Christening woes... — The Bump
May 2014 Moms

Christening woes...

My husband and I were both raised Catholic. neither of us are religious. i consider myself an atheist, he just doesn't really consider himself anything. neither of us were confirmed. His family is Irish. in their family, getting married in the church and getting babies christened is just what everyone does. honestly, i think had my husband met a girl who didn't have strong opinions either way or who was religious, he'd probably have just gone along with the tradition. when i first told him i didn't want to have a church wedding he thought the only other option was a courthouse (we got married on the side of a mountain instead). he at first argued that we should christen any kids we have because that's what you "do", but then we went to a christening together, and i pointed out to him that there is no possible way i could get up in front of a church full of friends and family and straight out lie to them, which is what i'd be doing if i said the things you say at a christening. he finally agreed, and now he totally supports me in it.

my BIL and SIL had a baby girl last spring, and there was a christening for her, because they just go along and follow "the rules." they are now expecting another baby in June, and last week my BIL asked my DH to be godfather. he said he really appreciated him asking, but that he just couldn't do it. they were at my MILs at the time. apparently he then went on to say that we won't be christening our baby. my MIL over heard that, and started to cry. this is a woman who does NOT show emotion. she said we just HAD to have a christening. that if we didn't the baby wouldn't really be a {insert our last name here}.  ouch.

of course, the worst part is that they blame me for "changing" him when it comes to church stuff. first with the wedding and now this. and i suppose they are right since if i'd wanted a church wedding, i know he'd have gone along with that. i just can't believe she'd imply that our little baby would be less a part of the family just because we don't want to lie to everyone and dunk his or her head in a bowl of water. my family will be dissapointed too, though i know they'd never say something like that. i also know she just said it because she was upset, but now i can't help but think my little one will be the oddball grandkid. i mean none of them even go to church! ever!

the worst part is that i love my in laws. my MIL has never been anything but great to me. we are very different people, but i really do adore her. i'd hate to think that behind my back they think badly of me because of this whole thing. there are a lot of traditions i hope to keep, but this is one i'm ok with ending at our baby.

is anyone else coming up against anything like this with their their in laws or their own families?


image


Pregnancy Ticker

Re: Christening woes...

  • I'm sort of in the same boat, but it's my own family-- a bunch of old school Italians who are super Catholic. My partner and I are both atheists and will never take our child to a Catholic church, so it would be preposterous for us to have a christening. The last time I was at church was seven years ago for my dad's birthday, and during the announcements the priest was talking about signing up for an anti-abortion protest and praying for politicians to succeed in upholding anti-gay legislature, so that basically killed any chance of me setting foot in there again. My father has basically insinuated that I am damning my unborn child to hell and my mother has sobbed because I won't be using the christening gown that has been passed down in my family for four generations. 

    Honestly, I am doing a lot to appease my family in terms of maintaining family traditions and what not, but I really just cannot fathom pretending to believe in the necessity of a christening or supporting the Catholic church in any way. It's tough because I know they're disappointed and a christening would really mean something to them, but it so strongly conflicts with my personal beliefs that there's no way I could go through with it. I've been empathetic but firm, and it's really all I can do at this point. I'm sorry you're going through this, I know it sucks :(  


    image
    Baby boy arriving late Spring '14
    image


    julesf817pandadairRoufi
  • yeah the thought of putting money in the pockets of the Catholic church makes me feel ill on top of all the rest of it. i guess it just baffles me why people feel the need to push their beliefs on others. i'd never tell someone NOT to christen their kid, so where do they get off telling me i should?

    image


    Pregnancy Ticker
  • Not saying you should, but what I would do is turn the guilt they're throwing on you back at them. "I'm sorry that you won't accept our firstborn as part of your family. I'm sorry you feel they won't be a true [last name] unless we lie in front of an entire church. We understand your feelings and won't bother bringing the baby around for family events." Because you KNOW that's totally not what they mean. I HATE when people throw guilt at me. It infuriates me to have my feelings manipulated. So, I re-guilt and throw it right back at them.

