Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Young Mom's Plea: I Can't Do it All, All of the Time

Recently, a number of people have said to me that they don’t want to work with kids at church or a Bible study because 1) they don’t have children, so why should they have to watch someone else’s kids, or 2) their children are grown and they’ve already paid their dues.
This irks me to no end.  I am a mom of young children, in the middle of the busiest time of my life.  Before I had kids, I worked with children all the time.  I figured I was giving some busy mom a much needed break so she could fellowship with others.  I also figured, that when my time came for having kids, I would be able to have the same courtesy of someone else watching them for a few hours so I could be refreshed through Bible study and worship.
However, I’ve come to find, it’s not like that at all.  I was appalled the first time a lady told me she didn’t want to spend a few hours in the kids’ ministry because “My kids are grown, I’ve already paid my dues.  Why would I want to go back to that?”  I wondered if she even remembered what it was like to be in the trenches of life with little kids.  Don’t you remember how exhausted you were?  Wouldn’t you have loved for someone to watch your kids for a few hours so you could spend time with other women?  Didn’t you need a break every now and again?

Since that discussion, two other women have said as much to me.  Here’s what I have to say to you:
I am constantly with my children or other people’s children.  I work in the children’s ministry at church because no one else will.  I have sat in the sanctuary two times in three months; when I wasn’t back with the children, I was at home with my sick kids.  Before I had kids, I worked in the children’s ministry to pay it forward.  When my kids are older, I plan on working in the children’s ministry to pay it back.  I wish I could work less in the children’s ministry now so that I can concentrate on raising my children.  It is tiring, exhausting, emotionally draining work to be with my kids constantly, much less ten additional kids.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the kids, and I love working with them…just right now, it is too much.  Right now, I need help.
Sometimes, we go to where God calls us, but other times, we are called to where God places us.  
I was placed in the children’s ministry at my church.  I really do love working with the kids.  These children are going to be the face of the world in a few years.  They need older role models who are mature and loving Christians.  You who have already raised your children, do you think you did a horrible job?  Or do you think you could impart some of that wisdom you learned in raising your own children to my kids for a few hours a week?  I am still in the trenches, I need leadership from someone who has “retired from the war”, so to speak.  If you aren’t willing to do it, who will?
If you don’t want to be in the children’s ministry, fine.  But please don’t give me some flippant remark about having already paid your dues.  When you say that, you make me feel totally abandoned and worthless.  Like my kids aren’t worth your time.  That you couldn’t care less about my weariness.  Undervalued and alone.  I feel like you are attacking who I am to the core and blaming me for wanting a small break to get some adult fellowship.
As Christians, we are called to serve one another, to do good to all, especially to those of the household of faith.  Next time someone asks if you are willing to work with the children for a few hours, instead of giving some smart-aleck remark, be gracious and say you’ll think and pray about it.  Then think and pray about it.  You never know where the Lord will lead you.  If you feel that children’s ministry is not the place for you, say so, honestly.  And then find another place to serve the body of Christ.


  1. I'm so thankful for people pre-, mid-, and post-kids who are willing to serve in children's ministry!!

  2. I couldn't agree with you more! I would give almost anything to just sit & absorb God's word for an hour or two when my kids were little!

    Our church insisted you work in the nursery once a month when you had kids in the nursery. With 4 that meant that sometimes, especially in the winter, that might be the only time that month I got to go to church.

    There was one Godly women who gave a service to God & us by babysitting for 3 of us with kids so that we could have a Bible Study with others each week. She said she remembered how hard it was when her kids were little. I'm sure there were many jewels in her crown.

    That was why when our kids were out of nursery time I always worked at least once a month until I couldn't any longer & I still work the 4 & 5's when I am up to it.

    So glad you have spoken up & keep looking, God is speaking to some women to send to you!


  3. I used to work in the kids room at our old church and since we changed churches 3 years ago, I have not worked in the kids room. I have been 'planning' on doing it again but after reading your post, this morning I finally talked to the right person at the church about it. Thank you for the push.
    ~Nanci S.

  4. Thanks you for posting this. I can't tell you how many times I've come up against these comments and feel defeated. Your post was really a breath of fresh air!
    ~Jamie S.

  5. ((hugs)) Vinae! First I wanted to encourage you and remind you of what a great job you are doing! Secondly, I wanted to also respond from another point of view. --- It saddens my heart to think that these women and possibly men are missing out in such a great opportunity to love on and help determine the steps of some of Gods little children. Was it not Jesus who sat with the little children?! --- I wonder if not maybe you were placed in these ladies lives to give them a little "push". Maybe they were wronged in a similar way... It makes my heart ache for you, for the children and for them. I will pray that the Lord will give you strength and energy, fill you with HIS Word and encourage your heart. ((hugs)) Love,Stephanie H

    1. Thanks, Stephanie! I did neglect to mention the blessings that come to the person who is working with the kids. It lightened my heart when I heard one woman say that she didn't feel equipped to be working with the kids, but then came out of those 2 hours blessed beyond words by those little hearts she was shepherding.


I love to hear from my readers! If you'd like to comment without signing in, select Anonymous and please sign your name, so I know who you are!