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Religion and I have never quite seen eye to eye. I was raised in a Catholic church, not super strictly or anything—we weren't at church every single Sunday or anything. But my dad always sat with us at bedtime to say our prayers. We were at church on the major holidays and we were baptized and had communion and were confirmed. I, however, was not the perfect little religious child. I was definitely more rebellious than religious. The church that I attended wasn't exactly thrilled when I got pregnant out of wedlock but luckily, I have a pretty cool family and they introduced me to the church I currently take my daughter to.
I want to raise my daughter in a church. I was not the most likely to raise my child in a church and I'm denying that. The phrase "people change with age" has been very relevant to my life. I'm not going to be super disappointed if down the line she decides she's atheist. That's cool. I will totally understand. I hope that she isn't but I am in no position to judge if she is and I'll love her all the same. I hope she stays with the church though, not because I've devoted my life to Jesus or anything, but because of the community. I love going to church every Sunday to hang out with my sisters, to talk with the other young moms in the church, and just to see how genuinely happy everyone is to be there. Some of my favorite memories growing up are going to Feed My Starving Children (a volunteer place that everyone should totally check out) with the people from church. It may not be the same church, but I kept in touch with most of the people I did those events with and created a little family with them. The community is the best part. The routine of it isn't bad, either.
I basically want to raise my daughter to believe in... something. Not that she should do things because there's this huge overlord watching and judging her every move but more that if you try to be a good person and you don't harm people, when you die you get to go to this awesome place with all your friends and family. I also like the idea that my friends and relatives are up watching over me. I think that's a good part to instill.
I have a lot of very religious people in my life and a few of them have expressed concern that I'm picking and choosing things from religion to teach my daughter. But here's the thing; I think it's good that I don't agree with every single thing the church says. I want her to know that it's okay to have her own beliefs and opinions and still belong to a community. I want her to know that you can have disagreements and still be involved somewhere. I want her to believe in something without ramifications. I want her to know that she is loved no matter what she believes in and I want her to have a community of people who love her and she feels she can talk to if she ever can't talk to me.
I take my daughter to church on Sunday. We say our prayers before bed each night. She's only 2 right now. As she grows up, I won't shove religion down her throat. When she asks questions, I'll do the best I can to answer them. And if down the line, she decides to stop going to church, I'll understand. But for now, I'll plan and hope and pray that she falls in with this little community that I've fallen into.