hospitality to young mothers: how older women can help

>> June 3, 2009

We've been at our church for a little over a year. In that time, the friendships that I've built have been with other mothers who also hang out in the mother's room. A few months ago, when my son was about 10 months, I had one of the older women in the church come and tell me that when her kids were small, they didn't need a mother's room. Her kids would sit in church quietly in the 2nd pew for the whole service.

I told her straight up, "I don't believe you."

As a PW, I want contribute to the atmosphere of being open, honest and real and not allowing people to make young mothers feel bad that their children are acting like children in church.

Probably because I'm in the thick of it, I feel a special burden for this segment of the congregation...and when my kids get older, I pray that I don't forget how hard it was to manage.

What can I do to encourage older women to, at best, be helpful to mothers with children, encourage them and assist them or at least, not be critical and make them feel inadequate?


Iveth Ortiz,  June 4, 2009 at 12:35 PM  

It's interesting. This is my first time commenting on the blog. Even though I would read the articles once in a while, I never had the time or better, make the time, to sit down and share my own thoughts until I started experiencing exactly what you are talking about!! it is very hard to be the pastor's wife, but I think it gets even tougher when kids come to the pictures because somehow the standard is raised for your family. I am also a young pastor's wife. I have been in our 2 churches for 3.5 years. My son is now 21 months. And since he began walking, I have not been able to sit through a whole church service. In fact, I don't even remember the last sermon I heard from my own husband! Sabbaths have become very hard for me at the church. My son can only sit for 10-15 min. until I have to take him to the mother's room and finish the rest of the time there. I also only get to socialize and fellowship with not even the moms of these other children, but the grandmothers! But, it is what it is. At least I can survive in one church, but in the other one, they don't even have a mother's room! and there I have gotten unrequested advice and comments on how their children also were able to sit through the service. The funny part of this is that most of these children, which are now grown-up, have left the church! It has bothered me a lot when these comments are made to me. They see how you are struggling with your little one, and no one, NOT ONE church member offers to help you. Many times, I have felt discouraged, alone, and helpless to the point that I feel like staying home. I think a system should be developed so that moms are able to drop off their kids at least during the church service, and be able to actually get fed spiritually. Children's church is a good idea I think. Now, when my son gets older and able to do more developmentally appropriate activities such as coloring, etc.. I would teach him slowly to be part of the service. That is the ideal situation.But we must understand that all children are different. Some are able to sit through the whole service at a very young age and praise the Lord for that! but others, like mine, with lots of energy and mainly BOYS cannot do that at least for the whole time! WE need to pray that the church older women will become the support system that us "the young ones" need!

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