Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“Does My Sister Have to Be My Baby’s Godmother??”

godmother

I’m at an impasse with a premature decision I made while pregnant with my daughter. I asked my one and only older sister in the heat of the moment, excited about the baby’s arrival, to be the Godmother. Since then, I’ve regretted it, and I’m unsure if I should continue with this ill-made decision or go with my gut instinct to ask my lifelong best friend instead.

Here is the scenario: My sister, who had been married for 10 years, is going forward with a divorce from her husband. She’s in a rough place in her life right now, and I feel deeply for her, because they both need to file bankruptcy and her three children (two of whom I am Godmother to) are also affected. It’s a bad divorce. I also feel like she is very insecure at this moment, and selfish, where she needs to find affection from a man, and has made poor choices with regard to introducing her children to her male “friends” way too early. We have had it out in regards to this.

Unlike my sister, I am in a good place in my life — happily married, with a wonderful, healthy daughter, a great job, a home, a cottage, etc. A few times, my sister has commented on how much of a “perfect life” I have, which makes me feel guilty and sorry for her. I want her to be happy and to have nice things. She does work hard for them!

Anyway, when my daughter was born, my best friend made the effort to come to the hospital that very day and the day after even. This was understandable, because she lives only an hour away, while my sister lives 4.5 hours away. I didn’t hold it against my sister that she wasn’t there. But a week later, when we went to our cottage, which is 45 minutes from my sister’s place, she decided to go to a friend’s party instead of coming to see us. I was extremely upset and had it out with her. She showed up the next day and brought many gifts with her. It seemed forced, but it was over, and we didn’t talk about it further.

Since my baby girl has been born, my best friend has made continuous efforts to being in my daughter’s life, and, when she comes over, she seems genuinely close to her. She entertains her, plays with her, feeds her, changes her. I never have to ask for this.

On the other hand, when my sister comes and visits — very rarely — she barely picks her up or shows interest in my daughter. She seems all about herself, and I don’t know if this is how it will be forever, or if her current situation is distracting her. My husband and I have talked and agree that my best friend would be better suited as Godmother of our child, but the fact is that I did ask my sister, even though she won’t be that full presence in her life, and I’m also afraid to hurt her, especially in this stage of her life. I feel like she’s fragile, and I would definitely be hurting her in taking this title from her.

Please get back to me at your earliest convenience, because my baby girl is due to get baptized in three short months. — A Godmother Dilemma

You’ve already asked your sister to be the Godmother and rescinding that invitation now would do far more harm than if you’d never asked her to begin with. Why not have two Godmothers for your daughter? And for God’s sake, cut your sister some slack. She has three children of her own, she’s going through a bitter divorce, and she’s filing for bankruptcy. No wonder she doesn’t have the energy to fawn all over your family when she comes to visit. She’s probably just trying to catch her breath after dealing with her problems at home, not to mention the commute — 4.5 hours? — to come see you.

I’m curious: do you ever go visit her? Have you stepped in and offered to help with anything as she navigates these huge life challenges — bitter divorce, bankruptcy? Have you ever watched her kids for a weekend to give her a break? Or is your “help” more focused on “having it out with her” about how soon she introduces her children to her male friends, which by the way, isn’t really your call to make.

I’m also curious about whether your best friend has a family of her own. Perhaps the reason she gives so much more attention to your daughter than your sister does is because she doesn’t have her own children. Your sister has three kids! It’s not unusual that a baby wouldn’t be as thrilling for a family member who already has kids of her own than it would for a friend who’s never had a baby. Of course, I don’t know if that’s the case, but if it is, I’d think it’s one more explanation for why your friend is more present right now than your sister. The other explanation, of course, is that your sister is, as we’ve discussed, going through a divorce, filing for bankruptcy, raising three kids, and, oh yeah, lives 4.5 hours away.

You call your sister “selfish,” but in all honesty, you sound a bit selfish yourself. Or, at least, incredibly self-involved, if not a bit smug, too. Your sister is going through some enormous life struggles and you are so focused on what title to bestow on her in relation to your newborn daughter — hint: she’ll be called an “aunt” above all else — that you don’t even seem all that concerned about how you can help her — I mean really help her, not just criticize her choices. Here’s another hint: a listening ear, free babysitting, help moving, and maybe financial assistance would probably all mean more right now than the honor of being named your daughter’s Godmother. But since you’ve already asked whether she’d be a Godmother, you can’t rescind that invitation and expect to have a good relationship with your sister afterward.

***************

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170 comments… add one
  • avatar

    MJ January 23, 2013, 3:08 pm

    Godmother is more of a formality than anything, isn’t it? I mean, I know there are birthday gifts and cards and stuff, but really? Your friend can be just as involved without being a godmother. Also, your sister, like it or not, will be someone who’s around in 20 years and your baby’s aunt. Your friend may or may not be a permanent part of your life.

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    • avatar

      MMcG January 23, 2013, 3:38 pm

      To some folks/religions/regions of the US it is akin to asking you would take your children if something should happen to you. To others it is practically a meaningless title that has absolutely nothing to do with guardianship, etc. and more to do with just wanting someone to be in your children’s life.

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      • avatar

        MMcG January 23, 2013, 3:39 pm

        *asking WHO would take your children. I really need to stop typing, I’m having a terrible week with my spelling;)

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      • avatar

        MJ January 23, 2013, 3:50 pm

        Cool, but I still think designating who your children go to on the event of your death is something that needs to be done legally. She can always designate the friend as legal guardian.

        If it really is assumed by everyone that godmother = guardian, she should tell the sister “you have enough on your plate and I don’t want you to have to worry about taking my child in case of our deaths.” (I don’t think a bankrupt sister who already has three kids is a great guardian choice.) But I don’t see how this could possibly be assumed. What if she has other children, and they have different godparents? Do siblings get separated?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 3:55 pm

        Godmother does not equal guardian legally.

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      • avatar

        MMcG January 23, 2013, 4:09 pm

        I realize it isn’t legally binding, what I am saying is that the individuals are one in the same and usually there is some sort of will update or other legal measure that follows the naming of the godparents to ensure that it is legal 🙂

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      • avatar

        muffy January 23, 2013, 4:46 pm

        Me and my siblings all have different godparents yet my parents designated my aunt and uncle to take us should anything happen to them… so really it’s just a formality these days…you can always have two godmothers too!

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      • katie

        katie January 23, 2013, 4:03 pm

        yes- but it is not legally binding in the slightest, it is just a formality. you cannot mandate who would gets your kids if you ever die, because kids are people and not things. if anything happens to you, a family court will decide who gets your kids. different people can petition to be guardians, but overall, it will always go to family first.

        i researched this a bunch because a friend of mine just randomly asked my boyfriend and i if we could make it to new york (we lived in colorado) to be at the church baptism because their original godparents couldnt go- it was weird. but anyway, “godparent” is not a legally recognized thing as far as i could tell from researching the internet.

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      • avatar

        MMcG January 23, 2013, 4:12 pm

        Of course godparent isn’t legally recognized, that’s why I mentioned above that usually the additional steps are taken. And I’ve always read that family courts give great weight to whom the parents have chosen to be the guardians after/if they can’t care for their kids — not all the time, but the legal wishes of the parents are definitely considered.

        Sorry if I was confusing people, I know the difference in legal versus not — I was merely trying to explain that when some people think of godparents, they can think of it as a very different role with their children depending on where they are from, etc.

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      • katie

        katie January 23, 2013, 4:17 pm

        yes, but its still just a suggestion from the dead parents- the courts decide, ultimately, and anyone can petition to be a guardian… so, if something ever happened to my little cousin’s dad/grandparents/brother, i could petition to be her guardian, citing that i am related to her by blood, i have known her for X number of years, bla bla bla. the court will hear my case for guardianship and decide.

        i got all freaked out by this when my friend asked me to be her kids godmother- i did think that it meant i would get the kid if something happened to her, and i was absolutely not going to agree to that. (also, we couldnt go to freaking new york from colorado last minute, but that was a whole other problem…)

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 4:39 pm

        Its much more than a mere suggestion.

