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To be cross that my MIL is STILL angling to have DS christened?

(148 Posts)
MamaHobgoblin Tue 26-Aug-08 11:05:02

Ooh, my first AIBU post. Does madness this way lie? smile

My husband and I are not religious, not so's you'd know it, anyway. He's atheist and I'm as near as dammit. We never intended to have our 6 month baby christened - no point, we're non-believers and have no intention of taking DS to church, sunday school etc. He can make up his own mind when he's at the age of reason. I have a big beef about people who aren't churchgoers, having dc christened just because 'it's done', or to conform, for the party, etc.

MIL is very religious. Apparently she still prays that DH will see error of his ways etc and get confirmed! :-) She would v much like her grandson to be christened. To be fair to her, I don't think it's because she wants to control him, I honestly think she believes it's best for his spiritual welfare. In turn, I am quite offended that she thinks he's in some way 'incomplete' without it (he is PFB, ffs, he is PERFECT!) or that she subscribes to (insert adjective) belief system whereby unchristened babies are cast into outer darkness, whatever.

Last weekend we stayed with them. She and DH took DS to watch her bellringing while I caught up on some sleep. Afterwards, while DH was other end of church, she went up to vicar and introduced her grandson, saying that we didn't want him christened but that she was working on it. hmm Vicar commiserated and said he'd give poor godless DS a blessing anyway. Which he did, without asking DH.

AIBU to be cross at this, and at viewing it as a precedent being set, or should I just chill about it? Should I have a word with her, since apparently 'she's working on it'?

cece Tue 26-Aug-08 11:09:33

Personally I would be furious about her getting the vicar to give your lo a blessing!

DH and I are the same as you and when we got married we had incredible pressure to get married in church. Funnily enough we haven't had the pressure about christenings, maybe they got the message when we got married.

I think you and DH need to talk to her about this or she will just continue...

Uriel Tue 26-Aug-08 11:11:46

I think I'd chill about the blessing. After all, if you don't believe, then it doesn't mean anything, right?

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Tue 26-Aug-08 11:12:30

I would have been very angry about the blessing, although I would probbaly swallow my anger and not say anything - afterall, I think it's a load of old shite.

If anything needs to be said, your dh should say something - then you won't be the witch dil!

TheCrackFox Tue 26-Aug-08 11:13:04

My mum still drones on about me not having DC1 christened - he is now 7yrs.

YANBU - your baby = your choice.

VictorianSqualor Tue 26-Aug-08 11:17:11

If you had a friend that believed in fairies and said a fairy wish to your ds as she thought it would protect him would it bother you?

If religion means nothing to you then neither should the blessing, I'd see it as a compromise. If MiL mentions the christening again I'd just say 'oh, we thought the blessing was to ease your mind as we aren't going to have him Christened, I'm sure when he is older you can discuss religion with him and if he chooses to believe and wants to be Christened then I'll wholeheartedly support that'.

slavemum Tue 26-Aug-08 11:19:23

Don't think the blessing itself is worth getting worked up about, but would talk to her about in future respecting your wishes on how your ds is brought up.

We dont go to church, like you we think dc can decide for themselves when they're older. Thought mil understood this, but at new year she got Very drunk & told me she prays every day for dh & dss as I've damned them all to hell for not going to church. Apparently I'm a bad mother and if I want to go to hell thats fine, but I've not to drag dh & dss with me.shock.

Think maybe if I'd sat down with her years ago and had had a firm converstion with her about our beliefs, or lack of, we could have avoided this.

MamaHobgoblin Tue 26-Aug-08 11:19:26

Cece - we didn't get married in church, I think MIL is still a bit upset 3 years on. Apparently hasn't yet got message tho!

Uriel - well yes, this is one rational way of looking at it, but on that basis we'd go ahead and have the christening too, since we don't believe and therefore it means nothing. And am not at all comfortable with that. I shld prob chill about the blessing, but am worried that she's set a precedent.

ILTMIMI - Yes, DH should be the one to say something, but he is being wimp about it - doesn't want 'to get caught between me and his mom'. FFS. Am working on him looking at his loyalties. But last thing I want is stupid feud.

beanieb Tue 26-Aug-08 11:20:28

I would have been angry about the vicar and your MIL not asking your DH if it was ok. Specially as he was there to ask!

I don't think it's fair when other people say 'if religion means nothing then the blessing shouldn't mean anything' for a start the OP doesn't say religion means nothing to them. She says her husband is an atheist and so therefore I would be surprised if he didn't have strong feelings against this kind of thing! The OP also says they would like their son to make up his own mind later.

HonoriaGlossop Tue 26-Aug-08 11:21:18

I'm non religious but I think the blessing DOES mean something. It was rude and presumptive and inappropriate for them to do something like that without parental involvement. It was nothing to do with the child, not for his benefit at all, purely for the benefit of an adult who should be able to put their needs aside.