    I told my ex-husband's parents that if they wanted my son christened, they were welcome to do it without me. They never did, so it obviously wasn't that big of a deal.
    AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers

    AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers
    RachelCA29
  • I may be wrong, but it sounds like part of what she's upset about is the event part of it. Could you suggest maybe a "meet the baby" lunch type thing? Everyone can come and ooh and ahh over the baby and have cake. But other that that, there is zero reason you should do a christening you don't believe in!
    BabyFruit Ticker
    Jillzy86JoelleOKjjtyler
  • Ugh I feel your pain. Both sides of our family aren't super religious, but it is "the right thing to do" to baptize the baby. My DH is confirmed but I am not. My mom just let me quit CCD when I was younger. So that means I have to go through all that BS of taking adult confirmation classes and all the crap that goes along with it, join a church and attend every Sunday, and give $ to the church on top of it all. It is all a serious PITA. And if I ever want to be a Godparent one day, I'll have to get confirmed anyway.. and I know for a fact when my SIL has kids she will choose me. I feel forced into doing all this crap, and it sucks.
    image
    Together since 2/4/05 :: Married since 10/6/12
    Parents to a furbaby named Moosey
    BFP: 8/20/13   EDD: 5/2/14
    image
  • of course, the worst part is that they blame me for "changing" him when it comes to church stuff. first with the wedding and now this. and i suppose they are right since if i'd wanted a church wedding, i know he'd have gone along with that. 

    I read this the opposite. He would have gone along with what you wanted; but you didn't force him either way. If he was adamant about a church wedding, or Christening, he would have insisted upon it. Could you have had an influence in his decision? Maybe. But it's clearly not a big priority to him personally, and that is further proven by his worrying more about what his family thinks he should vs. what he thought he should do.

    DH and I were also both raised Catholic, through Confirmation, and no longer practice and will not raise our family in religion. My older sister was as well, where her husband wasn't, and while she was fine with a backyard JP wedding, she insisted on baptizing their kids. They otherwise do not raise their kids in religion in any way. As one who doesn't practice, I am my middle nephew's Godfather. (Haha not a typo, my other sister is the Godmother.) I was honored to be asked, pleased to accept, and grateful for my older sister's trust in me as an active part of his life and of all her kids. That is how I look at it, and I'm comfortable with that completely.

    Instead of Godparents, DH and I will choose legal guardians for our kid/s in the event something happens to us. I view that choice as a very important piece of my kid's life. While it will be marked with much less fanfare and celebration than a Christening, I consider it a huge decision that won't be taken lightly; we will choose carefully, and probably find a way to commemorate the commitment of those that accept the request. It will then be made legal and binding in the form of our Living and Last Wills.




    photo May2014jpg photo MomTatWhiteNew40jpg

    It’s not that I don’t like you, it’s that I don’t know you. Stranger Danger.
  • Jillzy86 said:
    I was raised Catholic and attend regularly. Let me add that I do not agree with many of the Catholic stances on abortions and homosexuals. I've been reminded that that means I'm not a "true Catholic" but I think it just makes me a better Christian. Any way with that said, I don't think you should be guilted into anything. It was an over reaction on your MIL's part. I'm sure your family won't be upset forever, If you explain to them it wouldn't be right for you and your husband to Baptis. If you haven't attended a baptism recently you should know that they will ask you to respond to the fallowing questions... V. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth? V. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father? Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting? If you can't respond "I Do" to any of these questions honestly, then you shouldn't Baptise your child. Also they ask you if you will raise your Child in the Catholic Faith. If your Child chooses to become a Christain when he is older then it will be his decision. Sometimes I think that way makes more sense any way but once again I'm a apparently not a "true Catholic" I'm sorry you were made to feel bad and I hope you MIL will respect your decision.


    it was the questions you listed that helped me get my DH to see reason, since we've been to several Christenings since we've been together. my answer to all of them is NOPE.

    and @redinlove, you are right. if he'd been adamant about doing it and really wanted to, i would have let him do it on his own. i know deep down he just doesn't really care either way.


    image


    Pregnancy Ticker
  • I'm sorry that you have to deal with that, I can't believe she would say that and I hope it was just in the heat of the moment. It is interesting because where I live you have to be an active member and attend most services to be able to have your child baptized in the church. Anyway, I've seen people post on here about just doing it to please family, but I think its great that you wouldn't lie. I'm sure once your baby gets here it won't matter and she'll love them the same. Its really too bad she said that.

