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Catholic Weddings

Advice - church vs. FMIL

Hi ladies,
I haven't posted here in months, but I thought I'd get your thoughts on this because I'm a little mad with my FMIL.

Background: FI has two brothers (both are in the WP, along with both wives/sister-in-laws). Each of them have children. There's a total of 4: 2 boys and 2 girls. The girls (ages 7 and 4.5) will be our flower girls. The boys (ages 20 months and 18 months) will not be in the WP because of their ages, and I thought would be watched by FI's mom and dad.

FMIL is now calling my church and asking about a room to bring the boys during the wedding. (Their will be no mass, as FI isn't Catholic). I know she's MOG and her son is getting married, but why does she expect the church to "babysit/control" these two boys??? I'm not a mother, but my opinion is this: "It's called parenting! You raised 3 sons, and now you can't take responsibility for your two grandsons for 45 minutes MAX??"

Am I overracting? Do I take any action?

Apparently, she isn't getting much response from the church secretaries, which is making her say snide remarks about the Catholic church (she used to be Catholic. . .have no idea about the fallout/background other than she's divorced and has been remarried to FI's dad for 35 years.)

Just annoys me that she expects this from the church. Sorry this got to be so long!

Re: Advice - church vs. FMIL

  • It's really strange to me that she would expect the parish to somehow provide babysitting services.  However, I don't think it's fair to think that it's her responsibility to watch the two little ones.  She is not the parent.  Is it nice for grandparents to help out?  Yeah.  Is it their responsiblity? Nope. 

    I can also see how she might not want to be in charge of two boys at a very young, very wriggly/active age.  It's her son's wedding, and so I'm thinking she wants to be able to devote 100% attention to the ceremony.  If she's watching her grandsons, she'll have to pay attention to them, and that could potentially mean stepping out of the church during the ceremony if someone decides to scream and throw a fit (hey, it happens!).

    I think the best solution would be to leave it to the parents to arrange someone  to watch their kids, seeing as they are responsible for their kids -- not you, not your FMIL.  You could suggest to them that they ask someone (maybe SIL's mom, a friend, etc) to come to the ceremony and care for the kids.  My best friend has done this before when she was a bridesmaid, and it worked out great.

     

  • edited August 2012
    That sounds frustrating - I don't blame her for asking if there is a room/babysitter already available (can't hurt to check, and maybe that's something she's used to from other churches?) but it's unfortunate that she's getting upset at that not being available.

    I can understand her not wanting be responsible for the boys during the service though - it is her son's wedding, and I"m sure she wants to be able to be focused on that rather than trying to control two young toddlers.  If one of them starts crying, would she be expected to leave the church?  It would be unfortunate if she missed the vows or something because of this. 

    Would it be possible for you to invite one of the other grandparents of these boys?  As in, one of their wives' parents?  That's what we're doing - FI's brother and SIL's kids are in our wedding.  We're inviting SIL's dad to the wedding to help with the kids, so FI's parents can just relax and enjoy their son's wedding. 

    ETA - Resa beat me to it :)
  • I agree with Resa - the parents should find someone to watch the children. I don't think it is fair to make the MOG in charge of babies when she likely wants to be able to focus on the ceremony.

    As far as snide remarks re: the Church - have FI speak to her about it. He should let her know that she is being extremely disrespectful and that he will not tolerate it.
  • Thanks for the responses. . . I'm not sure we can invite more people - I'm 22 days out. Both mothers are OOT as are their mothers. But that is a good thought.

    I'm also unsure of the parents views on this. Did they ask FMIL to inquire about this? Or is she going over them and asking? I don't know.

    I guess what is bugging me about this is that it's so close to the wedding. Everyone has known about this situation for almost a year. Why didn't anyone discuss this sooner so we could plan for a solution?

    FI chides in with FMIL about these remarks. . . this came up yesterday. I may get into it with him tonight.
  • FWIW, my sister had a similar problem at her wedding - though children were not invited at all. Her SIL called up with 2 days to go and asked if she could bring her son since they couldn't find a babysitter. This was something that had been discussed many times in the months leading up to the wedding. Both the mother and father were in the wedding party and the grandparents were not going to be expected to watch the kids, eventhough SIL was assuming they would.

    After a lot of unnecessary and pathetic excuses, SIL finally found a friend to watch him. It was completely obnoxious to have bothered my sister with this in the days leading up to her wedding. I was a bit livid with her SIL bc she is known to pull this kind of stuff all the time. She just likes to get her way.

    Just be firm - 22 days should be enough for the parents to find a babysitter.
  • i dont understand why the kids parents arent lining up their own child care.  why is the grandparent doing it?

    i agree that FI's parents should have to babysit.   kids this little dont belong at a wedding in the first place.  if the parents cant find sitters then oen of them shoudl step down from the WP (and you cant get mad about it) and watch thier kids.

