Problem with Godmother


#1

I have 2 children ages 4 and 5. I am a very busy single parent and it takes quite a bit of work to get the kids and myself around and ready to go to mass. My problem is this,if the kids Godmother is at the weekend mass we attend, she insist the kids sit with her instead of me. At first I was flattered and glad she took an interest in my children, but did not like her encouraging them to stand on the kneelers and pews. I told God mother no one time…they were going to sit with me and then as we were returning to our pew after communion (the kids were walking behind me) she motioned them to come to her. It started to be a real problem for me when my youngest began throwing fits if not allowed to sit with God mother. I want my children to sit with ME during mass.
I have even considered changing churches.
Am I being petty and stupid?
By the way, we don’t have a lot of time or money and mass is our big time out as a family.


#2

No, you’re not being petty. I’m glad you are taking such an interest in your children’s behavior at mass. You sound like a wonderful mom! (I’m a single mom of a 1 year old, btw)

If I were you I would try talking to the godmother again, maybe over coffee, in a friendly but firm way. Tell her that it is very important to you that you be the one to instruct your children on how to behave in mass, and that this process involves them sitting with you each Sunday. Ask her to back you up in your parenting decision.

If this fails, that’ll be really sad… I would indeed go to another mass or parish in that case. There is very little in this life that is more important than instructing your children in the faith and modeling by example. Your kids are old enough to sit quietly and respectfully, especially if they’re up in the front so they can see what is going on… and there’s nothing wrong with you making sure that happens. God bless.


#3

Coming from someone whose godparents turned out to be useless, and my sister’s weren’t much better, I see it as somewhat petty. Sorry, just my $.02. Be grateful that she wants to be part of their lives, including (and especially) their religious formation.

I would talk to her and explain that your time with the kids at Mass is special to you, and maybe arrange an every other week thing - they sit w/ you one week, and then either with her themselves, or all of you sit together the next.


#4

I don’t think it’s petty. I do think it’s rude.
I agree you should sit her down and say she’s making Mass difficult for you and the kids with this interuption. (not to mention she is distrcting them from the most solemn and prayerful time of the entire mass!) I can’t imagine that she wouldn’t understand if she’s ever had chidlren of her own.


If she does seem to understand and respect your wishes, maybe you could have a talk with the kids before mass. Tell them IF they behave like they should, you will invite her to come sit with with your family. BUT if they can’t behave with her in the pew, then she can’t they are their to visit God, not her.


Otheriwse, I would sit completely out of her sight if possible. Keep the kids in front of you and direct their attention to the cross. And avoid eye contact during mass. Not in a rude way, just in a “we’re really focusing on Jesus on the cross” way, kwim?


I hope you chose her for a reason and if so, then it’s well worth it to at least give her another chance with an honest and kindly given explaination.


**My older dc have MIA godparents… I’ve tried to be more picky w/ godparents since then. sigh Which is not easy.:frowning: **


#5

Can you all sit together and tell your kids they must mind you during Mass, not Godmother?

What if the kids sit w/ you during most of Mass then sit w/ her after Communion if you pass her on the way back? Tell Godmother that if you see the kids standing on pews, they’ll have to go back to sitting only with you.

Switching parishes seems drastic to me. —KCT


#6

Sitting together dosen’t work. I tell them “quiet, sit down, off the kneeler”, and she moves them on the other side of her, away from me, shushes me and lets them do whatever they want.
Switching parishes may be drastic, but I long to just go to church with the kids, pick a pew, sit down and focus on Jesus. The kids are pretty good when it’s just us. I shouldn’t dread going to mass, but it’s working out that way.
She is a good Godmother in other respects, but I have noticed other issues where she “over rides” whatever I tell them and encourages them to do what SHE wants them to do.


#7

I say its totally your call. Some folks may not have a problem with letting their children sit with someone else during mass every week, others may. I wouldnt mind it every once in a while, but certainly not every sunday. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with everyone sitting together, as long as you’re cool with it. I like the idea of chatting about it beforehand, so that way she knows that your serious and (hopefully) wont bring it up in front of the kids again. I wouldnt go to the extreme of switching churches though. Dont let her railroad you. Im sure you’re strong enough to call the family shots w/o having to rearrange your plans. If she doesnt like it, tough cookie!


