(Long OP!) Will I ever grow out of feeling of sibling rivalry?(46 Posts)
This sounds like such a childish whinge and know is pretty low down scale of feeling rubbish due to family but I can feel the teenage me wailing 'it's not faaaaiirr!! I knew she was your favourite!'
Background DS has 2 DC, 3 & 7- just after their births DM has taken time off work to go there and spend a week with the newborn, at DS and BIL agreeance, all happy with this. She is about a 2hr drive away we are 1hr from DM/DF. DM has now retired and goes up about every 2 months for a long weekend to babysit as their nanny does not work weekends to let DS/BIL go to away- have absolutely no issues with this- her time is her time and i rightly have no say in this. My whiny gripe comes in as the 2nd thing she said to me after we announced my pregnancy (after congratulations!) was 'don't think we'll always be on hand to babysit as you live closest' and then told us last month shes booked a 2 week holiday abroad either side of my due date. Again this is her holiday, her time, but she then alson announced she would be going to DS to baby sit when back while DS/BIL go on hols as nanny is going home for a week at same time. Having said that her new GC could be a month old before she sees them her solution is that we then travel the 3 hrs to bring them to her at DS home. I think when I look at it from an unemotional point of view I know I can never make someone choose to be interested but it just brings up so much teenage angst of unfairness! (even just typing this has helped release some tension!)
Sorry the AIBU is to think I will never grow out of feeling like this!!
It does sound a bit unfair, but hopefully once your baby is here and is real, she will change her tune and want to bond with your baby too. It sounds like your sister puts lots of demands on her time and she's worried how she will cope if she has to do the same for you. Maybe one day your sister and her dh will attempt to cope alone without the nanny and maybe even take their kid with them when they go on holiday.
On one of their holidays that should have said.
I don't think the feeling ever goes away really. My elder DS is my mums favourite and she goes to stay every few weeks, the kids are older now and at school so she tidies the house and does all of the laundry. I live 10 minutes away from my parents, and my mum has been here once in 2 years and I have a baby. She can be generous in other ways to me but it's more of a going through the motions rather than a natural relationship that she has with my sister.
There are reasons behind it, not the thread to go into them now, but one of my biggest fears as a mum is to treat my children differently.
It's actually made me the same Not. I thought I'd be able to brush it off as an adult but it's brought up all the old thoughts I had as a child and Id hate to inadvertently cause someone to feel the same by my actions! I have tried to mention how I feel but just get told 'not to be so silly' and the wording of that makes me feel 12 again!!
And the more mature element of me is going to try and go with your advice hanging!
Maybe if you just accept you'll have to go it alone you can be pleasantly surprised when your mum is there to help?
I have a very selfish mother so I understand not having the familial support. I stupidly expected her to stand by her words of help and support when dc1 was born but it never happened. I vowed if I had another I'd have no expectations so I wouldn't get disappointed. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that my brother is the favourite and that I'm just an annoyance.
On the other hand maybe your mother recognises you're far more capable and able to cope better than your sister?
Best of luck dealing with your mother
Tell her she is ridiculous to suggest you travel 3 hours with a three week old Unless you want too...I wouldn't though.
This is so frustrating and hurtful, I don't blame you for being upset. It resonates with me as I always felt that my sibling was the favourite. I'm afraid I get a bit 'cut off my nose to spite my face' in these situations and would be inclined to say no more and make up my mind not to rely on them for support, financial or otherwise. I would also let them know why in an unemotional way. I appreciate this is difficult though - I've had many years of having my concerns/upset dismissed with a 'don't be silly' or 'for goodness sake' rather than a real consideration of how I feel. No question of you travelling so far with a tiny baby - maybe if she suggests this again ask her if she'd have expected your dsis to do this, and comment it's a shame she won't meet your dc for such a length of time compared to how early she met her other grandchildren. I hope she changes her mind when your wee one arrives.
Im going to try and rise above it, and concentrate on our new baby, However I wont be allowing granny parade to show off to friends on her whims!
YANBU. I wouldn't be taking the newborn to see her.
Oh this is tough. Sibling rivalry never does go away if parents still maintain the conditions of it, as your parents seem to.
Just be kind to yourself, recognise it for what it is, be a little upset in private, and then suck it up. Don't show your hurt to your mother - she doesn't deserve to know how you feel in that way if she's so thoughtless.
Try to teach yourself to think that you're lucky you don't need to rely on your mother, be quietly proud of yourself that you're an independent woman, and try to see your mother's behaviour as her weakness.
That's what I've had to do, and it does get easier if you acknowledge that there is some basis to your feelings of unfairness. Don't beat yourself up about feeling the rivalry - you're being put in a difficult position.
Unfortunately it sounds like your mother is rather poisoning any possibility of cordial family relations. Don't beat yourself up about it because she is too old to change. And count your lucky stars that you are an adult and in charge of your own destiny!
My mother thrives on the sibling rivalry between brother and me. She is horrible and cruel to me. She has scapegoated me. Brother is her golden child. I have made so many concessions to her over the years. I don't know if this is ringing any bells for you.
