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DS looked at a photo of SIL the other day and said...

(18 Posts)
wannaBe Mon 21-Jul-08 10:15:58

"who's that?".

Oops.

He knows who she is, by name iyswim. But we see them maybe once a year. We never visit them because they are always doing things at weekends, they have football season tickets/they both travel for work/spend a lot of time with BIL's family and BIL goes to gaming conventions/races his sports car etc. So occasionally they visit us but it's always on their terms and very rare. And when they do ds gets on fabulously with BIL but he really doesn't take to SIL because she comes in and tries to be the auntie and bosses him around/tells him what to do which realistically she isn't because she has no relationship with him.

She has no maternal instinct, she just doesn't do children which is fine obviously. But she claims that she wants to be a good auntie and if she knew ds didn't even recognize her from a photograph she would cry and be very upset and would then claim it was our fault.

cocolepew Mon 21-Jul-08 10:23:12

Well don't tell her then smile. My SIL (DH sister) hasn't bothered her arse visiting our DDs for nearly 7 years. She has never lived more than 20 minutes away. She started to send Christmas presents up with MIL both I refused them, if she can't be bothered to visit I didn't want her gifts. We have no contact with her and her DH, but MIL is always telling us how much the DH loves the girls. He has never met them hmm. MIL also tels us that SIL does love them and sees them regularly, apparently she passes us in her car and looked out the window. On the other hand my brothers wife, who lives in England has always remembered Bithdays etc and maybe only sees them once a year, but they have a good relationship with her.

Cies Mon 21-Jul-08 10:27:28

Definately don't tell her. smile

Do you want to change the situation? Could you start suggesting a few more visits? Is there any way you could visit them? Maybe as DS gets older she'll be a 'better aunt' - some people can't do little children, but might take a pre-teen or teenager in their stride.

wannaBe Mon 21-Jul-08 11:26:35

tbh I'm not sure whether I do want to change things. SIL is a very shallow, very self-centred person who if we weren't related by marriage I would never have chosen to have in my life.

She has no children and afaik has no intention of ever having any as she has told mil that children just irritate her so she currently doesn't want them.

Her interest in ds is very superficial, she will send him a christmas/birthday paesent, we will see each other the once a year and that is it.

But obviously she is dh's sister so I'm not looking to cut her out of our lives or anything.

MadamBovary Mon 21-Jul-08 12:41:54

Thought we had the same SIL for a minute until I realised that yours sees your DC once a year- mine hasn't bothered at all and the eldest is 9! My SIL is also selfish, shallow and superficial- she's only interested in people with money or status jobs. As far as I'm concerned, my DC are missing out on nothing by not seeing then and if she can't be bothered then, then she's the one losing out.

ALMummy Mon 21-Jul-08 19:22:21

My DS thinks that my sister is me when he sees pictures of her. She stopped returning my calls when she had a generous redundancy payment and was obviously crapping it that she might have to pay back some of the money she owes me from years back. She has not seen dd since she was 9 months old and she is almost 2 now. Money means more than my dc obviously.

Elkat Mon 21-Jul-08 20:35:28

I think a lot of families are like this! My DD (almost 5) doesn't even know she has got any aunties or uncles on my hubby's side. If ever she saw a picture, she would ask the same question. Doesn't bother me, doesn't bother my DD... life is easier that way grin

TeaDr1nker Mon 21-Jul-08 20:43:52

Oh dear, but from what you said she doesn't want to have anything to do with him. You could always make up a family album (how old is DC?) and put labels underneath AKA - uncle A and auntie X, and get the album out periodically to remind him who his family is.

Just a thought

wannaBe Tue 22-Jul-08 14:32:31

tdr her actions show she doesn't want anything to do with him (well actually just isn't really interested in him) but she will tell her parents what a doating auntie she is etc.

We had a falling out when ds was a baby, she hadn't seen him since he was 6 wks old then when he was 9 mo we went to stay at ILs and she was there, she didn't so much as look at him for the entire afternoon (several hours) then when it was bed time and he was tired she tried to pick him up and he screamed because he didn't know her and was tired. We put him to bed and the next day BIL had a go at dh over msn (didn't have the balls to speak to him to his face) and said that we were sesponsible for sil being upset because we had refused to let her have anything to do with ds. hmm

It all blew over but since then we've seen them maybe once a year. I don't think she specifically wants anything to do with him, I think she just doesn't have any maternal instincts at all and just feels nothing for him, iyswim? But has to be the dutiful auntie because MIL would be ve upset if she thought SIL wasn't interested in ds.

She speaks to dh maybe two-three times a year, although I thin they have occasional conversations on facebook hmm but if she rings the house she doesn't speak to me, just says "hello it's x is dh there" and that's it.

