Family Matters
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Interesting family night last night

Background:  My sister is a SAHM with a 2.5 year old.  My mom babysits him about 5-6 days a week, not all day but usually all afternoon and/or all evening.  She goes on and on endlessly about how she never gets a day off since she's a SAHM, and basically acts like she's better than everyone else for being so dedicated for her child.  She even calls and guilts me about not babysitting him enough because she needs a "break" even on days where I know she just got him back for my mom.

Me and my parents watch survivor together every week, it's been our tradition since the show started and even after I moved out I kept going there to watch.  Because my nephew is so active, and my dad didn't want to break our tradition he declared survivor night babysitting free so that we could watch it together in peace.  Last night when I went over  my sister still hadn't showed up to pick up my nephew, and when my mom called my sister she gave some sob story and asked my mom to just drop him off.  My dad and I were both a little irritated, so we told her to hurry so we could watch the show and I could get home and finish a project I'm doing.  So on her way to drop him off she backed into my car!!!!!

And to make it worse, when she returned from dropping him off she yelled at me that it was my fault that she had the accident, because I was impatient and critical and selfish and I don't understand how hard it is to be a mother.  I'm feeling so frustrated right now.  I didn't force her to drive into my car, and I was perfectly calm and understanding when she told me.  Accidents happen.  I just feel upset that an hour a week to continue our tradition is too much to ask of them when it isn't even their baby!

Re: Interesting family night last night

  • I don't think you need to be mad at your mom in this case...just like I don't think she needs to be mad at you.  It sounds like you want a night with just them, and they want the same.  Your sister not picking up her kid was not your mom's fault, she rushed to get the kid out and banged the car (total accident but of course she's going to be razzled)  She probably felt flustered for being in such a rush to get him home in time and so she blames you because, really, who else is she going to blame? You're an easy target, you're right there, and she's frustrated. I really wouldn't take it too personally.

    You probably DID rush her, it wasn't her fault the kid was still there but you're complaining about not getting one hour with your parents. They sound like they normally give you the hour, you sound like you're taking your anger out on them just like your mom is taking her frustration out on you.  I think you just need to be understanding of each other.

    "Is it too much to ask of them when it isn't even their baby" ---really what the heck to you expect them to do when your sister doesn't pick her son up? Just push him out into the streets and wish him well so you can have your family time?

  • Your parents created a monster....they let your sister take advantage of them...they know they have and are frustrated by it so they take it out on you!

     



  • image Lil'BlackDress:

    "Is it too much to ask of them when it isn't even their baby" ---really what the heck to you expect them to do when your sister doesn't pick her son up? Just push him out into the streets and wish him well so you can have your family time?

    What I think they should do (although I'm not sure I expect it) is point out that they are helping her and she is abusing it, and to get her azz over to pick up her child.  I would also like them to stop feeding her pity party about how no one ever helps her and tell her to appreciate the help she gets instead of focusing on who isn't doing what for her.

  • This whole situation sounds really frustrating.  It's really unfair of your sister to expect everyone else to take care of her son, and you've done the right thing by not letting her take advantage of you.  It sounds like your parents continue to indulge her, which is too bad.

    Unfortunately, the only person you can control is yourself.  You can't stop your sister from being selfish and you can't stop your parents from enabling her.  It sucks that your sister's choices have such a negative effect on your relationship with your parents, but there's not much you can do about that.  This sounds like one of those situations where you just have to adjust your expectations of other people so at least you're not constantly disappointed. 

  • image theshorterstory:
    image Lil'BlackDress:

    "Is it too much to ask of them when it isn't even their baby" ---really what the heck to you expect them to do when your sister doesn't pick her son up? Just push him out into the streets and wish him well so you can have your family time?

    What I think they should do (although I'm not sure I expect it) is point out that they are helping her and she is abusing it, and to get her azz over to pick up her child.  I would also like them to stop feeding her pity party about how no one ever helps her and tell her to appreciate the help she gets instead of focusing on who isn't doing what for her.

    I do agree with this.  I think your sister is getting away with a lot.  At the same time I think it would be hard to be the grandparent in this situation too and I think that you're taking out SOME of your anger that should be directed and dealt with with your sister out on your parents.