    So I wrote my reply above feeling bad and I do not judge people for what they believe in obviously you can tell by what I said above. Before I posted I went back and read all of the comments and you wrote "the thought of putting money in the pockets of the catholic church makes me feel ill". That's pretty offensive to someone who is catholic and if you have that attitude towards it and your inlaws pick that up I can see them being offended as I was reading your post. I haven't seen any Catholics coming on here judging and neither will I because I don't care what you do it doesn't bother me.

    Tifers777Jillzy86
  • I'm going to keep my mouth shut on the whole catholic badgering because that's a whole new can or worms. But coming from being raised catholic and my husband who is not. My mother wants our baby to be baptized in the Catholic Church and we haven't decided whether we will be attending my husbands church more or mine that I was raised in. It's your child do what you want. If you don't feel bad about being an atheist and raising your children like that then why would you care about what people think.
  • Tifers777 said:
    I'm going to keep my mouth shut on the whole catholic badgering because that's a whole new can or worms. But coming from being raised catholic and my husband who is not. My mother wants our baby to be baptized in the Catholic Church and we haven't decided whether we will be attending my husbands church more or mine that I was raised in. It's your child do what you want. If you don't feel bad about being an atheist and raising your children like that then why would you care about what people think.

    not sure where there was any "badgering"?

    i certainly don't feel bad raising my children "like that". that doesn't mean i don't care about the feelings of my in laws. i love them, and i feel bad about upsetting them.


    image


    Pregnancy Ticker
    ykristospandadairPikaPikaChick
  • Tifers777 said:
    I'm going to keep my mouth shut on the whole catholic badgering because that's a whole new can or worms. But coming from being raised catholic and my husband who is not. My mother wants our baby to be baptized in the Catholic Church and we haven't decided whether we will be attending my husbands church more or mine that I was raised in. It's your child do what you want. If you don't feel bad about being an atheist and raising your children like that then why would you care about what people think.

    Maybe because it's her husband's family and she wants to attempt a peaceful resolution rather than just blatantly disregarding their traditions and risk causing a permanent rift? That's what I get from it.

    @Jules51814, I don't fault you for "feeling ill" for giving the church your money. I personally feel ill thinking about abortion. But just like I can't, and shouldn't, make someone keep a baby, nor should you be made to give where it doesn't suit you. I don't find you judgmental or your statement offensive just because you share a different opinion. I don't think anyone here should. Just letting you know you're not bugging me ;)

    BabyName Ticker image  BabyFruit Ticker  
    DD born 2/3/03
    BFP 3/21/13 w/ EDD 12/02/13, C/P 3/29/13.
    BFP 9/18/13 w/ EDD 5/26/14,
    Beta #1 @ 14-16dpo = 375, progesterone 33.6
    Beta #2 @ 20-22 dpo = 8,782!
    Beta #3 @ 27-29dpo = 44,230, dx subchorionic hemorrhage/ threatened mc
    Beta #4 @ 29-31dpo = 72, 080 :)
    Grow, little one, grow!

    ***** All  AL  Welcome *****

     

    julesf817pandadairJoelleOK
  • lv2011 said:
    @Jules51814, I don't fault you for "feeling ill" for giving the church your money. I personally feel ill thinking about abortion. But just like I can't, and shouldn't, make someone keep a baby, nor should you be made to give where it doesn't suit you. I don't find you judgmental or your statement offensive just because you share a different opinion. I don't think anyone here should. Just letting you know you're not bugging me ;)
    appreciate that. definitely wasn't my intention to offend anyone. i'm not one to try to tell others what they should believe, was just simply stating how i felt!

