Just wanted to say Hi.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2008
Just wanted to say Hi.
7
Tue, 03-10-2009 - 12:26pm

Hello all,

I've been a lurker of this board for awhile and thought that I'd drop in and say Hello finally. It seems to be one of the only boards that I can relate to anymore.

I'm a 42 year old stay at home mom to a beautiful 3 year old daughter. I'm an Atheist and my husband is a lapsed Catholic(in other words, he just can't admit he's an atheist too). We are doing our best to raise our daughter to be a thinking person who is respectful to other people and their beliefs. However, lately we have been running into all kinds of problems and maybe I just need to vent. My husband's family is VERY religious and when we visit and do not attend church with them, we are lectured,etc. They come to our home and when we sit down to dinner insist on prayer and put my daughter's hands together in prayer and say grace. I have tolerated it because they are older and I do not want to start a fight, but it drives me crazy. My daughter's cousins have already started lecturing her on us not going to church and about her not being baptized Catholic and all that nonsense. We've told them that if she grows up and chooses to be a Christian that we would be supportive and that we are raising her to have the freedom to believe or not to believe. It's been causing such problems that I dread even getting together with his family because of this and it's very sad that my daughter would miss out on being with family because they cannot keep religion out of things.

The other thing that bothers me lately is that when I started telling people around me that I am an atheist they will not accept me as even a potential friend. It's a lonely existence in Southern Ohio, let me tell you. I seriously have no friends and I'm sure being the only stay at home mom around here that does not go to church activities does not help. Lately, I feel like I'm going out of my mind because I just cannot believe in (insert deity of choice).

Sorry for such a long vent, but it's just been one of those days and this was the only board that I could think of that would understand. Anyone else ever feel like this? If there are any other stay at home moms, how are you managing to make friends and not be shunned? As for the family stuff, I am a nice person and just try to tolerate things, but how do you guys do it?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2005
Tue, 03-10-2009 - 1:50pm

Hello and welcome! I don't have any kids yet, but I love to lurk on this board and post occasionally. It's a nice little haven of freethinking, and it's given me a lot of insight on how to handle situations that will arise once I do have children.

I grew up in rural Ohio (Medina/Wayne Counties) so I can certainly identify with your loneliness. It's a hard area for a freethinker. I'm in the deep south now, which isn't much better, except for right here in this bright blue dot that is Atlanta.

The only thing I occasionally miss about being a faithful churgoer is all of the socializing and the sense of community that comes with a church. I definitely understand your feeling left out because you don't have that "church family" that so many of your friends do. Have you considered attending a church where atheists are welcome? A unitarian universalist church might be a great choice, if you are open to attending any sort of church at all. They have no creed or dogma and basically focus more on social justice and supporting individual members in their own quests for truth. They are often very active in the community and can be a great way to get involved and make friends. If you aren't open to attending a church or don't have a liberal church nearby, you might want to check meetup.com for a freethinking group or see if you can connect elsewhere online. (What did we do before the internet?)

Good luck! And feel free to vent here anytime.



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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2006
Tue, 03-10-2009 - 2:56pm
Hi! Welcome to the board. Vent away! ;)




I Make Milk
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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2006
Tue, 03-10-2009 - 5:14pm

Welcome!
I'm sorry your ire got up to such a degree that you just HAD to post...LOL! But I can tell you that your inlaws would have not enjoyed their stay at my house if they had placed MY children's hands into the prayer position...LOL. YAY you for picking your battles@

If you are an atheist or a recovering "religion of your choice here" and you finally have the smoke clear from your head, it is actually, upon reflection, WEIRD that the people with the beliefs are the "normal" ones or simply the majority, isn't it?
LOL
But it's true in so many places. I'm happy in that we have surrounded ourselves with freethinkers, atheists, and loving people of various faiths. I highly recommend it if you can find it.

