OPINION: This Is What My Children Will Be Doing Instead Of Making Their Communion
Call me hypocritical but even though all my kids are baptised, my children will not be making their First Holy Communion. And to be completely honest, the decision wasn't easy for myself or my partner but we believe it is the right decision for our growing family.
We were both heavily involved in the Repeal campaign within our local community so that has played a huge part in shaping our beliefs.
Earlier this year as we were filling in our son's application forms for 'big school', we happily decided to exclude him from all religious on-goings. That means he will not partake in any religious curriculum or outings during his time at this school.
Since our decision, we have caused a mild outrage within our Catholic family and because we have baptised them, a small portion have called us hypocrites.
Our families worry about our children's wellbeing come Communion year, they don't want our kids feeling excluded. However, I am completely at peace with my decision and have already started teaching my children about all religions so when the time comes they can choose for themselves if they would like to practice a particular religion, or not.
That's when we discovered beautiful alternative humanist ceremonies for families who don't want to make the 'traditional' route, called My Little Big Day.
My Little Big Day is a parent-led and child centred non-religious ceremony for children in Ireland who not be celebrating Holy Communion. Instead, they offer an uplifting family milestone ceremony and day of celebration at stunning resorts hosted by HAI accredited celebrants.
Primarily for those whose classmates are making their First Holy Communion, the children are presented with a general awesomeness certificate, as well as getting to plant a tree in honour of the day. There is no dress code, taking a huge amount of pressure off parents on what can be an expensive year for many school going children.
Last June, 12 children alongside their families took part in the first ceremony in the stunning Finnstown Castle in Dublin and each child was gifted a stunning 'flying free' keepsake pin to mark the special occasion.
Children sang songs, read poems, added to a stunning 'wish tree' and each child also took part in a colourful sand art display. There was also an after party with face painting, DJs and kids entertainers.
So as you can imagine, my mind is now at ease as is my partner's. My children won't feel left out, in fact, they will be so busy helping to organise their own Little Big Day that they won't even notice what's going on in the background. And sure who doesn't like to be a little different these days?
Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of 4 kids aged 2, 3, 5 and 9 (and she is expecting baby #5 in May). Described as a self-confessed procrastinator and picker-upper of things, Kellie would never turn down a coffee, loves to travel and shares her every day true to life moments on Instagram.