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For being pressured into this....

(22 Posts)
LoLatDM Thu 10-Sep-09 00:31:42

First off - DH, DD and I live in a different country from our families.
We don't have a brilliant relationship with DH's SIL. She likes attention, had a race with DH's sister and her own to be married first etc etc. We think that the attention has shifted from their youngest DD being the new baby to Dh's other sister announcing her pregnancy.

So anyway, DH's Brother and SIL have decided to baptise their 2 children. Neither of them have any religious interests whatsoever - other than going to church for a few weeks leading up to their wedding, so that it could be performed in the church. Their oldest DD is 9 and their youngest is 11months(ish).

They have planned it for next month, which will coincide with their youngest DD's Birthday.
DH and I feel that it is not an important enough event to take time off work, take DD out of school, pay for flights and travel over to the UK for what will basically be a piss up with a large assortment of DH's SIL's friends for no real reason other than to impress DH's Brother and SIL's friends. Then have to pay for two christening gifts and then a Birthday gift for Niece2.

Its not really an expense we can spare either, at this time. But mostly we don't feel comfortable with the whole charade. I would not mind in the slightest if they were in the least bit interested in why people get their children baptised or interested in any religion, but they are not.

DH is getting moaned at from his family (mostly his dad) about not being able to make it over. But he doesn't feel its a valid reason for such a huge inconvenience and expense.

Sorry, have rambled.

AIBU in thinking that we should be allowed to decide if we want to attend the christening without being hassled by members of his family?

Thanks

fortyplus Thu 10-Sep-09 00:35:18

YANBU Fair enough if you had wanted to make the Christening an excuse for a visit to the UK, but you don't. That should be the end of it. If they had been so keen for you to be there then they should have arranged the christening for a time when you can come - it's not as though they're baptising a tiny baby.

thumbwitch Thu 10-Sep-09 00:40:20

YANBU - they should appreciate that money is tight and leave you alone.
Is everyone else aware of the attention-seeking behaviour of your SIL - is she having a hissy fit because you all aren't making enough effort for her?

groundhogs Thu 10-Sep-09 00:41:25

Don't sweat it at all, YANBU, in the slightest!

Say you can't get the time off etc and stick to it.

LoLatDM Thu 10-Sep-09 00:58:25

They seem to think of her attention seeking as something can be laughed off. They are aware of it, but it doesn't seem to bother them.

We have started making excuses about not being able to take time off, but his family remember him saying about how many days holiday he had left to take this year, so i son't think they are buying it. No-one seems to mind that DD will loose a few days at school because of travel back and forth - this doesn't seem to be important to anyone. (Its not terribly important, she has only just started this month, but that's not the point)

We hadn't planned to come home until xmas as usual.
His family (his mother mostly) had encouraged us to have our DD baptised when she was a baby. But since I am Catholic but DH has no strong religious views, we decided against and thought that she could pick her own religion when she grows up. His Mum was not impressed and kept blabbing on about how it was best to just get the kid baptised, regardless of what religion you used hmm
But we ignored her, and now we reckon that she is in cahoots with DH's Brother and SIL.

Dh's Mum had said that SIL was only doing the Christening for gifts and a party hmm Which is ridiculous.

I am not terribly religious myself anymore, but it irks me when someone like SIL is using it to gather attention and presents and have a big piss up whilst hiding behind 'getting DDs baptised'

LoLatDM Thu 10-Sep-09 00:59:34

Sorry, rambled again.

I'm so annoyed, at the attitudes of DH's family towards her and the pressure being put on us to make an appearance - because we must

MrsGladpuss Thu 10-Sep-09 01:21:47

YANBU. I wouldn't go. I'd also lie about the reasons why if people are getting funny. Your DH may have told his family he has loads of leave left... but that doesn't need to be a problem. Pick your reason from the following, or make up another one.

DH must give 8 weeks notice and there's just not enough time

DH can only get time off if no-one else he works with has leave booked

DH can't go at the end/beginning of the quarter.

I expect your DH's family find it easier to ignore his DSIL's behaviour than confront it. Seems a sensible approach to take.

Don't be bullied into doing something you don't want to do. After this one I dare say there'll be another event you'll be expected at - but it'll just become harder to get out of.

SolidGoldBrass Thu 10-Sep-09 01:34:21

Don't go.For one thing, it sounds like a reasonable possibility that they are actually planning to forcibly baptise your DD when you get there... ok not forcibly but I wouldn't be at all surprised if they 'just happen to have' a white frock for her and 'just happen to have asked' the witchdoctor to do two for the price of one, in the hope that you won't have the backbone to refuse when it's all prearranged...

thumbwitch Thu 10-Sep-09 02:40:07

Develop a sudden case of Swine flu or something similar - baptisitis, say. Or SILitis - they'll never know what that is!

(sorry, know I'm being silly but really - this whole "you have to come, it's family" bollox really gets on my nerves)

ben5 Thu 10-Sep-09 03:07:15

ask them to pay for your flights and the money your husband will loss while not at work. if they can't do it then don't go. i wouldn't go but try and make a point!!!

sandcastles Thu 10-Sep-09 04:29:10

SGB, can we not refer to the priest/vicar as a witchdoctor please? Who actually, is very unlikely to agree to a Christening having not spoken to at least one parent of the child, so I don't think that is an issue!

OP, I agree that it seems silly to take time out of your busy schedule/kids school to attend something that sounds rather like an attention grabbing event rather than a ceramony of faith & religion.

When dd was Christened we had relatives from overseas that couldn't attend & we accepted that, if they can't then that is their problem, not yours.

