Being a godparent means different things to different people. For one woman her cousin’s definition made her say, “thanks, but no thanks” when she was asked to be a godmother. But her cousin didn’t take her refusal well and now the entire family is getting involved.
So she decided to take her moral dilemma to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subreddit.
Redditor Droneoflife asked:
“AITA for refusing to become a godparent to a disabled child?”
The Original Poster explained:
“I’m already a godparent to one baby (Ace), and he’s a sweet baby and I will admit, I spoil him but he’s only a few months and his parents are okay with it.”
“Legally in their will, if anything were to happen to [Ace’s parents] I would be the one taking him to live with me, this is important because I’m planning on being childfree and his mother has a medical condition that could take her life.”
“This is a last resort, because her husband is healthy and fine, but if something happened I would have Ace.”
“My cousin and I drifted apart in the last few years, she got into heavy drugs and became a alcoholic who refused to get treatment. She became pregnant with some rebounds kid, and still drinks heavily throughout her pregnancy.”
“The doctors say that there’s at least an 85% or so chance the baby will have severe problems ( I guess you can tell by a growth scan? Idk)”
“She called me out of the blue, asking for me to become her child’s godparent ( she’s having a c section in a week or so). Of course, this is a big deal for our family, you don’t say no.”
“She explained that if anything were to happen that:”
- “I would have to move back 1,200 miles and get a home in our hometown so that her daughter could be with our family.”
- “Her daughter can not go to school out of state, and would ideally be raised within a short drive of our hometown.”
- “I would have to make sure her daughter is raised Catholic, this is a slight problem because I don’t want to convert. She said it wouldn’t be that hard to convert.”
- “I couldn’t force my views ( I’m so confused at this point, I’m assuming political. She’s a hard core Republican)”
This was a bit much from a cousin the OP doesn’t even communicate with.
“I sat there, stunned that she expected a lot out of me.”
“My godson’s parents didn’t ask anything like that, just uphold their religious views, make sure Ace has the best education and help raise him into a productive person.They don’t mind that I might have to move around for my future career, as long as Ace is kept safe and knows he is well loved.”
“My cousin also mentioned that every time I traveled home that I would be taking her daughter off her hands so she could ‘go have a good time’ since it was my duty. Godparents are basically mandatory babysitters, and I don’t push it past my cousin to drop her baby off even though I say no.”
The OP tried to tell her cousin thanks, but no thanks.
“I told her that I appreciate the offer, but I don’t feel like this would be fair to either me or her daughter if something did happen. I don’t want to give up my whole life here, and I don’t want to uproot her daughter if something does happen.”
“I wouldn’t be capable to give her daughter the best life and wouldn’t be able to handle her challenges in the way she deserves. She freaked out, said that ‘it’s because her daughter was going to have problems wasn’t it?’ and that I would ‘take one disabled child but not hers?’.”
“Ace has a stupid allergy to pineapples and kiwis, hardly a disability.”
“Still, I feel bad. Half my family keeps messaging to say and do it anyway. AITA?”
After asking their AITA question, the OP came back to clarify a few things for Redditors.
“I’m legally in the will and other legal documents to be Ace’s guardian if something happens to both of his parents, so I’ll be his legal guardian if he’s underage. They had one requirement for this to be put in if I was okay with it, to prevent legal battles in the future.”
“Where I’m from, and tradition in my family is that you put the godparent in the will as the legal guardian. I have no reason to assume my cousin wouldn’t do this as well.”
The cousin’s mom is also now involved.
“Calling Ace disabled because of a few stupid food allergies kinda sealed the deal for me, because now her mom has gotten involved stating ‘That stupid godchild of yours is already disabled, what makes him any better? You can deal with him, whats the difference?'”
“She also called me a bitch, and said I’d never be a mom. Cool. I’m fine with that.”
She clarified her godson’s allergies…
“The food allergies are Kiwi, Pineapple and we think he’s allergic to gluten or rice, but haven’t got him tested for that. Idk you, but I don’t see kiwi in my everyday for this to be a issue, or can afford enough pineapple for it to ruin my life if I did take Ace.”
…and why she and her cousin are not on good terms.
“I tried to get her into rehab twice, once before she was pregnant and once after.”
Then it was time for Redditors to weigh in and decide if the OP is:
- NTA: Not The A**hole meaning the other party was at fault
- YTA: You’re The A**hole meaning the OP was at fault
- ESH: Everyone Sucks Here meaning both parties are at fault
- NAH: No A**holes Here meaning no one did anything wrong
Redditors were pretty clear about who was being an a**hole here.
“I flat out had to refuse a godmother title because the parents insisted that if something were to happen to them, their child continue going to their church.”
“I don’t believe in forcing kids to go to church, and I don’t go myself, so nope. They were fairly understanding and picked someone else.”
“The moving 1200miles The convert to Catholicism And the “free babysitting” are all great big swimming pool sized red flags.”
“My godson’s father ordered-in dinner for me (cuz they’re vegan), paid my cab fair home, and tried to pay me for my time the last time I babysat. I turned down the cash because my godson is an awesome human and I love hanging with him, but there wasn’t any expectation of free labour! That’s absolute BS.”
“Tell any of the family that insists you do it to volunteer themselves.” ~ smokey_flutterby
“NTA. It’s not even about the baby’s potential to have a disability, it’s that your views don’t align with what she is demanding of you.”
“You don’t want to move which is reasonable. ‘No’ is a complete sentence.”
“A lot of the time, the godparent thing never comes to fruition, but this is a risky situation given her addictions and lifestyle which in all likelihood will shorten her life and literally leave you holding the baby. She has family in her hometown who are better placed to be godparents.” ~ Carliebeans
“NTA- this is a serious decision and if for ANY reason you don’t feel you are able to take on this responsibility, it is best you decline.”
“And decline now. This way she has time to find the right person for this.”
“And no, god parents aren’t mandated babysitters.” ~ bitchy_badger
“NTA – just tell her honestly that you can’t & won’t meet those expectations & it would be more fair to her & the child to find someone else who will.”
“And I’m totally with you, I couldn’t meet those expectations either.” ~ DameLame
“NTA.That seems like a bunch of complications that you in no way are obligated to entertain.”
“She isn’t asking you to be a godparent; she is demanding that you be the second parent.”
“Your family can be the godfamily and pick up her pieces.”
“You don’t live nearby, blocking her from contacting you would be my next move [if I were you].” ~ Jess_needs_tequila
Everyone voted NTA for this OP. And they all agreed this was not a situation the OP should volunteer to get involved in.