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      • katie

        katie January 23, 2013, 4:46 pm

        well, i think that anything less of legally binding really just amounts to a suggestion… so, id say its just a suggestion, but call it whatever you want though.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 4:58 pm

        But it is legally binding. Until it isn’t. Lots of things are legally binding until they aren’t. Marriage, for example. I went into a little more detail below on how this works in the courts.

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      • avatar

        Lindsay January 23, 2013, 5:15 pm

        Yeah, if the LW is worried that her kids could end up with the wrong person if something happened to her and her husband, then just write up the correct designation in a will. The fact that she chose it in the “heat of the moment” makes me think that she’s not intending on this title being a commitment to raise her child.

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger January 28, 2013, 2:19 pm

        Wow. I just want to put it out there that – in many jurisdictions, katie’s advice/statement about whether or not you can “mandate” who becomes your legal guardians is just not at all true.

        Please do not take this as legal advice, because it isn’t, and you should always consult with an attorney when making a will or any other important legal documents. But, that said, please do the opposite of what Katie said — make sure you DO designate who will become your children’s legal guardians, or ELSE it will end up in family court at the discretion of the judge.

        It is true that — far more than regarding any property — the justice system can intervene and take away parental rights where it is warranted. And the standard that is used is the “best interest of the child” not “what mom wants” or “what dad wants” (although the court may not totally severe a parents rights (or all visitation) against a parent’s will except in extreme cases because parents have a right to their children, but it is a right that must be balanced against the best interest of the child.)

        But, when it comes to dying , parents absolutely CAN and SHOULD designate a guardian, as guardianship passes as an operation of law, I believe. Only if the guardian is unwilling or unfit will the courts intervene unprompted. Also, only if someone mounts a challenge to the guardianship (like a grandparent), effectively challenging the will, will courts get involved, but they will also consider the will of the parents when determining what is in the best interest of the child (as good parents will likely have picked the designated guardian for a reason). If someone challenges the guardian some time after the death of the parents (after seeing them care for the child), it will be considered as a family court issue separate from the will, but all factors will be weighted.

        The moral of the story is: designate a competent and willing person (who you’ve asked in advance) to be the guardian of your children and make sure that is in your will (or other accompanying documents). Make sure you will is properly executed so that your estate will not have to go into probate — pay a lawyer to do it and make sure it is done right. DO NOT just leave it to the courts to sort out once you die, thinking that it doesn’t matter whether or not you designate a guardian. It does!

        This again, is not legal advice and always consult an attorney before making any important decisions, especially concerning your children, your property or yourself.

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger January 28, 2013, 4:42 pm

        judging by what LBH said below, I guess guardianship does not pass as an operation of law, so correction on that point.

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    • avatar

      Riefer January 23, 2013, 4:58 pm

      The godparents are supposed to help the child in their religious life. If you’re not super-religious, or you don’t need the godparents’ extra religious instruction for your children, then it really doesn’t matter.

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      • avatar

        crazymary January 23, 2013, 7:36 pm

        This. God parents are supposed to be spiritual mentors to children. It’s a different kind of “take care of”. My children have godparents, but my will (and trust) leave them legally to someone else completely. Everyone knows, no hurt feelings for anyone.

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  • theattack

    theattack January 23, 2013, 3:11 pm

    I guess this is a Catholic thing that I don’t get, but does it really matter who the Godmother is? It’s not like baptizing your daughter with your sister as the “Godmother” is a legal way of saying that she gets your kids if you die. Perhaps it has some religious significance (I truly don’t know), but it will have no consequences in your daughter’s physical life. I think you should just continue along and have your sister as the religious Godmother and then appoint your best friend legally.

    Oh, and I was pretty shocked that you expected your sister to drop everything the night that you got in town. If she saw you during your visit, that is PLENTY. Seriously, this sounds like a major princess complex.

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    • becboo84

      BecBoo84 January 23, 2013, 3:33 pm

      That was actually the only part of the letter where I really sympathized with the LW. Perhaps this is just the way my family is, but it’s not unreasonable for the LW to expect/want her sister to meet her newborn daughter ASAP (regardless of the entire godmother thing; I’m with you there and don’t get the big deal, at all), and be miffed that they were so close and it wasn’t the top priority.

      When we had our daughter, my older sister (who, admittedly, doesn’t have kids of her own) lived 4 hours away and had a hospital travel bag at work just because she didn’t want to miss the birth. And now, she lives 14 hours away, and still has a hosp bag ready to go because she doesn’t want to miss this one either.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 3:34 pm

        But your sister probably wasn’t going through what this one is, which seems like a LOT.

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      • becboo84

        BecBoo84 January 23, 2013, 3:37 pm

        No, she definitely wasn’t. I just meant that at the point she was only 45 minutes away, I could understand that the LW wanted her sis to be so excited to meet her little one that she came as soon as she could. And, I also understand that “party” is a pretty loose term. For all we know, it could have been some social event at work where there was a strong expectation of attendance.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 3:46 pm

        Yes, I’ll give the LW that. It is odd she didn’t when she was close, but someone below pointed out that it might sting for the sister to see this perfect family right now. Idk if that’s a valid excuse, but I could understand her feeling that way.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark January 24, 2013, 5:39 am

        She went THE VERY NEXT DAY… Is she supposed to waiting on the deck of the cabin when they arrive. Many people would think it is actually more polite to come see somebody on, say, saturday, instead of the friday — the night the LW and perfect family arrived at the cabin. Gives people the evening to open up the house, and settle in, get ready for company.

        Sorry but this LW sounds like a freaking egomaniac. It’s all Me. Me! ME! MEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 24, 2013, 8:09 am

        yeah that and what if the trip wasn’t planned? is the sister supposed to change her plans around at the last minute because the LW did?

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 23, 2013, 3:40 pm

        Yeah I feel like you can’t even begin to compare these two situations…

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      • becboo84

        BecBoo84 January 23, 2013, 3:35 pm

        I should add that my sister and I, while 8.5 years apart, are definitely extremely close, so I’m aware (and super appreciative) that she goes above and beyond in this regard!

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 23, 2013, 3:44 pm

        Honestly though, not everyone has that amount of flexibility with work, life, etc. If they do it’s wonderful. But, what if your sister had a job or life situation that kept her from being ready at a moments notice. Would you begrudge her not being there ASAP? Sometimes people are doing the best that they can and it’s all that we can expect from them!

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      • becboo84

        BecBoo84 January 23, 2013, 4:16 pm

        I would begrudge her for choosing to attend a party instead of meeting her newborn niece.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 23, 2013, 4:20 pm

        Even if she had plans to meet her the next day? It’s not like she said forget you the whole time you are in town! She did meet her, just not when the LW thought she should.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle January 23, 2013, 4:25 pm

        But she DID meet the niece— the very next day (with gifts!) She just didn’t drop everything the second the LW arrived.

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      • becboo84

        BecBoo84 January 23, 2013, 4:31 pm

        I get that I am evidently in the minority here, but that is just not the dynamic with my family and close friends. We all visit each other in the hospital and make meeting the new little ones a huge priority and do it ASAP. I have no idea what the dynamic is with the LW’s family, or to what degree she prioritized meeting her nieces and nephews, which would obviously play a huge role in whether her expectations regarding her sister skipping the party were valid.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 4:38 pm

        Oh I hear you. All of my family members visited me in the hospital, friends drove 5+ hours in hopes to make it in time for the birth, all of my siblings flew in from across the country to make it to my bday party this year for god sake, so I totally get where you’re coming from, but luckily none of my siblings have had to deal with what this sister is going through and if they were, I’d cut them some slack.