    image


    Pregnancy Ticker
  • We did with our first (she will be 8). It was rough from DH's family, especially his gram, but I couldn't and wouldn't. My child can have the choice of religion.
    Random side note though: my kids are in Catholic school because we live in an area where there are no private schools and the public schools are not great at all. We'll be facing some issues next year when DD will not be able to make her sacraments with her classmates because she was not baptized. Not looking forward to that whole thing.
    Lilypie Kids Birthday tickersLilypie Fifth Birthday tickers
    BabyFetus Ticker
  • I feel ya too. We have a couple differing religions on either side and are pretty much agnostic, but we each have one parent still actively religious. Our wedding was non denominational and DD is not baptised. We plan to expose her to religion, just not one.

    We approached both the wedding and lack of baptism as this is how it's happening. No discussion. We thought it out and it's our choice. No one really gave us trouble because they never really had a chance. Does MIL still try to convert us once a month? Yes. But...yeah!
    Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers 
    Lilypie First Birthday tickers
    melgjellmad
  • I don't know how the second part sounded judgy? I just stated you offended me. It wasn't what you said it was how you said it. I don't blame you for not giving money to something you don't believe in. I don't agree with a lot of things they say in church about sexuality choices and what not either, but they also teach no one has the right to judge anyone, and that's the road I take. I didn't want to start a fight or anything as I stated before I agree with you, just letting you know how that comes across.
  • jane8188 said:
    I don't know how the second part sounded judgy? I just stated you offended me. It wasn't what you said it was how you said it. I don't blame you for not giving money to something you don't believe in. I don't agree with a lot of things they say in church about sexuality choices and what not either, but they also teach no one has the right to judge anyone, and that's the road I take. I didn't want to start a fight or anything as I stated before I agree with you, just letting you know how that comes across.
    i guess i just don't understand how my vaugely stated feelings about the church can be offensive to you.

    image


    Pregnancy Ticker
  • ykristos said:
    jane8188 said:

    I'm sorry that you have to deal with that, I can't believe she would say that and I hope it was just in the heat of the moment. It is interesting because where I live you have to be an active member and attend most services to be able to have your child baptized in the church. Anyway, I've seen people post on here about just doing it to please family, but I think its great that you wouldn't lie. I'm sure once your baby gets here it won't matter and she'll love them the same. Its really too bad she said that.

    So I wrote my reply above feeling bad and I do not judge people for what they believe in obviously you can tell by what I said above. Before I posted I went back and read all of the comments and you wrote "the thought of putting money in the pockets of the catholic church makes me feel ill". That's pretty offensive to someone who is catholic and if you have that attitude towards it and your inlaws pick that up I can see them being offended as I was reading your post. I haven't seen any Catholics coming on here judging and neither will I because I don't care what you do it doesn't bother me.

    well... i appreciate the first part of your post, the second part sounds pretty "judgey" to me coming from someone who "doesn't judge people for what they believe". i'm sorry that you were offended by my opinion of the church, but the church has done and continues to do a lot of things i find VERY offensive, so i certainly won't apologize for what i said.
    Yeah... noting that there are serious flaws in an organization which is historically known for being deeply corrupt is not "bashing" (it's stating fact). Not wanting to fund aforementioned corruption, abuse, and oppression is personal preference.  
    As I clarified above I don't care that she doesn't want to give money to the church. Just to make it clear we don't give money to the church either, we give it to other things like families that can't afford groceries and what not. I wasn't saying she should give her money to the church, I was just saying how she said it came across offensive.
  • jane8188 said:
    ykristos said:
    jane8188 said:

    I'm sorry that you have to deal with that, I can't believe she would say that and I hope it was just in the heat of the moment. It is interesting because where I live you have to be an active member and attend most services to be able to have your child baptized in the church. Anyway, I've seen people post on here about just doing it to please family, but I think its great that you wouldn't lie. I'm sure once your baby gets here it won't matter and she'll love them the same. Its really too bad she said that.

