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Relationship with Nieces

(8 Posts)
BottledWaterandFags Mon 08-Apr-13 14:54:39

Ok so I know I'm probably going to get flamed for this so I've name changed.

Right what sorts of relationship do others have with their nieces and nephews?

I have two nieces. One is 7yo and one is 6mo, one from each of my siblings. I see 7yo about once a year. 6mo I've seen once and don't see an occassion when I'll ever see her again as me and DBro (her dad) don't get on.

My parents have a 'bloods thicker than water' attitude which I really don't share. They think its a shame I don't see my nieces more often but in all honesty, being an aunty means nothing to me. My 7yo niece lives very near my parents (about 4 hours drive from me) so when I go and see them it inevitably involves a visit to her which I'd really rather not do.

Am I weird? Is there anyone else who's in a similar situation?

BlingLoving Mon 08-Apr-13 14:57:14

Well, I have 2 of each through my siblings and one of each through DH and I love all of them. Some of them live close, some further away and some on the other side of the world, but when they are around I love spending time with them and I love DS getting to know his cousins.

Having said that, DH and I both come from fairly large but still close knit families and we have good relationships with our parents and siblings too.

I don't think you can force a relationship with a niece or nephew. If you don't feel it, you dont' feel it. But I imagine your nieces and nephews will be able to feel that you don't particularly like them and will respond accordingly.

BottledWaterandFags Mon 08-Apr-13 15:04:40

Thanks for responding bling

I don't have any children so there no question of relationships with cousins.

I think that's the thing- when I'm around them, I don't enjoy spending time with them. I haven't got any patience with children. I guess the assumption my parents made was that I should feel differently around my nieces because they're my own family but I just don't.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 08-Apr-13 15:04:59

I'm not in a similar situation but to answer your first question which was about the sorts of relationships we have with them - I've got loads of neices and nephews! Over 20. Ranging in age from mid 30s (I am only 39) to under 10. I'm really close to some and not so close to others, although I love them all very much.

I am also a Great Aunt several times over. Sadly, they all live overseas so no cuddles for me. sad

No two relationships are the same. I have a few who I exchange banter with, argue politics with, drink with grin, a few who I exchange small talk with, some who I talk more with the parents and ask about them. It does depend on their age as well. My relationship with my 30odd year old eldest nephew who's married and has a 1 year old child is totally different to my relationship with my teenage neice or my 1 year old great neice. you know?

I don't force relationships and I think that's important. They have all evolved naturally and are all different.

I don't think you're wrong to feel the way you do. You just feel the way you do! It's not really a case of right or wrong. Are you happy with it or would you like being an aunt to mean something to you?

BottledWaterandFags Mon 08-Apr-13 15:05:24

^ Relationships with cousins sounds much wronger than I intended!

BottledWaterandFags Mon 08-Apr-13 15:08:26

Imtoo Totally see what you mean.

There's a 20 year age gap between me and 7yo niece so not much in common!

I don't really want the relationship to change as I'm happy with my life, the way I lead it, the values I hold etc. But I know it upsets my parents that I hardly ever see my nieces.

BlingLoving Mon 08-Apr-13 15:59:44

Also, you can't have an active relationship with eevryone. If it's important in your family that you're seen to be involved, take the "aunty who sends great gifts" approach - you don't have to see them a lot but make sure you remember birthdays and Christmas (on time) and if you're really keen to keep the family sweet, key events eg first day of school and so on. It's a bit simplistic, but I think it does help. My brother lives far away so doesn't expect me to be calling his children or chatting to them extensively, but I know he appreciates that I remember to get a card or gift to them at the right time. And SIL appreciates that when she mentioned that DNiece wanted more appropriate English books (they don't live in an English speaking country), I did an amazon order and had some delivered. Didn't cost much, but it was greatly appreciated.

BottledWaterandFags Mon 08-Apr-13 16:13:31

Bling Thanks. Luckily I do always send birthday and Christmas cards/presents on time because I'm obsessed with greeting cards shopping and relish the opportunity to spend an hour in Clintons very organised.

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