Godmother and Guardian – When my sister became a Mother to two beautiful children and made me an Auntie, I was over the moon. I didn’t think anything could make me happier, until the day I was asked to be their Godmother. Of course, I didn’t think twice about it and immediately agreed. Nothing would make me prouder than to be a Godmother to my niece and nephew.
Godmother – What does that mean?
As the day of the christening approached I began to wonder exactly what my role as Godmother would entail. I spoke to a few friends about it and there seemed to some confusion over what would be required of me. Some felt it would be my duty to help the parents to raise the children, and be somewhat responsible for their faith and belief in God, whilst others felt that my duties would only begin if the parents were to die whilst the children are still minors.
The actual definition of a Godparent is said to be someone who will help to raise the child in a Christian manner, something which I had never considered. After all, I am not a particularly religious person, and don’t regularly attend church. Perhaps for this reason I should have declined, but my sister and Brother-in-Law were willing to trust me with this duty, and felt I would be the right person for the job, and so I chose to accept, and I am determined to prove them right. Being a Godmother is a big responsibility and I am prepared to do whatever is necessary for my new Goddaughter and Godson.
Being asked to be Godmother was one of the most special moments of my life, but nothing prepared me for being asked to be their Guardian too. Now, I may not have anticipated what being a Godmother might bring, but doing the job I do, it’s fair to say I know a lot more about what being a Guardian entails.
Being a Guardian?
Basically means agreeing to become a substitute ‘parent’ in the event that both of the children’s parents pass away. Depending on the age of the children you are being asked to be Guardian for, this could be a long term commitment. At the time of being asked to take on this responsibility, my sisters children were aged two and four! If the worst was to happen to my sister and her husband anytime soon I would be acting as a ‘parent’ to these children from a very young age.
I feel honoured that my sister would trust me with raising her children, that she feels I would do a good job and be the sort of role model that she would want for her babies. After all, I may have experience of working with children from my days as an Early Years Practitioner, but I don’t currently have any children of my own to prove my abilities as a parent. It is not only the job of being able to raise the children in a way my sister would be proud of that was a consideration, but also the financial implications that this could have on me too. People always say you should never wait until you can afford a child before having one, but going from a two person household to four would have a significant impact on my bank balance.
I would have to consider my working hours, especially once the children are at school. Could I continue working full time, or would I need to find a job where I only worked school hours and not in the school holidays? If I worked less hours, would I be able to support two fast growing children, or support two teenagers that want designer clothes and all the latest gadgets? What if I want children of my own, and what happens if after doing so I am then required to take up my role as Guardian to my niece and nephew. How would I be able to cope financially with this commitment?
Luckily, my sister had prepared for this already, and set up a sum of money from her life insurance to pay into a Trust Fund for the children, so that their chosen Guardian (Me) would have sufficient funds to support them throughout their life into adulthood. This money would be available for food, heating, clothing, school trips, new shoes and whatever else is required to ensure the welfare of the children. With the Trust Fund in place, I no longer needed to be as concerned about the financial implications of Guardianship, but there are still so many other things to think about. Luckily I have a strong bond with my niece and nephew and see them regularly. They know who I am, feel comfortable with me and we have a great relationship. I am very lucky, as many families are unable to spend as much time together as we do and therefore children don’t always get to form such strong relationships with their relatives, particularly at the young age that my niece and nephew are.
Losing their parents would be so hard for the children to cope with, no matter what age they could be when it happens, and it would only be made more difficult for them if they had to go and live with someone that although is a relation to them, is someone that they barely know. Becoming their Guardian would make me even more determined to be a permanent fixture in their lives, and not just someone that they see on special occasions such as at family weddings or at Christmas. Being asked to be a Guardian is a great honour, but it is not a decision to be taken lightly. There are some people that may not feel that they could cope with such huge responsibility, and although there have been times where my faith in my own abilities has made me question whether I could do this, there was only ever going to be one answer.
Yes! I would become their Godmother and Guardian.
I hope that I am never called upon to fulfill my duties, however, if the worst was ever to happen, I will be ready to step into my role. The day I agreed to be both their Godmother and Guardian, I made a promise that, if my sister was no longer around, I would ensure that the children are raised well, have good morals, and to continue to be the beautiful beings that they already are, and that is a promise that I will never break!