Why would you send your children to a Catholic school anyway?


This is the response I got from my SIL when I told her that my kids would go to Catholic schools.

Here’s what happened:

I noticed that our property taxes were going to the public school board (we own a house with my SIL and her husband). I said to my husband in front of SIL that maybe we should change our taxes to go to the Catholic school board and my husband agreed.

Then my SIL seemed upset and said that diverting our taxes to the CSB would be more expensive and then she turns to me and says, “Why would you want to send your kids to Catholic schools anyway.” (in a very sarcastic voice). :frowning:

Side note: She and her husband are infertile and it seems she resents me for being able to have children. I am pregnant right now and it’s like she hates looking at me right now.

So today, I call the property tax line and NO it’s not more expensive…taxes remain the same. Then I call the CSB and they tell me that I can fill out a form and divert 1/2 the property taxes to the CSB as tenants in the house (even though we own the house too), so it’s a good compromise and my daughter will attend the Catholic school in our area.

I know that my SIL is going to talk to my husband and try to fill his mind with stuff telling him that public schools are better and that our daughter should attend the local public French emersion school, etc. :mad: Just last month, a study came out saying that the Catholic school system in my province is better than the public school system.

My SIL is just so jealous of me and she always has to stick a thorn in my side!!! :mad: It’s not my fault I’m pregnant again while she is unable to conceive!!! I pray for her, but find it very difficult b/c she can be such a _______. You guys can fill in the blank…:mad:

Any suggestions on how to handle this so it won’t escalate into a fight with DH, SIL and me??? I know this could blow up quite easily b/c my SIL is so jealous of me.

  1. move out.
  2. have her move out.

as an infertile woman, i can sympathize with how hard it must be for her. to watch you have the children she cannot have. its incredibly hard for me to deal with it even on blogs and chatter from friends i dont live with… and i cannot imagine LIVING with someone who is so blessed… while i am not. (i suggest you look at the stories in the Bible of infertile women living with fertile ones… like Rachel and Leah… or Abraham’s house… its not pretty)

there is very likely nothing you could say about schooling that would affect her. if anything the reminder of the Catholic emphasis on fertility and the blessing of children will just be more painful.

i suggest that the only thing you can possibly say is “i am making the best decision i can for my children, i am sorry you disagree” and leave it.
the only other thing you can say is “i am sorry you are hurting…i am praying for you”

but i will warn you that someone whose wounds are as raw as hers… isnt in a good place.


I hope you can try to understand what she is going through. It’s not just “jealousy”. We were *created *for children. Infertility is a horrible affliction that cuts to the core of some women’s very sense of femininity and womanhood. And here you are, already with a child, another on the way…now talking about where your tax revenues should go, where your children will go to school. Just another subtle jab life makes at her infertility, mocking her barren womb by the day. Jab. jab. jab. Ouch.

She might be a total __________. I’ll take your word for it. But imagine your life as hers…it is hard. Sometimes tearfully hard. You lash out, just because you’re reminded of the emptiness.

Discuss with your husband that you are adamant about this, and there’s no changing your mind. Hope that he agrees, and move forward with your tax status change promptly (how I wish we could do that here!) You’ve made your decision, just stick to it.

Perhaps you and SIL should just avoid each other for awhile, while you continue to pray for her.


*I think you give such a wonderful response here. We are to see others through the lense that Christ does, or try to! Your reply is a reminder of that. Sometimes, we think people are just mean spirited, but when people hurt others, they are usually hurting inside, themselves, and we frame them differently, we can see that why they are lashing out is usually do to something that has nothing to do with us.

Serap–I would say thanks for your input, but this is what we’ve decided. No need to debate her, or get into anything. She’ll stop inserting her opinion on it eventually. I wonder if by owning the house together, if she is worried that you won’t be able to afford it, if you are paying tuition to Catholic schools? Just thinking a little out of the box for a moment. :confused: If you are not paying a mortgage, etc…scratch that thought then…but, I just thought it could be that she is concerned about the money.*


You know, I didn’t look at this that way…that she sees it as a jab towards her. I think you’re right on that b/c when my cousins invite her to attend their children’s birthday parties, she refuses and tells us that her cousins are rubbing it in her face.

I will follow your recommendation and also ask God to help me be understanding of her position and not to take it so personally. Thanks very much.

Yes, my SIL can be a _____, but she also has many crosses to carry (they are too heavy for her) and is very bitter about life in general. Seeing me pregnant again cannot be easy for her especially b/c I’m carrying a boy - the first grandson in her family.


