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Sister not being supportive of new baby

(138 Posts)
FiveFarthings Wed 14-Aug-19 02:52:30

I have an 8 day old baby girl and my younger sister, though seemingly excited during my pregnancy (buying baby outfits etc) now apparently can’t seem to give a toss and I don’t know if I’m being unreasonable in expecting more from her?

I had a terrible induction followed by failed pushing (baby got stuck) which resulted in emergency c-section and blood loss. Suffice to say birth was a bit of a slog.

Anyway, two days after birth sister came to visit in hospital with my parents. She is nearly thirty but honestly looked like a 14 year old who had been forced to visit an elderly aunt or something. She wasn’t interested at all in hearing about what happened, she didn’t coo over the baby or ask how we were, and then started talking about a meeting with her manager she had later that afternoon and how much she hated her job.

A day later we went home and my parents brought our dog home. I sent her a picture of the dog meeting baby for the first time. Her response was that she was annoyed that my parents had dropped the dog off as she had wanted to walk him from their house that evening.

Since then I’ve sent her a few pics of the baby with no response. I asked her how it went her manager and she told me he’s a dick and she’s looking for a new job and I commiserated with her.

I asked her if she wanted to come for a visit on the weekend but it was a big ho-ha for her as she didn’t have her car (god forbid she could get the bus) so no firm plans where made. We had a really bad night so I texted and asked if we could cancel. She saw the message but no reply so I rang her to explain, she didn’t answer and didn’t phone back.

I again invited her for a visit the following weekend. No response for two days. She then said she’s can’t come as she’s going to a local music festival plus she has interviews during the week so she needed to prepare.

Not once has she asked how I am or how the baby is. I’ve just left it by telling her she should just let me know when she wants to see the baby and wished her luck with her interviews.

Last year, sister was buying a house with her then boyfriend and they were planning on trying for a baby at the start of this year. She found out he’d cheated on her and they broke up. She was heartbroken and didn’t want to move back in with my parents so she moved in with husband and I in December for a month, we looked after her, helped her find a flat etc. It was whilst she was living with us that I found out I was pregnant.

She was a total mess following the break up but has since started seeing someone else, we’ve met him (lovely guy) and he’s met the parents and he’s even going on holiday with sister and my parents in September.

My mum reckons that the birth of the baby is bringing back memories of my sister’s ex, making her think that maybe she might be pregnant herself right about now in the lovely house they were going to buy if he hadn’t cheated.

My sister and aren’t super close but we text a few times a week and meet for coffee/dinner etc every couple of weeks. She is well educated, well travelled, popular and has quite a high-pressure job in trust where she manages quite large sums of money, but sometimes she appear emotionally stunted (unable to hide it if she’s in a bad mood, if she’s grumpy then everyone has to suffer- takes after my dad!)

My question is, should I just let it go? A friend has said that it’s her loss that she’s not getting to know her niece, but this really is bothering me. I have a feeling if I say something then she will react even more negatively. My family have never been the best communicators at the best of times. Does she need time to come round or should I say something?

CoffeeNeeded2019 Wed 14-Aug-19 03:09:52

Congratulations Op on your little girl flowers I hope you’re both recovering well now.
The middle of the night wakes never really get any easier; I’ve taken to leaving plans in place because there might not be a better night for a while! But that’s not to say you should feel you have to do things you don’t want to do with a tiny baby.

If you suspect that your sister might be finding it tricky that you’ve now got a baby then just give her time. Be kind. Invite her to come over whenever, maybe for tea or if you go out for a walk, no pressure, just open invitation.
She’ll develop the relationship with your daughter as time goes by, try not to overthink her reactions to things- you’ll drive yourself crazy!
Enjoy the newborn snuggles

Shooturlocalmethdealer Wed 14-Aug-19 03:11:11

I'm not sure what you could say OP to make your sister not go in to 100 percent defense mode.
I'm getting the feeling your sister may be jealous and resentful of the baby, through no fault of your own of course.
Let things settle awhile. Take your mind off of your sister and enjoy your new baby.
Hopefully sister will come around and if not approach things gently and have a quiet sit down?

RonaldMcDonald Wed 14-Aug-19 03:11:54

I think you’ll quickly come to see that very many people aren’t interested in real life babies.
They like the idea of them
The gift buying and the hearts beside picture on Instagram but are flakey as all get out when it comes to helping or being present

I wish someone had told me this.
These people fully reappear when you baby is about 5-10yrs old and a small adult or quiet child
You too may become this. I have. I would rather die than holiday with friends I adore as they now have smalls and mine are all 9+
Good luck with the baby. It isn’t personal. Enjoy your time

Aquamarine1029 Wed 14-Aug-19 03:32:12

I think your sister is caught up in a very dark spiral of jealousy. You have everything she wants. She has experienced a load of shit and she's handling it badly. She certainly shouldn't be behaving as poorly as she is, but from the sound of it, she doesn't seem to have the emotional capability of dealing with her issues. I would back away and leave her to it, and I definitely wouldn't take any of this personally. This is all about her.

