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Feeling guilty about 'niece'

(59 Posts)
wonderwomanfromthenorth Sun 16-Dec-18 13:50:33

My brother was in a relationship years ago that ended after the birth of his son. Prior to it ending he was 'step dad' to his ex's children, we kept our distance as it was a toxic relationship but over the years had many dealings with them, used to buy them birthdays and Christmas presents and they called me 'auntie' after they split my brother kept contact going with them for a while but then it dwindled to just being his son (mutual decision between him and his ex) I've often felt upset for the children and even years later still feel guilty that they must have been extremely confused.

My brother then got in a new relationship with someone who already had a daughter; they moved in with him pretty quickly and my nephew had to get used to sharing my brother, when for so long it was all just about him, he did this very well and loved the little girl. We inevitably had a lot to do with her as they lived together.

In the very early days of their relationship someone contacted us to say she was pregnant with my brothers baby, it was someone he'd been seeing for a week (a week!?) he said the baby probably wasn't his and didn't want to get involved. My mum and I sent a new baby hamper with nappies etc and she regularly contacted my mum but as my brother didn't want a relationship with the new baby we didn't get involved.

Then he split with his girlfriend and started meeting up with the mum and son who by this point was 2 years old.. it would be on one minute and off the next, she also has an elder son. He's never actually told my dad he has another child (although I obviously did at the time he was born) so my dad has never acknowledged the situation, but last year we were invited to my nephews birthday party and the 2.5 year old toddler was there, he is a very sweet little boy, my dad came to the party and had no idea about any of it, when he left he said my brothers friend seemed nice as did her children and was flabbergasted when I said that was his grandchild, he hadn't made the connection. The next week they split again and it was all off and has been on and off ever since, my mum bought them all Christmas presents last year and then the mum messaged my mum to say it was off again! I haven't seen my brother a lot over the last year due to the situation and other various things.

Anyway I'm just wrapping my nephews Christmas presents and feel awful for the little boy who will see all these presents from people he doesn't even know, who are meant to be his family! But I just don't know what to do about it. It's an extremely dysfunctional situation, am I awful for not wanting to get involved in yet another child's life who will then be let down? It's not just the 3.5 year old, also his older brother as I could never leave him out if I had a relationship with the younger one!

wonderwomanfromthenorth Sun 16-Dec-18 13:52:09

I wrote 'niece' on the title 😳 I meant nephew, but am currently wrapping Christmas presents and writing cards and was looking at my other nieces (sisters children) presents! Baby brain and too much going on!

MsTSwift Sun 16-Dec-18 14:17:17

That was confusing I lost track. Sounds like the Jeremy Kyle show. Your brother sounds sexually incontinent. There’s a reason why most people marry one person and have children that they commit to.

wonderwomanfromthenorth Sun 16-Dec-18 14:28:18

@MsTSwift so Jeremy Kyle I agree. He only actually has 2 children of his own though. If the youngest is actually his.

SnuggyBuggy Sun 16-Dec-18 14:31:34

Maybe he ought to consider a vasectomy to limit the damage of his love life

wonderwomanfromthenorth Sun 16-Dec-18 14:37:22

We have suggested this, he also has mental health issues and an alcohol addiction and issues with work.

We have tried everything over the last few years to help him salvage his life, all went downhill after the toxic relationship with first ex. Never really regained his life. They lost a child together which was hugely traumatic.

wonderwomanfromthenorth Sun 16-Dec-18 14:40:16

For the record I'm not drip feeding as the post was about feeling guilty for my choosing not to be involved with 'nephew' not about my brother

SnuggyBuggy Sun 16-Dec-18 14:41:00

I feel for you as I expect there is only so much you can do for him

wonderwomanfromthenorth Sun 16-Dec-18 14:49:15

You are so right snuggy I used to be a lot more emotionally invested in trying to help him.. he lived with me at one point but selfishly I have taken a step back. But feel guilty for the children.

Holidayshopping Sun 16-Dec-18 14:50:38

Sorry, I got confused as well-too many hes and shes for me to understand.

