Well, I spent some time sniffing around on other people's blog pages today, and since this particular topic has already been bouncing around in my head, I thought I would go ahead and blog about it and see what came out.
The struggles of a large family to get to church on time and manage to get something out of the service....
My Sunday mornings go something like this:
Get up running (doesn't really matter if it's early or if we overslept, it's still the same).
Feed Ky while stressing about all I have to do in "how many minutes?". Grab a quick shower, and then check on the outfits I laid out the night before (if I was on top of things) or scramble to get everyone something out that doesn't need ironing and coordinates with everyone else. Yes, I do realize that all my 6 children do not have to match and that I would save myself a ton of worry if I just didn't care about it, but, what can I say? It's one of my "things".
I say check on the outfits, because more times than once they have disappeared or been rearranged or something similarly catastrophic. And shoes....I think that is my worst gripe. NO ONE can find shoes on Sunday morning. Or if they find shoes the laces are gone. Or if they have shoes and laces, they can't find socks.
Then, I start getting everyone dressed. The older ones usually dress themselves but I still check to make sure Aaron's buttoned straight, Isaac has a belt to hold his pants up, Alyssa's dress isn't on backwards, etc. Then, it's always a toss up to dress Levi first and stand and feed him myself, or let him feed himself, then clean him up and dress him. Not sure which takes the most time. Then I dress Ky. Then I start fixing hair. On a good day I can braid or something cute, on a bad day it gets a brushing and clippies to keep it out of their eyes. (They all take turns eating while I work on each one.) Next is inspection: Clothes-check, shoes-check, hair-check, faces-check...Ok everyone checked, I dash to throw on my clothes. Then, "Mommy, Isaac spilled his milk!" Run find new clothes for Isaac and "Aaron mop up that mess". Come back, mess still there. "Aaron, why didn't you clean that up." " I can't find a rag." " Well, there is one on the back porch...the rest of you go sit on the couch and read a book." Run back and take
my hair out of it's ponytail. "Mommy, Levi is on the porch and about to go in the street." Run to the porch and grab Levi. Me:"Who opened that door?" Chorus: "Isaac did". Swat Isaac with one hand and put him back on the couch, go put Levi back in the highchair (how did he get out anyway?), and run back to put on shoes. Pick Ky up to put her in her car seat and find she has a dirty diaper and leaked all over her outfit. So I tell everyone to start loading up and go to change her. (BTW, Ed has been making us all breakfast and making sure everyone eats so we don't starve. Otherwise we would....starve that is.)
I get her changed and loaded up and get to the truck. Then we start the "run-and-go-get" game. Oops! Forgot diaper bag. Run back and grab it and make sure it's stocked even though I'm pretty sure I already did that. "Aaron did you get the Bibles" " Oh, I forgot". Run and go get Bibles. Get back in truck, "Hey, Baby, did you see the keys?" "I think they were on the bookcase." Ed runs to go get them, while I check my appearance in the mirror. Oops! Forgot to brush hair...run back in house and grab brush. Finally, it seems we have everything we need and everyone is buckled and settled and we take off. Then I can drink my coffee and eat my bagels which I haven't had time to do before now. Take a deep breath and try to relax before we get there.
Of course, right before we arrive I try to go over the "rules" again(we have to do this every time, some people have a bad memory). "Sit still, be quiet, no kicking the pew in front of you, no playing with Levi or Ky during church, no talking people's ears off,...." and the list goes on. We get there and usually everyone is already singing so we try to inconspicuously (haha) slip into a back pew but no back pews are available so we have to go for one about halfway up the aisle. Two seconds later Alyssa taps me on the arm, "Mommy I have to go potty". Right, I forgot to make sure everyone went before we left. Sigh. So I slip out the back and take her. We get back just in time for Kyla to start fussing because she is hungry now. So I get Ky and diaper bag and go back out. This time I just stay in the nursery. The service is almost over anyway by the time she is done and I've changed her again. Back out in the auditorium everyone talks about how good the kids are and so well behaved, and "I don't know how you do it". They don't know that I'm about to pull my hair out or cry or both. What else can you do but give them a limp smile and say "thank you".
(P.S. Not every Sunday is this bad, sometimes I do get to hear part of the message before Ky gets hungry. =)