Italiangreyhound Wed 14-Aug-19 03:34:52

Congratulations on your baby. Please, please do not fixate on your sister at this special time.

"My question is, should I just let it go?" Yes.

The baby is a few days old and you need to focus on the baby, your sister is not missing out on getting to know her niece. Your sister may be overwhelmed, maybe jealous or sad for her own situation. Please allow her to come round in her own time.

Durgasarrow Wed 14-Aug-19 03:50:58

It's only been eight days since you had the baby? Stop fixating on your sister. Yes, it's possible the birth of the baby has triggered memories of her own losses. You are really pressuring her with your repeated demands for her enthusiastic response. What do you expect of her? You have a baby and she doesn't. That might not be easy for her. Give her some room and stop being so damned controlling.

KC225 Wed 14-Aug-19 03:52:47

Yes, yes, yes - let it go. Your baby is only 8 days old and that is a lot of texting, arranging, assumptions and feeling miffed.

Your sister has seen your baby at the hospital and arranged to meet but you cancelled. She is doing fine - come on now how supportive do you need her to be when you claim not to be that close. You have your DH and your mother.

It sounds as if your sister has a lot going on in her life - job hunting, new relationship etc. Possibly your baby is a 'this time last year' poke in the ribs. Just you get on with ENJOYING your new baby, this is such a precious you don't want to miss a moment by worrying and stressing over something you can't do anything about.


NobleRot Wed 14-Aug-19 04:01:39

I think it’s far more likely @RonaldMcDonald is right, and your sister, like many people, is just not that interested in small babies. I have two sisters, and one has always been far more interested in my son than the other.

Your baby is eight days old — in the nicest possible way, there’s nothing to get to know yet. She’s a tiny, exhausting bundle of needs.

You’re the one who needs support, not your baby, but it sounds as though you have it from elsewhere. She’s clearly got a lot going on in her head, with work, recovering from her breakup, her new relationship.

Rock4please Wed 14-Aug-19 04:10:56

It's only a week so I think you are overthinking this. She was enthusiastic about the pregnancy so there is no reason to think she is jealous. It just seems as though she has a lot going on in her own life at present if she is trying to move from a job she hates. She probably feels in need of a bit of support herself. Just enjoy your baby and leave her be - she will be round soon, I am sure. And I agree with previous posters who say that babies are lovely but only in small doses to many people, even close friends and family.

ispepsiokay Wed 14-Aug-19 04:21:20

It's not you (or your beautiful baby), it's her. It sounds like you have the life she thought she would be living right now and she's struggling with that a little, plus she's in a job she doesn't like and back living with your parents.

Give her space, but don't pander to her, she'll come round eventually (and it's her loss if she doesn't). Does your mum have any opinions on why she's acting this way?

Cwenthryth Wed 14-Aug-19 04:23:55

Other people’s babies are just really boring to most of us, OP, and not everyone is comfortable hearing gory birth details etc - especially from family members. I don’t even think she sounds jealous from what you write, tbh, just fairly normal! As someone else posted, there is nothing for her to get to know yet, from most people’s point of view she’s really not missing out on anything.

Perhaps she could be a bit more supportive in terms of ‘how are you doing’ messages etc but clearly she’s busy at the moment, has other priorities than you, and you admit you’re not a close, communicative family anyway.

So yeah, let it go, it really doesn’t sound like a big deal in the grand scheme of things. You’re going to be super tired at the moment and probably overthinking things. Focus on more immediate things and take everything a step at a time.

And congratulations flowers

1300cakes Wed 14-Aug-19 04:46:11

I see how her reactions have left you a bit deflated OP but still you are overreacting a little. It's only been 8 days, and she has seen you once and arranged to meet once. That's fine, isn't it? I'm pretty close to my family and siblings and they only saw my newborn about once a week. That's a normal amount of family contact in my book.

And so she has plans for next weekend, that's fair enough.

Sandybval Wed 14-Aug-19 04:47:08

My mum reckons that the birth of the baby is bringing back memories of my sister’s ex, making her think that maybe she might be pregnant herself right about now in the lovely house they were going to buy if he hadn’t cheated.

Possibly this, or she just doesn't like babies as has been said. I don't think she is missing out on knowing her niece (yet), your baby is 8 days old confused it's bad that she hasn't been there for you as her sister, but you do say that you aren't particularly close.

What do you want from her?

