5 Minutes in A Mom’s Head at Mass


Inspired by the latest viral hilarity from Bunmi Laditan, author of the Honest Toddler…

5 Minutes in a Mom's Head at Mass

I can’t believe we’re late again. Everyone will stare while we walk down the – yup, everyone’s staring. We should smile and wave. Attention everyone! The Chronically Late have arrived! Please resume the opening hymn. I knew we should have snuck in the back. Next Sunday I swear I’m getting everything ready the night before. And waking the kids up early. And making them eat breakfast at a normal – not snail – pace. And no potty tantrums before we leave. But then we won’t even need to come to church because IT WOULD TAKE THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST TO MAKE ALL THAT HAPPEN.

Maybe we should just try for the 10:30 instead.

Did anyone brush the kids’ hair? Could I comb down that cowlick with my fingers? Who cares; he’s so cute. Did I leave that load from last night in the washer? I did. I should just buy Mildew-Scented Tide. We need a chore chart. I should do that first thing when we get home. I’ll check Pinterest. No, I should give up Pinterest. And Facebook. Such a timesuck! That’s it – God, I’m giving up all the mindless Internet-ing. Starting today. Wait, maybe I’ll give that up for Lent instead. And chocolate. And wine. Never too early to plan. I need some discipline.

No, scratch that. Just give up chocolate. Keep the wine. Maybe only check Facebook once a week. Maybe.

I need to pay attention. Is it already the second reading? It’s Ordinary Time now, right? That mom across the aisle has such a cute scarf. That’s what I need – accessories. To jazz up my only post-partum Mass outfit. From three babies ago. Stretched-out Target waistbands are so hip. Next Sunday I’m going to find shoes that match. Maybe.

I bet that mom washed her hair, too. That’s what I really need. A long, hot shower. I would pay someone to come watch my kids while I took an hour-long shower. Like a post-partum doula. But a Shower Doula. Brilliant. I could do that, when my kids are grown up. Must help out moms of littles when mine are bigger. I should write that down somewhere. Or email my future self. Isn’t there a website for that? I can’t remember anything anymore. Did I lock the car before we came in? If you break into a car in a church parking lot, do you go straight to hell? Do not pass go; do not collect $200. Where is the envelope for the offering? Next week I’m bringing two so the boys stop fighting over them. Or so they can fight over something else.

This priest gives great homilies. Maybe the kids will actually stay quiet during the whole – nope. Why do toddlers have such a gift for the Absolute Worst Moment to announce that they NEED TO GO POTTY? Must not laugh. Must stand firm. No trips to bathroom.

Wait, did we make him go right before we left home? Ok, fine, let’s go.

I love this hymn. I wish I could sing. What did that priest say last week – whoever sings, prays twice? I think Augustine said that. Did Augustine say everything? “Whoever keeps whining for the potty during Mass annoys his mother twice” – St. Augustine. I’m going to try that on the kids next week. They are going to love me when they’re teenagers.

How many times are they going to ask if there will be donuts after Mass? Do these kids think about anything except donuts? What if instead of going to church when they grow up, they just drive around on Sunday mornings searching for donut shops? I need to do more catechesis with them at home. So they don’t become bakery addicts when they grow up.

Besides, all that sugar makes them crazy on the drive home. And they’re already antsy now. He’s about to fall off the kneeler. Or whack the baby in the head with that hymnal. How much longer till we get to walk up for communion? How much longer till they stop head-butting each other down the aisle?

And why can’t these kids just pay attention???

Copyright 2014, Laura Kelly Fanucci


About Author

Laura Kelly Fanucci, MDiv, is a Catholic wife and mother of three who writes about faith and family life at Mothering Spirit. She is a Research Associate with the Collegeville Institute Seminars at Saint John’s University. Laura is the author of Everyday Sacrament: The Messy Grace of Parenting and the Called to Life and Called to Work series for small groups on discovering God's call in daily life.


  1. I once posted a version of the “our Father” with our kids: Our Father who . . . don’t bug the baby . . . art in Heaven . . . just hold her hand . . . hallowed be Thy . . . I don’t care if it’s sticky . . . name

    Moms understand.

    We are very blessed to be in a parish where people are happy to see little ones at church, even if they are wiggly or a little noisy.

  2. Please stop reading my mind in church!! Haha – so funny and so true. I sometimes wonder what’s wrong with me that I can’t stop my mind from wandering for 60 minutes. I’m working on it – and I’m getting better. But there are days when I don’t even remember the Gospel because I was too busy making ‘eyes’ at the kids or shuffling my position in between the two who need separation most at the moment. What’s worse, I discovered years ago that my kids pay attention best when we sit in the front row. So my family is the cause of many other moms’ distraction, I’m sure.

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