Asking to be godmother

The dilemma My best friend is pregnant with her second child. I am godmother to her first child, a girl, and she has asked me to be the new baby’s godmother, which I treat very seriously. My friend said the reason she was asking me was because she sees all I do for my goddaughter and expects I will “also spoil” her son. I really want to be excited, but I feel the opposite. She and I are both starting out our beautiful lives with our new husbands and both recently bought a house of our own, and we aren’t half as close as we used to be. I love my goddaughter – she and I have a special bond that will never disappear, and I’d do anything for her. I don’t think I’ll ever feel remotely close to my soon-to-be godson. I’m upset – I feel I am just being used to buy a ton of gifts for him.

Mariella replies Could you be overreacting? You won’t be the first to feel that the role of godparent has become both devalued and confusing. Once upon a time it was considered an honour to steer your charge toward a solid religious education. Nowadays, without the expectation of such pastoral care, the role of godparent is less clear.

Most parents have them, few rely on them for religious illumination, and generally it’s seen as a reward for close friendship between adults. Ideally godparents are there to enhance your kid’s childhood and smooth their path in later life, whether financially, as a mentor or surrogate parent in event of mishap. Though a lot of time spent shopping for inspired toys and extravagant clothes is also appealing!

You should definitely be taking pleasure from being in the minority. These days it’s not unusual to see near football-team numbers elbowing each other for space around the font, which certainly deflates any hope of self-importance. Perhaps it’s a reflection of family becoming less to do with blood connections and more to do with casting or less optimistically a lack of faith in the staying power of the assembled congregation. That you’ve been asked to reprise your role is unusual and flattering. It suggests your godparenting to date has been impeccable; you’ve formed a genuinely close bond with your godchild and left competitors for the job lingering at the starting block. I’m surprised you’ve had time to write between patting yourself on the back for your success. Why would your friend look elsewhere when perfection resides in such close proximity?

Playing such a pivotal part in a kid’s life isn’t just about the effort (or cash) you put in. Forging that connection can be genuinely rewarding for both parties, as you’ve discovered. And while gifts and treats may play a part, they are certainly not the only element. So it’s curious that you see this invitation as nothing but a nuisance and a calculated way to keep the gift hen laying.

You’re irritated by a request that most would consider an enormous compliment. Am I missing something? I don’t imagine your friend handed you a shopping list when she invited you to play your part in the life of her firstborn, so if you’ve bought your godchild’s affection then surely you only have yourself to blame? Even if you’ve been generous to the point of foolishness it’s puzzling that this request should leave you raging and resentful. More mysterious is why “beautiful lives with new husbands”, as you describe them, are contributing factors to the erosion of your once-close friendship. There must be a subplot here that you’re not articulating. Has your extravagance with your current charge been so excessive that you are consumed with self-hatred for your spendaholic ways? Or perhaps you feel your friend has failed to praise you for the genuine bond that’s developed between you and her daughter?

I can see how frustrating it would be to have your genuine efforts dismissed as merely the result of being a big spender. Otherwise my only clues are the histrionic tone of your email and the sense of repressed rage that lurks behind it. I’m hoping that committing your thoughts to paper may have encouraged you to look a bit more closely at the issue in question. I’m not exonerating your pal; it’s perfectly possible that she considers you a cash cow and is determined to milk you for all you’re worth. But that’s easily rectified: stop spending. I hate to ask, but are you struggling to come to terms with her next baby because your “beautiful life” has yet to lead to your own? Or does this friend take you for granted or rely on you financially to an unprecedented level in other areas?

If self-examination isn’t your bag then you could save yourself the trouble and just say no. Your friend seems to be trying to entangle you further in her life while you’re hellbent on heading the opposite direction. Why is that? It is easy enough to decline her offer gracefully, saying you think someone else should get a look-in, but letting the friendship crumble without due consideration would be a crime. A new husband, house and life should never devalue the currency of good friends; you’ll need them in times ahead.

