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Can't be happy for BIL & SIL

I wish I could be happy for my BIL and SIL.  They recently told us they were expecting and my initial reaction was genuine excitement for them.  I actually teared up, gave them hugs and felt honored they drove an hour to tell me, H and DS in person.  Then I remembered how they reacted when we told them we were expecting at thanksgiving last year. 

BIL: ??.? He didn?t? say a word.  Not congrats, a smile or even a hug.  SIL: ?oh. that?s exciting.? In the most monotone almost sarcastic voice ever.  Then they went on, acting like they didn?t even care they were both going to become an aunt & uncle for the first time.  Later they started to talk about when they have their children they are going to deliver at this hospital, how many kids, and do this and that, then went on the tell a friends? L&D horror stories.  I had to ask them to stop, since I was the pregnant one and horror stories weren?t really helping my morning sickness.  By the time we got home I was in tears, because they just didn?t care.  They wouldn?t even ask us one question, when are you due, will you find out the sex, nothing. 

Now that they are pregnant I feel like everyone is shoving it in my face how their child is basically curing cancer by being born. How they got pregnant on the first try (even though very close friends of them and us have been trying for almost a year with no luck) and telling us if it?s a boy they can just use all of DS things?TELLING us, not asking.  Ok vent over.  Thanks.


Re: Can't be happy for BIL & SIL

  • That would make me mad too.

    If they tell you (once they find out if they are having a boy) that they need all of your DS's old stuff you have the freedom to say you're saving it for your next DC. That's what I might be tempted to do... or give them all the stuff you didn't like anyway. Or you could give it all to Goodwill first and say you forgot they might need it.

  • If you are planning on having more child, tell them should they mention again about getting all your baby stuff that you would like to save it for the next child.

    Also do you know for a fact that they got pg on the first try??  Maybe that is why they were less then happy for you...perhaps they had been trying for awhile with no luck and they were hurt and jealous that you got pg.

    They didn't react the right way but you should still be happy for them.  PLease try to be the bigger person here.

    "You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness."
  • Well, if there is truth to the fact they were trying for over a year, I would expect that's largely where their attitude last year came from.

    Does it excuse them? No.  But it might explain it.  Unless you've dealt w/ infertility, you really can't grasp how heartbreaking it can really be. 

    I also have to say that I feel you might have had some unrealistic expectations - your comment about them not caring about becoming an aunt and uncle for the first time.  Quite honestly, it might not hvae been as life altering an announcement for them as you seem to have thought it would be. 

    And is "everyone" really shoving it in your face? 

    I get your annoyance w/ them - but don't let this become bigger than it is.  I can probably guarentee you that no one but you is seeing this w/ any kind of comparison between you and them.

    As far as them "telling" you they'll just use DS's stuff, that's in your power.  You can simply say no. 

    Oh, and I will tell you- I SOOOO get how you felt about the stories.  I remember being w/ a group of girlfriends while PG and they started talking about their labor stories, etc etc etc.  I had to get up and go to bed to get away from it.  It was NOT a topic I was interested in at all.

    In the end, though, again, don't let this become bigger than it needs to.  You don't need to be over the moon for them if that's not how you really feel, but try to understand a little where their negativity may have been coming from, and be at least friendly about the pregnancy, even if you can't muster up full on "whoo- hoo" excitement for them.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • Maybe they were having trouble TTC at the time you told them about your pregnancy, and they were aching inside because of it.

    Or maybe they were secretly pregnant before that and had recently lost the pregnancy, and just never told anyone. And your announcement was salt in their wounds (not on purpose, of course).

    Anyway, it's petty to retract your original feelings of happiness just because they weren't excited enough for you when you announced your own pregnancy. It really makes no sense to me that you'd originally be happy for them, then stop and think, "Wait, I don't want to be happy for them anymore because they didn't give me enough attention and excitement." That's just childish. Let it go and get over it.

    If you feel like they're gloating over it, then change the subject or excuse yourself from the room if they are annoying you. If other people are talking nonstop about their pregnancy, change the subject or walk away. But it makes no sense to sit and stew over it.

  • Do you know for a fact they got pregnant on the first try? I agree with PP, maybe they were struggling with their own infertility or maybe she recently miscarried or maybe you shouldn't base your reaction to their news on how they reacted to yours.

