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I don't think I like my sisters very much...

(30 Posts)
Athendof Thu 29-Nov-12 23:05:29

One pretends I don't exist. Apart of the customary birthday calls is as if I didn't exist. I did much of the effort of keeping the contact, made a fuss with her children, drove for hours to visit her but as soon as I stopped the relationship died (and I stoped after she failed to call me or ask how DS was after I split from my husband, as I resented that I have been there for her and her children in the good times and the bad ones and she couldn't even ask how her my son was doing).

My other sister has always been some sort of a queen bee, who acts lke jekill or hide depending on where does she thing you are: If you are doing bad she treats you condescendingly and is very patronising, if she thinks you are doing better than her she needs to put you down, and turns into an aggresive histerical bully if you disagree with her.

The thing is that my niece has got into the all "0ne Direction" fad, had gone all British and she has recently called me to say she eould like to spend some time in the UK with me to study English ( she has always gone to bilingual schools. Her English is better than mine).

I really don't fancy the idea of having her around. I am on my own with DS and barely making it to the end of the month. I really cannot add a 14 year old to the household. Not to say that neither her or her mum had bothered to keep in touch over the last 6 years.

My other sister, who is totally out of the radar as well, thinks I am totally unteasonable and selfish.

I'm feeling like I don't give a hoot about either of them and want to tell them to stuff it.

Am I unreasonable?

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 29-Nov-12 23:10:12

You don't have to if you don't want to. On the other hand, it is hardly the 14 year old's fault that her mother didn't stay in touch. I wouldn't have called my aunt at that age if my mother hadn't. Don't punish the girl for her mother's crappy behaviour. If you want to have her there, get room and board form her mother and let her. Otherwise, stop caring what these selfish people think about you.

50shadesofknackered Thu 29-Nov-12 23:10:37

Yanbu. Why should you make your life harder for people that don't really seem to care. I would say no to niece coming and if your sister asks why, be honest.

PomBearWithAnOFRS Thu 29-Nov-12 23:21:34

It's not your neice's fault, she can only follow her mother - six years ago she was only eight, so could hardly do much to keep in touch with you, even if she wanted to. I gather they live abroad so what could she have done?
If you don't want her to visit, then say so as it wouldn't be pleasant for any of you if she came and felt unwelcome and it was awkward - it's not like she can phone her mam to come and pick her up in an hour...
Perhaps if you lay it all out to your sister that you would welcome a chance to get to know your neice, but are simply not able to support her, and would need X pounds a week "board" then sister can decide if she wants to pay or not.
Don't be railroaded or embarassed though, you can't give what you haven't got and 14 year olds who want entertaining, feeding, sighseeing, trips etc are expensive. Giving you money to feed her etc would presumably still be less than if she came on a "proper" holiday with hotel etc to pay, and sorting everything out in advance would mean there was no "muttering" or hard feelings or anything. Just be plain and honest and if your sister or neice don't like it, then she doesn't come and you are no worse off.
You never know, she might be lovely and it would be a chance to get to know each other that might not come again.

mummydarkling Thu 29-Nov-12 23:23:12

Agree your niece is not your sister just her progeny. Give the girl a chance and you may be suprised and delighted. Make sure DSis sends board and lodging.

It might be an opportunity to air with your DSis how her actions/inactions have hurt you and allow her a second chance, if you reconcile this will give your DS a larger family network.

My SiL actually ignores all our family birthdays and yet rings me up to complain about her health. I have made her extreme selfishness a bit of a family joke. I challenge myself to be ever sweeter to her and her DCs (not their fault but sadly they may all have a personality disorder in the future due to her parenting style). I send them cards and presents and newsy letters (they are not online) but get nothing back, never a "Thank-you" I do worry the DCs will be totally deficient in social skills as those thank-yous my DPs made me write and say have formed my character.

Athendof Fri 30-Nov-12 00:14:11

I don't blame the girl, I just thinking is too much to go from her mum clearly showing she doesn't care about us to asking to have the girl around for all the summer.

Besides, i understand she will need entertaining but given the nature of my work, I don't think she will see much of me during the week. She is very bosy too. My family find it hilarious and pander to her whims. I don't think i would be able to take the same approach...