If you have a dilemma, send a brief email to [email protected] To have your say on this week’s column, go to theguardian.com/dearmariella. Follow Mariella on Twitter @mariellaf1

Sigh. As if giving birth, recovering, learning how to be a parent and keeping a human alive wasn’t enough, now the pressure is on to get cute and creative with asking our family and/or friends to be godparents to our precious angel.

And the phenomenon is apparently trending, too — the search “godparents proposals” are up 152 percent, according to the Pinterest 100: The top trends for 2019.

It seems the days of simply, you know, asking a question and waiting for an answer are over: there are godparent proposal mugs, Christmas tree ornaments, glasses, cards with bracelets and, of course, onesies.

Because probably no one is actually going to say no if your baby is actually there proposing to them in the onesie, right?

It’s an offer they can’t refuse.

Etsy shops are in on the action, too. Puzzles, keepsake boxes, cards and wine bottle labels are all for sale.

Chelsea Smith owns the Etsy shop PapersWithLove. It sells wine bottle labels for many occasions, including godparent proposals.

She says she’s seen orders spike recently.

“It is such a meaningful role to play in a child’s life so I think parents want to propose to godparents in a meaningful and memorable way,” Smith told “Good Morning America.” “Plus, who doesn’t love a bottle of wine to celebrate such a big occasion?”

But mom Kat Callahan thinks the proposals are a bit much.

“In a world of “promposals” and extra everything, it was bound to happen,” she said. “Somebody do my pallbearer-posals for me, okay?”

For some, distance between the parents and potential godparents make the proposal items a good option.

“The godmother I chose lives in Europe and I will not see her before I give birth,” Ineke Faes said. “So I’m also looking for a nice proposal.

With my first, I sent a card with a sonogram picture and the question,” she continued. “Although I’m sure it doesn’t really matter how you ask.”

Being a godparent is an amazing privilege. To show your gratitude and thankfulness for this blessing, check out this great thank you message for godparents.

“Dear God mother, You are a special gift to me from God. Many might not have been gifted to have received a Godmother like you. You taught me to be the shining light for God each day. God bless!”

“Dear Godfather, I know you are a very special person who can guide me every step of the way in my life. You can help me sail through the seasons of joy and sadness alike. I really thank God for the best guide, mentor and friend. Thank you for being my Godfather. You really mean a world to me.”

“Dear Uncle, A very special thank you for being my Godfather. I hope to learn more from you each day.”

“My Christening was made even more meaningful because of you. Thank you for being there and for the gift.”

“Of all the blessings God has given me, you’re one of the best! Thank you for witnessing my Christening.”

“Sharing this day of my Holy Baptism brought so much joy to the entire family. Thank you for your presence and gifts.”

“Thank you for sharing this special occasion with us. Your love and support made this possible. We will always remember this.”

“Thank you for sharing this wonderful day on this christening. Your presence and generosity are very much appreciated. We hope that more blessings will also come to your family.”

“Thank you for sharing your wisdom and spiritual guidance. You have helped me grow so much spiritually. May God bless you abundantly for your support and guidance from the day of baptism until this day.”

“Thank you for taking part in my baptism. Your choisce of gift is really lovely. She will definitely look pretty in the beautiful dresses gifted by you. ”

“Thank you for witnessing the christening of our child. Your presence, love and support has made this day even more special.”

“Thank you so much for showering me with love and guidance from the day of my baptism until today. You are certainly a blessing for me from above. Though I lack the right words to thank you, I would say from the bottom of my hearts a big thank you for being there for me.”

“The love and joy you shared with us on this special day of Christening will be forever cherished. Thank you so much. The photos look great, too thanks for organizing the footages.”

“This christening is made possible by your love and generosity. We thank you so much for your support especially the cash gift you gave which will go into her savings account.”

