Gentle replies please - MIL took DS to church without asking, mixed background

(21 Posts)
confused100 Wed 11-Apr-12 22:18:21

I am pretty upset about this and can't tell anyone in real life. Mainly just need to type this out to someone who understands.
DS was staying with the in laws for the weekend. First time as we had a no kids wedding to attend.
I'm non Christian and DH was brought up Christian but does not believe these days. We decided for DS that he would be educated about all religions when older and allowed to decide for himself.

I was shocked to find on our return from the wedding DS and in laws just getting back from church. As it was a Sunday morning they had decided to go apparently. He was blessed at the altar and sat through a 2hour church service.
I was pretty shocked this happened, although DS is still young and won't remember just couldn't believe it.
DH when I spoke to him about it said that they are just old people doing what they know - and that actually they are regular church goers. I didn't know this as when I have stayed with them at the weekend generally they would not go to church. He doesn't want them to know our decision for DS as it would upset them and has not told them nor will he.

I'm just very very surprised at what happened and needed to share. I think the main shock is that they didn't think to ask knowing I am of a different religion and the shock at realising that DH's family are so very religious - have known them for many years.
I worry about how to do the best thing for DS and bringing him up in this mixed background.

Sorry just needed to vent.

lisad123 Wed 11-Apr-12 22:21:27

Well if he is young enough not to remember I wouldn't worry. It's not like they baptised him.
If your feel that strong explain it to them, but just know if you leave him on a Sunday with them that it might happen again.

confused100 Wed 11-Apr-12 22:46:15

Yes, having typed it out and read your reply too, it feel more in proportion.
I didn't realise a blessing is a smallish deal. And yes will just have to be aware about Sundays! Thanks loads

BertieBotts Germany Wed 11-Apr-12 22:49:57

I don't think this would bother me. I don't go to church and haven't for many years, but I would not mind my DS being taken there by a friend or family member.

Since you say you wish to educate him about all religions, I would have thought this is a good thing - no better education than direct experience, and he has his own home life to counter it, so I think it is a positive thing smile

FirstLastEverything Wed 11-Apr-12 22:51:40

I think it would have been a bigger deal if they had not gone simply because he was staying with them.
I'm Christian, and would have no objection to DS going to another religious service with people who did that as a matter of course.

Sorry, but what exactly are you worried might have happened to your DS whilst in Church?

AIBUqatada Wed 11-Apr-12 22:54:50

If they are regular churchgoers I think it was your DH's responsibility to be aware that their regular activity was something you wanted to exclude your son from. He ought to have brought the matter up and made sure that both they and you had a solution you could be happy with. It is reasonable that you should feel surprised that didn't happen.

Having said that, it is hard to think why just attending church and being blessed is a big deal (unless the poor soul was bored out of his mind). You want him to be "educated about all religions." What better way of beginning that education than letting him share in your in-laws' celebration of their faith?

Beamur Wed 11-Apr-12 22:55:46

I don't disagree with the above posters, but I think the fact that they know (presumably) that you are a different religion, and yet took your son, without your knowledge or permission to a service at another church/religion, would irk me.
I don't think you need to unduly worry about any influence this would have on your son, but I think you and your DP need to think this one through as this may not be the only occasion you will come up against your IL's different views and you need to decide in advance how you want to handle this.

ChippingInLovesEasterEggs Wed 11-Apr-12 22:56:41

I don't have a religious bone in my body. As a one off/occasionally, if my child were staying over at someone's house, I really wouldn't care if they took them to their church/mosque/temple/coffee shop. It's an experience, it's not going to be life changing. Really. They just took him along with them, they haven't booked his christening <now that would really fuck me off!!>.

NCIS Wed 11-Apr-12 22:58:35

I am Christian, but it really wouldn't have worried me if my DC's had been taken to another religion, with or without me knowing, I would see it as part of the religious education I was hoping to give them. A broad exposure to all faiths.
I wouldn't worry if they weren't taken to church on a Sunday even though it was what they were used to either.

