Religion and Your baby

Both my Husband and I grew up in the Catholic church.  I spent my K-8th grade years in a Catholic school that was not at all tragic to my childhood.  There were no strict nuns and I haven’t needed therapy to discuss how it all ruined me.  My Husband did not attend Catholic school but did go through all the normal rites of passage, if you will, for the Catholic faith.  Baptism, first communion, reconciliation, etc.

Since leaving our parents home and becoming adults, neither of us have been particularly crazy about the Catholic faith nor have we gone out of our way to make sure we attended Catholic church more than the Christmas Eve/Easter holidays.  For several years I did attend a non-denominational church in my town and Rebecca joined their Sunday school program.  I felt like I got a lot out of it but as it happens, we didn’t go one week, then the next and now it has been about two years since we have attended.

Flash forward to today, a baby on the way, and suddenly we are digging deep on our faith and further considering which direction to go with our child.  I would consider both my Husband and I to be more spiritual than religious people and we have a tough time with organized religion.  We have faith in God, believe in an after life, and pray each night with Rebecca.  But there are those questions that family members like to start asking you, or more specifically, Grandmothers.  Will you baptize your child?  Will you raise your child in the Catholic faith?  How will your child know about God?  I honestly didn’t realize this would be such a big topic of conversation but I found myself this past Sunday, with my Grandmother, being interrogated about all things religious for my unborn child.

The Husband and I decided we needed some sort of game plan, before this got out of control with the families, on what they might think would be right or wrong.  It seems quite different from when we were infants.  There is no hard or fast rule with our generation on baptisms and so forth.  Call it the Catholic ingrained in us but we both are uncomfortable with our child not being baptized.  The only Catholic church I even have an attachment left with is my Grandmothers church.  We came to the conclusion that we would have her baptized there.

For a number of reasons, Rebecca is not baptized nor has she gone through any other Catholic rites of passage but she does attend a private Catholic school.  The few times we have found ourselves in the church setting, it truly bothers both the Husband and I that Rebecca sits in the pew while we go up to receive communion.  I’m not quite sure why it bothers us so much, perhaps the disconnect, but we know we would like our child to at least have her first communion through the Catholic church.  Again, perhaps just the years of being a Catholic drilled into our heads, those of you out there raised the same way probably understand, but it is something we feel should happen.  We feel being both baptized and having communion in one faith will give her a base for whatever direction she may want to take as an adult.

We plan on teaching our child about God, faith and having an open mind spiritually.  For us, some of it just comes from what is ingrained in us from our childhood, some is what we have learned as adults.  In some ways it seems more difficult, these days, to come together as parents and decide on how to teach your child about religion.  In other ways, these days, it seems people are more open-minded to different ways of celebrating religion and beliefs.  I think it is a tricky topic to navigate for a lot of couples though because it may not be one that a lot think about until they are shouldered with the task once a child is on the way.  Thankfully, the Husband and I previously had some basic conversations about this back when we were dating, so this wasn’t completely out of left field.  Our families great interest over it seemed more surprising to us.

Religion, like finances, is one of those tricky topics while you are dating, married or even once a baby is on the way.  For most though, it is very important.  For now I feel like we have a starting point and can adjust our sails as God sees fit from here.

4 thoughts on “Religion and Your baby

  1. My husband and I just had this conversation yesterday. He grew up Catholic and went to Catholic private schools, and I grew up a Baptist minister’s daughter. Neither of us are huge on organized religion, but we do credit it for a lot of the values and our upbringing, and most of our first-hand experiences have been positive, but there’s a lot about modern-Christianity and how it uses politics and current events to further an agenda that almost always looks more evil than good…and definitely not Christ-like. His parents asked about a Christening for our twins, which I have some reservations about, but I think he feels obligated because of growing up in a Catholic church. I don’t see anything wrong with it as a dedication ceremony, but I’d actually rather just have a dedication ceremony than a Baptism. I believe Baptism is a step of faith and a choice to be made when the individual understands the meaning. I chose not to be baptized as a child because I felt there was too much inherent pressure on me to do so since my dad was the minister and I had no other choice in which church I attended or joined. I want my children to learn about Christ and various religions, I want them to witness a Christ-like love for humanity in their parents, and I want them to learn the core values that we were taught as children. But I really don’t know where I stand on Baptism/Christening/Dedication ceremonies.

    1. It sounds like you two have had a very similar discussion as us! I understand the background you guys are coming from. It is a hard decision to make but I think one that is best made now instead of fighting over it has the child grows. The important part is finding what works best for your family. I feel like there is a lot more emotion involved in it than most people realize. Thanks for sharing your story!

  2. omg are you reading my mind? Eric’s mom was just pressuring me the other week about getting our child baptized in the Catholic Church. We both grew up Catholic, Eric’s parents converted when he was young so that he could attend a private Catholic school. But as an adult, I’ve stopped going to Catholic church and we actually go to a non denominational church that I really love. In the five years I’ve been maried to Eric, his mom has never gone to church. Not once. She is Catholic in name only. Her other son is pretty much an atheist. So when I told Eric about his mom pressuring me about it, he was really surprised. Like why would she care? And fuck, it’s none of her business! It makes me so ragey when I think about it. It’s not shocking either that she brings it up to me, but doesn’t bring it up to her own son..???

    1. I was actually going to email you on this the other day. I was trying to remember correctly if you were Catholic or not as well! That is crazy. It is weird how suddenly grandparents and other family members take this crazy interest in the religion aspect when they themselves don’t even follow. And you are right, why would she not bring it up to Eric first?! Probably because she knows what he will say?

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