How do deal with apathetic family?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from summerbride09. Show summerbride09's posts

    How do deal with apathetic family?

    I've gotten all the advice and input I need, thanks everyone!
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from rhm327. Show rhm327's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    summer, it's good to vent about that type of stuff here. My guess is that they are in a totally different mindframe than you and can't really related to the whole baby thing. Hopefully, they will show a little more interest when the baby comes. If they don't, it doesn't mean it will always be that way either. Does your MIL/FIL seem excited by the new addition? Also keep in mind that some people are not "baby" people and like older kids. My MIL loves our ds to pieces, but she regularly talks about how she can't wait until she can take him to a show or a museum (he'll be 2 next month so it's going to be a while). She didn't really hold him or coo over him that much when he was a newborn either. HTH!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Arcain. Show Arcain's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    Ugh, Summer, I can only imagine how you feel. I have a coworker I work pretty closely with who has literally not acknowledged my pregnancy and it makes me want to slap her. I can only imagine how I'd feel if it were a family member!

    Rhm is right that pregnancy and babies are probably so outside their world right now that they don't know how to relate. It may be that they just don't get it or are self-absorbed, but it may also be that they're uncomfortable/nervous to talk to you about it. I remember when I was younger and unmarried a lot of my cousins were having kids (I'm an only, too, so this was my sole frame of reference). I've always been a baby person, so I was excited, but I was very awkward with them because, never having had a remotely similar experience, I had no idea what was appropriate to ask about (and we all know appropriate conversation topics are a big deal during pregnancy!), so I think I generally didn't ask or say much, and it may have come off as disinterest.

    How (if at all) do you address your pregnancy and the baby around them? It might be worth just bringing it up casually, something like "I know I can't believe I'm going to be a mom -- it must be so weird for you guys to think about being aunts!" and see if they bite. Did they and your DH have good childhoods together? If so, you might try bringing up good things from their childhood as they relate to experiences you hope your baby has.

    I wouldn't worry yet that the disinterest will extend to the baby. As a lot of people said to me in response to a rant about the aforementioned coworker, some people are just really weird and uncomfortable talking about pregnancy. You could always bring up something relatively inocuous and pg-related like a food craving and see if they seem put off by the mention of it. If so, maybe they are just weirded out (and, as people reminded me, if they are, it has NOTHING to do with you or your baby!).

    GL -- for all my reasoned advice above, I'm totally annoyed at them on your behalf!
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from miscricket. Show miscricket's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    I think the answer is that they are 21 and 25. I wouldn't take it personally. Are they otherwise nice, caring people? If yes..then I am willing to bet that as you get closer to your due date the excitement will increase for them as well. Due to past experience, I am not someone who shows a great deal of excitement for pregnancies until close to the due date. Doesn't mean I am not happy for the person..and once the baby is born it is very different.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    Summer,
    I *completely* get where you are coming from.  I am also an only child.  I grew up somewhat close to my 4 first cousins.  The oldest is 6 years younger than I am, and the youngest is 12 years younger.  When I first became pregnant, I lived in a duplex - me and DH on the bottom, oldest cousin on the top.  I think maybe she asked me once during my entire pregnancy how I was feeling, and (worse, in my mind) never ONCE asked me "How is DD?" after DD was born (we lived there until DD was about 10 months old). I cannot describe to you how odd I felt that was, and how it upset me.  All I can think is that she is single and a bit of a work-a-holic and maybe her mind just never went to babies.  This was the first baby for our family.

    Also, my SIL is 36 and single.  She is a nanny and when I first met her 4 years ago she used to talk about "when I have kids..." (meaning her).  Now she never says things like that (refers to the kids she nannies as her kids) and I wonder what her thoughts are on her own future.  She has really not once acknowledged my current pregnancy.  However, she ADORES my daughter and I'm sure the same will happen with the new baby.

    Since they will be your baby's only aunts, maybe you could give them a special gift like "Best Auntie" t-shirts or buy some cute "I love my auntie" onesies for the baby and show them.  Maybe it hasn't really sunk in that they are going to be aunts and how much fun that is.  They are probably very absorbed in what is going on in their lives (I know I was at 20). But I can understand how odd it must seem to you.  I will admit, I had NO idea what it was like to be pregnant until I became pregnant, so it might not even occur to them to ask you - they may just assume all is fine and normal.  Or maybe they're just weirded out that you have sex with their brother.  ;)
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    Summer, I think miscricket nailed it; at 21 and 25 they are too old to be considered children, but not old enough to be less self absorbed than they were as teens.  I think as they mature their worlds will expand to include their family's happy news that is once removed from themselves.  It might not translate to a big interest in the baby, but probably over the next few years they'll be more and more involved.  In the meantime, try to be patient as disappointing as it is to have them less excited than they would be were they more mature and able to embrace more of other people's worlds than they are right now.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from ModeratorJen. Show ModeratorJen's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    Aw, Summer, that is really frustrating! FWIW, my SIL was quite young when DH and I started having children -- and has always lived a few hours away. There wasn't a whole lot of interest from her for any of the four! But now that she's a bit older (late 20s), and because of Facebook, she is totally adoring of the kids. I definitely second miscricket and kar's advice.

