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to think my SIL is over the top with my nephews?

(83 Posts)
ItsFunnyYouShouldAsk Wed 17-Jul-19 20:28:37

My brother works away a lot abroad and is home probably one week a month. Him and my SIL have two boys, my dear nephews aged 9 and 5.

My SIL is a very enthusiastic mother shall we say, all of her social media accounts are just photos upon photos of my nephews and constant updates about them, in person it is impossible to have a conversation with her about anything other than the boys and at family gatherings if the conversation isn’t about my nephews she will always change the subject so the focus is on them. She also doesn’t allow any of our or her family to look after the boys, or have them overnight or take them on days out.

One thing that I find a bit unsettling is she insists on both the boys sleeping in her bed with her whilst my brother is away. She posts constantly on social media about how they are having “sleepovers in mummys bed” (like she posts this nightly whilst my brother is away) but the boys sleep in their own beds when my brother is home simply because there isn’t room for all of them together in one bed.

So AIBU to think this isn’t normal and SIL needs to stop smothering them? I know it’s not my place to say anything to her and I never would but interested to hear others opinions on this.

Xyzzzzz Wed 17-Jul-19 20:57:17

I agree I think it’s weird too. But then again it’s her kids and her parenting.

Ponoka7 Wed 17-Jul-19 20:58:29

She's made them her life, which is always smothering for the children.

It depends on how she takes the eldest's need for greater independence as he goes to high school.

Your Brother should encourage her to get 'herself' back.

ItsFunnyYouShouldAsk Wed 17-Jul-19 20:58:30

Yep just to clarify I fully understand it’s HER kids and HER choice. My only question is, am I being unreasonable to think it’s odd?

kalinkafoxtrot45 Wed 17-Jul-19 20:58:46

She sounds smothering and far too enmeshed with the kids. It will be difficult when they start to assert their independence.

FelixFelicis6 Wed 17-Jul-19 20:59:23

It’s not the actual them sleeping in her bed that’s weird, lots of children co-sleep later on in childhood, but it very much seems as though she’s the one that needs them to for her own comfort. Especially as husband wasn’t allowed back in bed when he’s back, and the obsessiveness on social media..

Yellowweatherwarning Wed 17-Jul-19 20:59:47

Yanbu imo.
Your dsis sounds far too relient on her dc when df is away.
Personally would rather stick pins in my eyes than have a dc in my bed!!

Thehop Wed 17-Jul-19 21:00:10

They shouldn’t be made to sleep in her bed, but that’s the only thing o see a problem with here.

Neverender Wed 17-Jul-19 21:00:13

Why do you care so much? I wouldn't bat an eyelid. The choices are hers/theirs and so ore the consequences.

Adoptthisdogornot Wed 17-Jul-19 21:02:24

It's a bit cringey and oversharey, but when you consider the neglect and abuse so many children endure, it hardly seems that terrible does it?

Myriade Wed 17-Jul-19 21:04:55

YANBU because the bed sharing happens to fulfill HER needs and not the dcs.

It’s sad her Dc1 can’t have a sleepover because she can’t cope with him not being in her bed.
I’m also confused at the idea she wants her dcs rather than her DH in her bed. It’s like they have somehow replaced him confused

Mummyoflittledragon Wed 17-Jul-19 21:06:19

It sounds as if she is forcing her eldest. And he’s missing out on sleepovers. My dd sleeps with me. Her choice but it’s soooo nice to have the bed to myself. Dh and I sleep separately for my health. I would never force dd to sleep with me. And we keep up the pretence with her friends that she sleeps in her bed. She has lots of sleepovers at home and a fair amount at friends houses. Her preference is not to sleep alone.

AmeriAnn Wed 17-Jul-19 21:08:34

My son suffered from anxiety when he was younger and would wake me up when he was having a bad worry. "Oh mum, I'm so worried I can't sleep". I'd lift the covers and he'd climb in next to me. He never wanted his dad to know he was needing his mum like that. I think he was about 12 when he stopped. I loved it btw, because I loved to snuggle with my boy and it made him feel better. He'd fall asleep right away when he was next to me. They're only young once and our duty as mums is to mother them.

