Parenting Challenges – #1 Christening Planning

It’s one of those things no-one warned me about. Amidst all the warnings of sleepless nights and being up to my elbows in baby poo – I wish! (yep, she’s still constipated) -, no-one ever said that it’s so difficult to arrange a Christening.

I watched ’16 Kids and Counting’ on Channel 4 the other night, and she was arranging a Christening for 11 of her kids. They didn’t show all the planning process, I know, but she made it look remarkably easy (then again, they make raising 16 kids look very easy, so I’m guessing it’s a running theme). I’m struggling to organise a Christening for one!

The problems we’re facing are that we aren’t incredibly religious, but we aren’t anti-religion either… I wouldn’t say I identify as a Christian, but lately I’ve gone from being atheist to more agnostic. I like the idea of there being something after death, I just can’t commit to one particular thing in case I’m wrong and miss my chance (that’s probably the wrong reason to believe in something but hey, I’m fickle like that). I was Christened, D was Christened, and it hasn’t hurt either of us or held us back – I can’t really see much of a reason for SB not to be Christened, when I think about it. It gives her the option of joining the church when she’s older, and it’ll also mean she can be a godparent if anyone asks her to one day – one thing we have learned is that godparents are supposed to be baptised Christians (our godparents might not be, but while lying is a sin, the Bible doesn’t say anything about being economical with the truth, does it?).

We have a local parish church, but we’ve only lived here a month and a half, we don’t know anyone, much less the church congregation and the vicar. The church in Wales rules that you have to have the Christening as part of the public worship services, otherwise we’d arrange a private Christening, but that doesn’t seem to be an option here. We have two churches back home – one that seems perfect but the service timings are really not working for us, and another that is lovely but small, with perfect service times, but a large congregation so we’re not sure we’d fit family members and friends in there.

I’m fine with organising the little get-together afterwards, I’m fine to make the sandwiches and fill a tinfoil hedgehog with pineapple and cheese on a stick. I’m fine to hold SB through the service and get her dressed and cuddle her when she inevitably cries after being dunked in the water (she loves baths, but only because they’re warm and not on her head!). I’m fine to make the invites and send them out and ask godparents and decide who gets invited and who doesn’t. But figuring this conundrum out? I’m at a complete loss.

Do most people find organising Christenings easy because they don’t have such complicated families and living arrangements, or because they start planning as soon as they’ve conceived? If so, that’s another thing Emma’s Diary didn’t remind me to do. We need a practical guide to parenting – all the little things you never thought you’d find difficult but do. Christenings would definitely be in there.


2 thoughts on “Parenting Challenges – #1 Christening Planning

  1. The Wanderer Returns (@caffeine_lights) says:

    Oh no, it’s because planning a wedding is like planning a Christening in terms of the church vs registry office vs which *()£*)(£”*()ing one are we allowed to use, plus making sure that all of the people who are invited are actually interested and not bored and all of the people who are not invited are not offended and the people who are invited have enough of a role not to be offended and not too much of a role that they feel used and trying to ask nicely if someone can do said nice favour that they’re offering you in a slightly different way and this is going to be THE ONLY ONE IN YOUR LIFE so it’s a huge deal and and and that’s maybe 25% of the things you have to stress about?

    Which is not to say planning a christening isn’t stressful. I’m sure it probably is for much the same reasons. But most people planning a christening have already been through planning a wedding and had to incorporate their fucked up families and living situations into that, plus families seem less het up about the second “important life changing family event” that you organise and I suspect christenings are a little less formal than weddings. So it probably feels much easier if you’re doing it in that order.


    • The Speed Bump says:

      That is such a good point – I hadn’t thought about it that way before now! I’ve never tried to organise anything on this scale, in such a short space of time before. It’s why I’m glad we’re leaving it a few years for the wedding; I can plan without too much stress… she says hopefully!

      Christenings are definitely less formal than weddings (ours is going to be, anyway!). I guess after planning a wedding, a Christening is probably fun to plan… whereas I haven’t seen anything yet!


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