“To my Godmother, When I think of you as my grandmother and Godmother, I really count my blessings. I have been really blessed to have a Godmother like you. You are the best ever gift chosen for me and chosen with love. Thank you so much for being there for me when I need the most.”

“We appreciate all your love and support on this baptism day. Thank you for your generosity. The gifts will look great in his new bedroom.”

“We’d like to express our gratitude for making it to Jamie’s christening day. Thank you for your wonderful gifts! I know she will have fond memories looking at these photos someday when she’s grown up.”

“You’ve been very generous on this special day of christening. Thank you for your undying love and friendship. May our children grow up as friends someday.”

“Your generous gifts on my Christening day are very much appreciated. Thank you for sharing this day with me. You will always be part of my life history.”

“Your loving thoughts and presence on my Christening day made it even more blessed. Thank you, uncle.”

“Your presence made my christening even more special. Thank you very much for coming.”

About the Blog Post Author
Natalie Regoli is a seasoned writer, who is also our editor-in-chief. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our editor-in-chief a message here.

Godparents

People sometimes choose godparents for purely social reasons. They think the godparent’s role is largely a symbolic one, having more to do with social custom and religious tradition than anything else. And sometimes parents experience social pressure as a result. They may feel obligated to choose a particular relative or friend to stand as godparent to their child because they do not want to offend this person or make him or her feel left out. The Church understand this dilemma, but insists that social reasons cannot be the main consideration in the selection of a godparent.

People sometimes choose godparents for another reason. They think of godparents as designated legal guardians – persons who will look after their children if something should happen to them. This is not necessarily the case. The Church maintains that choosing a godparent for this reason should not be the chief consideration.

The godparent’s role is simply and solely to assist the parent in giving the child a Catholic upbringing. Therefore, choosing godparents for your child is very important – so important that the Church lays down rather stringent requirements.

Only one godparent is necessary, although traditionally there are two: a godmother and a godfather. To be godparent, a person:

  • Must be a practising Catholic: who is fully initiated by the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist

  • Must be at least 16 years of age: (exceptions can be made for a just cause)

A person from another Christian church (other than the Orthodox Church) cannot be a godparent for a Catholic. However, he or she can serve as a Christian witness, together with a Catholic godparent. A non-Christian cannot serve in either capacity.

The Responsibilities of Godparents

  • Before baptism: godparents should check on the level of their own faith and practice;
  • During baptism: they join with the parents and the community in professing the faith of the Church – the faith into which the child is being baptized;
  • After baptism: godparents can exercise their responsibilities in two ways:
  • By praying each day for their godchild and for his or her family;
  • By witnessing to the Christian life through their example.

Godparents should make a special point of remembering their godchild at Christmas and Easter, on his or her birthday, and on the anniversary of baptism. They should try to select gifts (especially gifts of a religious nature) which show their love and concern for the spiritual welfare of their godchild.

The Good Shepherd Parish encourages parents who are preparing for their child’s baptism to pray for Gods help and guidance, and to ponder carefully their choice of godparents. They should also be ready to discuss with prospective godparents issues and ideas raised in this pamphlet, and involve the godparents in the preparation process. Being a godparent is a serious undertaking, and we hope that parents will bear this in mind when they ask someone to stand up on behalf of their child.

GODPARENTS often play a big part in a child’s life or, at the very least, turn up with gifts on their birthday.

Here we look at whether at how many a kid can have and what their rights are…

2 Being a godparent is not a legal appointmentCredit: Getty – Contributor

How many godparents can you have?

Traditionally, Christian children have three godparents in total, though they can have as many as the parent wants.

Girls usually have two godmothers and one godfather while boys have two godfathers and one godmother but there is no hard and fast rules nowadays.

Non-practising Christians can have as many or as few as they like, though it is customary to have at least one godfather and one godmother.

Blood relatives and members of the family can be chosen to be the child’s godparent.

Who can be godparents and what do godparents do?

Having godparents is thought to date back to the second century, when baptisms became widespread.