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      • becboo84

        BecBoo84 January 23, 2013, 4:40 pm

        Thank goodness! I was beginning to feel like some kind of weirdo.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 23, 2013, 4:57 pm

        but no one is saying its weird to want it, just that sometimes shit happens and we have to be willing to cut people some slack. not everyone is lucky enought to have their lives and jobs be flexible and they make things, like meeting new nieces or nephews happen when they can. my husband works retail and he would have loved to have dropped everything and been at the birth of his niece, but if he had he would have lost his job. so we went when he could, for this sister who knows what was going on but it would be nice if th LW could try and have a little bot of actual compassion for her.

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      • becboo84

        BecBoo84 January 23, 2013, 5:04 pm

        I get that, and as I feel like I have said about a bazillion times, I understand why the sister didn’t make it for the birth. I also completely understand why the LW was upset that her sister chose to attend a party the first night they were nearby instead of meet her niece.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 23, 2013, 5:20 pm

        what if this trip to the ‘cottage’ which the LW kind of rubs in that the sister doesn’t have, wasn’t planned? what if the sister who is going through a divorce and bankruptcy had a chance to have a fun evening out for the first time in awhile? and then the LW sprung on her I’m in town you’re coming right? um sure because her life revolves around her? i mean once again i doubt the sister absolutely didn’t want to meet the niece. she just didn’t want to meet her when the LW deemed appropriate. while rubbing in that her life sucks and she handles her children wrong i’m sure.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 23, 2013, 5:29 pm

        as a side note i am someone who always tries to be there for everything. i’ve never missed anything i didn’t absolutely have to. but, i try to be understanding with other people. everybody has their own lives and things to deal with. they do what they can and having it out with them when they don’t do things exactly as you’d like doesn’t do anything but create rifts between people. not saying you should let yourself be walked all over, but i feel like a lot of people could just learn to be a little nicer to people.

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    • avatar

      bethany January 23, 2013, 3:33 pm

      Totally agree. My Aunt S is my godmother, but if my parents died, my brother and I would have gone to Aunt C, who was our guardian. And FWIW, there was no difference in the way Aunt S treated me or interacted with me vs my other aunts who were not godmothers. And, I’m pretty sure I don’t even have a godfather!

      LW, your BF isn’t going to care that she’s not the godmother. She really won’t. Trust me. I’m obsessed with my BF’s daughter. I was the first (non-family) visitor at the hospital, I have a photo of her on my desk at work and today at lunch I bought her a card and stickers for Valentine’s Day. I’m not her Godmother, and it doesn’t matter to me one bit.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl January 23, 2013, 3:52 pm

        I completely agree. My best friend is pregnant with her first baby and I’m already obessed with the kid and she’s not even here yet! LW, your best friend is going to keep on loving your baby, honorary title or not.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 3:55 pm

        I’m already obsessed with lemongrass’ baby, and I haven’t even seen a picture yet! 🙂

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 3:54 pm

        Such a good point about a friend not being insulted by this, but a family member could be.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh January 23, 2013, 3:14 pm

    I feel like this is something you should have thought about BEFORE you asked your sister. It is already too late. And while you may think that your friend will be in your daughters life for the long haul she may not. While I agree with many on here that family isn’t everything it sounds like you and your sister have an ok relationship. And you will potentially continue that relationship for many years to come. Hopefully your daughter will grow to know her cousins (two of which are your godchildren!) throughout that time as well. And like Wendy said would it be so awful to have two godmothers? What would that do other than make your daughter even more loved?

    And really I would try and judge your sister a little less. Who knows when you might be in a situation that needs a little understanding from her. I’m pretty sure the last thing she needs is her little sister telling her what she’s doing wrong. Not that I don’t necessarily agree with you on the timing of children meeting ‘friends’. But, she’s not writing in, and unless the kids are in danger I don’t see how you stepping in and scolding her is going to help.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 3:14 pm

    Writing before reading Wendy’s reply…
    First, a godparent is not a guardian. It can be the same person, but it does not have to be. So you are really just picking who you would like to help maintain your daughter’s connection to her religion. Interestingly, you never once mention which of these women are religious, if either.
    To me, you seem to be looking at this as a picking a favorite. They are 2 different people, in very different parts of their lives. I have 3 sisters and several close girlfriends. They are all so different and being different, have varying levels of interaction with my daughter. They all love her, some see her often, some not, usually depending on location. Just because your friend has the time to put in now, and your sister clearly does not, doesn’t mean you should hold that against your sister or feel as though she doesn’t care as much as your friend.
    Finally, here’s my little story about this: When I was pregnant, the father chose not to be involved, however, he had a sister who wanted to be. I felt the more people to love my kid, the better, not worrying about how this would play out in the future (maybe I should’ve). So I kept the sister involved, and asked her to be the godmother. About a week after the baptism, she called to say that her brother doesn’t want her involved with the baby and she felt she had to choose him. Fine, to each their own. I can’t imagine being in her position, so I didn’t judge (too much). Anyway, all these years later, I do regret choosing her in a way, however, it has made exactly zero difference in our lives. The people we are close with who are religious play a role in furthering my daughter’s interest in religion. They don’t need a title to do that. Maybe there’s something about my little story that will help you decide.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 3:15 pm

      and WWS for sure!

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    • avatar

      ktfran January 23, 2013, 3:21 pm

      WHAT?!? You mean, even though I’m my niece’s godmother, I’m not automatically her guardian if something where to happen to my sister and bil? So, I’m off the hook?

      I kid, I kid. I adore my nieces. But I’m pretty sure they’re going to my parents, who are both still young, for the time being if something were to happen. And neither are Godparents to my nieces.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 3:24 pm

        I’ve never heard of grandparents as godparents, but I wish I made my mom. I mean, whatever though, like I said, makes no difference.
        I have such issues with choosing a guardian. It sucks.

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      • avatar

        ktfran January 23, 2013, 3:29 pm

        Me neither. I was just pointing out that they would be guardians, but they’re def not godparents. So, if the LW is worried about that, she shouldn’t be.

        I’m sure you could do it though. I don’t think there are any rules against it. I dunno?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 3:31 pm

        I don’t think there are rules.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl January 23, 2013, 3:45 pm

        I’m not sure how this plays into the godparent talk but I know that my parents have in their living will who will care for my siblings if they are under 18 and they were to die. I do not beleive the baptism and a godparent in the eyes of the church has any legal standing.

        But LBH I totally agree that a godparent is closely tied with the religous side of a person and that a godparent has some responsibility for the religious “well being” of the child. I just don’t know that the title has any legal standing.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 3:47 pm

        Idk too much about FL estate planning, but where I live, a living will doesn’t state who goes where guardian wise.
        But no, as far as I know, there is no legal standing whatsoever for a godparent to be guardian.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl January 23, 2013, 3:54 pm

        My family is in PA and I don’t know if it was part of the standard living will but my parents made a point to have it in there. How else do you designate who would be the guardian?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 3:56 pm

        Through a regular will. Its possible that would hold up though, and could be perfectly legal in PA. Not sure.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl January 23, 2013, 4:09 pm

        Apparently my mom was calling the legal document she was talking about the wrong thing. I think she was calling it a “living will” because they revise it every so often so it is constantly evolving rather than what a living will truly means.

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      • katie

        katie January 23, 2013, 4:11 pm

        as far as i found out, you cant. as the parents, you can *recommend* who you would like to have as your kids guardian, but a family law judge can overturn that if he thinks there is a better option. you cant will your kids to anyone.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl January 23, 2013, 4:22 pm

        Everything I’m reading in my quick google search is that you can name a gaurdian and it does hold up. Maybe it’s more state by state?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 4:25 pm

        Well, a family court judge can take your own kids away from you, so there’s that. Nothing really is a 100% guarantee, however, the choice of the parents is very heavily weighed.

