It has been an emotional day, It didn't help that I already felt like crying be the time I arrived at the coffee party. J's first response had me crying in the bathroom, which I came out of to hear the complaint about Jane riding the push car too noisly around the basement where the old ladies were trying to talk to each other. That left me sobbing on the stairs, in the parking lot and on and off for the next hour. Made me feel pregnant again - and NOT in a good way. However since I just had my period can't blame that - don't know quite why it got to me so badly but here's the story... I wrote it for a United Church website I came across the other day.
When I first started attending the UC in the small town I recently moved to I had no intention of taking my two year old to church with me. But there was no nursery available and I was strongly encouraged to bring her to the services with me. She has no volume control - a fact that I was very upfront about. Well last sunday I was approached after church with offers of help which turned into a lecture on telling my kid to be quiet. This was upsetting but I took it with a grain of salt because I know this woman is old school and had already remarked disfavorably on my daughter's actions. So I approached one of the women (let's call her Jane) who I thought would be supportive looking for some reassurance that my daughter was welcome and instead I got reminded of all the old people with hearing problems. So we've also been regulars at the thursday morning coffee parties and so today I tried to talk to Jane about having had my feelings hurt and asked her straight out for some reassurance. Well I got the old people story again and then one of the old people complained that my daughter was playing with too noisy a toy during the coffee party.
Well except for one time my daughter is the only child who has ever been to the coffee party and is the only child under 10 I have ever seen in church. The congregation is small and old. I had been feeling very comfortable, felt like I was getting to know a lot of the other people and I was getting involved (I donated baking to the tea and helped to serve, I went to the UCW christmas party). Now I was really upset and my reaction is clearly out of proportion to what actually happened. I know my daughter is loud and I understand that that can be too much I'm sure there are compromises to be made etc.etc. But that's not how I feel. I feel rejected. and unsupported. And no longer welcome.
I had left my daughter's sippy cup at the church when I left and so Jane came over later to bring it back to me. I had calmed down and apologized for my over-reaction. She didn't. There was still no reassurance that my daughter was welcome. And when I said that I would start taking my daughter to story time at the library on thursday mornings instead there was no objection. When I mentioned that my cousin taught sunday school at the UC in a nearby town and that we would probably just go there more often - she just commented on the good voice the minister has there. She finished by telling me that last year there had been a mom who had taken charge of the nursery and several parents who had taken turns looking after the kids there but that they had stopped coming. Gee imagine that.
This is a church with 30 people in the congregation on a good sunday, They can't raise enough money to support themselves and require a subsidy from National. Are they sabotaging any chance of a future on purpose?