Thursday, October 4, 2012

How I Committed Two Cardinal Sins at a Baptist Church

There are two golden standards of "perfection" I hold myself to.  
Maybe more.
But to not meet these particular standards is cardinal sin.  Worse than death.

They are:
I must be on time to places.
I must not cry in front of anyone other than Michael or Million.

I loathed MOPS this morning.
Dreaded it.
Being an introvert, going and sitting at tables with women I don't know to hear about parenting is not my idea of a good time.
Being at home, crocheting or knitting, reading a good book, baking a new treat, or distressing and staining wood is my idea of a good time.

But being somewhat of a cheapskate, the idea of having paid money for something and not getting my money out of the deal tortured me to pieces.

So I bundled Million into the car and faked excitement about how much fun his class was going to be.  And how he would love playing with children and listening to his teacher.
And he bought it.

When I got to the large church the meeting was at, at least I knew which door to go in.  But it took stopping in five different classrooms to find out where Million was supposed to be.  And you can imagine taking a 2-year-old into classrooms filled to the brim with really really cool noise-making toys like he's never seen before, and then hauling him out repeatedly because it's not the right room.  Temper tantrums in a Baptist church in front of a bunch of completely under control mamas.  When I finally found his classroom, I was already running late with the breakfast I was supposed to be helping bring.

Cardinal sin #1.

No one told me where to leave the diaper bag or if I was supposed to leave a diaper bag.  No one really told me much of anything.  Sigh.  That greatly relieved any anxiety I felt about leaving my son with complete strangers...of course.

I got to the room with about 20 tables set up, and gave my food to the food table people.  Then I had to figure out which table I was supposed to sit at.  

And I'm an introvert.  Did I mention that?

A pregnant introvert. In a room filled with women who are geared on mommyhood and life with young children.

When I finally got to my table, there was a bag of Halloween candy at it.  Because of some principles, I don't eat non-fair trade candy.  I put it in my purse and resolved to throw it away when I got to the car.

After about half an hour of chatter and announcements, they asked "Are there any baby announcements?"

I assumed it meant had anyone had a baby in the last two weeks since their prior meeting.

No.  No that's not at all what it meant.  They meant was anyone pregnant. 

So they made me go up in front of all of the people and speak into a microphone about my pregnancy.

A microphone.  In front of complete strangers, whom, I forgot to mention, are by all appearances all perfectly maintained upper class women.  Perfect hair, perfect fingernails, perfect makeup, perfect outfits that probably cost more than I could fathom. 

And I was in jeans and a pregnancy jersey sweatshirt. 

Talking into a microphone.

I about died.

After making my way to my seat, a middle-age couple talked about letting go of your kids at various stages in your life.  The dad nearly started bawling twice, and my hormones kicked in...but I maintained control.

After their 1-1/2 hour long talk, there was group discussion.  And when I had to answer a question about "how are you letting go of your child to be independent in the stage of life he's in", I started crying.  In front of strangers.  About leaving Million in his classroom with a stranger after working for over a year on telling him that I will always be here for him.

Cardinal Sin #2. 

Let me think: I just dropped my son off with strangers for the very first time.  I'm hormonal.  I've been dreading this MOPS meeting for days.  I just had to speak into a microphone in front of over one hundred complete strangers.  You all are looking good.  And I look like a piece of Kleenex on a public restroom floor.  

Thankfully, group discussion ended quickly after that and I scooted out the door as fast as my legs could carry me.

And then Million threw a temper tantrum about leaving his classroom.  The teenage helper told me that he was a great kid and that he "did really well for his first day in class".
But on the way out of the church, he told me that he had hit children.

Whom shall I believe?

Luckily, Michael works only about five minutes from where the MOPS meeting I called him, and he came out and sat in the car and listened to how-absolutely-horrible-and-awful-it-was-but-I-have-to-go-again-or-I'll-completely-hate-myself-forever and these-women-don't-know-me-so-they-don't-know-that-I-typically-don't-cry-about-things-like-leaving-Million-so-they-probably-think-I'm-an-overprotective-goon and why-do-my-hormones-have-to-work-couldn't-I-just-be-a-man?

And then I remembered the Halloween candy.
And ate nearly the whole bag on the way home after dropping Michael back off at work.
Yes, yes I did.

The day can only get better.


  1. Ohhhhhhhh....I would have thrown up if I had to get up and talk in front of everyone!! Why did they make you do that?? You are doing great, Heather...on all fronts. And for the record, once one of my boys punched another boy in the face in the playground at Chik Fil A. Fabulous.

  2. Bully for you for sticking with it - chances are, next time you will almost enjoy yourself, and so on. Who of us, when pregnant, have not had similar experiences?

    Btw, you have a real knack for writing. Thanks for a great blog!!

  3. Heather! I'm so sorry to hear this! It WILL get better as you get to know people.

  4. Oh Heather! I would have hated it too. My first MOPS meeting was not so overwhelming, because it was a smaller group, but I had a newborn and someone told me my symptoms pointed to inflammatory breast cancer. Thank you for that. I hope the second meeting is light years better.