        I keep going to type up my issues with this, but then delete. I hate thinking about this shit. Scares the crap out of me when I wonder would could happen to my daughter.

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      • katie

        katie January 23, 2013, 4:25 pm

        it could be- i have no idea. but what i found was that your kids are people, they arent things to be willed to whoever you want… what if a couple willed their kids to drug addicted crazy people? a judge isnt going to just let that go down. and, also, they will always place with family first, so if you will your kids to your family friends, the court will most likely place the kids with family members instead of the family friends.

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      • avatar

        bethany January 23, 2013, 4:35 pm

        I think both parties have to agree to it, in order for it to be legally binding. I’m sure my Aunt and Uncle had to fill out some sort of paperwork accepting the responsibility of being our Legal Guardians if something happened to my parents.
        You can’t just name whoever you want without their consent/agreement.

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      • katie

        katie January 23, 2013, 4:38 pm

        yea, that probably helps, bethany, but remember- what if the parents appoint the drug addicts and the drug addicts legally agree as well..? a judge is going to overturn that.

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        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 4:46 pm

        Just to clear it up a little, as a general rule, the court will do what the parents say. The court will not take it upon themselves to find out whether the person appointed is a crackhead. What they will do is tell that person they must notify any other persons who might be interested in guardianship (other family members). Those people put on notice can challenge the named guardian. So if no one challenges, the court will do what the parents say.

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        Jessibel5 January 23, 2013, 5:26 pm

        Yeah, in my parents’ living will, I was the guardian of my brother and sister if something happened to my parents before the other two turned 18 due to the large age differences between me and them. Thank goodness that never happened! But I’m certainly not a godparent for either of my siblings.

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      MMcG January 23, 2013, 3:42 pm

      I agree with you completely – but please be aware that in certain circles godparent most definitely = guardian. I was really surprised myself, having married a southerner I am learning all sorts of things… and when I became my cousins godmother my now husband asked if that meant I was to take her if something happened and I was like “WAAA Why would you ever think that?” and his response was that that is exactly what godparents mean to him. Should be interesting if we ever have kids 😉

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 23, 2013, 3:45 pm

        Interesting! I had no idea. Most of my friend’s kids have godparents who aren’t even related to each other!

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        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 3:58 pm

        But that wouldn’t hold up legally. You actually would have to appoint a guardian. Maybe you mean that people usually pick the same person for guardian as for godparent?

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        MMcG January 23, 2013, 4:15 pm

        OK, as I wrote above I know that naming someone a godparent has no legal standing. What I am trying to say is that to some people it means something very significant and would require additional changes to legal documents, etc.

        When someone in my husband’s family was asked to be a godparent, they were also asked at basically the same time/in the same breadth to be their children’s guardian — and then the will is updated, etc.

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        MMcG January 23, 2013, 4:17 pm

        “Maybe you mean that people usually pick the same person for guardian as for godparent?”

        YES!!! This exactly, very religious people for example would have it be one in the same because they would want to ensure that not only would their children be taken care of, but raised in the same church, etc. etc. — it takes on a much more formal religious meaning — as opposed to what I was raised to think godparent was, which was basically another fun Aunt as some have mentioned above.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 4:26 pm

        Do the people you talk about choose the same godparent for all their kids? I’ve usually only seen each kid having a different aunt or uncle.

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      • avatar

        MMcG January 23, 2013, 4:34 pm

        Yes, in the instances I’m thinking of the kids all have the same godparents because they all have the same guardian listed should something happen.

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      • avatar

        redessa January 23, 2013, 6:45 pm

        But this LW said she’s the godmother for 2 of her sister’s 3 kids. So unless the kids would get split up in the event of both parents passing, I’m thinking it’s not so much a gurdianship type responsibility for this particular family. In which case the LW needs to seriously calm down about this.

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        ktfran January 23, 2013, 4:30 pm

        But what if you have multiple kids? Does everyone pick the same godparent/guardian for each child? So, Aunt E could have 4 godchildren because she was going to named guardian?

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        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 4:35 pm

        Jinx!

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      • avatar

        MMcG January 23, 2013, 4:35 pm

        Yes, why can’t siblings have the same godparents?

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      • avatar

        ktfran January 23, 2013, 5:01 pm

        They can. And sometimes they do.

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    • LM

      LM January 23, 2013, 4:17 pm

      A few months ago, my son turned one and there is a really good girl friend that I have (known for 20 years) and she was telling people at the time that she was the unofficial godmother to both of my kids. Mind you, we come from two completely different religious back grounds. She is a very orthodox Jew whereas I am, well… I have beliefs, but not necessarily a religion. We got into this conversation and she said that if anything happened to me or my husband, she would be more than happy to take care of both of my kids and not force them to be anything (religiously) they didn’t want to be. They would just have to “mind” things as I did when I was growing up with her. I’m definitely okay with that.

      To me, being a godparent is associated with religion, but then again, it isn’t. I don’t think there is anything wrong with having more than one and being a godparent doesn’t mean guardian, but it does make that choice easier should something happen.

      To the LW – quit being so negative and condescending to your sister. WWS x 1000. Your sister is going through a rough time and could use some of your support. Yes, you’ve had a baby and congrats on that, but I think YOU need to give some support to your sister through the nasty divorce and claiming bankruptcy and all of that. Possessions and gifts do not equal love. If your friend is there right now and you feel it is a title you would like her to have as well, then ask her. Stop being so petty. Don’t renege on your sister because things aren’t absolutely perfect for her and there are other things she is preoccupied with. Things may change in the future and she will ALWAYS be related to your daughter.

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  • avatar

    ktfran January 23, 2013, 3:14 pm

    I was going to suggest the same thing as Wendy, and that is why not have two Godmothers? You mentioned nothing of a Godfather, so if that hasn’t been decided, you could easily pick two Godmothers.

    The middle sister is the Godmother of our youngest sister’s oldest, B. Our cousin is the Godfather because neither my little sis, nor her husband, have brothers and he doesn’t have super close male friends. So, their secong comes around, I’m the Godmother, as is my bil’s sister. Her name also happens to be Ktfran.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

    Plus, today, aren’ t godparents more honorary titles? So, you already asked your sister. You should keep her as godmother. It’s not worth the bad feelings.

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    • avatar

      Oldie January 23, 2013, 4:43 pm

      You and I may not think it’s worth the bad feelings, but it seems LW already has a ton of bad feelings about her sister and wants to feud with her. The doing-well-LW sister seems to feel entitled and blame all of sister’s problems on sister. The phrasing ‘is going forward with a divorce from her husband’ sounds like she blames sister for divorce. And for dating. Men she doesn’t like.

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      • avatar

        ktfran January 23, 2013, 5:09 pm

        Good point.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle January 23, 2013, 3:26 pm

    LW, I think you should think carefully about what you’re trying to accomplish, here. What would taking away the title of “Godmother” from your sister actually do? It won’t help your daughter, & it will hurt your sister. And your friend will just continue helping (like she already has been). So basically, the only thing that choice would cause— is pain. Why do that?

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    • avatar

      MMcG January 23, 2013, 3:44 pm

      Seconded… sounds like the LW wants to move her judgment up from “having it out with her” to dethroning her and making her feel like shit for her recent choices during a difficult time. Sheesh.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle January 23, 2013, 4:09 pm

        Yup, that’s the vibe I was getting!