MamaHobgoblin Tue 26-Aug-08 11:21:46

VS - yes, I think that's about right. Blessing made her happier ('whateverrrr' icon) but anything else is a commitment on our part which would be hypocritcal, etc.

Slavemum - arghhh! There aren't many more irritating things than being told you're being prayed for!

VictorianSqualor Tue 26-Aug-08 11:25:56

I don't think it need to turn into a feud, if you can brush aside the blessing you can use it to your advantage, even a 'The blessing was a good idea, being informal and not meaning DH&I have to commit to anything we really don't agree with, wasn't it? At least now we can put aside the matter of religion until DS is old enough to decide for himself'.

LucyJones Tue 26-Aug-08 11:53:19

I'd just let it go tbh
Was it her idea for dh to take your ds to church? Why didn't he make an excuse not to go if you are both so vehemntly against church and all it stands for?

TheHedgeWitch Tue 26-Aug-08 12:16:21

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TheHedgeWitch Tue 26-Aug-08 12:18:32

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1066andallthat Tue 26-Aug-08 12:39:44

I'd say the opposite to TheHedgeWitch - praying for someone is, IME, what caring, religious people do.

I am a very happy-lapsed Catholic and I would just turn a blind eye. I take it the vicar did the "cross thing" over DS - it was to make your MIL feel better and won't have occurred to either of them that it would make you feel bad.

I have some absolutely lovely friends who are devout and part of their loveliness is their belief. Really, really let it go unless it is the tip of the iceberg sort of thing.

TheHedgeWitch Tue 26-Aug-08 12:44:08

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AMumInScotland Tue 26-Aug-08 12:44:52

I'd chill about the blessing - blessing people and praying for them is something which some people will do, and it doesn't require anything from you in the way of agreement or committment.

It was rude of her (and the vicar) to do it with your DH there, though, as that implied that his views were not important.

The christening is a whole different thing though - you would be making a committment to bring the child up in the Christian faith, and since you have no intention of doing that, it is unfair of MIL to ask you to stand up in church and lie. You could try pointing that out to her - even show her in the sevrice book what you would be having to say during the service.

If she thinks about it, surely she doesn't really think it is better for a child to have you stand in church telling lies?

RustyBear Tue 26-Aug-08 12:50:30

Caring religious people praying for someone is fine.

Caring religious people telling someone they are praying for them is not.

1066andallthat Tue 26-Aug-08 12:58:50

Ah, TheHedgeWitch, what sort of person spouts that rubbish? They must be very narrow-minded. So, sorry you have been on the receiving end.

Like RustyBear's point.

juuule Tue 26-Aug-08 13:03:55

I wouldn't worry about the blessing. I've had old ladies come up and 'bless' (not in a priestly way) my babies :0) It made them feel better and I admit that I thought it was nice that someone had good feelings toward my baby.
Giving a blessing imo is on a par with someone directing good wishes toward someone.

As regards your mil and the priest, I know that if it was my mil she would be embarrassed in front of the priest that we didn't believe in having the baby christened. She would probably have said the same in order to set the record straight with the priest that it was none of her doing that the baby wasn't christened. So removing any blame that she imagined might come her way.

I wouldn't have any nasty words about it. Just keep smiling and stick to your guns.

I can understand you not wanting your baby christened (just for a quiet life) as it goes against your 'beliefs'. But I would definitely chill about things that are just people displaying friendliness, in their own way, to your baby and you.

Kewcumber Tue 26-Aug-08 13:05:42

it could be worse - my mum cries about me not having DS christened when she hasn;t seen the inside of a church for about 10 years and never got me chritened - go figure!.

Just tell her repeatedly that it isn't happening.

MrsMattie Tue 26-Aug-08 13:08:56

I'd chill out about the blessing - no big deal, really

As far as your MIL banging out about christening your DS - he isn't going to be christened and as time goes on, she will see that and have to like it or lump it.

Onestonetogo Tue 26-Aug-08 13:16:28

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babyignoramus Tue 26-Aug-08 13:19:27

I come from a family with a religious mum and a VERY religious Auntie (Catholic). I am somewhat 'ahem' lapsed. If I have any leanings they tend to be towards Paganism. I got married in a civil service and don't intend to have my PFB baptised but if my family mind, they certainly keep it to themselves. However, my Auntie asked her priest to dedicate a mass to us when we were married. She sent us a special card with the details on when it was being said (500 mile away so no expectation for us to attend), and put in a note saying that she hoped we weren't offended. To which I replied, 'why on earth would I be offended'? Ok, it's not my belief but it was a thoughtful thing for her to do, and it means at lot to her. Letting her pray for me is a small price to pay for keeping a much loved relative happy.

I think there's a very big difference between people forcing their religion on you and people doing something for you within their religion. Plus I suppose none of us know who's right - you may think it's outrageous to force religion on a child/baby, but there are just as many people in the world who think it's outrageous not to! Best cover your bases eh? wink

Sorry am rambling a bit but to the OP - I would be peeved about the pressure and comments, but as for the blessing - leave it be,

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