Sister In Law Drama-How to handle?

MamaDivine MamaDivine
OK, I know this might sound petty, but remember, Im a mother lol. My sister in law (lives in CO) surprises us with a visit home for the birth of our niece today! She's been in town for almost a week now. Great! Heres the problem: When we found out she was in town, I got bummed because my older two children (from another marriage-not her "blood") would be with their father for Easter weekend. had I known she was going to be in town, I would have made arrangements for us to bring the kids this weekend with us across state. Obviously its too late for that. Bummer big time! Im afraid to tell them that shes even in town because I know how upset they'll be! We haven't seen her since Thanksgiving. So...When we said "Awwww why didn't you say something to use sooner!? We won't have the older kids with us! Just the baby" She says to my husband "Don't worry! Its not a big deal!" and I about blew a gasket. I try my damnedest to make sure that all my children are treated equally between the families. There is no "step/half etc" in my vocabulary and I would be quick to point out to anyone that would be so rude to use them, that its unacceptable to me. (My kids are 8 and 10-My newest daughter is 9months) So, heres my question. Should I say something to her? Should I let it go? I don't want to make a fuss when we see her because the new baby is what this weekend is all about, but I can't take it anymore the way she says things without thinking how it might come off to others or hurt my kids if they heard. She does this a lot. She definitely swoons over my baby girl, but pretty much does this whole "to hell with the other two" thing. It bugs me. Its rude and I can see their hearts break every-time they look to her for attention and affection and she is too busy in my baby's face. Ugh. I hate that!
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
Say something
Don't say anything-brush it off
Wow-How rude!
I'd be upset
I wouldn't let it bother me
Im a parent
Im not a parent
I've dealt with this before......heres how I did it....(*comment)
Total votes: 84 (29 voters)
Poll is closed
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MamaDivine MamaDivine
Again, keep in mind, Im a mom....Im catty when it comes to my kids lmao.

Thing is, we don't know how long it will be before we see her again. She had a hard enough time making it out here after 6 months or so. :-(

Grrrr lol.
Ansley Ansley
I'm not a parent, but I've had plenty of step-relatives in my lifetime (there are 11 marriages between my father and mother, combined).

Just speaking from my own personal experience, I expected to be treated as an outsider when it came to my step-relatives' relatives. I'm not damaged because of that. (I'm damaged because of other things, but not that.)

In my honest opinion, I would advise you not to make this into a much larger situation than it is. No one knew when the baby would be arriving, she wanted to surprise her sister/brother (that isn't clear in your post). This is not about you or your children. This is about a new family member arriving on the scene.
Petite Valentine Petite Valentine
If she has a history of ignoring your kids, then your husband should have a talk with her. It may be something she doesn't realize she's doing — babies have a way of stealing the focus even from full-blooded siblings — or if she is purposefully treating them as less-than-family, he needs to make it plain to her that she needs to treat all three children equally.
unfulfilled unfulfilled
Originally posted by Petite Valentine
If she has a history of ignoring your kids, then your husband should have a talk with her. It may be something she doesn't realize she's doing — babies have a way of stealing the focus even from full-blooded siblings — or if she is ...
I agree with that. I'd have her brother talk to her about it because sister-in-laws talking usually just doesn't work.
Ciao. Ciao.
Personally it would bother me, and I would find it rude, but I wouldn't say anything to her personally. If anyone should talk to her it should be your husband.
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
I've been in the kids' shoes in more than one situation. My step-father's mother would treat my half-sister and cousins like gold. Spoil them constantly. Every time my sister would go over there she'd come back with a heaping pile of things they'd bought her and talk about all the places they took her to. When I was there there was nothing. There was rarely a birthday card while my sister got several with a pretty good amount of money in them. My step-grandpa paid a little attention to me, but Nanny ran the show.

It got especially bad with my father. The first time he remarried I was pushed aside for his new wife when I was 8 years old. I'd come around and they'd constantly leave me alone with my step-grandmother who was incredibly sweet to me. I think she saw what was going on.

The second time he remarried was much, much, much worse. I was probably 13. His new wife had a daughter who was 10, and a son who was 7. Those kids got put on pedestals by her and my father. When my dad would want to take me out (which happened rarely) she would fuss and complain that it wasn't fair to the other kids, even though they'd get to go to their father's regularly. They could do no wrong, but everything I did got me in trouble.

Geez, now that I'm thinking about it, it happened with my step-dad also. Married my mom when I was two. My little sister was born when I was 5. He never really had much of a connection with me and was always stern and detached. Meanwhile, he babied my sister. He'd take her out and do things with her and was much more involved in her life than he was in mine. It still bothers me to this day.