Your brother was seeing someone with whom he might have had a baby but it might not be his and you are wondering if you shouldn’t get into the life of the child in case he gets confused?

wonderwomanfromthenorth Sun 16-Dec-18 15:02:24

😂 sorry my Jeremy Kyle story would have been much easier if I could have added names!

Well she's adamant the child is his and my brother's been involved for the last year and a half. But it's still very dysfunctional, on one minute off the next.

MsTSwift Sun 16-Dec-18 15:02:45

Poor kids. What a mess

wonderwomanfromthenorth Sun 16-Dec-18 15:03:19

My sentiments entirely :-( and the guilt I feel that my brother is the root of all of this. But there's nothing I can do!

wonderwomanfromthenorth Sun 16-Dec-18 15:04:29

Have just read my story back, sorry it's all over the place, just so hard to get it all written down in order!

Raininspaintoday Sun 16-Dec-18 15:05:56

confused sorry lost track confused

BedraggledBlitz Sun 16-Dec-18 15:08:42

I think you should make the decision over whether to have a relationship with your nieces/nephews and grandchildren regardless of what your brother decides to do.

It’s a bit more complex with ex step children but nothing to stop you from seeing if the mother is receptive to continuing contact.

Tbh I find it ludicrous you all buy presents for these kids then suddenly call it all off according to which way your brother’s willy is waving.

wonderwomanfromthenorth Sun 16-Dec-18 15:11:08

bedraggled 😂 we didn't call it all off! The mums did!

wonderwomanfromthenorth Sun 16-Dec-18 15:12:36

rain why bother commenting then? I've already apologised for the confusing story. You haven't asked me anything or added anything to the thread, just the confused faces and informing me that you lost track?

BedraggledBlitz Sun 16-Dec-18 15:17:53

Ah right sorry, Like you I feel sorry for the kids, imagine your dad not mentioning your existence to your grandpa. I suppose all you can do is make sure the kids know their auntie is there for them if needed.

AmyDowdensLeftLeftShoe Sun 16-Dec-18 15:19:11

As an adult you can as permission from the children's mothers if they are happy to allow you (and any of your other relations into) their children's lives. Make it clear to each of the mother's that while you are around to be an auntie it does not mean your brother will be around to be a father. Depending on your relationship with your brother you may be able to kick him up the butt if he decides to be a complete CF to the children.

RandomMess Sun 16-Dec-18 15:22:09

So he's on his 3rd family set up all of which have "steps" involved...

I have no advice tbh sad

Token presents to the youngest birth DS and his sibling?

Reign in gifts to his older DS?


LeilaDarling Sun 16-Dec-18 15:24:01

You sound really nice and kind.
I think you should message the Mums of the kids and say despite your brothers lack of interest you do care and would like contact/an opportunity to know the kids.
Story close to my heart; I have a child with a non involved father and his parents, sister and brother live a couple of miles away and have never bothered/acknowledged him/sent a card/present.
I would think more of them if they did.

wonderwomanfromthenorth Sun 16-Dec-18 15:26:31

bedraggled the thought really makes me feel sick, he's only 3 at the moment but he will soon realise :-(

wonderwomanfromthenorth Sun 16-Dec-18 15:28:35

amydowdens I think the first ex understands that and we are in touch via messages and I always ask about her other children but it's been years since I've seen them as it was a very awkward split so at the time wasn't viable and she stopped the contact, so the children would be a bit confused if I rocked up again.

As for the mum of the new child... I'd find it very difficult to be in contact with her and if there was to be contact with the child I'd like it to be through my brother. She is........... crazy, for want of a better word.

wonderwomanfromthenorth Sun 16-Dec-18 15:31:39

Leila that's so sad, I'm sorry to hear that and I think that's exactly how the mum would feel, but she's actually 'with' my brother at the moment (I think!!!) and therefore it should be down to my brother (the dad) to be arranging the contact and getting his family to bother, but he's not! He has never broached the subject with my dad and won't!

He makes a big fuss of older child, birthdays, comics when out etc. But apparently doesn't for the younger child. So he himself is the one in the wrong here. But I can't help thinking that if I was the mum I'd take my children away from that situation?

She's left the house with the children at 11pm and other random times after arguments and still goes back for more. She has her own house yet frequently stays at my brothers where her children have no beds....

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