Firstly, I love you Whatevergirl :stuck_out_tongue:

In Canada, the Catholic schools are free - well, paid by property taxes. We are very lucky!


I’m sorry you are infertile. Thanks for reminding me of how painful it is.

I would never move away from my SIL b/c deep down, I want my DD to be in her life. I want to share my joy in having a beautiful little girl with her. I wouldn’t want to take that away from my SIL.

I guess somewhere deep inside, I understand the situation more than I think I do.


Goodness, people create some stressful situations for themselves. Easy answer here: split the money half and half. Seems reasonable, you’ve verified that the expense won’t increase. Tell her gently but clearly and be done.

Sounds like you two need to do some serious talking on other levels, though. I would personally be devastated had my SIL posted something like you have, and I am sure it devastates you when she makes you feel bad for being pregnant. Infertility and pregnancy both make us a bit self absorbed in our own grief/joy/experiences so bigger efforts have to be made to find middle ground. Good luck.


Hi Greengirl…I hope you are well.

I am posting with anonymity here hoping to really handle the situation well while being completely honest in my posts. It is my intent that my SIL would never see this post and I would never discuss my SIL with any of my friends as I wouldn’t want to ever paint her in a bad light to anyone.

At the same time, I really felt the need to seek help from people who are practicing Catholics in order to remind me that it’s time for me to understand her and turn the other cheek so to speak.

I got the type of advice I was looking for, so now I can be kinder to my SIL in this situation. Posting on CAF was a positive thing in the end, but I see your point.


oh… as an aside about schools… (because truly your issues with your SIL are NOT about the school. its about her infertility)

there are very good Catholic schools. and very good non Catholic schools. obviously if you happen to live where the Catholic schools were bad, but the public schools were good… it would be a different matter!

a Catholic school has the ability to teach Biblical (and Catholic) ethics and morals along with the standard education. something which even the best private school is really not able to do.
in a Catholic School your daughter will not feel “all alone” for thinking sex belongs inside marriage.
will not feel like she is the only Catholic
and hopefully will not be subject to as much peer pressure to behave badly.

she will also have a group of people her own age going through the Catechism with her.

all things she would not have outside of Catholic schools

(i was not Catholic until recently. however my parents tried to get me into a Catholic school for high school… because they felt it was a better environment. as it is i went to a Magnet acedemic school… and given a choice, i will almost always suggest sending kids to Catholic school…
just be certain you do not give up your parental duties to overseee the education and etc… because there are bad teachers and bad schools in ANY system)


*lol :hug1:

Oh, I didn’t know that…that is awesome! I wonder why they aren’t free here? :(*


Great responses here. I remember when my sister was pregnant, not long after I lost one of my children to miscarriage. It was so incredibly difficult to see her fulfilling the dream that I lost.


WG would you really want gov’t involved in Catholic schooling? Think about it. If they pay for it they say what goes to a great extent. And we know how much our gov’t likes Catholicism. Not. I don’t know how the schools are where Serap is in her province, but in Ontario and BC where I have relatives they’re really just public schools with Catholic names.

I think possibly, can’t say for sure, but maybe the infertility issue of the SIL is being overstated. In any case, if she interferes with Serap and her hubz plans for their daughter, she’s crossing a line that isn’t excused by her feeling bad. I guess as a mom I’d be unwavering but sensitive to SIL’s feelings.

Serap you’re a brave woman to own a home with in laws:eek::bowdown2: Really, you all must have a decent relationship if you can own property together no?[/FONT]


That was my first thought, the last thing I would want to do is to send my child to a “Catholic” public school. I home school and I would love a tax break but I wouldn’t want to give up control to the government.


I’m in Ontario and I actually pulled my daughter out of public school midway through last school year and enrolled her in the Catholic school.

I find the Catholic school far superior to the public school and my daughter is finally enjoying school. In the public school she endured bullies one after the other and no one willing to do anything about the problem. She was getting D’s in math but no ideas for how to help her improve(and we did ask over and over again), she was having almost daily toileting accidents and I actually had an aide chew me out one year that I needed to take her to a doctor because she wasn’t normal(I had already taken her to doctors and there was no medical reason found for the accidents) and the kicker was my daughter has an IEP and the public school was not implementing it.

Since the change to Catholic school we have seen improvements. The bullying has completely stopped, her teacher worked with us and together we managed the toileting problems and that is no longer an issue, she is still struggling in math but she is getting extra help to get her caught up, her IEP is being properly implemented AND she received her first Reconciliation and Communion this past spring with her school class(prep classes were done in school).