FiveFarthings Wed 14-Aug-19 04:49:05

Thanks for all the supportive messages. I’m just going to leave things as they are. I guess I’m just tired and emotional- I am focusing on the baby but you know when something just niggles you? I had just thought that after we had looked after her and been supportive during her break up, that I might get a bit of support from her now the baby is here (even if it’s just a message asking how we are doing). I think the thoughtlessness of it is what has bothered me more than anything but I’m not going to say anything and will see what happens. Thanks again

NobleRot Wed 14-Aug-19 05:10:37

Best wishes, OP. You’re doing waaay better than I did as the mother of a newborn! I’m not sure I could have written a sentence in coherent English when I had an eight day old. I hope you have plenty of support from elsewhere.

GibbonLover Wed 14-Aug-19 05:13:31

A 'dark circle of jealousy'? Give me strength...

I'm with PP. You weren't that close to begin with and see each other, on average, every 14 days. You last saw her 6 days ago.

It's highly unlikely she's jealous. She appears to be in the first flush of new love, always an exciting time, so is hardly likely to be looking back. She's looking to the future, a new man, a holiday coming up, social plans and job interviews.

Babies aren't often that interesting to people who aren't their DP or DGP. They all look similar and do precious little for quite some time. There's not really much you can say about countless baby pictures and I don't mean to be rude but 'the dog meeting baby for the first time' is just a picture of the baby and the dog isn't it - plus you don't really 'meet' babies do you, you just look at them while someone says 'This is the baby'. Dogs give even less of a shit.

So don't give it any more thought. There's nothing wrong, nobody is jealous, nobody is being snubbed.

DoNotBlameMeIVotedRemain Wed 14-Aug-19 05:39:09

I hear your DSis has a lot of job stress at the moment. I suspect she is distracted by that and will want to prioritise that until its resolved.

mathanxiety Wed 14-Aug-19 06:26:55

Often you see someone's true colours when something happens and you could really use some love.

Right now the essence of her personality is magnified:
...but sometimes she appear emotionally stunted (unable to hide it if she’s in a bad mood, if she’s grumpy then everyone has to suffer- takes after my dad!)

Some people are emotional takers.

Your sister sounds like one.

Flerkin Wed 14-Aug-19 06:36:07

OP I would let it go.

I wouldn't say she is jealous. But given she hates her job and is under stress with that, and there might be some sad feelings that it brought back her heart break. Not jealousy, but just feeling that everything for her isnt how it should have been.

She is trying to sort the job issue and if you hate the place you go to everyday, it becomes very important. When that issue has gone and she has some time to relax, she will probably come round a bit.

And honestly, I have 2 kids. But newborn babies arent that interesting to me. I much prefer them froma few months old.

She has plenty of time to bond with your child as your child gets older.

My brother didnt have kids when I had mine. He wants overly interested when I mine were small. But he is a great uncle to them as they got older.

PutyourtoponTrevor Wed 14-Aug-19 06:41:15

Just because you've become a mother doesn't mean the world revolves around you. I had a lot of shit going on when my SIL had her baby, she threw a shit fit because I wouldn't cut a very important work trip short so I could be at the hospital the day she gave birth. I saw her 3 days later and she was a total dick to me.

user1493413286 Wed 14-Aug-19 06:47:50

Congratulations on your baby!
I would let it go; you’ve said yourself that you think saying something would make it worse. It does sound like she’s upset that you’ve got everything that she hasn’t; I don’t personally think that’s an excuse to act how she is but you can’t make her change.
Hopefully she will change her approach in the next few weeks especially if you take a step back a bit. Enjoy your baby and don’t let her reaction take away from that.

yesteaandawineplease Wed 14-Aug-19 06:48:05

congratulations op. I hope you're recovering and baby is doing well. it's an amazing, lovely but exausting and overwhelming time. especially if you're recovering (mentally as well as physically) from a difficult birth.

re your sister. its hurtful of course but she's dealing with her own stuff and can't see past it. you're right to leave her be x

PurpleFlower1983 Wed 14-Aug-19 06:49:26

At 8 days old I think you should just concentrate on your little family right now to be honest, your sister sounds like a decent person and will come round but she just seems to need a period of adjustment. The memories and thoughts of what could have been will very likely be coming back and she might be worrying she will never get that. Give her time and in the meantime enjoy your new family.

Banjodancer Wed 14-Aug-19 06:52:18

I was reading through to see if your sister wanted a baby of her own. You would still be right to be angry with her lack of common decency but she might well be suffering from seeing you with an actual baby - they pregnancy is less "real" somehow. I would back off for a bit and focus on you but given it is your sister not your friend I would definitely speak to her about it at some point (maybe not her first visit though!) You could just tell her that having the baby is a struggle and you are sad she didn't offer you more emotional support - see what she says.

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