I am faced with a family dilemma. I have a 6 year old niece, whom I love dearly and a brand new 4 month old nephew. These are my brother's kids, and my brother and I are very close. When my niece was born, I found out about 3 months later, that my sister-in-law had asked her co-worker to be the godmother. I was very hurt (I expected her to ask her sister, if she wasn't going to ask me) and it was very painful to go to the christening and see this girl, who I didn't even know, stand up there with my niece. I had to be the bigger person so that I didn't miss out on an important event in her life. My brother argued that because we didn't go to church every Sunday that I shouldn't be so upset. I was upset because I see that as a very big honor, and I wasn't chosen for it.
Time passed and 5 years later, we find out that my sister-in-law is pregnant again. The whole pregnancy, I am dying to find out who the godmother is going to be. Well, last week I get a call from my sister-in-law, asking me to be godmother...I was ecstatic! She told me that when she talked to the church, I wasn't a practicing Catholic so I could not be the godmother. I asked her if there was anyway around it, I am baptized, christened and all of that, I just don't go to church every Sunday. She insisted that there was no way around it and said that since I couldn't be it, that she was going to ask the babysitter instead.
So, after we hung up the phone, I thought there must be some way - this is so stupid. So I sent her an e-mail and told her to hold off on asking the babysitter. I contacted my local church and they said all I had to do was register with their parish and I could be my nephew's godmother. When I went back to my sister-in-law, she had already asked the babysitter (because she didn't get my e-mail in time) and she refused to go back on her word to the babysitter. She kept telling me that it would leave the babysitter heartbroken if she took it back and that I should look at it from her point of view, but I told my sister-in-law that she was doing that exact thing to me!
This has caused a huge riff in my family to where I don't even want to go to the christening. I couldn't bear to go through that again. She and my brother just don't seem to understand. I don't understand why she didn't look into it more if she really wanted me to be the godmother. She and I were best friends, but now we aren't even speaking. If I don't resolve this, I will lose contact with my niece and nephew for good. What should I do?
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Dear Disappointed Dana--
I hate to break it to you, but for whatever reason, it sounds as though your sister-in-law doesn't want you to be her son's godmother. Her excuses, while somewhat valid, were not thoroughly researched or else she would have seen the small adjustments that needed to be made on your end in order for you to be their son's godmother, which it sounds like you were more than willing to do. On the other hand, since she chose her nephew's babysitter - not even a fellow family member - maybe this whole godmother thing really isn't as big a deal to her as it is to you.
This definitely requires a conversation with both your brother and his wife. Be honest and tell them how important this role was to you and how hurt you are. Maybe they can explain to the babysitter that they did ask you first, and since you're family, it makes more sense for you to be the godmother. Are they open to the idea of having more than one godmother? Perhaps suggest that as an option so no one's feelings get hurt.
If nothing changes after you have a heart to heart with your brother and sister-in-law, I think you should still go to the christening. Try to remember this event is for your nephew regardless of how upset you are with his parents. You might regret not being present later on down the road. I know you're really upset about not being the godmother, but being your niece and nephew's AUNT is also a huge honor. It's your relationship with them that matters - not your "title."