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Old 11-16-2009, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A few months ago my mother was all set to come visit at Christmas (without asking) which is only 2 weeks after my due date. I told her that New Year might be better so we could have some time to adjust especially if baby is late. She was taken aback at first, but then said that January would be fine. In September, we all find out my sister is expecting her first baby in late April. I knew this would change some things including how excited my parents would be for our baby to arrive versus my sister's baby. I wasn't really jealous at first because my sister has always been my mother's favorite. I expected my mom to be more excited about my sister's first born. However, I didn't expect it to change whether my parents wanted to come visit us at all.

Yesterday while talking to my mother, I asked her when she thought she and my father would come after the baby is born so I can tell DH's parents when they can come. My mom says she doesn't know now. She only gets 4 weeks of vacation a year, and she is thinking of using some of it for when my sister has her baby after which she and my dad may be taking a vacation to Australia. She says my sister will need more help. WTH? First of all my parents live 15-20 minutes from my sister. Actually most of the family does. They all see my sister and her husband every weekend. Not to mention my mother often gets home from work at 3pm so she can spend all afternoon "helping" my sister if she wanted to. Plus my BIL is a teacher and will have 3 months off starting a few weeks after their due date. My sister's in-laws also live only 5 minutes away and they have a really close relationship. They are more than eager to "help" her out.

I on the other hand have a hot/cold relationship with my in-laws, live hundreds of miles away, only see my family a couple of times a year, have 2 other children and very little help post partum. Of course chances are very good that when my mother goes to "help" my sister, she will actually be helpful instead of a hinderance like when she visits us.

It really irks me that whenever my parents need help with anything (i.e. translations, resolving issues with my siblings, documents, writing resumes, etc...) they always come to me first because they know I'm the responsible sucker. I love my sister to death, but she often acts like a spoiled unappreciative brat. Yet she is the one that always gets doted on. During our whole conversation yesterday after I am told they probably won't come to see the new baby, my mother keeps going on and on about how much baby shopping she is doing for my sister's baby. My sister is about 16 weeks along. I am over 37 weeks and not once during my whole pregnancy did my mother ask me if I needed anything for the baby despite me mentioning on several occasions that we have nothing left from DS1 and DD so we would have to start from scratch. My sister and BIL both work and their combined income is much more than our single income. They can afford whatever they want for their baby themselves. Aside from that BIL's family is loaded and they will likely be getting tons of baby gifts from his side of the family.

I'm used to this kind of treatment, but I feel bad for our kids. Until now they have always been the center of their grandparents' world. I know that after my sister's baby is born they will become second class citizens. They will reach an age soon when they will recognize this blatant favoritism and it breaks my heart.

Di Linh, mama to DS1 (7), DD(4), DS2 (b 12/01/09)
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:13 PM
 
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Oh my, I am so sorry. Now I understand what your status on fb means. That whole situation totally sucks. I know what it's like to be the less favored one in a family and it's not cool at all. I really hope your children do not become second class to your sisters child. That is very cruel and I know first hand what that feels like. I'm glad you have a place to put your feelings down. I hope things look up for you guys. It's hard being so far from friends and family, but even harder when those said people are not there for you anyway.

I really wish there was like an MDC community that we could all live in and help each other out lol.

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Old 11-16-2009, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh my, I am so sorry. Now I understand what your status on fb means. That whole situation totally sucks. I know what it's like to be the less favored one in a family and it's not cool at all. I really hope your children do not become second class to your sisters child. That is very cruel and I know first hand what that feels like. I'm glad you have a place to put your feelings down. I hope things look up for you guys. It's hard being so far from friends and family, but even harder when those said people are not there for you anyway.

I really wish there was like an MDC community that we could all live in and help each other out lol.
Thanks and I'm really sorry to hear you can identify. I have been crying about this since I hung up the phone last night. I really hope my kids won't end up getting the shaft, but at the same time I know how things work in my family. My sister has always been spoiled rotten despite her lack of appreciation or how rude she can be to my parents. My father sees this and doesn't like her very much, but my mother is the one who determines which of the children get their resources and time. My father has never made those kinds of decisions. Otherwise I would be the favored one. I was always the angelic child - eager to please, always willing to help out, dutiful, always responsible because I was forced into being so from a very young age. She is was the grumpy middle child - never happy with anything, always demanding, rude, and needy. For some reason though my mother loves to dote on her. It's gotten worse ever since my parents have written off my brother who was the baby of the house due to his choice of a wife. So now my sister is the "baby." I don't know how she gets away with getting everything she wants from people, but she does. Her DH is completely a pawn in her hands. He does whatever she wants him too. It's so irritating that someone so ungrateful can be so blessed.