  • edited August 2012
    If your FMIL doesn't want to be responsible for the grandsons during the ceremony, that's completely fine - however, she needs to realize that the Church is not required to provide a babysitting service.  The children's parents should really be figuring this out, as they're responsible for the kids.  Perhaps if you approach it in the sense that you are happy to help FMIL locate a sitter or some additional help with the kids during the ceremony - but they need to drop it with insisting that your church would provide it - you can all work together to find a solution (local sitter, other family member who wouldn't mind being in charge of them, family friend, etc.) 

    As Riss said, 22 days is plenty of time to find a sitter or make arrangements.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_advice-church-vs-fmil?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:389123d9-0105-4f5d-b4a7-03f48f132dbePost:a18c88e2-f2e0-4cb9-b11e-7585b02f8ea1">Re: Advice - church vs. FMIL</a>:
    [QUOTE]<strong>i dont understand why the kids parents arent lining up their own child care.</strong>  why is the grandparent doing it? i agree that FI's parents should have to babysit.   kids this little dont belong at a wedding in the first place.  if the parents cant find sitters then oen of them shoudl step down from the WP (and you cant get mad about it) and watch thier kids.
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    I believe they <em>assumed</em> (I know, this is probably the problem) my FI's parents (the grandparents) would watch them during the ceremony when they were all standing with us. Honestly, I don't know. My FSIL/BM was considering leaving her 20-month old with her mom in Philly. Apparently, she decided against that. As for the other SIL/MOH it would have been very easy to leave her 18-month old with her mom, but apparently she didn't want to do that. I'm not mad the kids are there. . . these are the only kids we were open to having at the wedding. Maybe I should seek both mothers and see what they think is best.
  • I think the problem is that the parents are letting their problem fall on you.  Obvi you REALLY don' want them to step down from being in the WP, but it's their job to find child care.  Do they live in the area?  If they're out of town, and there isn't another relative (maybe a teenaged cousin?) who can help, then I think that's a little different and it would be appropriate for you to help.  If they're not out of town, they should be able to find someone on their own.

     

  • I'm confused if she wants the church to just provide a *room* or an actual babysitter? A room I don't see all that ridiculous (isn't that what a cry room is?) But I can't imagine any Protestant church providing a babysitter! And even if she has a room then she has to miss the whole ceremony! So I think it comes down to the Mother of the Groom should not be responsible for ANYthing like that! Find someone else, either another relative who isn't as immediately close to you and your FI, or find and hire an actual babysitter for an hour.
    Anniversary
  • i really dont thikn you should get yourself in the middle of it. its not your problem.  dont make it your problem.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_advice-church-vs-fmil?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:389123d9-0105-4f5d-b4a7-03f48f132dbePost:1fafc5e5-695b-4776-98f7-b69cbea81e8c">Re: Advice - church vs. FMIL</a>:
    [QUOTE]<strong>I'm confused if she wants the church to just provide a *room* or an actual babysitter?</strong> A room I don't see all that ridiculous (isn't that what a cry room is?) But I can't imagine any Protestant church providing a babysitter! And even if she has a room then she has to miss the whole ceremony! So I think it comes down to the Mother of the Groom should not be responsible for ANYthing like that! Find someone else, either another relative who isn't as immediately close to you and your FI, or find and hire an actual babysitter for an hour.
    Posted by lalaith50[/QUOTE]

    This I don't know. I think she just wants a room. BUT, say they do have a room. . . I know she won't be the one to be there with them (as she shouldn't be). But I don't know who she thinks is going to watch them either.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_advice-church-vs-fmil?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:389123d9-0105-4f5d-b4a7-03f48f132dbePost:2017b6d4-8624-4c1a-847f-dff7f349995b">Re: Advice - church vs. FMIL</a>:
    [QUOTE]i really dont thikn you should get yourself in the middle of it. its not your problem.  dont make it your problem.
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    And THIS is exactly what I'm going to do.
  • Unless the MOG offered to watch the boys it's not her responsibility to do so. You're right, it's her sons wedding, which means she probably wants to enjoy it in peace and not miss half the ceremony because she's looking after two toddlers.  It's the job of the childrens' parents to find child care and they accepted that responsibility when they accepted the invitation to be in the wedding party.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_advice-church-vs-fmil?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:389123d9-0105-4f5d-b4a7-03f48f132dbePost:b79970ac-7721-4c1e-9d70-401d6d556905">Re: Advice - church vs. FMIL</a>:
    [QUOTE]I agree with Resa - the parents should find someone to watch the children. I don't think it is fair to make the MOG in charge of babies when she likely wants to be able to focus on the ceremony. As far as snide remarks re: the Church - have FI speak to her about it. He should let her know that she is being extremely disrespectful and that he will not tolerate it.
    Posted by Riss91[/QUOTE]

    <div>I'd agree with this!  Is there a way for the babies' parents to find a local babysitter, nanny or daycare center that can watch them during the ceremony?  I know most centers would probably be closed on weekends... but it might be worth a shot.  I don't think that it's the parish's responsibility to provide childcare during a ceremony that isn't a regularly scheduled Mass... so agree that it's unreasonable for your FMIL to get upset about this.</div>
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