Honestly, I used to be “on the fence” about church “cry rooms.” But since I’ve become a mama, I’ve definitely come to appreciate them. Especially since we have such a loud and active infant.
We recently visited my hubby’s home parish in the ‘burbs. It had a tiny cry room, and it was jam packed.
One family particularly struck me: a mother, father, and four small kids. The father and one of the children was away for a very long while (potty break?). When he was gone, the mother was trying her best to corral her other three very active kids. Her youngest even kept crawling head-on towards the actively opening and closing door. Yikes!
All the while, this same young mother’s head was also submerged in her missal for all other moments BETWEEN her re-directing her children. I admired how this mother still tried to follow along with the Mass in her missal.
I also noticed a married couple to our left who had three tiny kids. One of their little girls was a wee little infant who LOVED screaming– er, SCREECHING. The parents took turns herding their little ones so that the other respective spouse could be more engaged in the Mass. Such a good display of teamwork so that they could both participate better at Mass! I admired how they both kneeled so reverrently too.
Lastly, I noticed a family with a couple teens, a pre-teen, and an infant. The infant was being quiet fidgety. One of their teenage children also seemed not in the least interested in Mass. Yet I could see– rather, hear– the two parents in this family really lifting up their voices to God, and particularly the father doing so. His soul seemed to emanate from his vocals. He was singing with his whole body; he was almost swaying to the music!
All of these parents shared one look: that of being TIRED. Yet they also shared another look: that of being ENGAGED IN MASS ANYWAY. What INSPIRATION to be found in that jam-packed cry room.
Yes, we parents were tired, we were treading on that fine line between exhausted and crazy, yet we were participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass together. What better gift could we have from God than the gift to be there? Screaming babies and all.