Monday, January 18, 2010

Nursery

You would think the title of this post would be about how elated we are that Marissa has reached that magical nursery age, but you'd be wrong...

I said I was going to write about my emotional breakdowns. One occurred last Sunday. I was already having a not so good morning, but church was all right until I got asked to speak with one of the counselors in the bishopric. Now, I have never cried when I got a calling before. I cried when I got released from a calling, but never a minute after they told me what a new calling was, and we are not talking tears of joy or "feel the spirit" tears. That new calling, of course, was nursery leader.

Honestly, before I had kids I would not have known what to do with kids this age. My only real experience with kids was babysitting 6 rowdy hooligans on a regular basis in middle school that I had absolutely no control over. They all survived, but it was not for any talent I had with children. At least now I am used to little kids and my vocabulary already consists of phrases like "we don't hit", "we don't color on the table", "puzzle pieces aren't for eating", "go throw that chewed up cheese that you threw on the floor in the garbage", and "someone smells poopy". You would think there would be no problem with this calling.

So why did I cry? Honestly, I don't know. I feel bad for the counselor giving the calling, especially since he is a good friend of ours, but I couldn't hold it back. I quickly said, "I guess so. Can I go to class today?" and headed straight to the handicapped stall to dramatically slide down the wall, sit on the cold tile and cry out the rest of Sunday School (it's always worth it to slide down the wall). So lame, I know. I didn't have a problem with the calling per se, in fact I thought nursery would have been a great place to be 6 or 8 months ago when I was in the hall doing nothing with my pre-nursery aged child. But to call me now? When I spent a good part of a year counting down until I could happily hand my child to someone else in charge of nursery, go to class and find out I am still using the manual two prophets ago (because that was the last time I went)? When I am going to have a baby in 5 months and feel like this is my only window to breathe before "it" starts all over again? When I already spend all my time with children this age? It was slightly hard to understand.

I wasted the last opportunity to go to class and had a good breakdown instead. But I have since come to terms with the calling. I still don't think I'm cut out for this age, but I'm okay with it. It's like coming to terms with the fact that going to church with a 12 month old means standing in the hall for two (or three) hours. I had a hard time with this the first time around, but it's been so many years now that yes, I have come to this realization. I had expected to be able to go to class, but it was not to be. Surely when my child bearing days are over or when I'm in retirement I will not have these same feelings. I just know that church for now will mean chasing after Marissa for the first hour (because if I try to stay with the other kids while Jared takes her, Alex screams for daddy--so it's always me in the hall) and back with the little kids for the rest of the time.

I'm still trying to make some sense of it all. Maybe I need to spend even more time with Marissa for some reason. Maybe I need to learn to love that age even more. Maybe it's just a test of my faith. But whatever the reason, I am the new nursery leader and you better believe I will be chowing down on the snacks faithfully every Sunday. Hey, pregnancy has some perks, like "needing" to eat every couple of hours and having emotional breakdowns and being able to say, "yeah well, I'm pregnant."

6 comments:

Heather said...

well - if it makes you feel any better... When the counselor in my present ward gave me a calling - I immediately burst into uncontrollable tears. I didn't even mean to. I, like you, felt so sorry for the poor guy. Then he asked if I was pregnant... to which I said "No'... only to find out a few weeks later that I really was. Those blasted hormonal emotions! Luckily the bishopric reconsidered the calling even though I told them in my tears that I'd do it if they really needed me to.

I honestly don't know why men call pregnant women to be in nursery. It's like the hardest calling on your body and it's so hard to bend over as it is. Plus, you get all those boogie nose children getting you sick at a time when you need all your strength to grow that baby (and care for the rest of your fam)...

Sigh... I hope you survive and that the Lord will strengthen you to keep a goin'. We'll pray for you! :)

Mindy said...

Maybe I am a heretic, but I don't think that calling a mother of 3 small children with one more on the way is necessarily inspired. It does seem to happen all the time, though. My friend who has 2 very young kids with one on the way AND is brand new to the ward was just called as nursery leader. I think she cried too. It's just mean! I am sure you will make it through, but you have my sympathy.

HeatherIsHere said...

You're a dear. That's the first thing that popped into my head when I read this. I'm glad that you are owning your breakdown as well as your calling. As terribly cliche as it sounds, you totally inspire me. You are a person who does hard things and you can't say that about many people. Those snotty nosed poopy bummed kids don't know how lucky they are about to be! Love you Laura!!!

Ariel said...

I'm sure I would have had a tantrum if they called me into this nursery. Charlotte just went to the nursery by herself for the first time this week and all I could think about in Relief Society was about how free I felt.

The good part about the fact that you are pregnant, of course, is that in about 4 1/2 months you can tell them that you need to be released since you are going to stay home with the baby for the first two months and don't want to expose him to all of those germs after that. (Am I bad?)

Mary Evans said...

I know how you feel because I felt that way when I had that calling--Max loved it, but I felt that I would be left there for the rest of our days in DC which was at least a year and a half more. Fortunately we graduated with the kids into Primary and got to love their families. Anyway, you might want to know that Emily has that calling now and has done it for 2 weeks now. You can share ideas with her. Love you. Mom

kkerr said...

I haven't ever cried in the office, but I cried at home when I got called to Nursery. Julia was only 6 months old. How was I supposed to hold her (because I certainly wasn't going to put her on the floor with all the snot nosed kids who could bang on her head) and be a nursery leader. Trevor loved it and I was counting down the days to our release (it's a 6 month calling in our ward). I feel for you Laura, but I know you'll be great in there.