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    Pamplemousse Rose January 23, 2013, 3:29 pm

    WWS! I was asked to be my niece’s godmother, which I delightfully accepted. When my brother called tell me when the baptism was going to be, it turned out I couldn’t afford a flight to go. I suggested they have the baptism a week later when my parents were going to visit (as it would mean a lot to them) and have a proxy for me. An hour later, my sister-in-law called and told me they were asking someone else to be godmother instead. It is one of the most mean, hurtful things someone has done to me. Don’t be like my sister-in-law.

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    • avatar

      MMcG January 23, 2013, 3:45 pm

      That sucks PRose! When I was asked to be a godparent my cousin actually kept me in the loop on dates since she wanted me to be there and there was travel involved… sounds like you got totally dissed because you weren’t ready to drop everything for the new precious baby (your SIL didn’t want you to be a member of her bridal party and then provide a date that conflicted too did she!?!)

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        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 3:59 pm

        lol!

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        Pamplemousse Rose January 23, 2013, 4:12 pm

        Yep. Good memory, MMcG!! She’s also not coming to my wedding because she’ll be 8 months pregnant, but made sure I knew it was really because has a conflict with someone else. It’s sad because of my niece and nephew, but I’ve learned I’m better off keeping her at arms-length.

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        MMcG January 23, 2013, 4:19 pm

        She sounds AWESOME! I hope you can share lots of quality time in the future, besties for sure 🙂

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson January 23, 2013, 4:20 pm

        Holy shit. What does your brother say about all this. Who the fuck doesn’t go to their sister in laws wedding? I didn’t even know you had a choice not to.

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        GatorGirl January 23, 2013, 4:26 pm

        Yeah…I didn’t realize there was a choice when it was your sibling…also I didn’t realize being 8 months pregnant meant you no longer left the house or participated in life…

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson January 23, 2013, 4:28 pm

        It sounds like she’s doing the world a favor by not participating. What a nightmare.

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      • avatar

        MMcG January 23, 2013, 4:37 pm

        self-selection really is the best outcome in these cases… you will be missed (*not*)

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        Pamplemousse Rose January 23, 2013, 4:48 pm

        At 8 months, she probably wouldn’t be allowed to fly because she’s had “difficult” pregnancies in the past, but she had to make sure i knew it wasn’t coming for a different reason.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom January 23, 2013, 5:01 pm

        That is rude! Making sure you know it had nothing to do with the pregnancy so that you can’t give her the benefit of the doubt. I think you’re lucky she won’t be attending.

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        Jessibel5 January 23, 2013, 5:21 pm

        I like how, even though it was a Freudian slip, you called her “it”, specially because she sounds like kind of a monster creature. Can we have more stories?!

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        MMcG January 23, 2013, 5:31 pm

        I second the request for more stories about it!

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson January 23, 2013, 6:07 pm

        Thirded.

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        Pamplemousse Rose January 23, 2013, 9:24 pm

        Oops! I was typing on my phone and didn’t even notice!!
        Those are really the best stories. Luckily she lives in a different province so I don’t see her that often, but it also means less stories.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom January 23, 2013, 4:49 pm

        They don’t allow you on the plane if you are within a month of your due date so she might not be able to fly if the wedding wasn’t nearby.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark January 24, 2013, 5:44 am

        Um, actually, I believe you can’t fly at 8 months if I am not mistaken… And there would be a flight involved it seems…

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark January 24, 2013, 5:46 am

        Even with a normal pregnancy. I know my sister moved up her summer trip to June the year my nephew was due in September for that very reason…

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    • avatar

      muffy January 23, 2013, 4:57 pm

      what a cow! My Godparents couldn’t make it to the baptism so my grandparents stood in for them. What is the matter with the people?

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  • avatar

    Desiree January 23, 2013, 3:40 pm

    LW, you have to think longterm here. Clearly, your sister is going to be in your life for the foreseeable future, so don’t go damaging that connection. Furthermore, your sister is likely to become move involved with your daughter over the 18 years of your daughter’s childhood than she is at the moment. Right now, your sister has tons on her plate, and your daughter isn’t even capable of forming longterm memories. Three years from now (and five, and ten, etc.), things will probably be more settled for your sister and she will be able to be an involved aunt/godmother. And you might want to try some extra compassion on for size. In addition to being busy with her life upheaval, your sister may be a little uncomfortable being so close to your island of domestic bliss. It probably stings in comparison with her own situation. So be nice, keep your sister as your daughter’s godmother, and try to continue to support your sister through this rough time.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle January 23, 2013, 4:07 pm

      “In addition to being busy with her life upheaval, your sister may be a little uncomfortable being so close to your island of domestic bliss.”

      This^ Very good point. The LW doesn’t seem to be considering this likely aspect of it at all.

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    • kare

      kare January 23, 2013, 9:34 pm

      Good point, Desiree. I know there’s been some back and forth about whether the LW also intended the godmother to also be a potential guardian for the children, but I think even in that case I wouldn’t rule out the sister. (Where I’m from, godparents are often intended as potential guardians.) Overtime she could be very involved in her niece’s life, and 10 years from now her kids will likely be teenagers or possibly in college. I guess if I was choosing a potential guardian, I would take the future into consideration than the present.

      BTW, isn’t there some Katherine Heigel movie where her and a guy are the godparents and hate each other but move in together to take care of the baby (per the will’s instructions)? I never saw the movie but I’m guessing she starts out an uptight bitch and he’s a charming, humorous guy that teaches her to be less uptight in life and they live happily ever after.

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray January 23, 2013, 4:00 pm

    Oh for fuck sake, keep your sister as the Godmother. And give your friend the honorary title of Auntie if you’d like to make her feel special! I swear to God some people just seek out ways to be dramatic, like by suggesting rescinding the “Godmother” title to make a point.

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    • avatar

      ktfran January 23, 2013, 4:13 pm

      This was awesome.

      People seriously need to learn to relax. A lot.

      However, I do keep a few super dramatic friends around for entertainment purposes. This site helps a lot too.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray January 23, 2013, 4:36 pm

        I don’t even like them around for entertainment purposes!

        LW should just be thankful that her sister has not rescinded LW’s Godmother title even though you know there have been plenty of times when LW really pissed off her sister by doing [insert whatever dramatic sisters do from time to time].

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      HmC January 23, 2013, 5:29 pm

      Seriously. Maybe it’s just that I’m in more of a transitional stage in my life, but reading about this person’s “perfect life” made me role my eyes more than once. “Unlike my sister, I am in a good place in my life — happily married, with a wonderful, healthy daughter, a great job, a home, a cottage, etc” Blergh. Gold star for you. Life has a funny way of being perfect right up until it’s not. Your marriage could fall apart just like your sister’s, you could lose your job through no fault of your own. You haven’t beat your sister at life, you’re just in a different place than her right now.

      Maybe I’m being too harsh, but the tone of this letter bugged me.

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      • avatar

        MMcG January 23, 2013, 5:32 pm

        the LW wants a cookie for sure 😉

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson January 23, 2013, 6:11 pm

        Life has a funny way of being perfect right up until it’s not. Your marriage could fall apart just like your sister’s, you could lose your job through no fault of your own. You haven’t beat your sister at life, you’re just in a different place than her right now.

        Holy shit. Yes. Everything you just said. Funny how life is like that.

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  • iwannatalktosampson

    iwannatalktosampson January 23, 2013, 4:15 pm

    Aw I feel really bad for your sister. You seem REALLY self involved. She is probably going through what will hopefully be the toughest experience of her life and you’re concerned that she doesn’t interact with your baby enough and play peak-a-boo? Who needs enemies when you have family like you? I get it – you just had a baby – but please don’t be one of those moms who thinks that now that you’ve managed the ultra difficult task of procreating the world (or your sister) needs to rearrange her (very difficult and crazy at the moment) life to be as obsessed with your baby as you are.

