Yesterday we had a long discussion about our church status. We're members of a church in El Paso that we quite like, but since having Adeline we haven't been involved in much other than attending the service. I would like to participate in the mom's program that meets during the week, but it's two and a half hours long, and there is NO way Adeline would last in the nursery that long. Same with the women's bible study. We've tossed around the idea of joining separate men's and women's life groups on the week nights but haven't gone forward with that either.
Adeline has attended church with me since she was three months old. Every Sunday she began the service in awe of the worship music, and then fell asleep during the sermon. The PERFECT church baby...until she turned 10 months old. Hello, separation anxiety! Around that age is when we moved back to El Paso and I started putting her in the nursery during the service since all she wanted was to get down and crawl. Each child is assigned a number and if the nursery workers need you to return for any reason, your child's number flashes in bright red on the screens above the alter. About 10, 20, or 30 minutes after I drop her off, little Adeline's number pops up and I return to retrieve our HYSTERICAL child. Blotchy face, swollen eyes, Rudolph nose, and boogers dripping. I've left her with a few other people and she's been just fine so I wonder, too, if she doesn't like these nursery workers. Most kiddos cry at the drop off and then recover, but not her! And so this routine has gone for the last five months, and I feel like I can't do it to her anymore. Breaks my heart! I also can't concentrate on the message when I know she's miserable.
Tim feels like Addie needs to keep going to the nursery and she'll eventually get used to it, but she's been about 20 times now and her reaction is still just as bad. I suggested the option of watching church online for the next couple months, until we're hopefully out of this separation anxiety phase, but Tim isn't crazy about the idea, although willing to try it. He notes that the Bible calls us to attend church. I respect this, and so offered she attend the service WITH us, sitting in the reserved "parent's with kids" section, and then I can walk around in the lobby with her if she won't sit. But he wasn't thrilled about that idea either. I've read that most separation anxiety ends around age two, so I'm hoping our dilemma will resolve itself around then (or before!). I know this is just a season in our lives. So, what's a mama to do in the meantime?