Hissboo Wed 11-Apr-12 22:58:54

OP I'm sad that you don't seem to know your inlaws very well at all. I would focus on improving that and I would also expect your dh to tell his parents about his and your choice.

purpleroses Wed 11-Apr-12 22:59:38

It wouldn't bother me tbh. Im bringing my kids up quite like you - not to believe in anything, but hopefully to understand a bit about religions. A friend of their dad took my DD to church with her a few weeks back and it didn't bother me at all - was quite nice for DD to experience it really.

Wouldn't worry about the blessing - I mean it's just words, etc - it's not actually going to do anything to him.

The idea that you choose a religion when you grow up, is probably going to seem a bit odd to people like you MIL really - for them it's something they've grown up with and have grown to understand through participating. If you want your DS to actually have a choice when he's older, it's probably no bad thing to have had him experience a bit of what the rituals and practices of Christians are. I went to church schools and sat through numerous assemblies and vicars preaching at us, whilst being told clearly by my athiest parents that there was no such thing as god. By the age of 12 or so I'd got my own mind firmly made up.

confused can you articulate why you are upset and shocked? It might help you to get this straight in your head.

is it the relegion?
the church itself?
the two hours?
the fact that you weren't consulted about something that happened to your DC?
that you thought you knew something about your ILs, and you were proved wrong?

RubyrooUK Wed 11-Apr-12 23:04:36

I'm not sure I'd call your IL very religious if they have generally not gone to church when you've seen them. My IL are pretty religious and if they come to visit, they know the time of every weekend church service near us. My FIL gets twitchy being forced to do something on a Sunday when he'd normally go to church. He has to compensate with a few extra services to make up his devotion time. I think that's quite religious - your IL sound a bit less committed, just churchgoers.

I am not Christian (brought up another religion) and I am actually not in agreement with some of Christian or Catholic views (eg negative attitudes to homosexuality, condom use, sex etc). So I have no interest in my toddler DS being brought up in that way.

BUT although I would like my IL to mention it to me, I wouldn't be too upset if DS went to church with them if they were doing me a favour and having him to stay. I think it is very unlikely an occasional visit would have major impact and if he did ask questions about his time there, well, that would be an interesting family discussion. At nursery, he meets children from Christian/Jewish/Muslim/Hindu/almost every background so we will probably have a lot of talks about religion even if we don't actively practice anything.

So I don't think it's strange that it surprised you as you hadn't thought they would visit a church with your child. But I also wouldn't be overly concerned.

SundaeGirl Wed 11-Apr-12 23:06:54

FGS, I'm going to try to be gentle but...

They just did what they'd do on a Sunday and took your DS along too. That is PERFECTLY OK. This is your first child and your first weekend off so you are going to be a bit precious but, honestly, it was THEIR WEEKEND.

I never go to church, my PiLs go most weekends. And when my DC stay there they go to, just like they go to Asda with my PiL, just like they go to Halfords, or to my PiL neighbours or whatever. My DC share their lives with my PiL and it does them no harm whatsoever to see that different people live differently and we can all still get along.

Valdeeves Sun 07-Oct-12 06:08:08

I understand you. I 'm a Christian but am church less and very much believe you should engage with God in your own way when you are testy to ch

Valdeeves Sun 07-Oct-12 06:14:29

Choose. My other halves family are lovely and devoutly religious. We have kindly asked them not to introduce their own religious routines to our child as we don't want any indoctrination or confusion. Having said that if it Xmas or Easter I will allow some involvement as these are cultural events.
You are right to feel the way you do - its you husband's job to say thanks but no thanks. That being said I agree with the posters who say it won't have harmed him and has widened his view, so don't stress.

musicalendorphins Sun 07-Oct-12 06:18:04

Well, either someone has to tell them you are against them attending church, or else never have him stay on a Sunday.

musicalendorphins Sun 07-Oct-12 06:18:33

Sorry, I meant "him", not "them".

Valdeeves Sun 07-Oct-12 06:19:54

Are your inlaws the kind if who you give then an inch they take s mile? I'd that why you are worried about it?

MarjorieAntrobus Sun 07-Oct-12 06:24:47

This is a slightly out of date thread. Not a zombie thread exactly, but six months old, so OP might not return for a while.

Anyway, the weekend that she was referring to when her ILs took the DS to church was Easter Sunday. Hardly surprising at all that the ILs went to church that day, especially as they are churchgoers anyway (even though the OP was previously unaware).

No big deal at all, in my book.

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