    Poppy -- on the sex issue -- LOL. You're probably right!
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from purplecow89. Show purplecow89's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    Unless you have clear evidence to the contrary, I doubt that they are too "self-absorbed" to care, in the sense of being selfish. I suspect it just never occured to them that there was a specific expectation of how to behave.

    I'm sure they think it's nice, and are happy for you, they just are unaware that they are expected to DO or SAY something in particular.  The particular world of the pregnant woman and new mom is its own culture with its own rituals, attitudes, and etiquette.  It's like an ethnic subculture or the military or a religion--if you're not part of it, how would you know?  You might pick up a tidbit here or there but it's not the same.  And the people inside the culture don't always remember that what is obvious to them is not obvious to all--witness the reaction if someone accidentally says "former Marine" or the look one of my students got when she said her friend "prayed the Rosemary."

    And besides, you could look at the glass as half full:  you have two people you can talk to about everything other than pregnancy and babies.  There will come a time when you will feel like one more discussion of diapers or feedings will make your head explode and it will be nice to be able to change it up once in a while.

    And yes, if you are putting all your sibling/familial feelings and desires onto these two, however nice they may be, you are looking for disappointment because people aren't perfect.  They can't be expected to "make up" for your side of the family.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    When your world starts to expand (mid-twenties, usually) it starts occurring to you to say supportive things. Before then, you're right, it's not that they don't care, they just don't see too far beyond their own worlds.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from summerbride09. Show summerbride09's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    In Response to Re: How do deal with apathetic family?:
    They can't be expected to "make up" for your side of the family.
    Posted by purplecow89
    s


    My family is absolutely thrilled for us- my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins...and they've expressed as much.

    I think at this point in my life I'm just sad I don't have my own siblings to share it with. All the more reason why DH and I want more than one!
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    Ditto, Summer.  When you don't have your own siblings you hope to create a strong bond with your spouse's siblings... and if that doesn't happen (or takes a long time to happen) it can be disappointing. 
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from lizinboston. Show lizinboston's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    Summer, my DH has a sister who I can't stand. She is the most self-absorbed person I have ever met. She ALREADY told her mother she can not come to my baby shower because she has plans, my baby shower is in JUNE! She hasn't asked me once how I am doing, feeling, ect., nor has she asked DH. She is so wrapped up in her own little world she could care less. I have just learned to live with it. She is not the type of person who is ever going to care, so why should I waste my time and energy caring about her behavior?

    Good luck, but please, don't try to let it bother you. There are so many other people that are happy for you!

    I'm more upset that DH's mother doens't show interest. She has never really bonded with me and it has nothing to do with me, she is just obsessed with her son and any girl who married him would have gotten the same treatment. She wants a relationship with her grandchild than she will have to get over it and just accept that I am his wife and we are having a child together. For some reason I think it totally freaks her out that her son is starting his own family. I dunno, the guy is 31....get over it.

    Sorry, I am super bitter about this. I have friends who have wonderful relationships with their MIL's and it makes me a little jealous. But what can we do? Every one and every family is different. And DH will stick up for her until the world ends, which is great, but so annoying at the same time. But I can not let that come between my DH and I.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    I think purple makes a good point about not knowing about the mom culture until you're in it.  Since having DD, I have thought to myself a hundred times that I should have done more for my friends and SIL when they had a baby.  You just don't know what it's like until you have experienced it sometimes.

    Summer - From your post - "We try to make plans and they tend to blow us off, so it's not like we're not trying." - it sounds like you don't see that much of DH's sisters.  In my experience - and only in my own personal experience - that doesn't change because there is a baby in the picture.  I feel your pain!!  We live less than 20 miles from both or families.  They rarely came to visit us in the past and they rarely come to visit the baby now.  In the first 2 weeks, mothers and sisters were there a bunch.  DD is now a year old and other than times when they were asked to babysit, we have only had visitors a handful of times, between both sets of parents and 6 siblings.

    Your post made me stop to count... and now I'm depressed... just kidding :o)
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    I think being pregnant is a little like planning a wedding. You simply can't expect everyone around you to care as much as you do...or to care at all sometimes.
    I'm sure your DH's sisters will love seeing the baby once your LO arrives - but at 21 and 25 they probably haven't got a clue about being pregnant or asking after your health or anything along those lines.  I can only assume they are all into parties and boys etc. Heck - they are probably in that stage where the word "pregnant" is a very scary one!
    I'd say cut them some slack. I'm sure they will turn out to be wonderful aunties. ANd if not, so be it. You and your husband will be wonderful parents and really - that's what's important.
    Good luck!
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    I think a lot of people who don't have kids (especially young-ish ones) just don't get it.  My brother who is now 31 couldn't care less about be being pregnant or having babies.  He never has sent a card for either of my 2.  But I guess that's him being a guy, right?  

