Need help approaching a delicate situation with my "also pregnant SIL"

Maghen - posted on 04/03/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My brother and his wife are 4 years younger than me. They can be real jerks. I let a lot of things go because I know they're not grown up yet, and because they are family and I want to have a good relationship with them. I've been super nice to my SIL, but she is hard to get to know, and doesn't put forth much effort. I'm pregnant with my first, and with the first grandchild and great grandchild in the family. My husband and I waited 5 years to have this baby, when we could be stable financially. A little over 2 months after we announced we were pregnant, my brother and SIL did too. They have no health insurance or jobs, and are planning to be able to get government assistance, already they are on unemployment and are applying for health coverage too, and for my parents to pay for a lot of it. I know they weren't trying before and I know it wasn't an accident. The dates line up in such a way that they clearly started trying right after we announced. To make matters even worse, they announced it with a gift wrapped onsie... exactly what my husband and I had done. It felt like a slap in the face. Since then, my SIL bought the same maternity T-shirt I wear a lot, announced plans to have the same color nursery as me, and tried to get the same rug I got for my nursery. She complains loudly about her (barely 6 week) pregnancy at every chance and it's really making family get togethers uncomfortable for me.

What bothers me is not the pregnancy, or really even the fact that it’s so close in date to mine. I think in time I will be happy that my child will have a cousin close in age. The real problem is the obvious disregard for my husband and I's feelings. And the fact that they are using the pregnancy to get attention and my parents to buy them things.

All I can think to do is try to stay away from them for a little while (which is hard, they live 5 minutes away and drop by unexpectedly) until I can get my hormones/emotions under control. I vent when it feels safe, and slap a smile on my face in public. But I'm worried that I might not be able to control myself as family members make comments like, "Babies everywhere!" or "We should have a combined baby shower!" Any suggestions on how to maintain my cool with this raging river of hormones inside of me? Would it be wrong of me to pull aside a few family members and explain how I feel? My mother and sister knew right away, but others, like my grandmother and mutual friends are excited, and seem to expect me to be also. I think I also would like to know if anyone else has experienced this, and if they have any ideas on how to approach the situation- without family drama- I haven't thought of.

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Eve - posted on 06/14/2013

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OMG, Idk why this reminds me of Rachel stealing Monica's thunder! I also have a brother who copies EVERYTHING I do. I tried to rationalize it by thinking it's probably because I'm the typical overachiever first-born and he has always tried to get our parents' approval by following in my footsteps. But, really?!? When's he going to grow up and have a mind of his own? I agree with Lana and Mercedes, though, that no matter how annoying it is, don't give them the satisfaction of letting them get to you. Just concentrate on your own pregnancy and don't let them take away your excitement over your own plans. Just keep it on a need to know basis.

Lana - posted on 05/30/2013

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I totally understand how you feel! it started with the engagement, then the wedding then when I was pregnant with my first! In the end all I knew was I was starting a family and she cannot trample on my happiness because if I show anytype of anger she wins...She is trying to get a reaction out of you and by you be stress and angry you are not doing any good for your baby and your mental state!

When my husband confided in my SIL he was going to propose to me she kept pushing my brother in law to propose and then she told me my husband was going to propose when it was suppose to be a surprise

When I was planning my wedding she had to be first so she booked her wedding date 3 months before mine

When I was pregnant she convienced my husband and his entire family she was planning to adopt two little children who are her cousins - sad thing is my son didnt live in this world and became an angel inside me at 37 weeks - and after laying him to rest and after 1-2 months she said that they are not going to adopt those girls anymore

instead of trying to find happiness in your own life people try to steal yours because they know they could never live up to you! God sends us people in this world so that we can learn how not to be like them!
Keep your chin up and I hope this pregnancy goes well for you!! Best of Luck!

Mercedes - posted on 04/08/2013

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That is probably the best that you can do! This time is supposed to be about you and your husband starting your life as a new little family and bonding with your soon-to-be baby! Try to enjoy it all you can and don't worry about family drama if it can be avoided. If they get curious as to why you have been distant then you can tell them ;P haha! I was distant with my sister for a little while after we had babies. It was a lot better after the babies were born since it was a little less tense, but it did take awhile to grow back together. She never acknowledged my being distant with her, so I never brought it up either! >:)

Maghen - posted on 04/07/2013

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Thanks so much for sharing. It's so nice not to feel alone!!

UPDATE:

I've been slowly pulling aside family members I'm close to, and explaining how I feel, and what the situation is (the "party line" is not to say anything about the drama). Everyone has been supportive, and I have been careful not to bash my SIL or brother, just to explain how I feel gently, and ask that they be sensitive to my feelings, but otherwise just go about it as if nothing was wrong. It's going well so far. I've also decided that when we are ready, my husband and I will have a brief conversation with my brother and SIL outlining how we feel, and then let them know that the consequences of their actions are that we want little to do with them besides a cordial family relationship in the future, if they continue to hurt us. We'll go from there I suppose.

Mercedes - posted on 04/06/2013

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I was pregnant at the same time as my sister a few years ago. There can be joys and also annoyances about sharing pregnancy times with others. It was my sister's third pregnancy and my first, and both were unplanned on our parts. She didn't really seem to care about anything pregnancy-related with her own baby because I think she was a little bit upset that it was unplanned and she has two older children (about 5 and 7) so I think she thought she was done. She didn't pick the name of her baby until like a few weeks before and even then she even said a few times, "its whatever."
I had been excited my entire pregnancy about picking out everything baby. I had a very limited budget though, so I took hand-me-downs when I could and I was grateful. I have a lot of nieces and nephews. Anyways, my sister who was also pregnant gave me her old crib and changing table that she had used with her previous two children and they were pretty nice pieces. I wasn't about to turn it away or anything, because it was very nice of her. But I got annoyed when my mom bought her brand new baby furniture from IKEA and she got to design her whole baby room and everything with new pieces she had picked out. I mean, I know that it is probably very immature of me, but I was hormonal and it was my first pregnancy and I didn't really prefer the things that she gave me, and I would have loved to have picked out new things as a gift from our mom. Alas, I didn't want to look like a brat (even though I probably sound like I was one) so I just was silently annoyed.
I can relate to the annoyance of having people suggest combined baby showers, and because my sister's and my children were born three days apart, combined birthday parties are always suggested. I mean, maybe down the road or something, but right now I want every moment to be special and just for my baby, you know?! (My son and her son are now one and a half!)

Also, I had to put up with my super-competitive brother-in-law making comments to me throughout the whole pregnancy about whose baby would come first, as if it was a race. (I had found out I was pregnant before they did and my due date was about one week before hers. My baby "won." Lol.)

Anyway, unfortunately I have no helpful advice to you but to grin and bear it, unless you feel like having a heart-to-heart which may or may not be received well with all of the mixed up emotions and hormones that are floating around. Sigh!!! Just try not to let them get under your skin and maybe try to separate yourself for awhile through this pregnancy. Especially if your SIL keeps copying things that you are doing for your baby, the less she knows, the better! LOL!

P.S. Sorry for rambling there! I haven't really gotten it quite out of my system yet!!

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