It is strange for your mother to book her holiday around your due date. If she is anything like my mother, it will be because she cannot stand the spotlight focused on you. If this is the case, she is doing the only thing she can: create a drama so that you can be seen as sooo unreasonable when you refuse to travel to see her and prevent her from seeing her grandchild. Maybe I'm wrong, only you know your own mother.
I had the same sort of issue with my mother around dds birth. For her, any control over me is to do with money. She asked me if there was anything she could knit before DD was born, so I asked for a baby blanket. She refused and a couple of years later, knitted a baby blanket for my brothers son (DD was the first grandchild) - I had to hold back the tears when mother proudly showed it to me. I understand mother offered to buy bro/SIL the pram but didn't do the same for us but criticised me for not letting her buy dds pram after the event. Then when I suggested buying bedroom furniture instead of the pram, she refused and accused me of being grabby. Then when fil bought the furniture, she criticised me for not getting her to buy it when she wanted to, I was unreasonable again. The only sure fire thing in her world is that I have to be wrong so she gaslights wherever possible.
YANBU. But otoh, she's told you clearly where her priorities lie, so you don't need to be schlepping the baby 3 hours to see her either.
DH's parents went on at him about having a baby. They then booked to be away for 9 weeks (to their holiday home, not long haul) over ds's due date - originally so they'd not have come back till he was 3 weeks old. In the event he was 5 weeks early, so they didn't see him till he was 2 months old. In the 10 years since, they've had him awake once. I do feel bitter as they babysat and did a lot for their other grandchildren, but otoh we feel no obligation to them either.
Wow, Janecc, with a mother like that, who needs enemies?
Do you still have contact with her?
Indeed Zarah. I am her enemy. She is not mine. I do see her. Not that often. She is a far better grandparent than parent otherwise I would have gone NC. I'm going through therapy at the moment and am deprogramming slowly. I actually do feel sorry for her. Less so a week and a half ago when I went to see her. I have chronic fatigue syndrome (ME) and I had an illness crisis and was struggling to stand. Won't be doing that again I was very very ill and she really bullied me relentlessly. I struggled to get enough energy for the 1.5 hour drive home. All wild accusations and general nastiness. I think the worst things she's done to me was probably to do with my father. Denigrating his memory after he died by telling me she never told him I lost my virginity as it would have "killed him" - nice thing to do to a 16/17 yr old. Taking his pyjamas that I had been wearing out of my wardrobe when I went to university and using them to wax polish her new husband's dining table. I now think the latter is her anger at him for leaving her. She genuinely has the emotional age of a 3 yr old child. So there is no reasoning with her, she "doesn't believe in emotions" and lives in a very black and white world. It's so sad.
They have a nanny and go away without the kids and have grandma to babysit - and they can't pop down - with the GC to see you and the baby? Wonder if this will change if the GC want to see their new cousin?
Will sis be visiting? What if anything has she said?
OP, is there any chance that she sees you as the strong independent one who doesn't need or want her help whereas your dsis is the weaker sibling she has to baby? I do see this in some families and it's so unfair.
If there is any possibility of this I would send her an email laying out how sad her behaviour is making you feel ( not the historic stuff, just around the pregnancy and birth). If she still chooses to prioritise your sister then you know where you stand and in my case, contact would be low.
If she's fully aware and simply likes your sister better I would also go very low contact and restrict the hurt she can cause you.
My 'D'M is another one who thrives on sibling rivalry and pitting us against each other. When, in a moment of clarity, we both suddenly realised what we had enabled her to do we both took a step back. We now enjoy an adult relationship and have dis-empowered her.
How do you get on with your dsis op?
I ask a my mum is a bit like this, will bend over backwards for my dsis but rarely offers me help with anything. As me and dsis get on very well we either toll our eyes at her or call her out on it.
Once me and dsis had been in the exact same predicament about a month apart. Our cars had broken down and needed repairs we couldn't afford straight away. Dm collected dsis, arranged and paid for repairs and lent sis her car while repairs were being done. For me, she collected me but moaned her arse off, took me home and said nothing about repairs.
I asked why the difference and she said because (dsis) isn't independent like you, she needs help. She did not appreciate me pointing out I am independent because she assumes I'll cope - I've had to learn. She responded by talking about how I (as a toddler) was always determined to things on my win while dsis refused to do anything without help
Unfortunately there isn't anything you can do to change her, but definable don't take the trip and if she mentions it, just smile and say it's a shame that she chose to be away when you're baby was born.
Ah sorry, so many typos in that post
She sounds dreadful op do you have a mother in law? If I were you any time I saw my mother/sister I would go on about how amazing and helpful my DH's family esp MIL were, how close your DC are to MIL/IL's. Let your mum know how it feels to be left out and maybe she would make more effort.
Wow that is very hurtful. I'd be very upset if my mum booked a holiday on my first baby's due date. Perhaps seek some distance and lower your expectations of her....to zero.
Have you spoke to your ds? Does she acknowledge this disparity?
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