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Striking balance between being kind to others but looking after yourself

(32 Posts)
myownperson Wed 03-Aug-16 09:07:02

Long thread title!

I struggle with when it's putting yourself first and when it's being selfish. How do others approach this?

Current dilemma. Taking DC to visit their grandparents for 2 nights. Different country, bit of a journey, flights etc. We only really have one full day there. No other trips this summer.

I have a sibling and family there too. My mum wants me to see them. We're not at all close. I wasn't planning on seeing them. Just wanted a fun couple of days with kids and parents.

My sibling will be sad not to see me. I did a similar visit before without seeing them. It caused a row.

Is it awful to visit but not see them. Most people would feel hurt wouldn't they. Is it ok to be selfish?

My mum really wants us (siblings) to spend time together.

RedMapleLeaf Wed 03-Aug-16 09:14:30

You say you're not close to your sibling which doesn't really explain why you refuse to see them or allow them to see their nieces/nephews.

Most people would feel hurt wouldn't they.

Yes, I think that feeling hurt and confused would be a normal reaction to a sibling, who lives a plane journey away, refusing to see them.

ajandjjmum Wed 03-Aug-16 09:20:20

Can you sibling not join you for dinner one evening or something?

myownperson Wed 03-Aug-16 09:46:20

I guess I knew it wasn't right. So it would be selfish. I didn't think of it as refusing. Ho hum.

RedMapleLeaf Wed 03-Aug-16 09:51:05

I'm not sure that the words "right" or "selfish" are helpful, but I can see it being "hurtful" and "confusing".

Why do you think you're acting selfish? Is it because you want your mum to yourself for a bit?

If you're not refusing, how are you expressing your wishes?

(Do you mind if I ask whether English is your first language?).

RaRaRamona Wed 03-Aug-16 09:51:10

I have a similar problem when I go back to my native country. We try to see sibs in one afternoon , but always have problems as my older sister likes to make out that she is too busy and important to see us . So , last time, we just did own own thing and did not see the above sib and now she is not talking to us!!!
You can't win with types like her.
Do your own thing and enjoy.

OhNoNotMyBaby Wed 03-Aug-16 09:55:02

I don't see this as 'being kind to others' or 'looking after yourself.' You don't like your sibling. You don't want to see them. Even though your mother and your sibling do want to see you and your DC.

I think YABU - and a bit selfish tbh. I would be offended if I were your sibling. I'm not particularly close to my siblings but I would be upset if one came from another country and didn't at least see me for a meal or similar.

myownperson Wed 03-Aug-16 11:53:47

RefMapleLeaf that made me laugh. How poor are my communication skills? Yep, English is my first and only language smile

I don't dislike my sibling. We barely speak though, rarely see each other.

I'm just really tired. I haven't the energy for people I have to make an effort with. It was meant to be a little treat away from things for 2 days. Left marriage recently, moved house several times this year.

I havent the time or energy for the row either so will do what's easiest.

I guess I hadn't thought of it as refusing as they had spoken to my mother rather than me. I wasn't having to give a direct answer.

RedMapleLeaf Wed 03-Aug-16 13:40:35

I'm just really tired. I haven't the energy for people I have to make an effort with. It was meant to be a little treat away from things for 2 days. Left marriage recently, moved house several times this year.

I havent the time or energy for the row either so will do what's easiest.

flowers so I think we're getting somewhere now. I am wondering if you are exhausted with having to battle and struggle and give of yourself. And I'm wondering if your body is now saying, "Oy, I need some attention, some rest, some looking after".

And for some reason, you see that as being selfish.

myownperson Wed 03-Aug-16 14:15:07

Yes maybe. They won't see that though. If most people would be offended they will be.

RedMapleLeaf Wed 03-Aug-16 14:24:15

Be offended by what?

What do you want to happen in the two days? What support do you want from your parents and what, if any, contact do you want from your sibling?

665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast Wed 03-Aug-16 14:33:08

How far does your sibling live from your parents and is this an additional journey you would be expected to make or would they come to you?
A brief hello is one thing but putting yourself out again having travelled so far is entierly different.

myownperson Wed 03-Aug-16 14:51:30

Be offended if I don't see them RedMapleLeaf

I'm not expecting any rest, I just hoped my mum and her husband would help me spoil DC for a couple of days. Make it lots of fun. Fun is hard work at the moment.

I dont want to have to chat about anything or see anyone else.

I feel like crying at there even being an issue.

665 they would come to me. They'd make it easy. But they talk A LOT. I realise I sound awful. No way to dress it up. I just don't feel like being sociable.

I will see them though. Annoying anyone is the last thing I want to do right now.

RedMapleLeaf Wed 03-Aug-16 15:20:40

Why don't you tell your mum all of that?

myownperson Wed 03-Aug-16 15:31:35

I'll try but I'd rather they didn't know I'm struggling.

If it's unreasonable without the explanation it'd be easier to see them.

I wouldn't need an explanation other way round but I guess I'm not as in to family as others.

Thanks for replying.

RedMapleLeaf Wed 03-Aug-16 15:33:43

I think if you're at the stage of being so close to tears, you'll struggle to not let them see that life is tough for you at the moment.

If it's not the kind of relationship where you want them to know, perhaps the trip isn't a good idea?

myownperson Wed 03-Aug-16 15:54:11

No. Maybe not. I certainly can't cancel.
I'll manage.

RedMapleLeaf Wed 03-Aug-16 16:18:46

Sounds difficult OP. I find myself re-reading your title again.

myownperson Wed 03-Aug-16 19:21:32

I wish I hadn't planned it but things generally are never as difficult as I think they'll be. It'll be fine.

If it was explained would it be reasonable to not see anyone?

RedMapleLeaf Wed 03-Aug-16 20:03:18

Yes, I think so.

myownperson Fri 05-Aug-16 15:21:58

Oh dear. Well that didn't go well. Apparently I'm not thinking about anyone else - my family, nor my mother and it's not all about my children. So really looking forward to Mondays trip.

RedMapleLeaf Fri 05-Aug-16 15:41:00

Who said that?

Do you still want to go?

myownperson Fri 05-Aug-16 15:50:57

My mum. I guess my instincts were right, I knew it wouldn't go down well.
No, not particularly looking forward to going. Children looking forward to it, its their holiday, so ill have to do some smoothing over to make it ok.

RedMapleLeaf Fri 05-Aug-16 15:59:02

Or you could holiday somewhere else?

DeepGreen76 Fri 05-Aug-16 16:07:52

myown - I have sympathy for you. I have a very similar dynamic within my family in terms of where parents and sibling live and in terms of my relationship with my sibling.

I have also had times when I really needed time alone with parents but it has been very hard to do without involving sibling too which utterly changes the dynamic and I just do not enjoy.

You sound like you have been through a really tough time and are looking for respite.

I dont think you're being unreasonable - but I find most other people I know find it hard to get that I don't have a close sibling relationship because most of them do!

Sorry you've had to deal with this when you're already feeling low flowers

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