I don't need to tell you the obvious, about looking for like-minded people in your area. I'm sure you are working on doing that. It's VITAL, VITAL I tell you (lol) that we have adults to talk to. No matter HOW long we waited on our little honeys! LOL
I love and adore my children SO much, but I have to have adults to talk to or else I'd go mad.
How did I find them? Well, I kissed a good many toads, I promise you. And meeting atheists isn't just the answer. I met a woman who was an atheist and I just couldn't stand being around her or her kids...bananas!

So, does it help if I suggest that you try everything? LOL
Looking online for play groups. Reading groups. Hobby groups. (We have friends that we've met through our hobby). Library play/read dates. Meet the nice looking woman at the park (as is "she looks nice" as opposed to "HEY, she looks NICE!" lol) or grocery store... OMGOSH, this is beginning to sound like a way to find a date. LOL

I tried the UU church a bit, but I just couldn't live with them either. But I, too, missed the community of a church. A ready-made group of people who are just there waiting for you. Sigh. Unfortunately for me, it just isn't for me.

I started a reading group at my local library AND I attended theirs... I went to the iVillage board for my area and met people that way. I dunno...

I do hope things pick up for you!
Nice "meeting" you!
Peace,
Karen

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-12-2006
Tue, 03-10-2009 - 10:41pm

Welcome to the board!

Disney Sig
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2008
Wed, 03-11-2009 - 12:04am

Hi all,

Thank you for the warm welcome and your ideas too. I have tried the UU church, but I found that my getting up and going every week was just not for me. It seemed, at least here, that they kind of expected you to be there every single time they had something going on. Really, I just attended to meet some like minded people. I even tried the Buddhist church here and actually found them fascinating and although they are non theistic, I found that it was just too costly for me to be paying for their teachings.

I took my daughter to the park today and we ran into a mother and daughter from her preschool. We actually had a good conversation and she didn't seem like the type to ask the famous, "So, what church do you go to?" question that I get a lot of around here. She is also an older mom and seems pretty open minded about things. I've got high hopes! I've lived here for 3 years now and have yet to find a group of friends that can not only fathom that I do not believe in God, but that I can be a decent and still not be a believer.

As for my in laws, I guess that I try my best to cope. I tell myself that I must be respectful and look past some things in order for them to ever accept that I am a decent human being. I want to make sure that I don't portray Atheists the way that they stereotype them. I want to project the most positive image that I can without being phoney. Do you guys feel that you have to sometimes just "deal with it" in order to be accepted at all. It's like I have to always prove that Atheists are not horrible self centered people who are out to destroy America with our Godless ways.

Again, thank you everyone and I'm glad that I at least have a place online that has like minded people. I was reading many of the topics covered and am so pleased to have finally posted.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2007
Wed, 03-11-2009 - 7:20am

Welcome to the board!

I cheated and married a guy from one of the least religious countries on earth and then moved there. So that's how I deal with it. LOL

But I grew up in the Bible Belt and my family is still there, so I do understand a bit even if I'm not in the middle of it anymore! I'm not actually "out" to my parents so whenever we spend time with them, there are some squirmy moments. There's a lot of cultural religion here that makes me uncomfortable, too. It seems like no one is religious but no one is atheist either. Very strange.

Anyway, vent away and I hope to get to know you better here! :)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2005
Wed, 03-11-2009 - 6:26pm
Hi there! I'm originally from Dayton, Ohio but I now live in Washington D.C. area. The moms group in my area are all very Catholic and conservative. I'm an Atheist and as liberal as they come. Awesome combo! It's hard!!! They can talk all day long about going to the Right to Life march, but I can't say a word about how I feel. I have ONE friend from Ireland who is Atheist and that is very helpful...problem is my husband can't stand her...not for that reason. My inlaws are Southern Baptist...believes I was in pain during childbirth because of Eve eating an apple...earth is 6000 years old. Like insanity. I actually considered myself Christian until I hung out with them long enough and realized it's all bunk! I'm going to attend a UU meeting this weekend just for giggles. I let you know how it goes!
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