The Purpose of a Godmother

By Tiffany Roget
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Women who are asked to serve as godmothers should feel privileged. Being honored with this title signifies that the birth parents trust and appreciate your friendship and commitment to their child. It's important to carefully weigh your response, as this title carries with it a great deal of responsibility. Godmothers are expected to offer emotional, mental and physical support on an ongoing basis, as well as care for the child in a more intimate capacity should something unforeseen befall the natural parents.

Second Mother

When parents bestow their child with the gift of appointing her a godmother, they do so with particular ideas and expectations in mind. The primary responsibility of this person in a child's life is to offer support, love and guidance on a level similar if not equal to the natural mother. Godmothers are desired to be selfless and expected to offer advice as needed, not simply when it's only easy or popular to give it. They will sometimes be required to apply discipline or firm boundaries to the godchild if her birth parents are not around to do so.

Christian Beliefs

Parents who are Christians hold additional beliefs about the role of a godmother to a godchild. They allow their religion to inform their expectations regarding what the godmother will convey to their child in the event of their demise. Christian parents want their child's new "second mother" to continue teaching her about God, his principles and requirements for appropriate Christian living, as well as the idea of Heaven and that deceased parents go there. They want to ensure that their child retains a relationship with God and continues to pray. Parents who enjoy a full lifetime with their child rely on godmothers to support their religious beliefs to the child, should she ever seek out the godmother's counsel regarding God.

Parents' Wishes

In the event of a catastrophe befalling the birth parents, a godmother is expected to take her godchild into her home, caring for her on a daily basis and consequently raising her as her own child. It is also anticipated that the godmother will continue to apply the same parenting beliefs and disciplines to the child as the birth parents originally worked to instill and maintain. She is to take into consideration how the child was previously raised to understand how to effectively communicate with her while they live together.

Celebrate Life Events

A godmother is often viewed as a child's personal cheerleader during major life events. She celebrates common events such as annual birthdays, as well as involves herself in larger celebratory affairs such as graduating high school or getting accepted to a college. She encourages her godchild to work hard and reap the benefits of such behavior. It's not uncommon for a godmother to take her godchild out for a special dinner when she lands her first teen job. Many godmothers balance all this praise with a healthy dose of humility to help keep their children grounded.