    Maybe a year ago they hadn't even thought of having kids and didn't really understand how exciting this could be. 

    My best friend of 28 years has two kids, I was happy when she announced her pregnancy, congratulated her and everything but at the time, I really didn't realize what a huge flipping deal that was.

    Now that DH and I have been trying for over a year and can't wait to be parents I fully get it. I often feel bad that I didn't react with more excitement six years ago or offer to help out more but I wasn't in that place at all, I just figured "well of course your pregnant you wanted to be at some point".

    ETA: Either way, your first reaction was one of geniune joy and excitement so go with it. Don't start keeping score in families, it won't work that way.

    2 IVFs & 1 FET. Welcome home baby girl!
  • Sloane brings up an excellent point. It could be as simple as "they didn't get it" a year ago.

    I KNOW my reaction to situations can be affected based on if I fully understand the situation or not.  Whether I have lived it or not myself. 

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • As pps have said, there's always the possibility they really didn't get PG on the first try, and it was difficult to hear about your pregnancy.

    But let's say that's not the case.   Even so, here's something you should remember now that you're a parent - no one else will ever be as excited about anything to do with your kid(s) as you will.  Your life will be a lot less dramatic if you recognize that and stop expecting a certain level of response from anyone else. I absolutely adore my niece and nephews, and let me tell mom or sister can be telling me a story about what this one did or that one said and all I can think is "are you done yet, because I need to clean my toilets" or some such nonsense.   My kids, on the other hand, hang the moon for me just by smiling.  :-)  I don't expect anyone else to care that much.

    You were initially thrilled about your future niece/nephew.  There's no reason for that to change.  At the most basic level, to do so punishes an innocent child, about whose birth you rightly *should* be excited, for the behavior of his/her parents.


    My SIL just turned 20 and has been married for 3 months, she knew my H and I were TTC and "accidently" got pregnant...long story.  She is always rubbing it in my face about how she is pregnant and I am not.  She will be having the first grandchild (my h is one of 6 kids) and no one else has had a baby yet.  She always feels to throw in how we should stop trying because she is now pregnant and its just a miracle. 

    It is really hard not to resent her I honestly can tell you though that it wouldn't be so bad if she wasn't always rubbing it in.  Yesterday she was asked to bring a pie from the table near her (she was sitting down) and she goes I'm pregnant make redlady22 do it she isn't pregnant (I was also in the middle of finishing the soup I made) (she's 8 weeks)  And now her family acts like she is bringing Jesus back into the world for being pregnant.  She brought drinks for thanksgiving dinner and everyone acted like that was the most generous thing anyone could ever do. 

    I am really lucky because my H stands up for me when she does things like that but it doesn't make it any easier.  I just keep telling myself when we are pregnant it will be for all the right reason and not because I want to "one up" someone.  You have to be the bigger person otherwise you will just become really bitter.  I just keep telling myself how we want a baby for the right reasons and they just want to, so she can be the first even though she is still in school and so so young.  I will be happy for them and worried all at the same time. 

    It is really hard, but it gets easier with time.  You already have a wonderful DS,  just like pps saidthey really prob just didnt get it then.  However you understand how it feels to find out you are pregnant.  You get it you understand what it feels like, they didn't.


  • Their attitude sucked, but try not to let it affect yours. You're getting a nephew! You can't change their behavior, but you can control your own. If thinking about SIL and BIL is too much, just focus on the baby. And don't feel pressured to give them any of your stuff. Just buy them a gift or two and leave it at that. Vent away on the bump, but acting on your anger will only take you down to their level. 
  • The posters about have given you some great advice. Being the bigger person and telling her you want another kid so giving or "borrowing" your DS's old toys will not happen. Also I would suggest you tell them about how you felt over looked in a very polite private way. Who knows, maybe they will admit to TTC for years, and that is why they had that attitude and let off gas about how great their kid is. If they care and you tell them, you SIL should be able to put herself in your shoes.


    BUT with that said I wanted to play devil's advocate in case they are more self absorbed. Did you ever think that the reason they drive an hour down to see you and tell you is so you can give them all of your baby stuff? If they got pregnant on the first try and are gloating like they have the cure for cancer baking in the oven, maybe they are too self absorbed to make a trip to just to tell you about the pregnancy. Maybe they had alter motives, and materialistic motives in today's world are very strong motives. But you know them better, so you know if it is about ego or if it is about care.

