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Extended family drifting apart.

(4 Posts)
thestringpeople Mon 18-Jul-11 11:50:47

Only posting this to have a moan. I have a very large extended family, we used to be close but since I had children the christmas get-to-gethers and summer barbecues have dwindled and the only contact I have with some of my family is via facebook. I'm still close to my mum and one of my siblings but we don't see each other that often due to geographical distance between us.

I was feeling annoyed last week because I knew that my niece was having a bbq as she had posted about it on fb. I wasn't invited but one of my siblings was which has annoyed me, I know its up to her who she invites and I'm being unreasonable to expect an invite but it just pissed me off that she was never close to my brother and yet he gets an invite and I don't.

On saturday morning she phones me up out of the blue and says that her friend has a work related problem and asks me if I am free that evening as she is having a bbq and I could meet her friend at the bbq and help him out with his problem. She then says get dh to drive you (almost 100 miles and I don't have a car), suggests a hotel for dh to stay in with the kids, tells me that my chldren won't want to come to the bbq as if it rains they will have to move into the house and there won't be room for kids. WTF hmm we are expected to go to all this inconvience just so we can help out her friend who I have never met. When I tell her that it isn't possible she sounds really miffed as it sounds like she has promised her friend my services without speaking to me. I ask her how her family are and she says she has no time for small talk as she is hosting a bbq for close family and friends.

I know I should just let it go but I feel sad that 10 years ago I was part of a family that went on holiday together and helped each other out and now being a relative doesn't really mean anything.

Has anyone else found that their families drift apart once you start having children?

Apocalypto Mon 18-Jul-11 12:57:33

The majority of family feuds seem to happen among the females, in my experience and observation. I think the viciousness just escalates a bit when there are children around, because they provide more grounds on which to take offence.

Just looking at my OH's family, the two sisters hate each other. The older never misses a chance to tell the younger how fat and dishevelled she is, and the younger never misses a chance to tell the older how big her moustache is getting. She also likes to wonder aloud if her husband has ever considered working at all.

The younger sister hates her mother because the mother favours the older sister with cash for the sister's workshy husband and gifts for the children. That other sister constantly bums food, money and her mother's car off her but ignores her birthday and mother's day "because it's all so commercial". She especially hates her MIL because she tells her how to raise her children, and the MIL hates her back because the older sister is using the feud to deny her MIL contact with her grandchildren.

The MIL has a daughter herself and they hate each other because the daughter didn't have children and the MIL feels she should have done as she was told.

The males in the families all rub along quite happily. When everyone gets together they talk about work and movies, they swap jokes and they don't give a toss for each other's opinion. If one called another a bag of shit, they'd just shrug and not care, because it would be meaningless. If none of them ever saw each other again, they wouldn't care.

Your family sounds fairly normal and in fact better than many. I would just accept that what sisters, MILs and in-laws most enjoy is family feuds, some liking them to be more vicious than others.

thestringpeople Mon 18-Jul-11 14:18:29

I think you are right. Its not like people are tearing each other apart or anything its just that some people only seem to give a shit when it suits them and you can guarantee that if you get a call from certain family members there will be a hidden agenda.

Apocalypto Mon 18-Jul-11 18:20:42

Your world acquires a new centre of gravity when you have children and others take some time to get used to it.

I have observed - small sample admittedly - that those who have the kids first get their noses out of joint worst once another sibling has some too.

Instead of their kids being the only kids in the family, and the centre of attention, suddenly there are some new kids around who - being smaller - are also cuter.

Some find this hard to deal with especially if others have previously been at their beck and call because they're the ones with the kids.

If your family irritate you, I say fuck 'em.

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