This is a well-known song to parents everywhere who have had young children go through Sabbath School programs. However, most Sabbath mornings, this is hardly the sentiment as we are desperately scrambling to get our little ones out the door. Maybe it’s just my experience, but it can be down right stressful - getting our little ones up, fed, and dressed all while we desperately try to scarf down a few bites of breakfast yourself, only to sheepishly walk in 30 minutes late for class despite your best efforts!
I could list many reasons on the importance of Sabbath School for our little ones. We already know the benefits. That’s why we try our best each week to get there on time in a calm and cool manner. But what about the benefits for the parents? More specifically, the mothers? More often than not, as mothers our focus is on our children and their well being. As it should be. This is one of our greatest joys and blessings. But we’re still social beings! We also need connections and our cups filled.
For the past two years I’ve been the Cradle Roll Sabbath School teacher at my local church. I’ve enjoyed watching my 2.5 year old daughter grow and learn to love Jesus. My heart overflows when I overhear her singing the class songs at home. But one of the greatest blessings has been getting to know the other mothers better. As a new mother, I’ve learned so much from these wonderful women. We share stories, advice and laughs. Craft time is our time to check in and see how we are all doing. This is my extra push on those crazy Sabbath mornings to get me up and out the door on time. I’m excited to get there because I know I have a support system.
I could give you a long list of many time management tips. But like the benefits of getting our children to Sabbath School, we already know what that list would entail. And it’s great stuff! I’m 100% behind using all the tips and tricks to make the morning go smoother. But I would argue the greatest tip I could give a tired mama is to find connection - to find a way to fill your cup while you’re nurturing the sweet minds of your little ones. Strike up a conversation with another mama, find a commonality, maybe schedule a playdate outside of Sabbath School. Mamas, you need friendship and connection just as much as your children. And to Sabbath School teachers, I’d encourage you to set up a way for mothers (and fathers too) to connect at some point of the class. During our craft is the time that I’ve found best. When the kiddos are situated, I like to reach out and ask simple questions like, “How was your week?” Or “How did that one situation play out that we discussed last week?”. Also, bringing in snacks as a treat for the parents and kiddo’s doesn’t hurt either.
“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Sabbath School should be a fun and joyful experience for both child and parent. Young parents, I know it’s hard. I’m in the trenches with you. But it’s worth it. I hope you find joy as we journey through this season of life together.