I Didn’t Want to Volunteer in the Church Nursery

I Didn't Want To Volunteer in the Church Nursery... But I do anyway
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It’s Sunday and you’re dropping your kids off in the church nursery. Then, from behind, you hear the dreaded question: “Hey, I’ve been meaning to ask you! Can you start volunteering for the nursery?”

And your heart sinks. It’s not that you don’t love kids, but as a mom, you just really would rather volunteer for something else at church. I feel you. As a SAHM, I’ve always hated this question. Until recently when I realized something about myself and my attitude toward this question.




What about me?

I’ve always had the attitude that as a SAHM, Sunday mornings are the only time I’m not constantly around my children. Where I can go to Sunday School and Worship and just be an adult. Grow in my walk with God. Without being tugged at and pulled away by a child.

I’ve always wondered, “Why can’t someone else do it and give me a break?!” Why does it always have to be the moms of the congregation that have to work the nursery while everyone else gets to sit in the Worship Service? Why can’t the mommies have a break?

It does work that way in some churches, but it seems that most have this same issue. Parents of the littles are the only ones who volunteer in the nursery and many just do it because no one else will and their children need somewhere else to go than to the service to be disruptive.


The question again

We moved and just joined a new church a few months ago. I was approached with this question the week after we joined about 3 months ago. I had that immediate reaction I’ve always had. Ugh, not again.

This time was a little different because we were trying to get our kids accustomed to a new church and it was hard to drop off our oldest alone. So I said we would look at doing it after we got them adjusted.

And I wrestled with this for a while. I really wanted some me time. I really wanted to be able to go to service and not the nursery every 8 weeks. Why couldn’t some one else step up for the hurting volunteer group and let us moms enjoy the service?




But then God showed me something about myself

One day, He showed me that it’s not about ME. It’s about HIS Kingdom. Yes, I wanted a break, but in volunteering every 8 weeks, I was giving another mom a break.

I was filling a hole that enables another mom who has been volunteering for 3 years every 4-6 weeks because of the shortage of volunteers an extra Sunday or 2 to go to service.

In all honesty, even if I wanted to volunteer for something else at church, I can’t. As a SAHM, I always have my kids with me. And if there’s not childcare available at that time, most likely I can’t do it. I feel strongly that I should be helping out at our church by any means I can, and right now with small children, this is the easiest thing for me to do.

This is just how I feel. There are arguments on each side as to why the parent’s of the kids in the nursery should or shouldn’t be volunteering. But regardless of any of that, I found that it was my selfish reasoning that lead me to know God wanted me to change my heart.

So in the end, I can volunteer 6-7 times a year in the church nursery to give another mom a longer break between when she has to volunteer again to lighten the load. I can still go to Sunday School and then spend an hour and 15 minutes with a group of 2 year olds a handful of times a year so another mommy gets a longer break.


How does it work in your church? Do you volunteer in the nursery or is that taken care of by others?



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  1. Candice, this is the sweetest and most honest post. Thanks for being so transparent! I was the one on the other side of the Nursery Desk doing the “asking.” It isn’t easy to ask harried moms to help out. (I used to dread asking the question as much as you dreaded hearing it!!!) Nevertheless, I was the Early Childhood Director for the church and it was my responsibility to make sure all our little ones were well looked after. You HIT UPON THE ANSWER… if everyone just does a little bit… EVERYONE gets a break! Thanks on behalf of all church staffers who struggle to find the help they need each week. This post REALLY blessed my heart!

  2. I hear you. I had the exact same feeling when our church started a preschool class after my two had been in creche. I really, really wanted some space. But, like you, I saw how I could help other mums – especially the mother organising it all every week to bless all the other mothers. I loved this post and hope other mothers find it encouraging, too. Coming by Salt & Light x

  3. All I can say is amen, and I have to relearn this one some times. It isn’t so much now that they are getting older, but even a couple years ago it was hard. Thanks for being so open and encouraging us moms to see it in a better light!

  4. Candice, I’m glad you listened to God. I know He is glad too, and please with your response. As in everything we don’t really want to do but know we should, God is in control. The agenda is His, we are His servants, the “talents” are His, the obligation to use them to the utmost is ours. I hope you also heard Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

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