    So I wrote my reply above feeling bad and I do not judge people for what they believe in obviously you can tell by what I said above. Before I posted I went back and read all of the comments and you wrote "the thought of putting money in the pockets of the catholic church makes me feel ill". That's pretty offensive to someone who is catholic and if you have that attitude towards it and your inlaws pick that up I can see them being offended as I was reading your post. I haven't seen any Catholics coming on here judging and neither will I because I don't care what you do it doesn't bother me.

    well... i appreciate the first part of your post, the second part sounds pretty "judgey" to me coming from someone who "doesn't judge people for what they believe". i'm sorry that you were offended by my opinion of the church, but the church has done and continues to do a lot of things i find VERY offensive, so i certainly won't apologize for what i said.
    Yeah... noting that there are serious flaws in an organization which is historically known for being deeply corrupt is not "bashing" (it's stating fact). Not wanting to fund aforementioned corruption, abuse, and oppression is personal preference.  
    As I clarified above I don't care that she doesn't want to give money to the church. Just to make it clear we don't give money to the church either, we give it to other things like families that can't afford groceries and what not. I wasn't saying she should give her money to the church, I was just saying how she said it came across offensive.
    i still don't understand how it's offensive to state how the church makes me feel.

    image


    Pregnancy Ticker
  • jane8188 said:
    ykristos said:
    jane8188 said:

    I'm sorry that you have to deal with that, I can't believe she would say that and I hope it was just in the heat of the moment. It is interesting because where I live you have to be an active member and attend most services to be able to have your child baptized in the church. Anyway, I've seen people post on here about just doing it to please family, but I think its great that you wouldn't lie. I'm sure once your baby gets here it won't matter and she'll love them the same. Its really too bad she said that.

    So I wrote my reply above feeling bad and I do not judge people for what they believe in obviously you can tell by what I said above. Before I posted I went back and read all of the comments and you wrote "the thought of putting money in the pockets of the catholic church makes me feel ill". That's pretty offensive to someone who is catholic and if you have that attitude towards it and your inlaws pick that up I can see them being offended as I was reading your post. I haven't seen any Catholics coming on here judging and neither will I because I don't care what you do it doesn't bother me.

    well... i appreciate the first part of your post, the second part sounds pretty "judgey" to me coming from someone who "doesn't judge people for what they believe". i'm sorry that you were offended by my opinion of the church, but the church has done and continues to do a lot of things i find VERY offensive, so i certainly won't apologize for what i said.
    Yeah... noting that there are serious flaws in an organization which is historically known for being deeply corrupt is not "bashing" (it's stating fact). Not wanting to fund aforementioned corruption, abuse, and oppression is personal preference.  
    As I clarified above I don't care that she doesn't want to give money to the church. Just to make it clear we don't give money to the church either, we give it to other things like families that can't afford groceries and what not. I wasn't saying she should give her money to the church, I was just saying how she said it came across offensive.
    i still don't understand how it's offensive to state how the church makes me feel.
    If I were to come on here and say any beliefs that aren't catholic make me ill, it would be extremely wrong and offensive. So how if someone saying my beliefs make them feel ill aren't offensive?
  • ykristos said:
    @jane8188 -- I'm really not trying to be combative with you, but I am wondering why you found it offensive? Especially with all that has come out in the past several decades regarding how the church has misused funds and orchestrated numerous cover-ups (which made people feel very "ill"), I just don't understand how you could extrapolate that she was judging individual Catholics. The church, on the other hand, should be judged by all for what I've stated above and people should give serious pause before bankrolling their questionable endeavors. 
    Its offensive because I choose to believe that not everyone in the church is bad, and I am a member of the church.
  • I wasn't baptized and our DS wasn't either. I don't see the point in becoming a member of a church that doesn't have the same views and values that I have. I want my children to be able to choose the religion they feel most comfortable with if they choose to do so. It's not up to me to pick his own views, I can only try and instill important everyday values that I see fit. I want him to be able to mold his own views and opinions without someone else (a church) twisting and construing them.

