Why I Take My Baby to Church…and Other Places!

It seems going anywhere with a baby can be the most difficult task ever. I ask myself a million times it seems, “Is this worth it?,” but then I remember we need things like food, toilet paper, and even socialization.

I still remember the first time I took my daughter to church. She was around two months old when we made our first visit. It was not the most relaxing Sunday ever. Even though it is important to me, I wondered if it all was really worth it to go church…

First, I struggled to find anything to fit my postpartum body. Once I finally found an outfit and put it on, I started to sweat profusely (thanks, hormones). Of course, my baby looked darling! I knew everyone would be more interested in her than me, anyway. So after I gave her a nap, fed her, and changed her diaper, off to church we went (whew, I’m tired!). I pictured us sitting through church with a sleeping baby, eyes cooing over her, and while being able to enjoy some time out of the house.

This is what happened instead.

Lily was not a sleeping baby. Instead, she was a hungry and pooping baby. Any pin drop of a sound in the sanctuary felt like it could be heard by all. Soon enough we found ourselves in the nursery. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise though. I was able to meet other moms in the nursery, with whom I could talk, with whom I could laugh about motherhood chaos, and from whom I could gain parenting wisdom. Also, I discovered my church has a breastfeeding room (bye, bye pumping!), which made life so much easier for this mama.

Soon, Lily and I found ourselves in the nursery almost every Sunday.

On some Sundays, we made it through almost a whole church service before the crying started. And once (yes, once) we made it through a whole church service without her fussing or babbling at the top of her lungs (I often hear the comment that my baby has good lungs, if that tells you anything). So, 99.9% of the time, we have utilized the nursery. I do not mind finding our way back to the nursery almost every Sunday though. It always gives me a chance to talk other moms and relate to each other’s walks of life.

If you are familiar with church nurseries, I’m sure you are wondering why a nursery worker did not care for my child. Believe me, they tried! Lily usually just wanted to eat and then there would not be much time left in the service…and this mama was very anxious about leaving her baby (can you tell I’m a first time, stay at home, mom?!).

After Lily was six-months-old, instead of her being hungry or sleepy, she now wants to play and not be still! So, with lots of assurance from a nursery worker that everything will be okay and it was totally normal to feel anxious, I left her in the nursery. It was very hard to leave her. I have never left her with anyone besides my husband (we don’t live near family). After I returned, I found her as happy as when I left her…I felt relieved. So, I can happily say that I have left her in the nursery several times to play, so I can actually relax and enjoy a service.

Headed out with this cutie!

Church ends up being good for both Lily and me. I get some “me” time, where I can relax and grow spiritually, while Lily gets time to meet other people and play with babies her age. For this stay at home mom, it has been a blessing to see Lily grow to become more comfortable with others taking care of her.

It can be so hard and exhausting to do everything that needs to be done in order to leave the house, just to go to the store, play group, or wherever! But I encourage you to just to get out and meet other moms, whether that is at church, a mom’s group, or going to the park. I promise that you will enjoy the change of scenery and will enjoy talking to other moms even more! And don’t worry what you look like — we’ll all be wearing the same wardrobe: spit up, dried milk, and sleep deprivation.

Need ideas on where to go in Chattanooga to meet other moms or find respite? Check out this list: Chattanooga Mom’s Playgroup (private group via Facebook, List of Churches, New Moms Support Group, Daycare and Mother’s Day Out Programs, and, if you want to hint at your kid’s dad to give you a break, Dad Meetup/Playdates.

Have other suggestions? Let me know in the comments below!

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