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  • Just let it go.  Their reaction to your news wasn't all you wanted it to be, but that was a year ago.  Nothing you can say or do now is ever going to change it or make it better.

    Retaliating by being petty now will just make you look bad.  Vent about it here and then drop it.

    The only thing that I would react to is being told that if they have a boy, they're getting your son's things.  If that comes up again, say gently, "I'm sorry, but we're saving those for a second child and we aren't loaning them to anybody.  I'll be happy to share the names and locations of good stores/consignment sales/whatever with you!"

    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
  • Now that it is happening to your BIL and SIL, they know the joy and excitement you felt.  They probably just did not understand that before when you told them.  Living an hour away, their lives were not directly affected or drastically altered by you having a kid.  Now their lives are.  Now they are starting to understand teh joy you felt telling them.  Don't hold past reactions against them.  They may have just needed time to absorb the information.  be happy for them now, and hope your kids can be great friends as well as cousins. 

  • imageSloane99:

    Do you know for a fact they got pregnant on the first try? I agree with PP, maybe they were struggling with their own infertility or maybe she recently miscarried or maybe you shouldn't base your reaction to their news on how they reacted to yours.  

    Yeah, it was strange... when they came to tell us, H asked/said "I  thought you guys were thinking about having kids when we told you about DS last year."  BIL response was, "Actually, we went off brith control this Aug, and it happened the first time!"

    In my head, I was thinking bull...or you two are VERY LUCKY to know the exact best dates for it to happen the first time.  When we told them last year we were PG, we were so scared to tell them, in case they were trying.  We tried to make it about them as much as possible, not about us or DS, in case they were have trouble.

    But I should have know this is how they would react.  They never have been really kind to us or H's parents.  It's like a social/common curtesy thing they dont understand.  When you walk into a room and someone says hello to them, they find it impossible to even acknowledge your presence.  I could go on for days about them...I mean at their wedding, they said to me, "We're happy you could make it".  Um...I'm your SIL, I was for here the pictures you took 4 hours ago...and at that time I lived in the same town they got married in.

    And I guess my reason for saying throwing it in my face, I got a call on Thanksgiving day from MIL, saying BIL & SIL just told the rest of SIL's family and you can still hear the screaming in the background.  When we told MIL & FIL, they siad, "Really? We thought BIL & SIL would have kids first."  Um, thanks, MIL?  Which in fact MIL, has done some REALLY off the wall things since I got PG, worse two were, not wanting to come to my baby shower because she wanted to go see SATC 2 (she did end up leaving early to go see it); and telling me, my mom should "get a life" after DS was born, since she was coming over to help a lot. I think I'm still a little hurt because of her actions. 

    So whatev...I'm over it.  I can't change the way that BIL or SIL acts or treats people. The only thing I can change is how I react.  So when DS and are playing, and BIL says some smarta$$ comment, I ignore him.  And killing SIL with kindness doesnt hurt me any.  Living well is the best revenge...even if it's not meant to be revenge.Wink

  • Oh my goodness!  (Hugs) to you first for feeling blue over this - but really, I have to say that I think that a lot of their initial reaction last year had to do with having no connection with how truly fabulous it is to await the birth of a child.  They were clueless and filled in the social talk aspect of it as best they could without having any kind of personal experience.  Or they could have been hiding a miscarriage or a difficult time getting pregnant of their own or were debating back and forth whether to even try to have children - but in an academic sense.  (I would take their "we got pregnant the first time" with a grain of salt.  They could have had struggles that had nothing to do with the actual ability to conceive.)  You don't know what was going on behind their curtain, so to speak.  I would not at all start to be weepy about that now.

    I think the fact that you have had a child, know how amazing it is and how wonderful news of a pregnancy is - the fact that your initial reaction is to celebrate your future niece/nephew is spectacular and you should go back to that, releasing and forgiving their earlier behavior and assume that there was more to the story than you are privy to.  Newbie parents can sometimes be obnoxious (not all the time, but I've been friendly with a friend's daughter who just had their own baby and are finding out that all their bright ideas while expecting aren't exactly translating into real life).  Just enjoy your time being an aunt. 

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