Maybe her boys are stressed when their dad is gone.

Paramicha Wed 17-Jul-19 21:08:43

People parent differently.

ItsFunnyYouShouldAsk Wed 17-Jul-19 21:11:34

@Neverender it’s a question on AIBU, my life doesn’t revolve around it and it’s not like I’m constantly questioning her about it? I don’t know where you got the impression that I “care so much”, half the stuff posted here is a tiny snippet from someone’s life, same as this. That’s what this forum is for after all. And once again, as previously stated, I know it’s her life and her choice.

roothyb Wed 17-Jul-19 21:12:00

She sounds like a pain in the arse.

I don't think yabu. Just unfollow her posts so they don't wind you up!

georgialondon Wed 17-Jul-19 21:12:55

Not your business.

LillithsFamiliar Wed 17-Jul-19 21:13:05

You're too invested in this and determined to make it sound sinister and UR but it simply isn't. As for the sleepover, lots of parents come up with excuses to make it easier for their DC. It could be the other child didn't want to come. It could be they're not allowed sleepovers. It could be your SIL and DB decided they didn't want to invite that particular child for a sleepover. I very much doubt the main motivation was that your SIL would miss her DS hmm

Rarfy Wed 17-Jul-19 21:16:12

Yabu but if you don't have children I can understand why you find it odd.

I have a 6 month old and I don't let her go anywhere and have no plans to any time soon in fact I don't know if I ever will. I spending my time with her and knowing that she is being brought up by my rules so to speak. If I felt safe sleeping in a bed with her I probably would too.

Although you find it a bit strange I think I would just look at the positive and be happy their dm seems to adore them.

BendingSpoons Wed 17-Jul-19 21:16:55

It sounds like SIL is putting her needs before her DC (the older one anyway).

namechangeninjaevervigilant Wed 17-Jul-19 21:17:40

My SIL was like this. As soon as the children reached adolescence they couldn’t move into their own beds fast enough. Let her enjoy cuddles with her boys while they all still enjoy it.

ItsFunnyYouShouldAsk Wed 17-Jul-19 21:17:51

@LillithsFamiliar has the magical power of knowing everything about a situation despite not personally knowing any of the people involved. Incredible.

saraclara Wed 17-Jul-19 21:19:00

Her kids her choice

But how far does that go? It's clear that people harm their children in a variety of weird ways. At what point does someone say 'actually, that's wrong and harmful for your children'?

Personally I think that if a nine year old is losing out socially and can't have friends over because he has to sleep with his mum (even when he doesn't want to) I think it's fair to say...hang on. This isn't right. This isn't in your children's best interests.

The children should not be feeling stultified or having to make up for their father's absence. I think this is very much on the border of NOT being a 'her children, her choice' thing.

louise5754 Wed 17-Jul-19 21:19:09

My DH is hardly ever home. My 9 and 7 yr old are always in my bed. I don't ask them too they just get in. It is a squeeze though. I'd prefer just having the one as there is more room but once one knows the other follows.

Cryalot2 Wed 17-Jul-19 21:20:29

It does sound a bit strange , but maybe it is her way of trying to keep them safe when her husband is away.
The 9 year-old should at least be having sleep overs and not in mums bed most nights. He could get teased for such if his friends found out.
How about a quiet word with your brother .

BlackBirdInMyGarden Wed 17-Jul-19 21:21:32

We tend to think of neglect as children who are ignored or don't have physical needs met, or never get any emotional attention.

But emotional neglect can also happen when a parent smothers a child - and uses their kids to meet their emotional needs, rather than providing emotional support for that child's actual needs.

Whether or not that's what's happening here I wouldn't like to say - but smothering can be every bit as damaging as never paying any attention to a child.

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