    But guys want to know how much my parents hate me? They had my brother baptized and not me. I mean really. Supposedly it was some stupid fight with the church – but what the hell.

    LW – I don’t even know who my godparents are. I think it might have been a cousin of mine who is now in her 50’s. But I know that I was going to go to a different cousin and his wife if my parents died. Which would have been awesome. I mean not if my parents died. But these people are loaded, fun, athletic, into sports, and successful. Sigh.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson January 23, 2013, 4:16 pm

      Also was I the only one that got the feeling that you judge your sister for getting divorced and filing for bankruptcy? Listen shit happens. You better hope and pray your picture perfect cottage life doesn’t go down the shitter one day. People get divorced. It happens. Show some compassion.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl January 23, 2013, 4:18 pm

        I got the same “judging” tone.

        And if it makes you feel better I’m not baptised either.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson January 23, 2013, 4:19 pm

        But I mean who picks their most godly looking child to baptise? Either do both or neither! Humpf.

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        rachel January 23, 2013, 4:22 pm

        Maybe think of the opposite way. Like your brother needs the extra help to get into heaven or something :p

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 4:30 pm

        Exactly. My mom is so un-judgemental it bothers me sometimes, but she explained that over the years, she’s gotten shit thrown at her so many times without doing anything to cause it, that she’ll always assume the same for others.

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        painted_lady January 23, 2013, 4:59 pm

        God, that whole “I have a house AND a cottage” bit was SERIOUSLY obnoxious. I realize you have to throw in certain things to make a point, but if someone used all of their accrued stuff to point out how much more mature and together than me they were, I’d have to cut a bitch.

        Yeah, of course a certain amount of wealth CAN be due to responsible decision making, but some of it is just blind, dumb luck. The LW’s husband could get laid off, someone could get chronically ill, hell, people cheat on each other and just leave spouses out of the blue…and if you use good luck as a reason to feel superior to others, your sort of asking your luck to turn on you. So yes, congratulations LW, you’re lucky. Would you like a cookie? In the meantime, why don’t you go check in on your sister? Sounds like she could use some kindness, if you haven’t burned that bridge already.

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      • avatar

        HmC January 23, 2013, 5:34 pm

        “Yeah, of course a certain amount of wealth CAN be due to responsible decision making, but some of it is just blind, dumb luck.”

        WORD. Probably one of the most salient truths I’ve learned as an adult. HAVING THINGS DOES NOT MAKE YOU BETTER IT MAKES YOU LUCKY SO THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS AND SHUT UP! LOTS OF HARD-WORKING PEOPLE GET SHIT ON BY THE WORLD ON A REGULAR BASIS! If you don’t agree with that then I honestly question your maturity and humanity.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom January 23, 2013, 6:10 pm

      Our friends baptized their first baby just before the pastor that they loved moved on then they got a pastor that they hated. The result was that they quit attending church and their second child was never baptized. The only favoritism had to do with pastors, not children.

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  • katie

    katie January 23, 2013, 4:20 pm

    um, yea, WWS. make them both godparents if it means so much to you… but it likely wont mean much to anyone else, godmother and your child included…

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  • avatar

    SGMcG January 23, 2013, 4:21 pm

    I don’t see the big deal about having more than one set of godparents. In some cultural heritages (mine is Filipino-Roman Catholic), it is not unheard of to have 2 sets or more. It takes a village to raise a child, and naming a godparent just means that you explicitly want this individual to be a part of the village. Your sister is always going to be a part of your life, so to rescind the godmother title from her when she’s having such a hard time with hers comes off as mean.

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  • avatar

    cdobbs January 23, 2013, 4:22 pm

    WWS times infinity!

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  • Amybelle

    Amybelle January 23, 2013, 4:24 pm

    WWS….smug is the word that came to my mind too. I think there is a lot of underlying “sister issues” between these two as well.

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary January 23, 2013, 4:25 pm

    LW, you seem to think you have the perfect life as well. And I’m sure 10 years ago, your sister was probably pretty happy with her life. But shit happens. People get divorced, lose jobs, etc…So don’t be so high and mighty when you don’t know what the future holds for you.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson January 23, 2013, 4:31 pm

      YES! You said what I was thinking but in a better way. It’s so easy to be on a high horse while your life is perfect – but you better hope that when you’re down and out there won’t be someone looking down at you and what a mess your life is.

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  • iwannatalktosampson

    iwannatalktosampson January 23, 2013, 4:26 pm

    Also I know I don’t have kids so I’m not allowed to have opinions like this – but is it reeeeeaaallly a huge deal to miss things when the child won’t even remember whether you were there or not? I like kids. I can’t wait to go to (future) neice and nephew soccer games and all that crap. But I could not care less about going to a 1 year old’s birthday party. Or baptism. If they can’t remember – and it’s an event for them – I don’t feel the need to go.

    Although I get that your sister not driving 45 minutes to see you insulted YOU – not the baby – but really. She’s not going to bond with the baby. The baby wouldn’t even remember you if you left for a week and came back. True story – I have had newborn babies try to nurse on me before. It’s because they don’t know the difference between their mom’s boobs and mine at that age. So LW – focus on the happiness of the new baby and give your sister some slack!

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    • katie

      katie January 23, 2013, 4:27 pm

      well, all that stuff is for the parents, right? thats what ive always heard.. lol. or, i guess, for the parents and anyone who attends.

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    • avatar

      MMcG January 23, 2013, 4:41 pm

      I try to think that way too IWTTS! But somehow the fact that the kid has no recollection won’t work for some people… it’s like their little piece of glitter magic won’t be as sparkly if everyone doesn’t fawn over the baby when they are supposed to, and they take it personally, because already before the child can walk they see that human being as an extension of themselves instead of an individual — hence it’s easier to take affront and take things personally.

      Me, I would rather take the kids away to the zoo or park when they are old enough to appreciate it, and then Mom and/or Dad REALLY appreciates it too 🙂

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      • katie

        katie January 23, 2013, 4:43 pm

        “because already before the child can walk they see that human being as an extension of themselves instead of an individual”

        thats deep. love it.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom January 23, 2013, 6:39 pm

      If you had no interest in being there you wouldn’t be the right person to ask to be a godmother. You’d be the right person to take the kids to the zoo when they were older. I think when you are a parent you need to consider the interest level of the people involved and choose according to who actually wants the role. The LW has asked her sister and now sees that her sister has very little interest in the baby. She should have waited, discussed it with her husband and together they could have chosen someone who wanted to be involved. There is a very good chance that her sister is feeling stuck with the role of godmother and doesn’t want it anymore than the LW wants her for the job. I could see them all going through with it because it is the “right” thing to do when none of them are actually happy with the situation.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom January 23, 2013, 4:27 pm

    Before you make a final decision you need to see if your church has guidelines on who is an acceptable godparent. I’m Catholic and the Catholic Church requires that at least one of the godparents be Catholic but doesn’t require that both be Catholic. Both godparents need to be Christian and regularly attending church even if it isn’t the Catholic Church for one of them. If there are guidelines you may end up eliminating either your sister or your friend because they don’t meet the guidelines or maybe both are fine. If you are still left with your sister see if she is willing to travel for the baptism or if she attends a church of the same denomination as yourself you may be able to travel to her church for the baptism. Also, does your church allow baptism with a proxy godparent or multiple godmothers? Does your sister need to be present? Can you have a godfather and two godmothers? I don’t think you can make a final decision until you’ve asked the right questions to find out what works for your religion.

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    • katie

      katie January 23, 2013, 4:29 pm

      you know, her curious omission of any religion in this letter makes me think this more of just a cute added title- like how non-religious people use the term.

      furthermore, that kind of fits the whole “LW is really self-involved” theory, because then this whole drama about who is going to be the godmother is really about the LW, not anything else…

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson January 23, 2013, 4:32 pm

        Wait was there any doubt that this was all about the LW?