So we don't hate each other there just isn't a relationship really, so I don't really see why I should force ds to know who she is.

If they saw each other more regularly I think ds would have a good relationship with BIL as he is ve good with ds (and think he will be quite sad if they don't have children of their own) but sil who is the blood relative just not interested.

cmotdibbler Tue 22-Jul-08 14:41:58

My brother has seen my DS once in 2 years, and never sends a birthday card, and didn't do a congratulations/welcome one (or text, anything at all)when he was born.

My mum was upset when I told her who DS's guardians would be as 'DB loves children and is great with them'

I don't even have a photo of my brother since my wedding 11 years ago - I only see him if we both happen to be at my parents, and he visits once or twice a year for a few hours

wigparty Tue 22-Jul-08 14:52:30

I can't speak for her character Wannabe, you're the best judge of that smile

I do feel I have to pipe up a little to perhaps defend her situation (and possibly make myself feel better?!).

I could be the offending SIL. DP's sister and husband have a lovely son who has just turned 1. We've seen him 3 times I think. He's very lovely.

The trouble is our weekends are so full, all through the year. We try and make time, but it's always so hard to find the weekends both sets of families are free.

I see my side of family a fair bit as I'm always in contact and wanting to find time to see them. I try and motivate DP to try and arrange to see his side of family but he's less proactive than I am and it ends up that we don't see them as much. I can make suggestions up to a point and say 'why don't you call them', but after that, I really do think 'it's his family, I've done what I can'.

I think you're thread struck a note with me as DP's sister could understandably feel that we don't see them and their DS enough, but it is really hard. I've often felt guilty that we don't see his sister or parents more often.

wannaBe Tue 22-Jul-08 17:04:03

Wigparty I do hear where you are coming from. smile tbh it's similar with my own sister as her dh works shifts and she works full time so they're rarely available. I am having her ds1 for a few days over the holidays though.

I think the difference between you and my SIL is that you have married into the family? so perhaps wouldn't be thought to have the same kind of feelings for nieces/nephews as your dp who is your sil's brother.

My SIL is dh's sister, so is blood relative of ds, also when she does see ds she tells other people ie mil that he was cute etc but doesn't make a big deal about seeing him iyswim.

I think with her it's all for show, but I do realize that they are very busy, but I think that even if they weren't we wouldn't see any more of them.

pedilia Tue 22-Jul-08 17:06:29

My Dc's would be the same with one of my SIL's mainly as she is a complete bitch!

I have never met her DS, I do however encourage DH to take our dc's to her house but he rarely does.

Thisismynewname Tue 22-Jul-08 17:10:46

I haven't seen my nephew since he was 8 mo and he's two now.

SIL cut all of DH's family out of their lives. Nothing any of us can do about it sad

Martha200 Tue 22-Jul-08 17:35:20

This is like what we experienced. My siblings are 24 and 26 (I am much older) are fantastic with my boys and they make a lot of effort to see us e.g brother abroad came over for a recent Christening.

SIL however took ages deciding if she was coming or not and decided she would rather her other half came to another family weekend than the Christening.SIL visited us in the hols because her oh was away and refused she come on his visit to some of his relatives hmm anyway... our eldest ds (5) when she was staying kept calling her auntie (insert name of my sister!) because that's what he is so used to saying next to the word auntie!!

Though she is ok when she sees the children I can't help but think she can never ever be surprised if when they are older they show zilch interest in her because there is no real bond between them and we have tried to encourage it in the past, there is only so much one can do.

SIL has no children, may never, but I am convinced even if my siblings marry off etc my children will always know who they are because my siblings actually care!!

wigparty Tue 22-Jul-08 17:38:40

I see what you mean wannabe, that does make the situation a bit different.

What a difficult situation. I agree that if she's making no effort, then it's not down to you to work at making sure your DS knows who she is!

I hope you don't worry too much about it, after all this isn't down to you. We seem to be always stupidly busy but will always make time to see SIL's family whenever we can. If your SIL isn't doing the same, then what can you do?

Hope something works itself out smile

AnnVan Wed 30-Jul-08 03:28:36

Not sure if I can give advice, as I'm an auntie and haven't seen my nice for over ayear! (Admittedly we live very far away) but, I do speak to her on the phone, and apparently she recognises me in photos, even thoughshe is only 3 and hasn't seen me in so long!

catweazle Wed 30-Jul-08 19:38:29

My brother met DD2 only by accident at a family party last year. He didn't send a congrats card, or a christmas card/present or a birthday card/present.

DH's 2 brothers (one of whom lives 10 minutes up the road) met DD2 at a family gathering a few weeks ago. She is 16 months old. Again nothing for Xmas/ birthday.

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