Kim Harms

Life Reconstructed

The Ugly Mom


“I’m sorry you hate church! You can just stay here and take care of Lewis. I’ll be back in a couple hours,” I yelled and emphatically slammed the door to the garage to make my point.

Yep, I really did that. Those were the last words I spoke to my children before leaving for Sunday morning church. (Thankfully, by the time I had started the car, all three boys had joined me, silently, in their seats. Probably a little freaked out by “Ugly Mom” who doesn’t rear her head very often.)

Both “Good Mom” and “Ugly Mom” are frustrated in the degree to which her children dislike attending church, but “Good Mom” tends to be much more patient about it.  You gotta watch out when “Ugly” takes over. (Which generally only happens on Sundays when Corey has to be at church early, and I’m on my own with the little hoodlums.)

I am genuinely saddened that Sunday morning church is a place my kids don’t want to be, but in many ways, I don’t blame them. They sit through a boring (their words not mine) service, then they go to a room where they are outnumbered by girls by a ratio of about 5:1 to sing worship songs (at this point they don’t like singing, and they aren’t interested in hanging out with a bunch of girls), then they sit for an hour in a Sunday School class (where they are also greatly outnumbered by girls) and even if the lesson is interesting and well-executed, they have long since checked out. If I were them, I would probably feel the same way they do.

So what’s the answer? That’s the nagging question. I know there are wonderful people on the children’s team who spend many hours working to help develop the spiritual lives of the kids. But kids are not one size fits all, and my kids just aren’t fitting. Many people have told me, “Just wait until they get to youth group. They will love it.” I don’t doubt that. Both the youth pastor and youth staff are incredible – especially that tall guy with the wavy hair 😉 But is that the answer? Should I tell my boys to just hang on for a couple years because eventually it will get better? That seems insufficient. I understand that I can’t make church like Disney World, nor do I want to, but something is just missing.

What I do know is that I have these incredibly fabulous children who do love Jesus, but don’t want to go to church with “Good Mom” or “Ugly Mom” on Sunday mornings. I’m not sure if there is a right answer to resolve our current state of affairs, but I think just waiting it out is the wrong answer and the wheels are definitely turning in my head.



Author: Kim Harms

I am a contributor at CT Women (previously known as Today's Christian Woman where I was a regular contributor as well). I blog monthly at and have freelanced for a variety of publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Guideposts, Thriving Family and Creation Illustrated. Cancer made an unwelcome visit in my breast in January 2016, and I am now working on a book about breast reconstruction after having gone through the insane process myself. My incredible husband of 18 years, Corey, is my biggest writing cheerleader and together we are having a ball raising our three growing boys; Carter 15, Owen 14 and Lewis 10.

2 thoughts on “The Ugly Mom

  1. Kim, Thanks so much for sharing your heart and struggles so openly. I will be praying with you for you and your boys during this time. Perhaps we can come up with something creative to help your boys enjoy church more.

  2. Sherry, I was a little leary about posting this, but it’s real and it’s what’s on my heart and mind right now. I love my kids, but sometimes my actions wouldn’t get me the mom of the year award. I am working on some ideas to share truth with them in a way works for them.

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