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        MMcG January 23, 2013, 4:44 pm

        Stop making me laugh at your snarky wisdom IWTTS!

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        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 4:33 pm

        Agree completely. That stood out to me too.

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      • katie

        katie January 23, 2013, 4:35 pm

        its like she is deciding who “gets” to throw her bachelorette party or something- an added, superficial thing that is likely not to mean anything to anyone except for you (you being the bride)… you know?

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        MMcG January 23, 2013, 4:49 pm

        But katie – her bff is giving her APPROPRIATE SPECIAL ATTENTION because the LW managed to have a baby – something no other woman on the planet has ever done – thus properly treating her first born child as the future king/queen of the world.

        Why wouldn’t the LW want to dump her sister… it’s like she has a measuring stick or some sort of counter in her head and worthiness is based on whoever says “how high” after she says jump. Can we imagine what the wedding planning was like? Oy, the more I think about this the more negative I feel towards this LW and the terrible things she says about her sister.

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  • avatar

    Trixy Minx January 23, 2013, 4:52 pm

    I’m reading this and I wanna ask the DW folks. After my sister had her first baby I asked her if I was going to be the godmother. She flat out told me that I wasn’t even going to be considered unless I made more of an effort to spend time with my niece. I live an hour or so away and work varying shifts. Plus I really hate driving but is that not messed up??? She told me instead my bil’s brother will be the godparents. They live on the other side of the country!!

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    • avatar

      MMcG January 23, 2013, 5:01 pm

      Messed up, but that’s what you get for not giving SPECIAL ATTENTION 😉 Sounds like you may be better for it… I know nothing about your relationship but your sister sounds a little spiteful.

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      • avatar

        Trixy Minx January 23, 2013, 5:12 pm

        She recently disowned me because I am “too lazy” her exact reason being I didn’t immediately pick up my plate at thanksgiving.

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      • avatar

        Jessibel5 January 23, 2013, 5:16 pm

        Oh, crazy, irrational sisters…gotta love them :-/

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        bethany January 24, 2013, 2:20 pm

        What a dick.

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      lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 5:03 pm

      That is messed up. I like what someone said about parents treating their baby as an extension of themselves, so its not the baby’s feelings that are hurt, its the parents. Probably what happened here. People just need to be reasonable. I have a great friend who was extremely close with my daughter when she was younger, but he sees less of her now. I understand, people are busy, doesn’t mean he loves her less!

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      Trixy Minx January 23, 2013, 5:14 pm

      Also, when I did come over it was to be a free babysitter.

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        MMcG January 23, 2013, 5:25 pm

        You wouldn’t be a younger sister would you!?! 😉

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        Trixy Minx January 23, 2013, 5:27 pm

        Yep! How’d ya know?

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        MMcG January 23, 2013, 5:37 pm

        Lucky guess… based on some of the commentary on this site about older siblings versus younger, like there were some expectations that you were failing to meet and how dare you!

        meanwhile I am going to call my parents up and thank them profusely for just having one wonderful ME so I don’t have to deal with the drama… I probably would have been a super bitch to a younger sib anyway so everyone wins 🙂

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        Temperance January 25, 2013, 3:07 pm

        We older sibs get it from our parents and push it off on the younger sibs. 😛

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        lets_be_honest January 23, 2013, 5:27 pm

        Hey now, don’t hate on the well known siblings-sit-for-free rule.

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        Trixy Minx January 23, 2013, 11:32 pm

        I really would love to babysit but I live 70 miles away. I am broke and between working full time and school I can’t manage to spend my whole day babysitting. Plus the cost of gas. When I asked if they’d be willing to chip in some gas, cause you know 170 miles adds up, they balked and said family should be doing this for free all the time cause we’re “family”. Then I said they could drop my niece off here but its too far of a drive!

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        Trixy Minx January 23, 2013, 11:33 pm

        Sorry 140 miles..

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    Jessibel5 January 23, 2013, 5:04 pm

    You know, it sounds like your sister is going through a whole lot. I’ve not been baptized, much to the horror and chagrin of my grandmother, so I don’t exactly know how it works…but if it’s not a total faux pas, maybe you can directly talk to your sister about it? Maybe say something like “I asked you to be her godmother, but you’re going through a lot right now and I know how tough it is for you. Are you still up for it? If not, it’s ok, I just wanted to make sure we weren’t putting any added pressure on you.”

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    Lindsay January 23, 2013, 5:29 pm

    Choosing a godmother is not like awarding a prize. Your sister and your friend are going to give your child whatever amount of attention they’re going to give, regardless of what you call them. If your friend continues being a part of your child’s life, then your child will grow up knowing that “Aunt Sally” really loves her. It’s not going to matter that she’s not called her godmother.

    This is a lesson that you shouldn’t make decisions that are apparently important to you without thinking them through. Imagine if you chose a maid of honor and then came back and said, “Oh, I think my other friend would be a lot better at it, so I’m demoting you.”

    I will say that it also depends on what you expect from a godmother. You don’t talk about religious guidance or other responsibilities, and I suppose it would be more understandable if you had high expectations that your sister can’t fulfill. But if you just think it’s a cute title, then it’s not worth all of the problems taking it back would cause.

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      MMcG January 23, 2013, 5:38 pm

      “Imagine if you chose a maid of honor and then came back and said, “Oh, I think my other friend would be a lot better at it, so I’m demoting you.””

      Anyone want to take bets that someone in the wedding party was voted off the island for failing to meet expectations!?!

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom January 23, 2013, 6:05 pm

    Chalk this one up to learning the hard way. This is a decision you should have made with your husband before speaking to anyone else. Especially when it involves your child you shouldn’t be making impulse decisions because you feel sorry for someone.

    I can understand that you would want someone for godmother who actually seems to be interested in your child. Maybe your sister doesn’t want to be the godmother but would feel obligated to accept the role just because you are related. She sounds depressed and making the effort to travel for the baptism probably seems like too much hassle to her. So, if she is an acceptable godmother then you should see if she has any actual interest and let her off the hook if she doesn’t want the job. Someone who pays little to no attention to the baby probably doesn’t want to be involved with the baby and that’s fine.

    In the future try to determine suitability before you ask someone to be involved in your child’s life.

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    Fish-E January 23, 2013, 6:26 pm

    A godparent is someone that will stick around in your child life, they can help you guide them and giving them the best advice possible.
    I have 3 girls, two of my sisters are godmothers/madrinas to my daughters. I made a big mistake having my husbands brother and SIL baptize my middle child. They are now divorced and pay no attention to her, which really sucks for her. So I say have your sister be the godmother.

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    Meredith January 23, 2013, 6:30 pm

    Be nice to your sister. You never know when the tables can turn and you found you’ve made bad decisions and could really use her support. My sister was kind of a mess growing up and I was the “perfect child” and quite smug about it. As you can imagine, we fought a lot. Then I found myself in college, really depressed, broke and about to fail out of school. Don’t you know my sister made the 3 hr drive several times to take me out to dinner, do my laundry and secretly stuff money in my wallet before she left. And in the years since we’ve taken turns helping each other out bc that’s what sisters do. She’s down and out and making mistakes, but she’s your sister and you know she loves you.
    Motherhood is a big deal and I can tell you’re let down she hasn’t seem as invested in your daughter as you’d like her to be, but she’s going through a lot. Show her some compassion and be the bigger person–she sounds like she could really use some help and your nieces/nephews could probably use some cheering up from their Aunt during this difficult time too! And don’t take away her Godmother title. That’s just cruel and you know it.

