31 July 2011

On Being Undermined and Being a Mean Mother

Much of Mass today was spent policing Kieran, to the point that I got to participate in little of the Mass.  Unfortunately, this has become the norm of late, for daily Mass and Sunday Mass.  I feel like such a mean mother and I hate that I can't devote much attention to God.  Most of all, though, I'm angry at the reason behind this.

See, Kieran used to be wonderful at Mass.  No, he wasn't perfect, but he did really well and even tried to join in the prayers and kneel with us.  He wanted to go to Mass simply to go to Mass.  Oh, he still asks to go to Mass, but the reason he wants to go has changed and he no longer tries to act the way he should, at least not as often.

So what changed?  Well, it started fairly innocently.  Kieran had followed the altar servers into the sacristy after Mass one Sunday.  The altar servers get a little candy after Mass, and Father was amused that Kieran had gone in there and so he gave Kieran some candy.  No big deal, right?  Well, after that had happened a couple of times, Kieran started going into the sacristy after Mass during the week.  Sure enough, he was given candy.  I'm not a confrontational person, so I didn't confront the priests and ask them not to give him candy.  I did discuss it with Kieran, and for a time this was enough.  No longer.  No, this week he blatantly ignored me as I was asking him to come out of the sacristy so that he didn't get candy.  He knew that if he ignored me, he'd get some candy.  I can't just run after him, since I'm usually trying to keep Charlotte from running off, too.
So what's the solution?  I need to be firmer about it.  I know the priests will respect my wishes if I make it clear that my children are not to be given candy after Mass.  In fact, a day or two after the incident I described above, Kieran had gone into the sacristy and I reminded him in front of the priest that he wasn't to get candy.  Kieran had thought Fr Theo would give him some anyway, but Father just turned to Kieran and said he must do as his mother said. I appreciated that.  The problem will be one or two of the other people at Mass who think my children need candy and that they only come for the candy.  Well, unfortunately that's partly true, now, though it wasn't.  I want them to go back to wanting to go to Mass simply because they want to be at Mass, and not because they want chocolate.


  1. It is so hard to be a good parent sometimes when perfect (well-meaning though they are) strangers undermine your authority has a parent!! Even when it is family, sometimes I feel like my authority is undermined. I definitely understand where you are coming from. :-(

  2. Yep. Today went a bit better. I think part of Kieran's better behaviour was because an Archbishop/Papal Nuncio was celebrating today. LOL One of the parish priests came out to offer candy, but I just said "not today", and that was that. Kieran didn't see that Fr Cassian had offered the candy, thankfully.