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I'm a Gran-in-waiting and need advice

(38 Posts)
Laolao Tue 30-Aug-11 01:51:55

Hi! I am new to Gransnet, and I need help/advice from the collected wisdom of all you old hands smile My DD is expecting her first baby in mid November. She and her husband (my delightful Aussie Sil) are due to move from the UK to San Francisco USA in late January as he has to work there for a year. Fair enough, although I was concerned that she would find herself in a new country with a new baby and no family/friends support network.
What has given me real anxiety is that SiLs parents have sent tickets for them to fly to Sydney in late December and then on to SF from there 3 weeks later. I realise (having done it myself) that often it is easier to travel with a small baby than with an infant who is mobile, but this is her FIRST child, and even if everything goes absolutely to plan and the baby arrives bang on time (not very likely given family history) there are so many unknowns as to how she will feel emotionally and physically. To fly half-way round the world with an infant of less than 6 weeks -possibly as young as 4 weeks old - and then 3 weeks later to fly across the Pacific to a new home (as yet not selected) seems to be madness. However she and SiL are adamant as his parents are putting on the pressure to see the child.

Oh yes, the other thing is that in March, they are intending to fly back from SF to Sydney and then back to SF for a family wedding so her in-laws would definately see their new grandchild then, and he would still only be 4mths old.

pinkprincess Sat 03-Sep-11 00:05:17

I had both of my children by C-section in the early seventies.Both times I was in hospital for 14 days afterwards so was back on my feet and ready to cope with a baby, then the second time a baby and toddler as well.
Both of my DILs were home the next day after normal births,except one by C-section when it was a week later, baby was premature and had to stay in hospital for six weeks.
I was churched after both my babies, each time it was when we went to arrange the baptism, it came as a surprise because thought this had ceased to exist.When I was a child it was considered unlucky for an unbaptised baby to be taken into anyone's house other than the parents house.I can still remember an old lady screaming her head off at her neighbour who had dared to take her unbaptised baby into her(the old lady's) house.Babies were also carried to church for baptism with a veil covering their face,to keep off the evil spirits!.This veil was only removed as the baby was brought to the font.My own two wore a veil to their baptisms at my MILs insistance.This has all ceased now, if babies get baptised these days it is much later so a big party can be arranged, as in the case of my grandchildren.

Baggy Sat 03-Sep-11 07:52:54

In my atheistic innocence I'm shocked that such medieval superstitious practices carried on well into the twentieth century!

harrigran Sat 03-Sep-11 09:42:26

I have noticed ther are few baptisms now, except where there is a good church school nearby. Children nearing school age are baptised thus ensuring their place in the school.
My own grandchildren are not baptised which to me is a shame but each to his own. When first GD was born I took a cake and champagne to the house and we welcomed her by name, a naming ceremony of sorts.
I don't agree with Baggy ceremony and rituals are part of our lives and people who believe should be allowed to keep them. The gown for baptisms has been passed down many generations in our family.

Baggy Sat 03-Sep-11 09:51:43

harri, I didn't say there was anything wrong with ritual or ceremony. I was objecting to superstitious practices/beliefs, e.g. Thinking that a veil on a baby's head will keep away evil spirits. What evil spirits by the way? I have never met one.

Baggy Sat 03-Sep-11 09:54:00

Also, harri, you seem to be suggesting that a good reason to baptise a child is to get it into a particular school. I call that hypocritical or, at best, disingenuous.

harrigran Sat 03-Sep-11 10:58:08

No, no Baggy I was not suggesting being baptised to get a child into school of choice, I deplore that. I was merely saying it happens.
I have met evil spirits and I would welcome anything that kept them away from me.

Twobabes Sat 03-Sep-11 11:20:15

I attended a christening recently and loved the setting and the ritual though I no longer believe anything religious. It really bothered me hearing godparents make vows that I know some of them did not believe in any more than I do.
I wish there was a beautiful naming and welcoming ceremony, with its own ritual but without all the "devil and all his works" type of stuff, for those who don't really believe in baptism but want to mark the arrival of their child. I know people make up their own, but I'd like an established non-religious ceremony, with gravity and no whimsiness, recognised as an alternative to something that increasing numbers no longer believe in - a new tradition.
A church baptism with belief is a meaningful occasion. Without belief, it seems to me, it is a farce.

Twobabes Sat 03-Sep-11 11:28:27

Oops! that last post was way off topic so I've started e new thread with it, headed "Christenings - a farce for some?" or something like that hmm

jangly Sat 03-Sep-11 12:54:16

I think you are being really hard done by Laolao. Son in law's parents are visiting for "quality time" in October. You have been requested to visit to help with the work before the baby is born in November. As soon as baby is here you are leaving at the parents' request.

It would make more sense for them to visit in November so they too could help with the packing up.

I'm with your chinese friends on this one. I would be just a little bit assertive here.

pinkprincess Sat 03-Sep-11 19:28:43

Thankyou [Baggy] re the veil.I know it was very peculiar but my MIL was very hot on these things and I, being young and naive at the time was anxious to please everyone.I soon learnt to answer her back in later years.MIL once refused to let her first visitor into the house one New Year's day because the visitor was a woman!.She believed that your first foot every new year had to be a man or else back luck would come.
It is to be thanked that these things are now in the past.

Baggy Sat 03-Sep-11 19:36:06

Wow! pink! Every time I hear another of these incredible stories, I'm utterly astounded! Why oh why would a first foot have to be a man's? I've never heard of that before.

I'd be interested to hear about the evil spirits you've met, harri. I simply cannot imagine what you mean. I'm just being honest there; spirits, good or bad, are beyond my comprehension of the world as I have experienced it.

pinkprincess Sun 04-Sep-11 19:30:22

Baggy, you obviously never met my dear now departed MIL!.We live opposite a cemetry, whenever she came to visit she would refuse to sit in the front of the house, in case the spooks and other nasty beings came over to get her.A very weird woman she was.
DH does not take after her thank goodness.I would have left him long ago if he did.
The lady she refused to allow into her house was one of her husband's reletives, they ended up not speaking for a long time. Her in-laws were fully aware of the type of person she was.
I live in the north east and the custom of first footing has seemed to have died out now, but was rife when I was young.
This thread hs really gone off topic, I must confess to being one of those responsible.Will leave off now.