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    Violet January 23, 2013, 7:15 pm

    Great advice from Wendy. LW, try to be more compassionate to your sister’s struggles. As many of the other commenters have noted, you never know when your perfect life might fall apart and your own struggles may begin. If you are worried about the men your sister brings into her children’s lives, then make sure you are there for her children as a strong support system, and a sympathetic ear. Offer help when you can give it. If your sister comments on all of the great things you have, try to mention them less, at least for now, or just gently change the topic of conversation. When this rough patch passes, you may find that your bond with your sister has grown because you were appropriately supportive without being suffocating or judging, and she will be grateful for that.

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    Stephanie January 23, 2013, 7:17 pm

    I went through something similar with my sisters when it was time to pick a godmother for her youngest. My sister wanted me to be the Godmother as I was for her other kids but didn’t want to hurt our older sister’s feelings. The Catholic church wouldn’t let her have 2 Godmothers so what she did was to have us both stand up as Godmother at the church but only put my name on the official baptismal certificate. We’re fine as long as my sister doesn’t ever ask to see it!

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      Ani Nani January 24, 2013, 12:53 pm

      FYI, it isn’t the Catholic Church. I am Catholic and I was baptized with 2 godmothers. However, some priests won’t do that for some reason. Same thing happened to a friend of mine. Heaven forbid, parents actually choose the best people to guide their child’s religious upbringing.

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  • AKchic_

    AKchic_ January 23, 2013, 8:04 pm

    I have attempted to answer this a few times, gotten fed up, walked away, only to try to start again.

    Yes, this thing frustrates me on a level I can’t quite articulate or really comprehend, and I’m not even sure why. Maybe because the LW has gotten “Godparent” and “in loco parentis”/legal guardian confused, or maybe because she is somehow feeling the need to pass moral judgement on her sister at a time when her sister is going through a major life upheaval and somehow feels that by taking the title of “Godmother” away, it will magically straighten her sister out (but good!).

    LW, come down of your maternal high (horse) for a second (or million). What is your end-goal here?
    What is the point of a “Godmother” for your child? Is it for the spiritual guidance of your child, or as a default guardian for your child if you and your husband should die before s/he reaches hisser majority? If it’s for spiritual guidance, is your sister normally a pious/religious woman and did you trust her religious judgement prior to her troubles began? If so, continue allowing her to be the “Godmother”. If the “Godmother” role is the surrogate parent, the in loco parentis should you and your husband meet an unfortunate demise before the child is legally able to care for hisser self, then you should look for someone with less encumbrances than 3 children in an unsteady position as it is. Make your sister the secondary Godmother (but don’t tell her she’s the secondary for crissakes, have some tact) and your friend the primary.

    If taking the Godmother position away is just a back-handed way at admonishing your sister’s current lifestyle choices – knock your shit off. Unless she is actually abusing her children or putting them in harm’s way, stop judging her. As Wendy said, offer to take the kids for a weekend (and put yourself in HER shoes).
    She’s losing everything. Is your cottage available for her to live in while she gets back on her feet? It’s not like you and your husband are living in it full time, is it? It may very well help her out so she can become a stable, producing member of society again. Stop being judgemental.

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    Sue Jones January 23, 2013, 8:13 pm

    WWS. There was a time in my 20’s when I was fresh out of grad school, a bit lost, not sure exactly which way I wanted to go in my life (which really in my case meant which job I would take and subsequently which part of the country I would be moving to), between relationships, a bit sad and fragile and down and broke because I had just finished grad school and hadn’t started my career yet. My sister was oh so smugly newly married and pregnant and wouldn’t talk to me because I was ( use judgemental tone here) “depressed”. And her new husband didn’t like people who were in transition or whatever…. fast forward about 20 years and guess who is divorced and a bit lost? Yep. I’m still married to my original husband whom I wouldn’t even meet for another 5 years or so. So LW, lose your smug attitude. You never know if you will be in your sister’s shoes someday and your great house, marriage, husband, career, cottage, etc. will be gone to shit and your kids are in rehab. Have a little compassion and keep your sister as Godmother and have someone else as loco parentis or whatever that is until your sister’s life settles down.

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  • kare

    kare January 23, 2013, 9:53 pm

    I think there’s more going on than the LW’s concern for who gets the “Godmother” title. This reminds me a lot of my mom and her sister. My aunt went through a lot of horrible things – her husband went to prison, they got a divorce, she had to struggle to find a job and support three kids after never working or graduating high school. My mom sent her money without any expectation to be paid back, helped buy Christmas gifts, and talked to her sister constantly. She did express concern about her having guys stay the night with three young girls in the house, especially considering the details around her husband’s arrest. However, she always tried to be there. Now my aunt is happily remarried, her daughter’s have grown up to be wonderful people, etc. Of course now my aunt acts all holier than thou and when my mom mentioned she was concerned about my brother’s PTSD, she responded “well he chose to join the military – that’s his fault”. And you know what – my mom still loves her sister dearly and has no regrets about having helped her in the past. They drive each other crazy more now, but my mom was happy to help her when she needed it and would do it again in a heartbeat. And we weren’t exactly well-off either. Call your sister now. It is much better to be overly compassionate now than have regrets later.

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      painted_lady January 23, 2013, 11:07 pm

      Your last line is perfect.

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    Sunshine Brite January 23, 2013, 11:04 pm

    Something makes me think that the LW may not have dropped everything to go to her sister’s side after the births to display “continuous effort” towards her nieces and nephews…. In the words of Stephanie Tanner, “I must say, how rude!” LW. You can’t renege no matter how swept up you’ve been for however long now since you were so pregnant and excited you apparently couldn’t think twice. Seriously, this makes me so mad.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark January 24, 2013, 12:10 am

    Sorry, but you, LW, sound like a MOMZILLA. First, you whine about how your sister completely BLEW you off by NOT visiting you, only to then tell us that she showed up the VERY NEXT DAY. Oh, and she was bearing gifts but didn’t seem natural enough for you. Get over your fucking self already. You seriously sound like a major self involved piece of work. If you don’t want her (and everyone else to know once and for all that you are a major bitch) please stick with your sister. God forbid your friend gets a divorce… or (GASP!) even you. Hey, it happens to people all the time — even those with cottages. And great jobs? Hah! Those can VANISH in an instant. Frankly, your reasoning here is so hilariously shallow I am left wondering why you even see the need for a Godmother.

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      Addie Pray January 24, 2013, 5:13 am

      Could not agree more. So self-righteous and holier than thou.

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      MertleJ January 24, 2013, 9:05 am

      hahaha “even those with cottages”. love it

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    Anna January 24, 2013, 10:38 am

    I love the idea of two godmothers, and including the best friend is a great idea. I really relate to what Wendy said about childless best friends doting on their bestie’s kids because that’s exactly what I do. My bestie has 3 kids and I love them so much. I always bring Christmas gifts for all of them, come to their birthday parties with gifts, and just randomly help around the house when we’re hanging out. The kids are always super excited when I show up and give me big hugs. I’m like their cool aunt.

    Since you already asked your sister to be godmother, I agree it would be rude to take that away now but there’s no law stating there can be only one godmother. It sounds like you have a really awesome best friend who will always be there for your kids, so it would be really good to honor her as well.

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    melancholia January 24, 2013, 12:42 pm

    Let’s hope the LW never gets divorced, has three kids and has to file for bankruptcy all at the same time. If it does happen, lets see how involved she can be with other people’s kids and how it might feel to be judged, attacked and beaten down whenever she makes a poor choice in SOMEONE ELSE’S opinion.

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    tbrucemom January 24, 2013, 6:46 pm

    A Godparent makes sure the child is raised in the religion the parent wishes. Some people use it as a honorary thing but that is the intention of being one. If you think it’s someone who would actually take care of your child if something happened to you and your husband, you definitely should choose your sister as she could be the one that does it any way.

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