    julesf817ykristossisterjanet
  • I'm not going to stay and argue, as I said before I agree with you in your original post and I think they are wrong. I hope they get over it and see how ridiculous they are being. No hard feelings to anyone I was just giving my opinion on how that comment came across.
  • lv2011lv2011 member
    250 Answers Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments
    edited December 2013
    jane8188 said:
    I'm not going to stay and argue, as I said before I agree with you in your original post and I think they are wrong. I hope they get over it and see how ridiculous they are being. No hard feelings to anyone I was just giving my opinion on how that comment came across.
    ...to you. Don't speak for the rest of us.
    BabyName Ticker image  BabyFruit Ticker  
    DD born 2/3/03
    BFP 3/21/13 w/ EDD 12/02/13, C/P 3/29/13.
    BFP 9/18/13 w/ EDD 5/26/14,
    Beta #1 @ 14-16dpo = 375, progesterone 33.6
    Beta #2 @ 20-22 dpo = 8,782!
    Beta #3 @ 27-29dpo = 44,230, dx subchorionic hemorrhage/ threatened mc
    Beta #4 @ 29-31dpo = 72, 080 :)
    Grow, little one, grow!

    ***** All  AL  Welcome *****

     

    RedInLovePikaPikaChick
  • jane8188jane8188 member
    Fourth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer
    edited December 2013
    lv2011 said:
    jane8188 said:
    I'm not going to stay and argue, as I said before I agree with you in your original post and I think they are wrong. I hope they get over it and see how ridiculous they are being. No hard feelings to anyone I was just giving my opinion on how that comment came across.
    ...to you. Don't speak for the rest of us.
    Obviously I meant to me, that's why I said "my opinion"
  • Kate070Kate070 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited December 2013
    Eek, sorry to hear you're dealing with that.  What your MIL said was way out of line.  I have to think she'd come to deal with it eventually, but I hope you don't catch too much grief in the meantime :-(

    This is definitely something I've been a little concerned about with our family.  My family is a mix religiously, so no one really cares what anyone else does.  I'm Pagan.  When I met DH, he had sort of an eclectic set of beliefs drawn from a variety of faiths.  Since we've been together he's taken more of an interest in Paganism as well, and we've agreed to raise LO Pagan, but with at least a basic understanding of other faiths as well.  ...DH's family are all very Christian, and in fact his father, grandfather, uncle, and some more extended family are all pastors.

    We had an outdoor, secular wedding, and no one said anything (which was a relief).  I've always figured that it would come up sooner or later, though, and it seemed most likely to happen when a grandchild entered the picture.  So yeah, I've just been waiting for them to ask when the baptism is... to which we'll have to answer, "Never".

    (DH hasn't really discussed religion with them since leaving home, so I think they think he's still the good Christian he was as a kid.  Since they've never asked about my religion either, I think they just assume I am, too).

    Keep us posted on it all.  Hope it goes smoothly for us both in the end!
    Met my soul mate October 2011 ~ Married August 2012

    image

    BFP September 2013 ~ Our baby boy is due May 2014

    image
    julesf817PikaPikaChick
  • I'm a Christian and we don't do christening but I think you should stick to your beliefs. I don't think you should be pressured if it's not what you believe. If you do this will they expect you to keep following the traditions and do confirmation, etc. ?
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers


    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    julesf817PikaPikaChick
  • My husband and I are Christian, and attend church at least half the time.  :)  We baptized our son and plan to baptize this baby.  Speaking as a person who has seen many, many babies on their baptism and then never seen them or their families again, I completely agree with not baptizing your kid just to make your in-laws happy. 

    I can understand your MIL being upset and saying a wrong thing in an upset moment.  It's not cool of her, but I understand it.  I really hope you all can reach a point of agreeing to disagree about this.  Good luck.

    julesf817
  • I think if you wanted to sort of "make peace" with your in laws, you could always have a baby welcoming party. Friend if ours did this and had a friend who is ordained (I think from the internet) say a "blessing" to welcome the baby into the family and into their circle of friends. What I mean is that if an event would smooth things over, maybe it's not such a bad thing to have a little party after baby arrives. And it certainly doesn't have to be religious in nature, but can have a similar sentiment of welcom
    julesf817
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards