May
17
2009

  Missing Mass

I was glad to get home from Richmond around 1pm this afternoon, since I thought it would give me time to nap, eat, feed William, shower, and get ready to go the 5:15pm Mass.

Except my plan got thwarted because William wake up to eat EARLY and I could not nap. And when I was done feeding him I was too hungry to sleep, so Terry fixed me some lunch. And then there was not enough time to nap AND get ready for church. And I'm really pretty tired from getting up every 2.5 to 3 hours all night for over a week now (since I gave up dairy, and don't have a stockpile of pumped dairy-free milk for Terry to use to bottle-feed William overnight). Even when I lie down to take a nap during the day, I can't always fall asleep.

While I'm not SO tired that I wouldn't go to mass if I didn't have a child, I am too tired to figure out how to manage the timing of it around his feeding schedule. He's going to be hungry around 4:30, and I have to leave the house no later than 4:45 to get to Mass on time. And William takes longer than 15 minutes to eat. And I'd have to have gotten both him and myself cleaned up and out the door by 4:00 if I wanted to feed him at the church (or in the car) before Mass, and I didn't think that far in advance.

I was curious how other new mothers handle this, and did an internet search, and came across two interesting blog posts. First I read this one but it was about missing Mass on purpose because you don't feel like going. And while that's not my particular situation this week, I do relate to that blogger's point of view.

The other post I read was more pertinent, and I was comforted to read that "the care of infants" is specifically mentioned in the Catechism as a serious reason to be excused from Mass. Since there is no dairy-free pumped milk for Terry to feed William with, and because I live 30 minutes from the nearest parish church and can't coordinate the timing for breastfeeding with the trip into town, ESPECIALLY since the timing wouldn't have been quite so off if William hadn't thrown my schedule out-of-whack by insisting on eating as soon as we got home instead of waiting for three hours, I think missing Mass this week will not be a mortal sin.

It's not like I haven't pumped milk specifically so I can skip out on church. I LIKE going to church. But I am no superwoman, and I've learned to cut myself some slack when I can't accomplish things perhaps other people could have managed. I'm providing better care for my infant to just stay home to feed him and let him take his nap then keeping him up and messing up his schedule in order to drive to church early and feed him in the parking lot, and probably have to feed him again in the parking lot before the 30-minute drive home, arriving near his bedtime but he'd be all keyed up from the activity and unable to fall asleep. So there it is.

But I will get my act together and pump some milk this week so I can leave Will at home next week if his schedule doesn't line up so that he'll be able to sleep through Mass, and Terry can take care of him at home.

Whoops, 4:30pm, William has just woken up hungry, right on schedule, must go.