So I've been thinking a lot about cry rooms lately, as I've been trying to attend more daily masses with my beautiful, yet talkative 2 year old. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a cry room is a room usually found at the back of the church where you can take a screaming baby but still see and hear the Mass.
And I am all for them...when you have a screaming baby, or sick and whiny child, or a toddler having a temper tantrum, etc.
But, there are some misuses of cry rooms that make me cringe. First of all, I do not like when people with kids just use the cry room so that they don't have to teach their children to sit still and be quiet at Mass. How are these kids going to learn proper Mass behavior, when they are allowed to run around and talk all during Mass? Yes it's difficult to keep your kids perfect during Mass, but they do not have to be perfect. You can give them snacks and books and quiet toys while they learn to whisper and follow the whole sit/stand/kneel/stand/kneel/walk/sit dance ;)
Secondly, I'm really shocked that people choose what church they will attend based on if they have a cry room or not. Really? Is that what your faith means to you...that you'd rather have a weak pastor, or a weak community in your Parish just because they have a cry room? We picked our parish because of the Pastor, and his traditional, straight-forward theology. We had 4 kids within 5 years - and we have no cry room. So we made due - sometimes we use the sacristy to calm a noisy child. Other times, a quick walk to the back of the church does the trick. But picking your church based on the cry room? Well that's like picking your spouse based on the car they drive.
And most importantly, I can not stand it when adults without kids sit in the cry room. Ummmm, are you planning on yelling obnoxiously in the middle of the Consecration? No? Then go sit back in the pews with the rest of the adults. Why do they do this? It's not even because the pews are too full...they arrive early and choose to sit there. I don't get it. Then, when I am in there with a crying baby, they look at me like "Could you please leave....you're disturbing me". Hello?!?! It's a cry room!!! That's the purpose!
Phew! Now I feel better after getting that off my chest. Let me hear your thoughts - I have a feeling some of you might disagree ;)