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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.

NaviSprite Wed 17-Jul-19 23:04:49

I’m on the “it’s a bit strange” side of this one. Not that she has sleepovers with her DC, that’s sweet. But the obsessive overriding of conversation and potential reality of nixing the sleepover because she wanted her own with the kids.

Now we all know to take what a post says is one side of a story - but I have a couple of cousins who are very much like your SIL @ItsFunnyYouShouldAsk

Everything revolves around them and their DC. To a point where they will start arguments with other Mum’s in the family (myself included) if they parent any other way. They also inundate their SM with pictures (like a minute by minute replay it’s rather tedious.)

Or if (like at the first and last family BBQ I went to since my twins were born) the conversation steers away from their children they derail and go straight back to it as though nobody else has a say - or will become extremely dramatic that nobody cares. They can also be weirdly competitive with their DC’s achievements. It makes their kids a bit uncomfortable too as they’re just trying to play and get told to perform for the family constantly 😳 so if your SIL is of a similar inclination I can fully understand why you find it odd.

I love my DC - they’re only toddlers and I do hope they might choose snuggles with me in bed sometime in the future. But I wouldn’t want to force it on them. I take pride in their achievements but can also talk about other subjects. Doesn’t make any of us the better or worse mums - just different.

With my Cousins thankfully I don’t have to see them regularly and have muted them on any social media so I’m not flooded with a minute by minute update of their days. I’ll pop onto their profiles occasionally to see how everyone is doing and I’m happy that they’re happy and know that - whilst I think they’re a bit over the top - they clearly love their kids and “not my monkeys not my circus” comes into play for me.

As for the bit about 9yo not getting to have a sleepover because the SIL wanted her “sleepover” with both DC is going too far IMO. But as people have said it’s possible this was her version of ‘kind reasoning’ to her Son, rather than an outright no?

YANBU to find it odd, that’s an opinion and you have a right to it - and I agree with you.

Other than the sleepover incident, has her behaviour shown any signs of depriving her DC of normality? If the eldest were to decline sleeping in her bed do you think she would understand or become emotional? If it’s the latter then that’s when you may have a genuine concern.

TheHandsOfNeilBuchanan Wed 17-Jul-19 23:05:25

Maybe if your dear brother was at home with his family, she would have consistency and support which could facilitate her working and seeking that childcare. If she didn't do what she does your brother couldn't jet off whenever he fancies. She sounds lonely and like she had little in her life other than her children.

Tillygetsit Wed 17-Jul-19 23:07:20

I agree with Felix. This is for her benefit not her boys. That said, it's up to her to sort and not really any of your business.

Polly7805 Wed 17-Jul-19 23:08:48

Omg you are definitely being unreasonable
Grow up you silly cow

sweetkitty Wed 17-Jul-19 23:11:00

When my DH is away with work my DC argue whose turn it is to sleep with me as they think I’ll get lonely by myself. The teens have all but stopped now which is sad. DS who is 9 still loves too he’s horrendous to sleep with though I swear he kicks me in the face he wriggles so much but in a few short years there’s no way he’ll want to sleep with Mum

Your nephews will be the same OP.

justasking111 Wed 17-Jul-19 23:13:21

Sitting here wondering if mothers who dote on their children this much today are tomorrows MILs from hell grin

Stompythedinosaur Wed 17-Jul-19 23:19:04

I don't think anything you've described is hugely unusual. My dds are 8 and 6 and jump at a chance to sleep with me when dp is away, despite being fine it their beds 99% of the time.

RonnieScotts Wed 17-Jul-19 23:38:55

I think she's going to find it a bit hard to let go as they grow up and become teenagers who want independence.

I have a friend who's a bit overbearing like this (even though she's a wonderful mum, she's always been a bit full on with her kids) as I've gotten closer to her she's opened up about a bit of a sad childhood, feeling rejected by her parents who always put themselves and their needs first. I think she's overcompensating for this in her own parenting. Now that they are teens she's really struggling and takes their need to be independent very personally and gets angry at them rejecting her (but it's just normal teenage behaviour, being grumpy and preferring their friends etc.)

I think your SIL may need some support and distraction when this starts to happen and her boys start growing up.

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