sunday.
5:15 a.m. I hear a door slam shut and realize that I don't get to wake up at 5:30 and shower before the children get up as planned. When I go to check, I find that 3 out of my 4 children are already awake. I bring two of them into our room (one in the bed with Daddy and one in the bathroom with me and leave the other one to cry in her crib).

6:00 a.m. I am ready for the day and start preheating the oven for the cinnamon rolls. Then I clear the dishwasher out and prepare the pot roast, potatoes and carrots. The cinnamon rolls are done, so I gather the children to their seats in the kitchen.

6:45 a.m. I realize that I'm supposed to be at the church at 7 a.m. for ward choir practice, so I hurry the children along. They get down from the table, get dressed quickly, and then we are out the door. Only to realize that the garage door is not working, and the light is not turning on. I call on my husband for help, he groans and gets out of bed and opens the garage door by hand for me, then he goes to look at the breakers and I leave for church with all 4 kids in tow (he joins us there later).

7:25 a.m. We arrive at the church, and the children sit on the pew and are actually pretty well-behaved while I practice on the stand with the choir. After the choir practice, I sit down with the children and spend the next 15 minutes before church disciplining and quieting them, taking them out a few times even before church starts.

8:00 a.m. Church starts. I spend the next 1 hr and 10 minutes going in and out, in and out of the chapel with 1, 2, or even all of the children. Finally, my husband arrives about 20 minutes before the end of the meeting. We end up taking all the children out to a room and sit them down and lecture them about their horrible behavior. I try to go to Sunday school but just can't pay attention, same with Relief Society.

11 a.m. Church ends. We all go home to a roast in the oven. We make the final preparations and eat lunch. Put kids down for naps. I lay down, unable to stay awake. I doze on and off for the next couple hours while the younger children sleep and the older ones play Legos and my husband does his home teaching.

3 p.m. Husband leaves for work. Children are all awake from naps now. They spend the rest of the time running around and I try to engage them in quiet activities, so I can read or do something similar to what I used to do on Sundays, but to no avail. We end up turning on the preschool channel Noggin and they watch that. Usually I go to choir practice, which is at the director's house, from 3-4 after husband leaves for work, taking all the children with me, but I couldn't face it today.

5:30 p.m. We eat a small supper of cold cereal and fruit.

6:00 p.m. We get in pajamas and clean up the house. Then I put the baby to bed, after which, the older ones brush their teeth and then I read them books and they all go to bed (7:30).

Now you can see the drastic change in how my Sundays go. I sure do miss those old days when I could really enjoy my Sabbath Day. Now that the children are down to bed, I will probably take a bath, read something and enjoy a fraction of what I used to enjoy all day. I know the day will come in the future when I will get to have that calm of a peaceful Sabbath again, but right now, they are chaotic and leave me feeling completely drained and worn out and not ready to face another week!


3 comments:

swedemom said...

First, why in the world do they have two choir practices? That seems excessive to me.

Second,oh the sympathy and empathy I feel for you. I used to love my Sundays too and now they just feel like a chore. We've instituted church practice when the children are especially unruly, doesn't work for the youngest, but it has made a difference for the oldest kids.
Yesterday we had Stake Conference. It was a 34 multi-stake conference broadcast from Salt Lake. I desperately wanted to hear the talks. So I bribed my children. They brought toys, treats, etc. They were quiet and I really did feel uplifted and strengthened. Of course, I don't plan to bribe them this Sunday with treats and toys. They still have to learn to sit and listen, but it was a welcome break.

I hope it gets/feels better soon.

royalbird said...

The first choir practice was for the song we were singing in church, which was a difficult one. They hadn't had practice the week before because of Mother's Day. I honestly don't know if they had canceled the afternoon practice or not yesterday because of it, I just didn't bother going or finding out.

Becky said...

at least you have memories of peaceful Sabbath days . . . I had forgotten about mine in my single days until I read your post!

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