Di Linh, mama to DS1 (7), DD(4), DS2 (b 12/01/09)
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:45 PM
 
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mamas... I can TOTALLY relate. in fact I hung up on my mom yesterday after a conversation regarding my sister and all the attention she gets with her 3 kids living 10 minutes away (but wait let's not go into the back story of my parents raising her one kid, her being back with her errant/con-artist husband and having yet another baby with him in September....and after 15 years of sucking my parents financially & emotionally dry, now she's their best friend!!!!! ) and I'm pregnant with our second baby and I can't even get my parents to visit us more than once a year, let alone call me while not driving somewhere to help her out.... guess I'm the b*tchy older sister who has never asked for dime just some undivided attention for my children and she's the maladjusted middle child, who I don't know, gets everything! ok my rant is over....just wanted to let you know that I can sympathize!

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Old 11-16-2009, 07:03 PM
 
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:38 PM
 
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Maybe (and this is just my take) your mother dotes on her more because she feels that she's already succeeded with you. You are a wonderful mom and wife, and you are extremely responsible. Your sister on the other hand sounds like she's still a child. Maybe your mom secretly feels that she's to blame and is trying to make up for it and/or just thinks she can't do it without her help.

Now in saying this, that in no way justifies what she's doing. But if you know the real reasons, it's probably going to be easier to confront her about it. And that's totally what you need to do.

When my butthole deadbeat dad wanted to get back into my life last year, I could care less about how he treated me. But when my kids' feelings are involved, I get crazy mama-bear. I told him straight out that he would not break DD's heart. And if he ever did, it was the end. I'm not saying you should do something as drastic (I'm sure your mom is WAY better than this man!), but she needs to know how you feel about her hurting your children, her grandchildren. Kids just don't deserve that sort of heartbreak.

I hope that it all works out somewhat for you in the end. Hugs!!

Mama to a wild girl and a chill lil' man , wife to a mad scientist , and resident of a country that I love to hate and hate to love.
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:38 PM
 
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Maybe (and this is just my take) your mother dotes on her more because she feels that she's already succeeded with you. You are a wonderful mom and wife, and you are extremely responsible. Your sister on the other hand sounds like she's still a child. Maybe your mom secretly feels that she's to blame and is trying to make up for it and/or just thinks she can't do it without her help.
I definitely think this is the case, because I've seen it with other families. Your mom thinks you're competent and your sister needs her. She doesn't sugarcoat things with you either because you're a responsible adult. Your sister probably plays on her emotional strings and she feels guilty in some way for how she turned out. It sucks and it's unfair, but it's life, unfortunately.

My sister has had a thousand lifelines extended to her. My So once said that I'd never get away with the things my sister does. He's right. My mom always says I'm her "calm" and my sister is her "storm" and together, we provide her balance. My sister tries to guilt trip my mother anytime she does anything for me (which is almost never, as I never go to my mom for favors). My sis gets bailed out of jams all the time, but she feels entitled to it. Just this past weekend, she took my mom's car overnight to go see some guy without asking.

Gotta love it.

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Update: Baby girl born Nov 19th!
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I definitely think this is the case, because I've seen it with other families. Your mom thinks you're competent and your sister needs her. She doesn't sugarcoat things with you either because you're a responsible adult. Your sister probably plays on her emotional strings and she feels guilty in some way for how she turned out.
I can definitely see what you are trying to say. Although I'm not sure it's really the case in our situation. My sister isn't and was never a wild child by any means. She's just not nice and she doesn't sugar coat things for anyone. I'm the sugar coater of the family. The one that always tries to bring about peace and worries about hurting feelings. My sister on the other hand says whatever she thinks and doesn't worry about the consequences. She has high expectations and she never settles for less. Like when my parents bought her a brand new car the year she was going to graduate from college (before her graduation even) and she was angry because it only had a 5 disc CD changer and she wanted a tape deck as well. She is not a troubled person or anything. Inconsiderate often times yes. She does have her act together. Holds a good job. Has a lot of friends. Is in a steady marriage of 4 years (dated my BIL for 6 years before that). She doesn't really give my mother anything to feel "guilty" about. I think it's just the fact that for whatever reason, my mother feels like I'm my dad's favorite so she has to play up to my sister. Which of course means my sister gets everything because dad doesn't make those decisions.

Di Linh, mama to DS1 (7), DD(4), DS2 (b 12/01/09)
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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When my butthole deadbeat dad wanted to get back into my life last year, I could care less about how he treated me. But when my kids' feelings are involved, I get crazy mama-bear. I told him straight out that he would not break DD's heart. And if he ever did, it was the end. I'm not saying you should do something as drastic (I'm sure your mom is WAY better than this man!), but she needs to know how you feel about her hurting your children, her grandchildren. Kids just don't deserve that sort of heartbreak.
How horrible that you have to deal with that. I've decided that if my mother starts treating my children as though they are not as important as their new cousin, I will tell her off.

Di Linh, mama to DS1 (7), DD(4), DS2 (b 12/01/09)
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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double post.