When a child is born parents will often turn to close family members or friends and ask them to be a godparent to their child.

Traditionally, godparents were responsible for ensuring a child’s religious education and helping them develop their faith.

But in modern times, the individual is chosen by parents to take a general interest in the kid’s wellbeing and development, not necessarily with a religious aspect.

This is not a legal appointment and, should anything happen to the parents, godparents would not automatically become responsible for that child.

While traditionally there was a religious aspect to being a godparent there is not set rule about whether or not the godparents have been christened or not.

This though also depends on the church the baby is being christened into.

Some strict churches may ask that all the godparents have been christened in order to fulfil their role, or others may be happy to perform the service if only one person has. Some may not even bother.

2 Godparents play a big role in a child’s lifeCredit: Getty – Contributor

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How are godparents involved in a christening?

Godparents play an important role in christenings, according to Church of England Christenings.

“In the christening service, you will make some big promises to support your godchild throughout their life,” the website states.

They often bring the infant to the font to be baptised and in countries such as Latvia, it is the godparents who also choose a name for the child.

Christening gifts are traditionally silver, such as a silver spoon or rattle but here, too, this tradition is fading and all kinds of presents can be given.

Close pals of Meghan and Harry’s ‘likely to be Archie’s godparents’ as bid to keep names secret sparks backlash

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Ideas for the Perfect Godparent Proposal

Have you heard of a godparent proposal? It’s the latest craze to make sure that the chosen people in your little one’s life have a memorable moment, along with a gift they can treasure to mark this special milestone in their lives. You can choose to make the proposal sentimental or comical depending on your family’s relationship with the godparents-to-be, but no matter which path you choose, you’ll create a memory for your families that will never be forgotten with any of the following ideas.

More: These Will Be The Top Trends in 2019 As Predicted by Pinterest

Funny Scratch Off Card

You can’t go wrong with a beautifully made proposal card from Etsy.

“My parents need all the help they can get. Will you be my godparents?

Engraved Glasses or Scented Soy Candles

A sweet message can stay with your godparents when it’s in the form of an item they will use or see often in their home.

“I need an extra pair of hands to help me learn and grow. I think that yours will be the best because mummy and daddy told me so.”

Engraved Wine Glass

A wine glass with this message will make special occasions even more memorable.

“Every Prince Needs a Fairy Godmother”

A Touching Poem

A proposal poem accompanied by a wish bracelet with a baby feet charm will certainly be a gift that will always be treasured.

The Godfather Movie and “Fairy Godmother” Gifts

A The Godfather engraved beer glass using font like the movie and a “Fairy Godmother” engraved stemless wine glass are fun and lighthearted options for gifts. You can also create gift boxes using these themes with a wand, potion, and candied sugar candle or a movie box with cigars and Camarena nip bottles to play up the themes. How can a new godfather say no to this classic movie quote? “I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse.”

Godparent Necklaces or Keychains

These gifts will be keepers – especially with phrases like:

“A godmother is a gift sent from Heaven above bringing never ending love” or “The best aunts get promoted to godmothers.”

Handmade Scrabble Art Frame

For the friend who loves to craft or who has spent many an hour playing board games with you, this is a perfect option.

“The only thing better than having you as a friend is Harrison having you as his godmother.”

Funny Godparent T-shirts

For a more casual approach, try a shirt that says:

“Godfather. The man. The myth. The legend.” or “The Godmother” with a fairy wand decal.

A Personalized Shadow Box

Make your own shadow box with a favorite photo of your baby and a special saying like:

“Godparents: My angels sent from up above to spare their time and give their love”

There are endless options for how you can present these gifts. You can give your proposal over a fancy home-cooked meal or out at a restaurant. You can play a game and present the winning godparents with a gift as a prize. You can even get down on one knee or bring out a cake with the proposal question written on top. No matter what, a godparent proposal is sure to create a lasting impression and leave you all with a story that you’ll be sharing with your little one time and time again.

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