Hi everyone ... dropping in to comment on Pokey's question and to say look at that GORGEOUS belly, Lisedea! And of course to give a big shout out to MAX!!! WHOOOOHOO!!! Welcome back! I am so excited for you and your partner! Here is your veggie parade, parents-to-be! Sorry to be so late to the party!
Pokey, are you close with your sister? Do you want to have a relationship with her and her family? Does her disapproval tug at the very core of your value system and/or heart-gut?
I say this gently, and from experience, sometimes the right thing to do for yourself and your family is to let the relationship take its natural course. Which might mean that it fizzles away entirely, or that you might feel compelled to call her on her shit and have that end it succinctly.
Speaking for myself, I haven't spoken to my brother for over ten years. Sometimes I miss having a brother, but mostly, I don't miss the things that drove so many wedges between us in the first place. Sometimes I miss my children having 'authentic' cousins, but they were so much older and lived far away that they wouldn't have been into my kids anyway, and our life is filled to overflowing with chosen family, with lots of children thrown in there for good measure.
Were it me, I would call her on her shit. I am incredibly easy-going, except when it comes to my family. If people want to be a part of our family life, they need to recognize us not only as a family, but as a family that is as valuable as any other family. If someone's religious convictions get in the way of that, that is *their* problem, not mine. I have an aunt that I am estranged from for the reason that she is a fundamentalist Christian and cannot accept my family. She *tolerates* us, sure, but does not accept us. Love the sinner, hate the sin? Not good enough.
I expect more from my family. She couldn't get past her deeply held value system, and I respect that by leaving her alone. I don't want my children subjected to her blatant disapproval, or even sensing intrisic disapproval from someone who is *supposed* to be a trusted and beloved member of the family. I'll say it again, tolerating is not enough. We all deserve more than being merely *tolerated*. I might tolerate my tap dripping, or a crappy work colleague, but when it comes to family, tolerating is insufficient.
Family by blood is what you're given to start with. You are then free to add, or delete, as necessary in order to keep your children and your partner and yourself feeling safe and loved, which is a basic human right.
What a difficult thing to have to deal with, Pokey. You have my sympathy and my support, however you choose to handle it. Trust your gut.