Kids do catch on to this even though they may not seem like they do. And trust me, sometimes it really weighs on them and can damage their self-esteem. Adults need to make the effort to treat all of the children the same regardless of their relation. Children are incredibly sensitive to rejection. I was aware of all of this stuff by the time I was 8 and it made me feel like I wasn't good enough and those feelings plagued me for quite a while. You should have a talk with her. Don't be angry or hostile. Encourage her to spend time with them or make an effort to reach out to them and make them feel valued. It can be a painful thing for children to go through.
Voir Voir
I'm not a parent but an adult has no business disregarding children that are a part of their family. In my opinion anyway >.<
I would make a game plan on how to approach her and do so, maybe it's subconscious and she doesn't realize it, maybe she feels awkward etc. And maybe she really is being an asshole, whatever it is I def. think talking to her would be the best solution since she's someone that is going to hopefully be in your children's lives for a while to come there needs to be a closeness and you don't want later displays of jealousy etc. between your older kids and the baby if she gets treatment that they don't from the rest of the family.
MissCandyland MissCandyland
I would bring it up to my husband to see what he thinks.
Secret Pleasure Secret Pleasure
I am a parent and I would say somerthing if it bothers you. If you never speak up it cant get better.
P'Gell P'Gell
I'm a parent, and my advice would be let it go. She's a new mom, probably dealing with lack of sleep, difficult transition to motherhood, changing relationship with her partner, soreness, worrying about her baby etc. She doesn't need one more thing to worry about. (I have a soft spot in my heart for new mothers.)

If this is "the kind of thing she always says" there is nothing you can do to change her. Let her have this weekend. YOU know you're a good mom to all the kids. That's all that matters.

She's a brand new mother and doesn't need more issues on her plate right now. If it "always happened" perhaps it should have been dealt with when it started happening, not during some of the most challenging (and beautiful) days of her life.

DON'T bring it up to a brand new mama at this point. What purpose would it serve?
Jaimes Jaimes
I would like to think that she says, "No big deal!" because she realizes that she did stop by very unexpectedly, and that in itself is a burden, so she's trying to be easy-going.

Buuuuuuut... of course there is a chance that she only really cares about whom she considers her relatives, ie your baby. I would say that it might be your husband who can make more of an impact by speaking up about it. If he communicates to her that your children ARE his children, and it's important to him that the rest of his family look at you guys as one big family, instead of two pieces, it might make a big difference in how she takes it. If she's a family member worth keeping around, she'll realize that how she treats your kids affects her brother, and if it is important to him, then she should be a good sister and respect his wishes.

I feel for you. I'm a recent parent to my husband's 14 year-old nephew, and my sister hasn't spoken to me since the adoption because she doesn't believe it was the right choice. Even when our stepdad and his family (obviously not blood relation at all) are treated as blood relatives, and we're all one big, happy family.

She just can't see past it when it comes to my nephew.

PeaceToTheMiddleEast PeaceToTheMiddleEast
Personally I would say something. I have two kids and they both have different father's. I be damned if someone treated one better then the other. If you can't deal with the other kids then there is no reason for you to be around the one you want too. That is just my opinion there is to much of this going on these days. Sit her down and have a talk with her don't be rude about it but do tell her you feel uncomfortable especially if they barely get to see her as is.

If you don't say something then it will eat at you in the long run.
Zombirella Zombirella
I'm not a parent yet but I can still say I would probably be hurt. What I would do first though is have your husband address her since she is his sister. If that doesn't solve the problem then I might approach her myself.
js250 js250
My current husband and I took our families out to a nice dinner and casually brought up the fact that we love everyone as if they were our own families. Told them we are very grateful to have them in our lives, are thankful for their help in incorporating and including all of our children into the family and let them know that we will continue to rely on them to make our individual children feel as loved and needed as everyone else. After all, those children look so forward to seeing everyone and are as excited as everyone else, if not more so, to the visits and company. We also had a special 'Thank you' cake just for everyone to share.

Guilt trip right off the top?? Yep!! But it worked!! And everyone was so proudly congratulating themselves on doing their part that they made extra efforts to include our individual children. We honestly are a complete and inclusive family now. It did take a bit of time, but it worked so much better by allowing them to live up to our pre-thank you's, than any confrontation ever would have. Good luck, hun, I really hope the family issues work out for you, your husband, your children and your respective families!!!!! Thinking of you!!
Missmarc Missmarc
Originally posted by MamaDivine
OK, I know this might sound petty, but remember, Im a mother lol. My sister in law (lives in CO) surprises us with a visit home for the birth of our niece today! She's been in town for almost a week now. Great! Heres the problem: When we found ...
I guess it's just me. I never cared much for distant families. For me only my parents and grandparents matter, uncle, aunt, cousin whatever do not mean much to me at all. I don't think it's something worth getting stressed over.
ViVix ViVix
Originally posted by MamaDivine
OK, I know this might sound petty, but remember, Im a mother lol. My sister in law (lives in CO) surprises us with a visit home for the birth of our niece today! She's been in town for almost a week now. Great! Heres the problem: When we found ...
My daughter is 2 and my niece is 1. When the new baby came, it seemed like all the attention went to getting my sister and the baby settled. I made sure that my daughter stayed involved with everyone by visiting and also by letting her "help" with my niece. After the newness of the baby wore off, everyone went back to treating my daughter like the Queen. lol. If someone had continued to ignore one of my kids and not the other, I simply wouldn't let them visit. If you and your partner are together, all of the kids are BOTH of your kids.
jc123 jc123
I would let it go until after the visit. You're right, the visit is all about the new baby. BUT... you do have the rest of your kids' lives to worry about (or at least the next ten years or so) and you do need to make sure she knows how you feel. If you call her a few weeks after the visit, tell her it was great to see her and you're disappointed your kids missed her, etc. maybe you could explain to her why it is so important that your kids be included and all treated equally.
Total posts: 18
Unique posters: 17