  • I know it's not the end of the world.  I'm just having a really awful week, and getting yelled at about how awful I am was just too much for me.  I really don't think I was taking anger out on her, I didn't get mad at all when she told me about the accident, I was just calm about it and said that's why you have insurance.  I don't think my mom was blameless though.  My sister was almost 3 hours late coming to get him by the time she called and my mom was making excuses for her instead of seeing what was going on. 

    Honestly I think my sister is jealous and did it on purpose.  A while back she said she wanted to come since it wasn't fair that we had family night without her, but she'd spent the whole time complaning that the show was offensive for the skimpy clothes and how she didn't want to watch, and that we weren't paying enough attention to nephew, and she was told that she was welcome to come IF she would like to watch with us, but that we weren't going to stop watching because she found it offensive and boring.  So then she stopped.  The last few weeks she's been picking him up later and later though, and blaming me because it's the only way that he gets quality time with his auntie.  I think she just can't stand that we have a night that doesn't involve her "tiny perfect man" (as she calls him) at the center of it.

  • Yeah definitely not arguing with the fact that your sister sounds like a ***, I think PP's has a point though, that your mom probably knows this and is kind of feeling trapped and ends up taking it out on you.

    Pretty sure though I would be telling my sister off if she acted like that... :I

  • Let the insurance handle the car.  Don't even discuss it further. 

    Your mom sounds like an enabler.  At least your dad is trying to inject some reason and boundries. 

    The next time your sister talks about how hard her life is or how hard she works, tell her you don't want to hear it.  "I love (little man), but being a SAHM is your choice.  If being a full time mom is too hard on you, maybe you should get a job.  Littleman is old enough to socialize with little kids now." (and in NJ, most preschools accept 2.5 year olds for nursery school at least 2 days a week). 

    Don't allow her to guilt you into babysitting.  "I love littleman, but I really don't enjoy babysitting in my free time.  I have too much of my own responsibilities to catch up on."

    Hint to your dad that maybe the whole day that survivor is on your mom should not babysit, so that your sister's passive-aggressive behavior comes to an end.  (But it's not your job to tell your mom or dad what to do).

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • Tell your martyr sister to get off the cross; somebody else could use the wood.

    Here's a newsflash for Her Royal Martyrness: NO mother gets a day off.  And if she's dropping him at your parents' house five or six afternoons or evenings a week, she is getting a TON of free time.  A ton.  And she isn't paying for daycare or babysitting or mother's morning out.

    Your sister sounds like the most entitled little princess-princessy-pants out there, and your mother sounds like an enabler of the first water.  Those are kind of two separate issues.

    When your mom unloaded the BS about how her running into your car was your fault, you could have said calmly, "Mom, I understand that you're upset, but it's not okay for you to take this out on me.  I'm going to let insurance handle the damage to the car.  My sister's failure to pick up her child in a timely manner, her failure to call you in a timely manner, and her demand that you drop Nephew off at the last minute -- those things aren't my fault.  Neither is it my fault that you were upset and flustered when you were pulling out of the garage.  And I'm not going to sit here under a barrage of personal criticism and take the blame for those things.  I will see you later."  Pick up keys, exit stage right.

    You can't -- and shouldn't -- let her make you into her verbal punching bag for her frustrations with your sister's behavior and her own spinelessness.

    (And family or not, if somebody had left a child with me for three hours past the time when she said she was going to pick up said child AND couldn't be bothered to contact me, I'd call a professional babysitting service and bill her for it.)

    In terms of your sister and her perfect widdle snookums, she does not get to guilt trip you.  When she calls up whinging about how she neeeeeeeeever gets a breeeeeeeeeeeeeak, tell her that she had the baby, not you, and that you are not responsible for providing free childcare services for her simply because you both came from the same womb.  You'll be happy to babysit for her when she's paying market rates for your time -- and since he's under three and you're an adult, that should be around $15/hour.

    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
  • A thought: can you invite your parents over to your place to watch Survivor?

    (And would your dad come without your mom?  Because that way, you and he could watch the show in peace, and your mom would have to take out her frustrations at the person who really should be on the receiving end -- your sister.)

    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
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