The Sabbath: a day of rest?
Posted by Diane on June 10, 1999 at 07:07:56:
One of the turning points in my Mormon experience, was my painful acknowledgment that Sundays were miserable. I have 5 kids and getting them dressed up and there and through 3 hours was torture. Our last stake had Sac. meeting last, so the kids were tired and horrible and hungry by the time we got home. Heck, My husband and I were! Ou entire day was exhausting and depressing and took me all week to recover enough to torture myslf again the following week.
One week, my husband had been traveling for business. He got back Friday night. (This may have been the same week my daughter accidently broke my 2 year old sons head open with a baseball bat, I am not sure) In any case, I was tired and exhausted from being a single parent all week. We spent all day Saturady catching up on shopping and such and I was still exhausted Sunday morning. I had held together and done everything well while I was alone. But once my husband was home I really fell apart. (I probably had a case of PMS too)
So Sunday morning finds me sobbing hysterically. I laid in bed in my husbands arms crying uncontrollaby for an hour before I was able to admit to myself that the problem was that I could not face going to church. Up to that point I had blamed myself for not being able to manage...if only I was more organized...if maybe I had another FHE lesson on reverence...if I was more faithful...etc. (Note: I know I sound like a basketcase here, so I just want to add that I am a normally functioning, happy, everything together sort of woman ;) ) So I choked out the problem to my very relieved husband and he, of course, did the reasonable, rational thing and said: "Well then lets do something else." It was such a relief that I didn't even feel too guilty. We got up and woke the kids, and informed them we were going somewhere fun. They were shocked. We had never done something like this before! My oldest was afraid we'd go to Hell. WE convinced her that God understood my mental health needed it and she was Ok. We took a few snacks and headed out for a day at antelope island on the great salt lake. It was a beautiful spring day and just warming up. We hiked around and scrmabled on the rocks. Then we started talking about how our kids had not seen the salt flats and we headed to Wendover! We stopped and showed them the flats and went and bought fast food. (MY kids were horrified by that too) We headed home with happy, dirty and tired kids. I felt renewed!
It took me another year to even start thinking about leaving, but it was definitely a step for me to realize that Sunday could be a day of rest.
I was a witch with a B on Sundays....
Posted by johanna on June 10, 1999 at 07:41:54:
In Reply to: The Sabbath: a day of rest... posted by Diane on June 10, 1999 at 07:07:56:
It was almost a joke around our house (almost). I hated getting up in the morning, I was cranky and yelling at the kids and would get so mad if I couldn't find a shoe or a button was missing (was just proof of what a crappy homemaker I was). And then after church, I would have a gripe session with hubbie and just want to sleep as a form of escapism...
We are still attending church for now, but I let the boys wear what they want (as long as there are no holes) and if I could get away with letting the girls do it I would. We haven't been to sacrament meeting for a month and I'm feeling so much more relaxed.
Having a hamburger lunch and gathering seashells on the beach was as heavenly Sunday as I have had in a very long time...I could get used to it.
You sound like me!
Posted by Carol on June 10, 1999 at 08:25:38:
In Reply to: I was a witch with a B on Sundays.... posted by johanna on June 10, 1999 at 07:41:54:
That's the way my sundays were with 4 young children. Combined with fighting amongest themselves, finding different clothes then the ones they had planned on wearing, having 2 that hated going anyway, planning lessons for almost every meeting and then some and having a non-member spouse would couldn't wait for us to get out the door so he could have a little peace and quiet... (which I never seemed to get BTW), I was a basket case long before we ever left the house.
One of the 1st things to go with me was fasting on fast sunday. No way could I have coped with all those children if I hadn't eaten. I know. I tried over and over until I decided to end the torture. After that, I chose which days I would fast and what reason I fasted (if I fasted at all, that is).
Thanks mom for the hellish Sunday morns...