    On the other hand, I just had to cancel lunch next Saturday with my "very good" 35 year old girlfriend (who is single and childless) because my kids are both sick.  And I got a text back saying, "OK no problem."  I would have thought that she might have also asked how they were doing or what is wrong with them.  But I guess it's just not on her radar.  Still bums me out though.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from lizinboston. Show lizinboston's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    I do think it is hard for a 21 year old to get excited about babies. When I was 21 all I cared about was going out with my friends. My niece was born when I was 20 and I was super excited, but I would have rather gone out to a bar than babysit her on a Saturday night :-/
    My how things have changed! I went to a bar with girlfriends a couple of weekends ago and even if I wasn't pregnant, I am SO over that scene!

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    Liz, that's exactly what I've been trying to say.  I think in a few years this will work itself out as the girls (not WOMEN) in their 20s will expand their worlds to include others other than thier BFFs more readily.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    I think miss lily hit it spot on.  It sounds exactly like planning a wedding. It is big and important but it will not matter as much to anyone except for the 2 main participants - the bride and groom, or the mon and dad.  I love my family and friends, and I am happy they have kids, but I must be the clueless wonder that many of you are writing about b/c I don't routinely ask about the kids or how someone is doing when pg. I don't ignore the kids or the pg, but I certainly don't put such a query in every single email, nor do I discuss it at length on the phone or in person when I do see them. 

    Also, would you expect his siblings to be as interested in the baby if he had brothers, as opposed to sisters?  
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    In Response to Re: How do deal with apathetic family?:
    Since having DD, I have thought to myself a hundred times that I should have done more for my friends and SIL when they had a baby.  You just don't know what it's like until you have experienced it sometimes.
    Posted by framerican51008

    Fram, this is SO SO true for me.  I thought of all those times I visited new babies with a gift or clothes, but no FOOD!  :)  And I just absolutely had no clue what it was like.  Definitely, at 21, I would have been excited to hear about a new baby, but I would not have asked any follow up questions because I didn't know what to ask!
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from summerbride09. Show summerbride09's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    In Response to Re: How do deal with apathetic family?:
    I certainly don't put such a query in every single email, nor do I discuss it at length on the phone or in person when I do see them. 
    Posted by ALF72


    It's not like I expect this, but in 23 weeks they have not said a single thing about it, in person otherwise.

    I'm not sure what I'd expect if he had brothers.

    And to Kar- is there a reason you referred to them as girls and not WOMEN strictly because they are in their 20s? I'd love to know the reason, as I am also in my 20s (26 to be exact, only a year older than one of my SILs!) and would be seriously pissed if someone said I don't qualify to be called a woman because I'm too young.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    summer, you might be letting hormones run away w/ you.  I have been referred to as a 'girl' recently and will be 40 in June. 

    They are young women and are not [obviously from what you've posted] at a stage where they are super interested in babies.  I rarely baby sat outside of family [I was the oldest] and babies in general never held much interest for me. Even TTC for years now, I've never been all that interested in the minutiae of babies and pg, even when I was pg! 

    I'm not all that intersted in my nieces whom I see maybe 2x per year.  Maybe that makes me a horrible person, but so be it.  I get them gifts for Christmas, but am certainly not a gushy auntie.  I would anticipate that my sisters would be the same way; I honestly cannot see them calling me up and asking for details of how I'm doing.  Not everyone gets excited about babies, even when they are the babies of close family members.  
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    Give it time.  They might change their tune when there's an actual baby to ooh and ahh at.  And if they don't, don't fret--they might change their tune when there's a toddler to hang out with.  Let's face it, babies are kind of boring haha. 
    If they don't, well, it kind of stinks, but you can't make them. 
    All the previous posters who mentioned wedding planning are right about how tough it is to understand the complete immersion that happens when you get pregnant/have a kid were right.  The young ladies might not really know you feel miffed. 
    Also, count your blessings.  I'd prefer aloofness to annoying in-your-bubble/personal questions stuff that tends to happen when you're pregnant (strangers  on the T rubbing your belly, asking if you're going to get an epidural, telling you about how bad their hemmorhoids were with their pregnancies, etc.)
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from rsw978. Show rsw978's posts

    Re: How do deal with apathetic family?

    I am in the middle of 3 girls and have 2 kids and I say just let it go!!!!  Enjoy your pregnancy, motherhood, creating your own family.  Start developing a network of women expecting the same time and create your own support group.  Start finding mom and breastfeeding support and play groups and classes for infants.  Start focusing on the things you can control, baby classes, read baby books, registering, CPR class, preschools, day care, car seats....  If you want to talk more about sister dynamics, email me. 
     
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