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to get involved in my sister's life, even though she hasnt asked me to

(20 Posts)
OnlyWantsOne Fri 26-Nov-10 15:58:30

My sister and I used to be very close. Her marriage had broken down, she had 2 DS aged about 8 and 10 at the time

A bout 2.5 years ago she "met" a new man and he moved in to her house after about 3 months.

This man is what I would call a pikey. (flame me all you like, he is, was living in a caravan in a pub car park previous to my sisters house - and he owns a whippet).

Any way, over last 2 years sister and I have grown apart, I no longer live so close and her circumstances have changed work wise so she's not at home as much.

Current situation -

her partner doesnt seem to work much (he does gardening?) and her DC seem to be dirty, pretty much have to look after them selves, on report at school etc, last night they went to my mums to stay and neither of them had a coat, my mum *^had^ to wash all their clothes and school uniform they came in -

transpires that this man doesnt pay much towards house running, doesnt work much, my sister is working 3 jobs (very manual work too) whilst today he's at home (her house) with his child from previous relationship (whos 4)

my nephews have to do lots of "jobs" which im not opposed to, however I am when its -2 here and they havent got coats and there is no heating oil to keep the house warm!!

My sister has become so withdrawn and looks so unhappy. Just had a long chat with my mum about it and shes dreadfully worried, DSis didnt take kids to mums or drop them off, her partner did... sister doesnt really talk to any of us at all

what do I do??

santasbluebaubles Fri 26-Nov-10 16:16:01

Gosh that doesn't sound like a happy situation for your Dsis or her DC.

Do you think you would be able to meet up with her without her DH to have a chat? If you've drifted apart then it may well take time for her to feel she can open up to you.

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 26-Nov-10 16:21:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Niceguy2 Fri 26-Nov-10 16:29:32

I think your instincts are right. You must at least investigate and see if your sister is struggling.

However, just because you think this guy is a waste of space, doesn't mean your sister agrees.

On paper, you could argue my GF does nothing. She has no job etc but then many would say she's a housewife and that in itself is a hard job.

I think the main thing you need to figure out is why the kids are not being looked after. Eg. Why do they not have proper coats?

Is your sister claiming all the benefits they are entitled to? Or is it simply mismanagement of money (eg. him drinking too much or her shopping etc)

OnlyWantsOne Fri 26-Nov-10 16:29:35

I dont think they are being neglected. I do feel that they aren't being treated how they once were - and that my sister not being there because shes working so much means that primarily its my sisters partner is home with them. And he has very different ideas about children. i.e. its fine that they cart wood for a whole day at weekends.

OnlyWantsOne Fri 26-Nov-10 16:31:07

financially its a mess because of her seperation from the DCs father - which complicates issues.

Her partner is not a SAHD, he takes fridays off to have his son - but he doesnt have a job the rest of the time when his son is at his mother's or at school.

Niceguy2 Fri 26-Nov-10 16:38:44

How can he take Friday off if he doesn't have a job?

Ultimately I think all you can do is talk to your sister and plant the seeds in her mind about how you are all worried that she looks stressed, tired etc., what you've noticed about the kids & the coat and if there's anything you can do to help them.

I don't think any approach which criticises her partner will help. She will be forced to go on the defensive.

More useful would be for her to know that you & your mum will be there for her no matter what.

OnlyWantsOne Fri 26-Nov-10 16:40:06

Niceguy2, he doesnt have a job - just works off and on doing odd things, but doesnt work fridays at all, so has a 3 day weekend every week

diddl Fri 26-Nov-10 16:40:11

Well I would say that if they are dirty & don't have a coat in this weather then they are being neglected.

FreudianFoxSquishedByAPouffe Fri 26-Nov-10 16:41:46

Sorry to appear like a stalker OWO but how are your neighbours, any news?

OnlyWantsOne Fri 26-Nov-10 16:44:46

No neighbour not good, will find orriginal thread and update it

Niceguy2 Fri 26-Nov-10 16:45:42

OK, I get you. So he does odd things. A bit like my GF. She doesn't really have a job but does the odd bit of freelancing.

My point is to be totally fair, as long as your sis is happy with the status quo then fair enough. It's no-one elses business.

But I think the best approach is softly softly and approach it from "how can we help" rather than "Your partner is a blood sucking pikey"

OnlyWantsOne Fri 26-Nov-10 16:46:30

ok.... but if I can never see her without him being there, and he never leaves the room how do I talk to her?

midori1999 Fri 26-Nov-10 16:52:30

Why do you have to get involved with your sisters life? Why can't you just visit her or go shopping together or pop out for coffee of lunch, meet up at the park with the DC etc? Then just have a general chat with her about life in general, including how things are with her?

It's obvious you don't approve of her partner and this seems as much of an issue to you as the DC are. So, he doesn't fit your idea of a partner, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with him. Some people do live in caravans if their income is limited, nothing wrong with that if they are happy to do so. Nothing wrong with owning a whipped either. People with houses even own them too you know, sometimes even posh people. hmm

The DC having no coats is of course, a concern, but do they actually own coats?? Could they have forgotten them and left them at school? My DC often forget coats or other things and are usually pretty grubby when they get home, but they are well looked after.

And her partner does have a job, it just seems he takes more of a 'househusband' role han your sister, and maybe isn't that great at it. I don't work at all, I am a SAHM. shocking

Niceguy2 Fri 26-Nov-10 16:55:52

Invite her out to do some girly shopping or arrange something to do with you, your mum & your sister. Make it a positive thing.

I think you have to tread a fine line between offering to help your sister with her life and putting aside the fact YOU think he is unsuitable.

The fact is he could be TOTALLY unsuitable. But that's a decision for your sister. Not you, not your mum to make.

As for coats, actually midori makes a point there. I have a ski jacket, coat and a winter coat for my DS yet fight pitch battles with him to put one on.

pottonista Fri 26-Nov-10 16:59:34

Invite her out for coffee and 'girlie chat'? He can't very well invite himself along for that.

OnlyWantsOne Fri 26-Nov-10 17:01:26

I have sent her a message asking her to come over for a coffee and spending some sister time with me befor my baby is born and will not mention any of this, just try and let her know that im there for her thank you

northerngirl41 Fri 26-Nov-10 17:32:33

You call her and invite her out for a girls day with your mum as a treat because she's working so hard.

MrsBonkers Sat 27-Nov-10 01:02:17

Sorry, I know its not funny really, but lol at 'and he owns a whippet' grin

Can you get them coats for Xmas presents, so your sister doesn't see it as charity, but let your sister have them now. Don't know your financial situation, but could pick up something from Ebay quite cheaply.
Might make her see that you want to help and then she may open up to you.

booyhoo Sat 27-Nov-10 01:22:44

buy the kids coats for xmas.

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