Di Linh, mama to DS1 (7), DD(4), DS2 (b 12/01/09)
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I found this interesting article on favouritism. I know that my first 1.5 year was really tough on my mother due to my being premature, constant warfare in the region of Vietnam where my parents lived, and poverty as a result of the change in government. From toddlerhood it seemed I gravitated towards my father because my mother left me a lot to go off to market. I'm sure all those factors contributed to her lack of bonding with me. Growing up I always felt she didn't love me. That was why was I such an eager to please perfectionistic child. I wanted more than anything for her to love me. My determination to win her love lead me to have my first nervous breakdown when I was in my young teens. Nothing I did ever seemed good enough for my mother. If I won an award, she would always ask why I didn't win more or the bigger trophy, etc... If I got a 99% on a test, she would ask why I didn't get 100%. My sister could get away with being mediocre. A "B" student all of her life and yet she never cared because my mother never made a fuss about it.

ttp://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/parenting/mothers-who-favour-one-of-their-children-over-others-1534676.html

Di Linh, mama to DS1 (7), DD(4), DS2 (b 12/01/09)
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:49 AM
 
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I know that Isaac (9) firmly believes that he is my least favourite child, Di Linh- and that isn't my truth. He is the most awesome, brave, inspiring, funny, geeky, brilliant person (not kid, person) I've ever met. He has very exacting standards on what he expects of me, though, and what he thinks a mother who loves him should do and say, and I find it really hard meeting his expectations. (He does have counselling to try and help him with inflexible thinking, but I'm hoping the story helps anyhow.) There are two people involved in a parent/child relationship, y'know? We work hard at it, like I've worked hard at making my peace with my parents, but it's really tough to be the parent in this situation.

I have to say, I think your mom is in a tough situation. If two of my children were becoming parents in the same year, I'd try to get to both of them, but if it were a first baby for one, I'd make that child a priority. Australia? Lack of my own dream holiday? It would be really hard for me to turn my back on myself like that. Your mum's done her time, raised two kids (or more?) and it's her years to run around and be frivolous and do stuff for her.

Have you tried talking to her, gently, honestly and openly, using "I" words?

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:51 AM
 
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don't have any advice, but are you actually me? my parents treat my sister the same way and sadly, my FIL treats my BIL much the same way with my DH.. we both sort of get 'the shaft'. I can see if either of them had kids anywhere close to us, they would get all the help.

its not fun, regardless of logic or reason.


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Old 11-17-2009, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have to say, I think your mom is in a tough situation. If two of my children were becoming parents in the same year, I'd try to get to both of them, but if it were a first baby for one, I'd make that child a priority. Australia? Lack of my own dream holiday? It would be really hard for me to turn my back on myself like that. Your mum's done her time, raised two kids (or more?) and it's her years to run around and be frivolous and do stuff for her.

Have you tried talking to her, gently, honestly and openly, using "I" words?
Oh I certainly don't begrudge her the trip to Australia. I think it's awesome they are going. I just don't understand why she feels as though she needs to choose between my sister and I. We are due 5 months apart. Not to mention she can see my sister anytime she wants to without having to take vacation time. That is the part that bugs me. If I had two children due around the same time and one was close by. I'd use my vacation to visit the one that lives far away because I wouldn't need to take time off to help the one that lives in the same area. Does that make sense?

I've tried talking to my mother in the past. She and I just don't see things the same way. Plus she's never been openly loving toward me like she is with my younger siblings despite the close age difference between all 3. It's hard to have a heart-to-heart with her. Always ends up awkward.

ETA:
The conversation went like this.

Me: Mom, when do you think you'd like to come visit the baby so I can tell DH's parents when they can come?

Mom: Oh..... I don't know.... The only time we can probably come is around President's Day. I guess we could make a 3-4 day weekend out of it. (BTW it takes 1 day each way for the drive). But then again, that weekend is going to be Chinese New Year.... so I don't know if we will come then.

Me: Oh, I guess you don't want to spend Chinese New Year with us?

Mom: I don't know.... besides I think I should save the rest of my vacation time to be with your sister after she has her baby. (The one she sees ALL the time anyway without taking vacation time). You can always email me pictures of the new baby.


I also don't have any real expectations of her while she visits. Last time when DD was born, she didn't do a thing to really help out anyway. Just used our place as a place to crash like a hotel. Barely spent time with DS1. So it's not like she is thinking she doesn't want to drive all that way because I will make her work for me or anything. I guess I should be grateful she's not coming. Two less people to entertain and wait on.

Di Linh, mama to DS1 (7), DD(4), DS2 (b 12/01/09)
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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don't have any advice, but are you actually me? my parents treat my sister the same way and sadly, my FIL treats my BIL much the same way with my DH.. we both sort of get 'the shaft'. I can see if either of them had kids anywhere close to us, they would get all the help.

its not fun, regardless of logic or reason.

to you too

Di Linh, mama to DS1 (7), DD(4), DS2 (b 12/01/09)
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