Posted by exmolly Mom on June 10, 1999 at 09:13:27:
In Reply to: You sound like me! posted by Carol on June 10, 1999 at 08:25:38:
I remember my mom making Sunday mornings hell and a swore I would not be like my mom and would be able to really have a peaceful sabbath when I had a family of my own. Well after I had two kids, on Sunday mornings I started to sound and feel strangely like my mother....
My dad was inactive so, when my husband bailed on the church, again I swore I would not be like my mother and nag and cry about how he was ruining our forever family. But alas strike two....
My parents fought and had a horrible relationship partly due to the demonization of my father as an inactive and my overly pious martyr mother, so when I started to play the martyr and my marriage started to nosedive. I knew I had to stop replaying the scripts that I had heard all my life. I started to listen to my husband's doubts and fears and realize that this wasn't easy for him to do and he was being more of a man of integrity by leaving the church than living a lie. I started to see my desires for him to lead the family at church as my own weakness/ unwillingness in taking control of my life. I wanted to be the perfect little family all lined up on the bench, cheerios, quiet books and all. To be seen as such, to be admired. A shallow dream with a high maintenance cost. But man did we look good while it lasted! I never could have even gotten there fully dressed if I had five kids, or even four....
So, Thanks to my Mom for the hellish Sunday mornings. The memory of them saved me from a lifetime of the same fate. I started down a familiar path, but turned away into the uncertainty of my own life, scary as it may be....
I ended up returning home with...
Posted by Goodie 2 Shoes on June 10, 1999 at 11:21:10:
In Reply to: The Sabbath: a day of rest... posted by Diane on June 10, 1999 at 07:07:56:
...a severe migraine headache and spending the majority of the afternoon in bed 'recovering' from church. We tried packing food to eat between meetings - we lived 45 minutes from the building so attending Sunday services took a good part of the day, but we were 'chastised' about eating in the building. So we went outside to have a snack, and can you believe, we were 'chastised' about being late for class. Unbelievable.
I would see so many other families with fussy kids and they were smacked, yelled at, and threatened, because they too were struggling with sitting so long, and being hungry. I would start feeling physically ill, and I knew the children could not possibly learn if they were hungry.
When I taught Primary, I took in fruit slices, crackers, and other snacks and the kids loved it. We played a 'neatness' game where we ate the crumbly things over the trashcan to 'cover our tracks'. We were told to not bring in food, but I told them that if they wanted me to teach, I would continued to do it. Some of the parents even thanked me for doing that, and said their kids liked my class and offered to send in snacks too. I also told them if they expected us to stay after for a meeting, then we should set up some type of assignment rotation to bring food in for the meeting. We implemented this in the primary, and the meeting attendance was almost 100%!! - I strongly believe you need to nurture yourself physically in addition to spiritually, if you don't maintain a balance you can forget the other, cause it just aint gonna happen.
I have never understood "Sunday being a day of rest" as an active mormon. Not with all the callings, meetings, and 'busy stuff' that comes along with it. I can't believe God meant it to be this way.
That's my mini rant for the day!
I agree! Even though...
Posted by Mellypoo on June 10, 1999 at 14:51:41:
In Reply to: I ended up returning home with... posted by Goodie 2 Shoes on June 10, 1999 at 11:21:10:
...I never had children to deal with, I remember looking around the noisy room and wondering why the children and babies were always so fussy. There was one child who would just scream throughout the entire meeting. I used to wonder the same thing; if the Sabbath is a day of rest, why am I so tired, and why do I have to dress up and be in church for four hours? I would finally get home and just fall on my bed and almost be asleep when I'd get a call from Sister So-and-so, and could I go sing to the elderly? Administer to the ill? Sit-in on a Young Women's Presidency meeting? Babysit for this such-and-such couple while they attended an important meeting about families? Yikes! I remember my mum commenting as I was flying out the door one Sunday evening,
"Hey, whenever you're free, sleep would like you to pay him a visit!"
Just my thoughts,
originally archived at: http://exmormons.faithweb.com