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 30-Nov-12 00:26:45

You might be good for her Athendof. Might be the making of her.

kiwigirl42 Fri 30-Nov-12 00:41:00

Give her a chance. My 14 yr old niece is wonderful and a great friend to DS. Make sure they support her financially though, not you if you are struggling already.
I'd hate to be tarred with the same brush as my mother

mirry2 Fri 30-Nov-12 00:46:36

How long is your niece proposing to stay? Looking after a 14 year old is not easy and you may have to set very firm boundaries. I would offer to put her up for a hoilday (a week or so) but not for any longer.

LDNmummy Fri 30-Nov-12 00:52:14

Don't allow the feelings you have about your sisters tarnish the relationship you could have with your niece.

My sister and I have a terrible relationship but she drove 3 hours to see my DD the night we brought her home from the hospital.

She left work early and drove straight here and then drove straight back the same night as she had work the next morning. She got 3 hours sleep that night but was so excited to see her new niece. Anytime I drive up to see my other sister she makes sure to visit my DD.

The effort she made for my DD has done a lot to open up discourse between us and I try to be a little more patient with her now and see my faults as well.

Even if we don't stay in touch, I would always want to know her children and have my children know her.

But feelings aside, also take into account whether or not you are prepared to be responsible for a teenager all summer. If you can do it then I think it could be wonderful for your child to have an older cousin around to play with all summer. My DD adores her older cousins and they are great with her too.

HappyJoyful Fri 30-Nov-12 01:36:26

YANBU - I am curious as to your age differences ?
I have two very different in character younger sisters, but as you describe, one is 'queen bee' and the younger of the two seems to veer between wanting to be help us (as in babysitting) to telling to go stick it where sun don't shine.
I think what I am coming to terms with and trying to deal with is that I love them to bits - but yes I don't necessarily like them!
However, my sister has a son who is now 6 and I do miss his company - when he was 2...3...4 he'd come and stay with us and he'd get spoilt rotten and it ws pre our daughter - suddenly at almost identical time his Mum had a baby (new partner) and then I did so I do sometimes wonder if he feels a bit left despite what we try to do all together since we had dd he hasn't been around as much - not necessarily from want of trying to coordinate with myself and my sister but because of simple logistics.
Anyways, I digress... think (I didn't read it al) I would try look back, have fun and try to just think it's all down to the differing ages of you / your sisters/ they come go like a flow - I know my DH said something about a famous UK city the other day and I went "OMG sis was there and you know what I didnt' see her whole time she was" .. felt odd as close at mo. (having had dd's weeks apart) but still.. they're you're sisters. love 'em loathe em, you don't have to like 'em but things probably change if you anything like most families!

HappyJoyful Fri 30-Nov-12 01:41:26

apologies, just read this bit clearer- flattery ? sounds like it could be hard but have to say, if my neice/nephew wanted to stay you got to go for it.. sorry..
Yanbu reasonable to have issues with sis, but aww, give it go with niece. though contradicting all that is she 14 ? I just thought about saying - what about when she 16 ??

Athendof Fri 30-Nov-12 10:27:56

It would be for 12 weeks. Frankly... I'm not sure, she used to be very unkind to my son even when she is 5 years older than him.

I take note of the traveling to meet with sisters at a difficukt time, i took a 20 hrs long haul flight and drove 5 hrs at theend of it to see my sister when my nephew was born, and then my sister got all stroppy at me and asked me to leave because she asked me to wipe her DD bottom and I asked how. I know is a stupid question but back then I didn't have children.

Did she even ring when DS was born? Nope.

LDNmummy Fri 30-Nov-12 12:55:26

12 weeks is a very long time! I assumed it was for the 6 weeks of the summer holiday.

Your post shows that you are still thinking of issues that have taken place with you and your sister. I still think you shouldn't allow this to get in the way of seeing how your relationship with your niece is. Children change all the time and even if she was mean to your son before, she is older now and may have changed a lot.

