I’m THAT mum at the Gurdwara …

I’m THAT mum at the Gurdwara …


… That has the “annoying” toddler that:

  1. Comes and strokes your chunni (scarf used to cover your head) while you’re trying to listen to the kirtan because I want to see if it’s the same texture as my mums
  2. Decides that poking the shiny mirrors on your suit would be fun – it’s sensory overload for me
  3. Sits in the middle of the matha tekh (where you bow down to the Guru Granth Sahib) queue aisle as it has the best view – I did sit there quietly for a little while 🙂
  4. Runs off to every child in sight – I like babies so much
  5. Your babies want to play with because I always share my toys
  6. Flashes a smile at you when your day may not have gone so great because I’m smiley and friendly
  7. Dances Moves to the beat of the kirtan (religious hymns)
  8. Squeals with excitement and sings along to the kirtan
  9. Plays tabla (indian drums) on my snack box
  10. Likes to play peekaboo with my mummy and Masi  (aunti)

So last night I decided to go to the Gurdwara (Sikh temple) to listen to kirtan. It’s been a while and I’ve been craving food for my soul! Bhai Niranjan Singh Ji was doing kirtan so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to satisfy that craving.

My sister Goov, Arjun and I went together. I was armed with a few toys and snacks to keep him entertained.

I was so so nervous about taking him now that he’s walking. I was always one of those women that used to get distracted easily by children running around. My problem really for not being focused enough! I also had sympathy for the parents of those kids. I had no idea how difficult it was! My outlook and approach has somewhat changed after last night.

I honestly felt so out of my zone. I was so grateful to have Goov with me – it’s not something I would’ve done alone! My confidence isn’t great as you’ve probably been enlightened to. I kept questioning the situation, my mothering skills and whether my child was being a total nuisance:

  • Is he disturbing the peace?
  • Is he being disrespectful?!
  • Should I go pick him up?!
  • Is he annoying that lady?
  • Is she only smiling back at him to be polite?
  • Am I doing the right thing?!
  • Should I just leave?
  • Why don’t I just know what to do?!
  • Is he playing nice with those kids?
  • Are they playing nice with him?!
  • When do I go pick him up?!
  • If I keep chasing after him, will he think it’s a game?!
  • What’s the limit?!

Not sure if there’s a general mummy status quo in the Gurdwara (please share with me if so!) but after a little while I figured that Arjun was actually really enjoying being there. He was enjoying:

  • The open space
  • Seeing so many other children
  • The different surroundings
  • The kirtan hence why he was trying to play tabla/sing along   


After about 15 minutes, I became a bit more relaxed. He wasn’t being disrespectful to Maharaj (Sri Guru Granth Sahib – our holy scriptures), he was just being a baby. He doesn’t know the difference between a place of worship and a playground. And when I looked around, all the other children were doing similar. I didn’t want to get angry at him and snap. It’d only upset him and that would’ve disturbed everyone’s peace and would’ve meant we’d have to leave.

I remembered something a friend once said to me – I figured, as long as he wasn’t disturbing anyone’s peace, annoying anyone or being disrespectful (in which case I’d firmly stop him!) I think I can handle Arjun seeing the Gurdwara as a fun and happy place. As his favourite play house – after all it’s his father’s house. I want him to feel comfortable and happy there. I want him to want to go there. He’s a baby, he’s entitled to be a baby in God’s house. I don’t want him to miss out on the upbringing I had – the Gurdwara, kirtan and paat has always been a huge part of me and has helped me through life. I want him to have that same comfort. To feel that he can turn to God – to associate God with positive things. Letting him be free meant he was happier than me trying to restrict him.

Yes in an ideal world I’d love for him to sit in one place for an hour but unfortunately he’s just not there yet! I managed to enjoy some of the kirtan and felt at peace with my child’s behaviour at the Gurdwara too. I’m definitely not alone. But don’t feel guilty – it’s their fathers house as much as it is anyone else’s. As Arjun grows and has more understanding, I’ll slowly teach him. He’s a super friendly baby and isn’t shy to spread the love.
I try and be as considerate as possible:

  • Sitting towards the back where before I’d sit towards the front
  • Coming armed with snacks
  • Having toys to keep him distracted for a little while
  • Remain calm to keep him calm

To those that don’t have children and so may not have all the tolerance and understanding in the world (like I was before Arjun!), I’m sorry if you find my child annoying but I promise I do my best to eliminate the disruption caused to your peace. Remember we need a little bit of food for my soul too and mummyhood is a full time job so I can’t and don’t want to always leave Arjun at home xx

Baby Brain Memoirs

32 Comments

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  1. 1
    Habiba

    Perfect timing. I took khadija for Friday prayers yesterday and ALL of those thoughts were going through my mind too! But reading what arjun was getting up to really made me smile. He sounds like so much fun. So I think the anxiety is a mummy thing; most ppl are probably (hopefully) enjoying the babies!!

  2. 2
    Modern Dad Pages

    Great post Harps! I never let children disturb me especially young ones. They are so full of life and that’s what it’s all about. I’m sure that it’s very common and besides look at how cute he is ☺️ He’s a charmer. Awesome post I love the thought put in to it!