#8

sorry, i was posting when you posted so I didnt read your last post until afterwards! Since you say she overrides your discipline when you all sit together, I would say no way! When you approach her about all of this, let her know that you expect your children to act a certain way during mass and to follow YOUR rules. I would tell her that they will not be allowed to sit with her b/c 1. They do not act the way they need to during mass. 2. you have a limited amount of family time and you want to sit with them. Be up front and honest, tell her that you have tried to compromise by all sitting together but it doesnt work b/c she tries to override your discipline. Who knows, she may not even realize she’s doing it. If that is the case, its about time that someone tells her about it. Be as nice as possible, but like I said earlier, dont take any slack from her either. These are your kids, you get to call the shots. as a side note, these children are blessed that both of you want to be so active in their religious education. I wish all kids could be so fortunate as yours.


#9

Is there only one Sunday Mass at your parish?


#10

:eek: Okay, so far you are being way mre polite than I would be and it sounds like she’s taking advantage of your good manners. I don’t like to hurt feelings either, but it sounds as though she’s put you in no other position.


This is not about how the kids behave during mass. This is about someone coming between YOU and YOUR kids and that sure doesn’t make it easy for anyone to get closer to Christ.


Next time she moves your kids, move your kids and yourself to another pew. I wouldn’t say a word about it either, she KNOWS what she is doing. If there’s a fit thrown about it, excuse yourself from mass for a few minute to recollect and then return to another area to sit.


There is no excuse for anyone to undermine the authority and respect a child should have for their parents - esp. at mass.


#11

1.) Go to another Mass at another time.
2.) If it happens again, do what Martha told you- right then and there!


#12

She shushes you and lets the kids do whatever? Sorry, but it sounds like you’ve let her take charge. At some point you have to tell her you’re the mom and the kids obey you. Until you do, the problem is yours and not hers. She’s happy with the way things are - why would she want to change?

You could changes parishes, but what if she does, too? All that does is temporarily avoid the problem. —KCT


#13

A Godmother is there to ASSIST you – not take over. Put HER in HER place.


#14

Can you just talk to her?

It seems drastic to me that you would write this email to ask strangers for advice, and actually consider changing parishes, before just talking to her. If she was close enough to you to be the godmother of your children, then you should feel confortable discussing the children’s behavior with her.

Make it clear that you would love to sit with her during Mass, IF, and ONLY IF, she supports your parental decisions (her natural role as Godmother). If she over rules you, you will have to limit ALL interaction, not just during Mass.

Avoiding her, is dishonest, and will cause hurt feeling on her side because she won’t know what she has done, and hurt feelings for your kids, who naturally want to see their Godmother.


#15

[Can you just talk to her?

It seems drastic to me that you would write this email to ask strangers for advice, and actually consider changing parishes, before just talking to her[COLOR=“Red”].( have tried talking to her and putting it as politley as possible, she acted like I was insulting her. I work hard and try to be a good parent and raise my kids to be good catholics. She did not act like this until after she became godmother. I think it’s drastic or maybe uncharitable would be a better word, that you would judge me and my motives for asking my question here, on a Catholic fourm, about a very Catholic question.)/COLOR]Make it clear that you would love to sit with her during Mass, IF, and ONLY IF, she supports your parental decisions (her natural role as Godmother). "]( made it clear sitting together dosen’t work.)/COLOR]If she over rules you, you will have to limit ALL interaction, not just during Mass.

Avoiding her, is dishonest, and will cause hurt feeling on her side because she won’t know what she has done (after carefullconsideration, I believe she knows exactlly what she’s doing,you must not have kids becuase avoiding her seems like a great solution to a tired mother who managed to get herself and the kids to mass and dosen’t want to wrangle over who the kids are going to sit with!


#16

Actually, the kids are starting to be uncomfortable with her OVERT and BLATENT disregard
for their mother. I have decided, with the help of the opinions of the good people here, the ones you didn’t think I should ask my question of to begin with, to confront this woman in a kind and loving yet firm manner, one more time. If she wants to pout or storm out of our lives becuase she dosen’t get her way…well then that is her choice. I have swallowed it long enough and she is clearly out of line.


#17

Perhaps there is some Catholic resource your could use that would remind her that Godparents are meant to be a support, not a vexation to parents trying to raise children in the faith. Undermining your reasonable discplinary expectations is not supportive of you nor the proper spiritual development of your children.


#18

It is unreasonable of the children’s Godmother to behave that way.
You are the parent, and if the only way this can be solved is to go to another Mass, then just do it.

It appears that you are trying to be polite, but that only allows her to walk all over you. For the benefit of your family taking the option of going to a different Mass sounds very right.


#19

Tell her that the Church truly only requires one Godparent and if she keeps pushing it, you’ll have to go with Godfather only.


#20

Good for you. —KCT


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