Everyone is entitled to their opinions but I do not see the Catholic schools here as simply a public school with a Catholic name. The school my daughter attends is actually our parish school and the kids attend Mass as a school community regularly.

It’s late and I’m rambling but I have seen both sides of the fence and have seen the positive changes in my daughter. She will never again set foot in a public school.


Tracy I didn’t mean to say that all Catholic schools in CA are just like public, I’m sure it varies greatly from school to school as it does here too. I did the opposite of what you did for some of the same reasons, switched from Catholic to public, poor treatment by teachers and bullying, and my Dd going to public school has been far superior in every way to the private Catholic school I had her in. Just goes to show you can’t make a blanket statement or assumption about all schools. My point was more general and I’m sure many schools are exceptions.

I still say, from my perspective as an American, I think that gov’t funding Catholic schools here equally would be nothing less than disastrous.


There are some very thoughtful and beautiful commentaries here about issues I haven’t experienced or given serious thought to, so I am only addressing Why would you send your children…

I’ve always had wonderful and multiple Catholic resources (three Catholic churches within a ten minute drive, elementary and high schools, hospital, family and single social groups and volunteer opportunities). I took for granted that these resources were everywhere. Recently I moved to a place where Catholics are in a definite minority. Fortunately there is one small Catholic church in the county, but the Catholic elementary and high schools are an hour’s or more drive distant, and relatively expensive. Consequently, there is just one child from the parish attending the Catholic elementary school and none attending high school. There are few and sometimes no teenagers in attendance at the English Mass on Sunday, and this, I suspect, is a fallout of not having ready access to a Catholic high school education. I’m glad my children are not school age, or I would have to consider whether we could live here. I believe that a solid Catholic education starting at an early age and continuing through high school will keep our children Catholic for life. Yes, some may for a time in their college and young adult years experiment with other churches, but will undoubtedly will be pulled back to the true faith. Send your children to Catholic school if you are able.


Hey Serap, I was just rereading my response and I hope I didn’t come off as harsh. If so, I apologize.

I completely understand the need to come here for “anonymous” support, especially within a Catholic atmosphere. It is a true blessing for so many and often puts things into the sort of perspective we need. Your words about her showed some pretty strong emotions that worried me, but I realize we often don’t post when things are sailing along smoothly, so emotions and words reflect the heat of the moment. I think what I meant to say in my previous post, was that though she will never read this, there is no doubt she gets some sort of sense of your strong feelings toward her (and I am sure she’s not exactly sending love daisies :flowers: through the air to you). Those unspoken emotions are what really tear relationships apart and it would be terribly sad to distance yourself and your family from her family.

Anyway, prayers for you both.


There was an article in the paper here in Ontario, Canada about a month ago and it stated that students are performing far better academically in Catholic shcools than public schools. Over-all, Catholic schools are doing much better here in Ontario.

Catholic schools are also not a public school called a Catholic school. The students learn about God, they say prayers every morning, they go to mass together, they do their first communion together, they learn the Rosary, etc. They can also say “Merry Christmas” at Christmas time without being told not to.

In our public schools, they are not allowed to talk about God, say “Merry Christmas”, sing Christian songs, etc.

There is definitely a difference between Catholic and public in Ontario. Perhaps the Catholic schools in the U.S. are more ‘strict’; I don’t know.

I could never homeschool my children; I would be afraid that they’re not getting the social interaction that they get at school, but that’s just me. I’m not confident in my teaching abilities either :stuck_out_tongue:


Greengirl, no need to ellaborate :wink: We had a good rapport on the Pregnant or Not thread, and I have a sense of what you are going through as well :frowning:

Everyone I know tells me that I’m brave and a great woman for living with my in-laws and in all honesty, I did it for my husband. That’s what he really wanted and I didn’t want to pull him away from his sick mother. She had a terrible stroke 10 years ago and we don’t know how long she has in this world. Everyday is a blessing and I thought that living together, would make her and my husband happy. It has worked, b/c my husband feels a lot better being close to his mother.

Also, I like that my DD is so close to her nonna and zia (grandma and aunt). It is good for my daughter and my in-laws to have these close relationships. My SIL has a baby in the house and even though my daughter is not her baby, it’s still nice to have a baby in your life to love and spoil like my SIL does.

So even though my SIL and I don’t always see eye to eye, overall the situation is still a win/win for my family. Fr. Serpa said something that has always stuck with me…love can be measured by the sacrifices we are willing to make for one another. I must really love my MIL and husband :smiley:

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