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Old 01-01-2012, 05:49 PM
mebby mebby is offline
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Default Sticky situation - not sure what to do?

My best friend and I are teaching sunbeams together this year. She and her family are not AM people, we have early AM church schedule which is not a good combination. Fortunately we have Sacrament first but I've been worried about all as I have my own challenges with 2 disabled kids and church.

Her family did not make it to Sacrament today and was late even getting to church. She was supposed to teach. In the meantime my own kids needed my help right after Sacrament with bathroom, snacks etc so I couldn't get to class right away. I did my best but was a few minutes late. Then I had nothing for my class because it wasn't my week to teach. One of the moms seemed annoyed that I wasn't there right after sacrament and that I didn't have anything for the kids other than small talk.

I'm guessing this problem will continue as my friend will always be late, my kids will need some sort of help after sacrament - especially my youngest which will make me late to my class. I'm doing my best to get my own kids through church - my youngest has seizures and a sleep disorder so she struggles in the morning and refuses to eat until she's been up for several hours. If she doesn't eat then her behaviors increase, she gets headaches and doesn't do well. Snacks are a good thing but I can't give them in front of other kids unless I'm prepared to feed others. I think my friend thinks that it's ok to be late and I'll just handle things in her absence but it will become problematic especially if the upset mom today remains upset every week. FYI - She's a real peach and complains about everything - she even got former Primary Presidency released because of her constant complaining. She does not understand my family dynamics at all. Should I say something to my friend and if so what? Should I have a heart to heart with Primary Pres - should I just wait until things get really bad before I address?

Let me know your thoughts.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:01 PM
nicolebolke nicolebolke is offline
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Yes you should talk to the PP. Like today. I bet there is a calling that better suits either you or her. It's not worth it to be upset about something like that. Good luck.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:01 PM
tylervern tylervern is offline
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I would go to the primary pres. first if it were me. Maybe she could switch you to senior primary which wouldn't be such a big deal if you were a little late to sharing time.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:04 PM
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Leggs Leggs is offline
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There are three elements here: your friend being late, you being late, and you not having a lesson. You can't control the first two, but you can control the final one by making sure that you review the lesson each week, so I'd start with that. It's extra work, and you shouldn't have to do it, but it sounds like it's necessary.

I wouldn't risk the friendship by talking to my bf, but I would talk to the primary pres and explain that you will always be late because of your family's medical situation. I would not talk about my friend's habits or motivations at all. Hopefully, if there's a problem with your friend being late, she'll be observant enough to notice it on her own and make any changes needed.

Don't worry about the upset mom. You don't report to her, and her happiness is not your problem.
I have a billion typos, and it's because I'm almost always typing while breastfeeding a baby or having a large and unrelenting boy crawl around my lap and poke at the screen asking what the smilies mean. I've given up trying to type well.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:07 PM
hut hut is offline
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Is it possible for your DH to watch your children after sacrament? Is this a possibility? Maybe he could help lighten your load.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:24 PM
rooster1 rooster1 is offline
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Last edited by rooster1; 01-01-2012 at 06:26 PM. Reason: Decided against it
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:09 PM
amy_ks amy_ks is offline
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I think Leggs has some good things to say and I would go with her comments.

My first thought was, why would they put you in a primary calling when you have all these kid related challenges during the week. I would think you'd need a break by the time Sunday rolled around. You might consider asking to be released. Next time, make sure they understand your situation and that you need to be with someone that is reliable because of your own struggles. Sometimes leaders really don't get that and I say that having been a leader before. I always really appreciated it when people let me know of a situation they were in where with a little thought, I could solve the problem ahead of time for them.
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:11 PM
bluebooks bluebooks is offline
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Usually sharing time is first, isn't it? So that the 11-year old kids can attend Sunday School with the kids that have already turned 12? Your ward must do it differently, so how does that work?

I would suggest asking if it is possible for a member of the presidency (or a parent) to wait in your classroom with your class until you get there. I would be very concerned about leaving such a young group by themselves for any amount of time. If you explain your situation, I'm sure they would be eager to help or would find a different solution. I currently play the organ and teach in junior primary (and don't have a companion teacher). I am always late to teach primary because of playing the postlude - but it works out fine because we start with sharing time. I've asked a member of the presidency to sit with/watch over my class. I don't think we've ever had a problem

In my experience, it is extremely important for the youngest two classes in the primary to have on-time, consistent teachers - otherwise many kids from that age-group get upset. I understand that you can't change your situation, but I think it is important to make some type of arrangement with the presidency so those kids have supervision.

I do agree with Leggs' suggestion that you just plan on starting/doing the lesson each week once you get there. That age group benefits from routine, so even if your friend was just a little late each week, you could start each week by asking each child to share one great thing that happened that week (which might reduce further interruptions anyway). That might give your friend time to show up. And if she doesn't come, you're already prepared with the lesson regardless.
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:39 PM
payner payner is offline
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Talk to the primary president and let her know. Good luck!
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:43 PM
katiekat katiekat is offline
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I think you've been given some awesome suggestions. I too was wondering why if there was a reason DH couldn't help the kids get to bathroom/ snacks. Our building has a "family bathroom" for situations just like this one.

YES- talk to your Primary Pres. She needs to know things like this, and she can handle the people involved much more easily than you can.

I don't think you need to plan a whole lesson every week, but I do think it would be good to be prepared to kill some time. Bringing puppets, books or puzzles, file folder games, even singing primary songs would be good, especially the ones with actions.

I was also wondering why, if this woman is your best friend, you couldn't somehow let her know that you are struggling. Keep focused on the real issue- which is a class full of 3 year old with no teacher, not on her tardiness. I have found that if I have an issue like this, if I go to the person and say- "I am really struggling. Do you have any ideas for me?" that they often come up with brilliant solutions. What if you told her how worried you were about making it to class on time b/c of your kids and asked her to help you figure that out?

My final suggestion would be to enlist the help of the complaining mom. Explain to her your worries and issues and ask if she would mind helping for the first 5 mins.
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