Buda Thu 10-Sep-09 06:31:55

I too live away from family. There have been quite a few family occasions that we have missed because we just can't justify the expense.

Just keep saying "It's such a shame but we just can't do it". "It's such a shame but we just can't do it". And repeat!

If anyone asks say it is a combination of time off work, taking DD out of school when she is just getting settled and the expense.

Tryharder Thu 10-Sep-09 07:20:32

Don't go if you don't want to and can't justify the expense. So YANBU at all in that respect.

But I think you are being unfair in your attitude to your SIL getting her kids christened. Lots of people who aren't regular church goers have their kids christened and yes, it's a good reason to have a family celebration, why on earth not? Most religions/cultures have some form of naming ceremony - why should you begrudge your niece/nephew their day??? She has every right to get her kids christened without you dismissing it as "attention seeking". You sound quite bitter about her, actually.

diddl Thu 10-Sep-09 08:02:53

Why do you have to justify it??
"No, we can´t make it".
That´s it!

I also agree with Tryharder
How is christening your children attention seeking?

cory Thu 10-Sep-09 08:06:36

Agree that it is highly unlikely that the priest would agree to do unplanned christenings without having ascertained that this is the wish of the parents: ime christenings are preceded by lengthy talks with the vicar.

Also think that it is entirely up to these parents if they want their children christened and that it is not your business to analyse their motives.
But having said that, it is none of their business if you can't make it either. Cuts both ways.

A nice excuse is clearly a good idea, for smoothing things over and keeping family relations sweet. But don't let yourself be pressurised into something that isn't going to be practical for you.

countrybump Thu 10-Sep-09 08:12:50

YANBU in that if you don't want to go and can't afford the time and expense then that is a valid reason for not attending.

But, if it was me, I would go. I don't get on all that well with my SIL (for the same sorts of reasons as you have mentioned), but I'd want to be there for my neices.

It's hard, they are family after all, and sometimes we just have to put up with things that we don't think are all that appropriate for the sake of other family members.

But - I'm not criticising you for making the decision not to go, it's prob better not to go if it's going to leave you badly out of pocket.

LoLatDM Thu 10-Sep-09 09:12:36

Thanks for all your replies.
I know you don't know my SIL, and don't want to drip information in by stealth, but this is kind of what she does. Sorry to say, that most things are a competition for her, even when there is no one else to compete with.

I'm not criticising anyone who christens their child/ren. But in SIL's case, it would appear as if she IS doing it for attention. Their oldest DD is 9yrs old, they didn't christen her when she was a baby because they have no religious beliefs and did not see the point, 8andabit years later, they have DD2, who is the only baby in the family at the moment, so was getting a lot of attention as was SIL (which is fine)

But DH's sister had announced her pregnancy last month, and that seems to have annoyed SIL, because the attention has moved from her and her DD to DH's Sis and her ever growing bump.

And then, completely out of the blue she announces that she is getting both DD's christened, and doing it next month which has caused some panic in close family, being able to get things ready in time etc. She goes round all the relatives, discussing table plans and menus etc.

LoLatDM Fri 11-Sep-09 13:44:53

DH has spoken to his family.
They are telling him we must come as its a family event.
His Dad reckons that his brother is going to ask DH to be godfather..

DH decides to ring his brother and tell him straight, that we have neither the time or the money to come over for the christening, we are sorry etc.

He also tells his brother that he will have to choose another Godfather as he will be unable to attend.

His brother tells him that SIL has already picked out the Godparents for both DDs and he is not one of them, never was. She has picked four friends to be the Godparents to their DDs.

DH is hurt that, quite possibly, his father lied to him in order to make him come to the christening . And he is also a bit sad that no family member has been named as a godparent to their DDs.

Personally, I'd like to disown DH's Brother and SIL, but keep the nieces. sad

I really dislike family gatherings, why do they seem to bring out the worst in everyone?

thumbwitch Sat 12-Sep-09 09:06:05

just the way it is - there is so much pressure to love everyone just because they're family, even though half the time if you weren't related to them you wouldn't choose to even speak to them, let alone spend time with them!

for you all, and am especially angry at your FIL's manipulative behaviour.

However, I don't agree personally with having family as godparents - my DS has good friends of mine as his godparents, and my sister's 3 DDs have no family members as godparents. It seems a shame to double up on relationships, somehow (i.e. this is your Auntie who is ALSO your Godmother)

edd021208 Sat 12-Sep-09 12:10:48

yanbu not to go but maybe yabu in justifying it in relation to their motivation for christening their children. rather than a row, a plausible excuse and an expression of how you are looking forward to seeing everyone at christmas sounds reasonable. I don't really understand how on the one hand you don't seem to have much time for your bil and his partner but you are miffed your dh isn't being asked as a godfather....

curiositykilled Sat 12-Sep-09 12:28:31

I think NU to not go but U to expect that the family won't pressure you. Obviously they would want you to be there. Just stick to your guns and ride out the pestering if you really don't want to go.

Not sure why you are getting involved in all the politics. Your assertions about your SIL's attention seeking behaviour seem a bit silly TBH. Who cares if SIL is an attention seeker? Let her be, that in itself is not a reason to not attend a family gathering.

If the christening is last minute and you live in another country they are unreasonable to expect you would be able to drop everything and come. Just stick to that point and don't allow yourself to get dragged into discussions about Godfathers and family loyalty. They can't make you go after all.

diddl Sat 12-Sep-09 13:39:11

My sister didn´t make it to either of my childrens Christenings as she is abroad.
I didn´t expect her to, but asked on the off chance.
My children don´t have relatives as Godparents.

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