  3. 3
    Pickinguptoys

    Ah what a gorgeous boy he is!I love the thought of him going up and stroking someone’s head to feel the material that’s so cute!I think we panic a bit as parents as we don’t want to upset or offend (well most of us) but most people understand he’s just a baby and doing absolutely no harm.Some really lovely photos here too x #BabyBrainMonday

  4. 4
    Cheryl @ Reimer and Ruby

    I feel the same when I bring my kids to church on Sunday, In fact, it took me a long time til I got the courage to do so as I was so scared in case they will just disturb other church goers. I had been told many times for my little boy being a bit noisy but I don’t care at all, they should have more tolerance and consideration with kids. How can we pass on our religion if we will not teach our kids about it at an early age?! Great post! Thanks for sharing! #BabyBrainMonday

  5. 5
    Absolutely Prabulous

    What a unique post! I’m in awe that you are faithful to your (our) religion and bringing A up in it. I’ve never been religious for various reasons and sadly my kids don’t know about their heritage and living in Malta doesn’t help with that! Lovely post. I’m sure he melted a few hearts and nobody minded. I think as long as you’re seen to be trying it’s fine. It’s when people let their kids run around noisily with no apparent concept that this may bother others that it gets difficult.
    #babybrainmonday

  6. 7
    Alice

    I can’t comment on what other people at the Gurdwara thought, but I think it is definitely in the spirit of worship that he is feeling the joy of the music and worship. Don’t you think that him taking such delight in the kirtan he is celebrating in his own little way? Brilliant 🙂
    x Alice

  7. 8
    Emma's Mamma

    Aw bless him! I think you’re doing all the right things! Kids are and should be kids and if he enjoys going now he’ll most likely always associate it as a place of joy, which it should be. He’s so cute! #BabyBrainMonday

  8. 9
    Mudpie Fridays

    You caught some lovely photos of him he really is gorgeous. It sounds like it went really well and he’s exploring and learning too. We have a wedding in August which I am dreading I can just imagine Monkey running up and down the isle and now he’s three people expect better (so do I!! ) so a little nervous. I will be thinking of this post as I suspect a number of the questions will be the same ones going through my head! Thank you for hosting #BabyBrainMondays xx

  9. 10
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy

    My kiddies were up to similar tricks at church. It’s impossible to have a toddler sit still for so long – especially when there are so many tempting things to do. I’d pack snacks & small toys that don’t make noise but by the end it was always very stressful. I hope everyone understands / remembers what its’ like! #BabyBrainMonday

  10. 11
    Silly Mummy

    I’m not religious, so I haven’t had to try to deal with my kids in a place of worship. I probably would worry that people would be annoyed too. But, actually, I don’t think there is any reason to be. Logically, I would think that anyone who is religious would want children to experience the religion, be involved in it and be comfortable with it. That won’t happen if they aren’t taken, or are not allowed to still be kids when there, so I doubt anyone would ever actually look badly on a child being involved. It sounds like Arjun had a great time at the Gurdwara & was very well behaved. #babybrainmondays

  11. 12
    Zeyna-Mummy On My Mind

    Love this post! The mummy anxiety is always there isn’t it? But looks like you did a great job… A toddler simply needs to go explore, and sometimes we just have to let them get on with it, whilst watching them like a hawk at the same time!! #babybrainmonday

  12. 13
    Carolyn

    He is so adorable! Good for you in taking him along, it’s difficult not to worry about our child’s behaviour/what others are thinking but it sounds like you coped absolutely fine 🙂 And snacks are such a lifesaver sometimes aren’t they! Thanks for hosting!

    Carolyn
    http://www.stylishmemories.com

  13. 16
    Harps

    Thank you Hun. Absolutely – I always worry about being judged but I’m slowly learning to find a happy medium! Thank you for linking up 🙂 x

  14. 17
    Harps

    Unfortunately it’s always there! That’s exactly what I was like lol. Lucky my sister was there with me to help. X

  15. 23
    Harps

    Snacks are an absolute life saver! Toys he ends up giving to other children. I think it is a lot to take in – lots of people, new surroundings, they’re bound to want to explore x

  16. 24
    Harps

    I find myself in this situation all the time – I always dread big events because I never know how Arjun is going to behave. Oh bless hun, I’m sure people understand that toddlers will be toddlers! How was the wedding?x

  17. 28
    Harps

    Hey Hun, I don’t know what I’d do without my faith – honestly it’s helped me thorugh so much! I’m guessing living away from grandparents probably makes it a little more difficult, I rely on my parents for a lot of the knowledge stuff! Do you guys have a Gurdwara in Malta?xx

  18. 31
    Jasmita

    Hey…I totally understand my little man most likely has the exact same thoughts. I got to a point where I thought I can’t go to gurdwara functions because Sartaj is all over the place, but when I did dare to go again he surprised me and say quietly listening to the paath. Thankfully his favourite word at the moment is “waheguru”…it’s nice to know I’m not the only one that has these thoughts 😊.

    Ps I’m sure everyone finds its endearing, but as a mother we can be too hard on ourselves

  19. 32
    Harps

    Hey Jasmita, glad I’m not the only one! That’s so lovely that his favourite word is “waheguru” 🙏🏼 hopefully one day Arjun will get there! Hehe xx

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