“You really need to start taking her to church so she knows how to behave at Mass.”

I got that little bit of (stern) advice from my mom Sunday afternoon after she asked about our morning.  As usual, I told her that Luciana stayed home with her daddy while I took the older two to church.

I’ll admit — I GLADLY take my mom’s advice on mostly everything — because if I have learned one thing, it’s that my mom and dad were and are always right.  (It brings them great joy that I finally admit that…it stings me a bit).   But when it comes to the whole “you have to take the 1-year-old to church” thing…I’m going to push back a bit.

Let me start by saying this: my church is EXTREMELY WELCOMING.  They are very accepting of crying babies, young children who run up the aisle or who try to high-five the priest as they’re processing into the church.  ALL things MY children have done.

There is a simple reason.  Some may call it a selfish reason.

I need some peace and quiet. I need just one-hour to re-focus, refresh and reset for the coming week.  It’s a calming hour for me…where I normally hear exactly what I NEED to hear.

I don’t want to pick up Cheerios from the floor. I don’t want to keep putting the kneeler up and down because she can’t decide if she wants to sit on it, stand on it or if she wants to lay on the floor.  I don’t want to frantically grab the crayons before she destroys the missale. I don’t want her to throw the fit where her body goes stiff as a board when you try to pick her up.  I don’t want to pick up all of the change, insurance cards, driver’s license and everything in between that she just took out of my wallet and threw everywhere like a ticker tape parade. I don’t want to have to keep leaving the church because she is screaming.

I just want to sit in peace. Just for one hour.

I remember when our oldest was just a baby…I loved taking her to church. But it was for all of the wrong reasons.  I loved dressing her up in the cutest outfits and parading her around the congregation and hearing people say “what a doll!” Forget the fact that I never heard one word the priest said…not one reading…not a bit of the Gospel…none of the Homily…no Communion. Nada.  We were in the lobby of the church the entire time.

For now, it’s just me and the older two. Don’t get me wrong, my 6-year-old son has many moments in church when he hears, “Nico, turn around…Nico, please pay attention…Nico, Jesus is watching.” But he and his older sister also are very familiar with “the look.” It’s been passed down from generation to generation…and there is nothing more effective 😉

Just give mommy that hour.

That reset button is vital…for my sanity and the sanity of everyone else in my family.