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Saying no to being a Godparent?

(21 Posts)
GeorgieBoy95 Wed 25-Oct-17 18:49:05

My brother and his wife are expecting another baby soon. I'm not particularly close to them - we get on ok but could easily go months without hearing from them. And they are not people that I would ever call on in a crisis.

I suspect them may ask husband and I to be Godparents. They have very high expectations of what this involves - she once told me how shocked she was that her eldest daughters godmother gave her a present worth only 50 for her birthday. I would hardly spend that on my own child's birthday present not to mind anyone else's - we're on a tight budget and likely to be for a long time to come.

They have no real interest in our kids (and aren't godparents to any of them).

If they were to ask us would it be terrible to politely say no thank you?? My husband thinks that if we're asked we should say yes for an easy life. But I think I'd like to say 'we're honoured to be asked but are going to politely say no'. Aibu?

sinceyouask Wed 25-Oct-17 18:51:59

No one would ask me to be a godparent but if they weirdly did I'd decline on the basis that I am not a Christian, and could not make the required commitments. I suspect that's not an answer you could really give...

Angelicinnocent Wed 25-Oct-17 18:55:18

Honoured to be asked but don't want to deprive the child of another special person in their life since we are already their aunt and uncle.

Droogan Wed 25-Oct-17 18:56:48

I agree that you need to avoid the lifelong aggro this would cause. Can you just say that you don't see much of them, so wouldn't work well?

Bratsandtwats Wed 25-Oct-17 18:57:07

I was once asked to be a God parent. As I am an Atheist, I politely declined.

Does your SIL understand what the role of a God parent actually is?

Nocabbageinmyeye Wed 25-Oct-17 19:04:53

Surely if the sil is like that then saying no is the option to take for an easy life.

I am in a similar position and will, if asked, be saying "Thank you I am honoured to be asked but I honestly couldn't meet your expectations" of pushed further I will say "Look you have read elder child's god parents to me in the past and I have no desire to be read like them so thanks but no thanks"

TheVanguardSix Wed 25-Oct-17 19:09:13

It is totally ok to say no. My preferred Godmother said no. Even if she had no reasons, I'd still be fine with this. We're all aware of the expectations.

I liked my friend's answer:

"I really need to think about this."

So she did for a couple of days and came back with the reality that the role wouldn't be right for her for a couple of very sound reasons.

If you are asked, just decline and back up your decision (without going on too much- just make it clear, concise, and add a lovely apology and a 'thank you for considering me. What an honour' addition to your reply).

People understand.

LemonShark Wed 25-Oct-17 19:12:32

Are you Christian OP?

If not, you can just tell them that as you're not Christian you wouldn't feel right agreeing to guide their child in the faith: if they push, tell them you feel it'd make a bit of a mockery of it and you're just not comfortable doing it.

VladmirsPoutine Wed 25-Oct-17 19:12:42

I thought the god-parent thing was more of a symbolic thing than anything particularly very serious?

Santawontbelong Wed 25-Oct-17 19:14:03

Before the dc is born inform them you are turning Clingon or similar. . .

LemonShark Wed 25-Oct-17 19:14:38

No Vlad: it's a promise to guide the child in the faith, hence the term 'god' in it. You shouldn't be a godparent unless you're actively Christian and willing to put time and effort into guiding the child in their faith.

Some people do choose to christen and do the godparent thing without being religious which I feel is actually pretty offensive/out of order to people who think these things matter (I'm atheist btw). But that doesn't change the purpose and meaning of it.

VladmirsPoutine Wed 25-Oct-17 19:18:02

Got that Lemon. My god-children live in an entirely different continent to me but their mother and I have always been close. So even when she left I had no preconceptions of 'guiding' them over a 7+hour time difference. For us it seemed more symbolic.

YellowMakesMeSmile Wed 25-Oct-17 19:20:22

I've said no twice, both times the couple weren't religious so it was about the party and what the god parents could provide. Its ok to say no.

Ausparent Wed 25-Oct-17 19:31:34

I had a very close friend who wanted me to be godparent for their daughter but her husband wanted Catholic and not protestant godparents so they asked my DH (who they barely knew) on the basis of a BOGOF sort of deal.

He thought it was super weird and said no thank you.

I would also point out that a responsible godparent would teach their godchild to eschew the pursuit of material goods so you would make a point of never giving any gifts. That should put her right off...

Laiste Wed 25-Oct-17 19:36:48

Look, if they seriously want a proper GOD parent they will appreciate you declining on the grounds of not being religious ect.

If it's a purely symbolic (or excuse for a piss up and expensive presents) thing then again they'e not going exactly to be cut to the quick if you decline and will chose some other hack symbolic person.

It's fine to say no nicely.

WillWorkForShoes Wed 25-Oct-17 22:31:13

My BIL said no to being Godparent to our DS. He said he lived too far away and didn't think he'd be able to commit very well. We respected his decision and were really grateful for his honesty.

Helendipity Wed 25-Oct-17 22:40:51

I declined once... I didn’t really consider the family close friends - we’d only met up once or twice. My first reaction was that it was nice to be asked, but when I thought about the commitment I’d be making it made me question if they were really close friends - and of course they weren’t - so I couldn’t honestly say that I’d be there forever... they were very insistent and then very annoyed. It didn’t go well. You’re right to plan in advance I think! Definitely don’t say yes if it’s not something you want to do. Hope you find the right words flowers

Bythebeach Wed 25-Oct-17 22:45:29

DH was asked by his sis and declined on grounds of his atheism.

wobblywonderwoman Wed 25-Oct-17 22:46:34

That is really not on - £50 on a godchild is extortionate.

I just would worry how can you politely get out of it. But I think I would.

GeorgieBoy95 Wed 25-Oct-17 23:16:02

Thanks for responses. None of us are very religious tbh. There will be a christening ceremony and then it boils down to remembering birthday and Christmas presents. And giving a good present at Communion and Confirmation.

I couldn't decline for any reasons relating to religion as we'd have similar views. (Attend services only for significant events)

I think I'll have to play it by ear - say something like 'I'm honoured you've considered me, are you sure there isn't someone else you'd prefer?' And maybe say something like 'I will always remember baby x's special days,.. we are on a tight budget though!'

Fingers crossed they won't ask us!!

NoCanoe Wed 25-Oct-17 23:23:35

Say no. Follow your instincts.
Trust me on this!!

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