By the time our kids were born we’d created the habit of sitting down each month and figuring out what weekend we’d be going to the temple that month. So we just kept doing it. For the first six months after our kids are born that meant driving to Mesa (2 hours), and then I’d hang out in the visitor’s center with the kids and nurse those that needed nursing while Brett went in to serve for an hour and then we’d switch and he’d hang out in the visitor’s center with the kids (but not nurse them) while I went in to serve for an hour. After the first six months when I was more comfortable leaving them with people we had some dear friends who lived just a couple miles from the temple and they’d watch our kids while we went and served together for an hour till they were 1-year-old and then I was confident to leave them for the two it would take to do a whole session. Then we’d get the kids and take them to visit the temple for a few minutes, get dinner and Krispy Kremes, and drive the two hours home. It took all day.
In August the Tucson temple was dedicated and I was actually worried about how having a temple that close was going to complicate things. The temple is still 45 minutes from our house, so it’s still a long time away from the kids between the drive and the service, longer than I’m comfortable leaving a nursing baby for. And we still wanted to take the kids to visit the temple every month as well so they can continue to feel that. But we don’t have a babysitter near the temple to help us out any more. I spent several weeks trying to work out the logistics of how it would work. And it was with great relief that I finally figured out a solution for at least the first several months.
Now, once a month, Brett gets the kids up on Saturday morning and gets them breakfast (he does that every morning anyway). And then he leaves for the temple while I clean up breakfast and get the kids dressed. About the time Brett arrives at the temple I load the kids into the car and we all head up to the temple too. We get there about the time Brett finishes and he comes out and the kids play in the fountain for a few minutes while I nurse Izri. Then we take the kids into the foyer for a few minutes. They remind us they need to be quiet so people can hear the Spirit. And then we load them back into the car and Brett drives them home via Krispy Kreme and Taco Bell while I go in and serve and then follow them home.
We really aren’t saving any on gas this way. It takes us 4 hours to get everyone there and back, and that’s just with us serving for an hour each in the temple. But we all get to go still. Our kids still look forward with excitement for temple day every month. And for me, that makes it totally worth it.