15 Dec 2011

Guest Post: Mrs Pancakes from Team Pancakes

Godparenting

Thank you TOI for inviting me to speak about my role as a godparent. Hope motherhood is in everyway as magical as i have heard! And you are falling in madly with the little one!

The role of a godparenting is an important one in the life of a child. If you think about it you are entrusted with taking care of this child if something happens to their parents. That's a big responsibility. I am a godmother (GM) to two lovely children and i was blessed when my friends asked me to be a godparent. That meant i am their bestest and dearest friend! It also meant i am the most responsible person they know!

I think the excitement of being named the godmother blinded my deeper understanding of the role. As my godchildren are getting older (almost 3 and 2), i am realizing that the role of modern godparenting is different.

According to definition: traditionally, godparents were informally responsible for ensuring the child's religious education was carried out, and for caring for the child should he/she be orphaned.

According to definition: today, the word godparent might not have explicitly religious overtones. The modern view of a godparent tends to be an individual chosen by the parents to take an interest in the child's upbringing and personal development.

The today's definition of godparenting is where i have failed. I know my godchildren and they know me however aside from sending birthday gifts and calling on occasion, i have not taken an interest in the child's upbringing and personal development.

But then do all godparents take such an active role in the lives of their godchildren? I am probably writing with a lot of guilt because one of my godchildren, i live an airplane ride away and another i live fifteen minutes away. The one i live closest too, i probably could take more of an interest than i do. I should be able to take him every weekend and spend some quality time with him. I should be able to go to his swimming lessons. But unfortunately life gets in the way sometimes.

I read an article recently in the NY Times entitled: The Godparent Trap and the author said: most godparents these days are neither godly nor parental. And that hit close to home because i am being neither. How can i expect my godchild to refer to me affectionately as "GM-godmother" when i don't even see him on a regular basis?

After reading this article and rethinking my current role as GM, i am thinking i need to be present in the lives of my godchildren because i was chosen to act as a present person now and not when. Learning from my mistakes, here are some tips i learned through reading the article so that Toi will choose the best possible godparent for her precious little one.

1. Choose many godparents. It reduces the burden on any individual, increases the number of voices and forms a new community. After all, it takes a village to raise a child.

2. Assign each godparent a specific task. I love this idea of giving individuals roles for the child including Travel, Values, Sports. I always dreamed of taking my godchildren to museums when they were older and not necessarily doing stuff with them when they are babies.

3. It’s never too late to add new godparents. There’s no reason godparents should be chosen only at birth. People's lives change...before my godchildren came along, i wasn't married and now i am with very little time to spare.

The article does a good job of saying that godparents is less about church and more about friendships so it's important as a godparents to model friendship and love. Be responsible to the child through friendship and love.

And as my godchildren get older and they refer to me affectionately as GM--i will know i earned the title because i was an important part of their lives. caleb7

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Thank you Mrs Pancakes, this is a sweet reminder of our duty not only as parents but also as godparents.

Ladies you must meet Mrs Pancakes @ Adventures of Team Pancakes, I love her and her blog, she has always something controversial to trigger our minds :), always in a good way. Say hello.

7 comments:

  1. Thank you Toi for having me. It was really fun to reflect on being a godparent...such an important job!

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  2. I hope that one day I can be a Godparent. Great post!

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  3. Nice, thoughtful post. It's not something I've commonly seen in my family. I don't have a Godparent and have never been asked to be one. I think it's awesome you are taking the job seriously. Your Godchildren can only benefit from your dedication and interest in them regardless of the form it takes.

    That being said, too many parents treat their children's Godparents like an ATM!

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  4. Oh Deidra I couldnt agree with you more about the ATM comment!

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  5. As I was reading this, I couldn't help but reflect on the relationship (or lack of) with my godparents. I was not close to either one of them, and they didn't appear to be interested in me at all.

    Now that I'm older, I understand what the role of godparents are and I do see how hard it could be giving someone that title.

    Agree, that picking more than one will alleviate the burden that one may feel if they have to do it all themselves.

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  6. Wow very insightful post. We are in the process of picking Godparents right now for our bun in the oven and this is definitely food for thought!

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  7. You are so right Mrs. Pancakes! I think the role of Godparent is a big one! And with our crazy-busy world today, it wouldn't hurt to assign more than one set of God 'rents! The more the merrier, right?!

    Great guest post!

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