I have a toddler and we go to church. Church comes every week so it shouldn’t be a surprise and yet… I was always struggling to gather up all of the things that I would need. I’ve finally come up with a plan that mostly works. It isn’t for everyone but hopefully, it may help you a bit. I’d love to hear your suggestions too…
1. Bag – Have a bag that is specifically for church only- include all of the items that you’ll need. I re-fill it when I return from church. My items include:
- Dry erase/Magnet board
- Dry erase markers with eraser tops
- Magnetic games and/or felts- I found mine on etsy.com- we have a felt sea background with magnets that sticks to the dry erase board and felt fish as well as some magnetic matching activities (colors, people, animals)
- Organization Pouches
- Quiet Activity Book
- Lace and Trace items
- Diapering/Clothing kit- includes wipes, two diapers, backup church outfit
- Snack- I use fruit granola bars that won’t melt or squish
- Offering- I learned the hard way to avoid change- little ones like to put it in their mouths
2. Getting your child ready
- Bathe the night before if possible.
- Have clothes laid out and ready.
- Don’t dress your child until they’ve had breakfast.
- Distraction- I save Veggie Tales for Sabbath. My daughter is allowed to watch an episode while I work on getting myself ready
3. Getting yourself ready
- Get up early enough – my mom told me that she kept getting up earlier by 30-minute increments (7:00,6:30,6:00, etc.) until we could have a good morning. You are responsible for the tone of the day, set yourself up for joy.
- Pre-plan your outfit- I literally lay out everything that I’ll be using- it keeps me sane.
- Don’t skip breakfast- you’ll need the energy to wrangle your toddler.
I’m doing my best to make morning pleasant- I want Sabbath to be happy rather than filled with frustration and hurrying. I’d love to hear your ideas for things that make your church mornings successful.
About the author: Summer Porter is the interim editorial assistant for GC Family Ministries. She’s a working wife and mom who is very human and struggles daily with balance. She’s spouse to David and mom to Brooklyn Dawn (age 3) and Breelyn Elizabeth (died of SIDS- age 4 months June 2016). Summer has a blog where she shares her thoughts about life and losing a child.