A few things - I'm 30, hubby is 33 and we currently don't have kids but hopefully we will in the not so distant future (not trying but not preventing). I'm an aunt to 3 kids (all on my side) but my brother and his family live across the country. They moved out there when my nephew was 1 and have since grown their family by one adorable little girl. As a result of them moving, our family has been without little ones for several years. That all changed when my sister had a baby 8 months ago. I knew my parents missed being around their grandkids and would love every minute of having one local. I knew things would change (again so to speak since my brothers son was around before they moved) but I guess I hadn't expect so much change. Prior to my sisters' pregnancy my mom and I had a great relationship - I probably would have said she's one of my best friends. But over time my mom became less interested in my life and more interested in my sisters. Every family gathering the main topic of conversation was my sister. Even one-on-one conversations with my mom would tend to steer toward my sister.
Fast forward to my nephew being born and it seems to be the only thing people can converse about. I get it - he's adorable and he's happy almost all the time. But I feel like I've lost my parents (specifically my mom) to my nephew. My mom said to me a couple weeks ago that she never hears from me anymore and thinks it's because hubby and I moved into a new space in January (we're now only 10 minutes away from them as opposed to 35 so if anything we should see/talk more). I think she was partly joking but I didn't say much in return because I didn't want to hurt her feelings by opening up this can of worms. I have the opinion we don't talk much anymore because she doesn't know how to talk about anything but my nephew and occasionally work (we work for the same company).
I don't have kids so I can't and won't pretend to know what it's like but I can't help but feel like I'm not as important anymore because I haven't had a kid yet. Last night all of us got together and at dinner my husband and I literally could have had an entire meal with our own conversation - no one talked to us directly and the few times we tried to talk about something other than my nephew the conversation steered back that way within a few minutes.
I asked my husband how he felt about it since it's my family and I know I'm going to be the more emotional/opinionated one about it. He doesn't feel as strongly about it as I do but has noticed how different things are and feels like no one in our family has a clue what's going on in our lives anymore because no one bothers to ask. We only see my parents a few times a month due to schedules but my sister and her family see my parents a couple times a week - because of my nephew. When my sister was nearing the end of her maternity leave she realized they couldn't afford day care (blows my mind that she didn't plan ahead but more on that later) and asked my parents if they could help out. My mom works an average of 60 hours a week and my dad is at home but our parents are in their mid 60's. They wanted to help and now keep my nephew a couple days a week and usually one overnight a week.
My family will be taking a small vacation together next month and initially I was excited about it but right now I just feel like it'll be 4 days like last night's dinner.
My sister and I used to be close but that was 10 years ago when we were both still growing up (she's 5 years older than me). Over time I realized how different our personalities were - she kind of wanders through life and doesn't plan ahead and struggles to make decisions. I've become more type A and as a result have been the responsible one and the person my family can count on to get things done. All that being said - my sister and I don't have a bad relationship but we don't see eye to eye on a lot of things either. I have a feeling she drives the conversation toward my nephew because it's all she knows how to talk about too (which I can understand more from her than my mom).
I'm at a loss for now to proceed with family gatherings now. I love my nephew to pieces and I know they don't stay little forever and he deserves attention. But how do I get over this feeling I have of being less important because I'm childless? I know there's a good chance hubby and I will have a kid within the next year (barring any infertility issues) so things might shift then anyway. But for now I'm at a loss of what to do and whether or not to voice my concerns to my mom - I know she's very sensitive and almost any conversation about this would involve tears.
What would you do? Or what have you done?