It sounds to me that you don't want to do this but you are feeling guilty about saying it. If you can't put your feelings toward your sister to one side then you might as well just not do it, because your behaviour around your niece will probably show that she isn't that welcome.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Fri 30-Nov-12 13:00:13

I think I would offer to have her for two weeks and say that she could possibly stay longer depending on how helpful she is and if she is nice to your boy

Floralnomad Fri 30-Nov-12 13:05:47

Friends you choose ,relatives you are born with - hence you don't have to like them . Personally I wouldn't have the niece to stay , it's bad enough having teens of your own without putting up with someone else's for 3 months!

Fakebook Fri 30-Nov-12 13:06:15

Just say no. My sister and I are very close now, but fought a lot over a few years. This year she asked me if I'd like to send dd to stay with her a few weeks (lives in another country), so I accepted the invitation and sent dd (then aged 4) to her for 3 weeks. She had the best time with her cousins.
I would have never sent her without an invitation. I think inviting yourself over like that is just so rude, especially as the mother isn't making any attempts to get in touch about it.

PurpleCrutches Fri 30-Nov-12 13:07:27

If you don't want to, just say no. Especially if you can't afford to.

Marzipanface Fri 30-Nov-12 13:10:45

I think this is shockingly cheeky and you should talk to your sister. Point out she hasn't bothered with you for X number of years so why should you do her a huge favour like this?

SoftKittyWarmKitty Fri 30-Nov-12 13:37:35

Your sisters are the ones that are unreasonable and selfish, not you. If you don't want her living with you, probably without financial assistance from her parents, then say no. Don't feel guilty about it either. They sound horrible tbh.

Whocansay Fri 30-Nov-12 13:42:42

If what she's really after is 12 weeks of free child care, tell her where to go.

If your niece genuinely wants to spend time with you and your family, I'd let her, but set some very clear ground rules (not to mention an agreement about how much cash you need to pay for her for 12 weeks).

It does sound like you're being used as a convenient stop gap though. I don't think I'd do it.

DIYapprentice Fri 30-Nov-12 13:46:45

A 14 year old for 3 months while you are working? No way. You are not there to supervise, and if she is a bossy madam as you say, then it will not be a pleasant experience for you at all.

At the very least I would put her off for a few years. 16 yrs is the earliest for that sort of thing if you are unable to supervise her. I had a niece stay with me when she was 18 (had her 18th birthday with us!) for 4 weeks, and although it gave me a good chance to get to know her it was an intrusion, and she did need help deciding what to see and do, she also wanted company to the shops for some clothes and souvenir shopping. She had a number of friends over here working for a year (she's from Australia) so that was easier as she had friends around.

Also in my case, my niece didn't pay for board, but paid for her own outings, and she spent a fortune (had saved it in advance) in just a month.

Oh and I don't get along with my DSis, her mother, either. Sadly I think I would say no to any subsequent nieces/nephews from siblings that I don't get along with, simply because when anything goes wrong, you are held to blame and I can't be naffed dealing with that.

Athendof Sat 01-Dec-12 18:28:39

Thank you all for your views. I think I have finally come to the convlusion that I'm going to say no.

I really can't take time off work, and I don't think I woukd feel confortable to leave her alone in the house for long hours. I expect her parents will give her money to spend but we still need to take her places and pay our own entries to museums and other . I have no problem with that as long as we don't do it very often... This remind me of a time when I was studying abroad and a friend came to visit, he was in holiday mood and wanted to go out every day, not realising that the cost of a night out covered a week of lunches at uni. i really couldn't keep to it, much to his annoyance. :-(

I continue to think, however, that this a huge favour to ask to someone you have not bothered ro keep in touch with for many many years.

DeckSwabber Sat 01-Dec-12 18:46:52

Could you offer something in between, like one/two weeks, with the sweetener that if it works out you will have her for longer another time?

Then make your terms clear - board & lodging to be paid by sis, and help expected around the house, or with your son.

ImperialBlether Sat 01-Dec-12 20:08:16

No way. It wouldn't matter if your sister was lovely - looking after a 14 year old is bloody hard work. Why should you do that? There are plenty of places she could go for that sort of thing. And for god's sake - One Direction? Does she think she'll meet them or something?

Don't do it, OP - she'll be a nightmare.

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