The first time I was asked to work in the church nursery, I was 38 weeks pregnant with a spirited one-year-old in tow. After I realized that she was not kidding, I mentioned that I should probably wait until after the baby was born. I figured that was a legit answer since no one wants to hand their baby off to someone who might have to run to the labor and delivery room during service. While I sure seemed to feel gigantic, apparently my watermelon-sized belly didn’t seem to be do the trick. She replied,
“Well, any way you can help before then would be great too.”
Are you kidding me? Between Braxton Hicks contractions, sleepless nights, a high-energy toddler, and the risk of my water breaking beneath my feet at that very moment, helping out in the nursery was the last thing on my mind. It was a near miracle that I could barely make it to church that morning. As a mom of young children, getting to church at all felt like one of the biggest accomplishments of the entire week. Even if I was five minutes late.
Why couldn’t someone have asked me five years ago when I actually had time and wasn’t living in survival mode? Back then I had no children, but I loved being surrounded by them. I could go home and enjoy solitude. I went to bed when I wanted, woke up when my alarm clock went off, and I didn’t even need coffee.
Nowadays, I can’t even go to the bathroom by myself. I go to church to remember the days of worshiping God before I had children. The days when I could have a quiet time that wasn’t interrupted every three minutes by some who needed mama, or when I didn’t have to try and do it at 5 am next to a pile of unfolded laundry because that it is the only time of day that no one else was up.
I know that many churches are in dire need of volunteers, but consider this. Some of the most desperate people who need a touch from God the most are the women sitting right next to us — the moms of young children.