[Long back story]
I have a pretty close knit immediate family. I am the youngest of four – two brothers and a sister. I talk to my sister often and my brother’s not so much. There’s no bad blood or family drama, we just live 3,000 away. Both my brothers have kids and I have never missed a birthday present and we send elaborate homemade Christmas gifts.
Since becoming pregnant some family drama has increased. One of my brother’s is going through a divorce. This is extremely recent – I called my sister-in-law on Feb. 15th to tell her about my pregnancy and now papers have been filed. I’m not going to discuss details on the internet but it’s a bad situation and my brother, as well as my entire family (including our freakishly close knit extended family), is pretty heartbroken about this. For very understandable reasons this situation is where a lot of my mom’s attention is right now.
On top of my brother there is my sister. My sister has been dating a man for almost two years who is a complete and total jerk. She knows this, we know this. Yet she can’t seem to move on. They are very on again-off again and on the weeks when they are off she calls and texts me non stop. Last week I spent over four hours total on the phone with her, not counting texts. These phone calls are terrible because it’s mainly me telling her the guy is a jerk and her trying to justify his behavior. We end up making some sort of progress where she knows he is a jerk and then 20 minutes later texts me something like, “Maybe this is how he loves and I can’t be upset with him if he is doing to best he can”. It’s infuriating and nonstop. The problem is that I don’t she doesn’t have a lot of other people to talk to so I keep doing this, despite it being crazy making. My mom gets a lot of these calls too so often our conversations are focused on one of my siblings.
While my family is all very excited about my pregnancy, no one asks about it. I spend over four hours some weeks on the phone with my sister and she does not ask. My mom does ask some but rarely. No one calls to check in or see how I am feeling – the only way this really becomes a topic of conversation is if I bring it up. I call my mom after all our midwife visits so she’s updated, just not asking questions. We are going to Michigan to see our families in late May and I wonder if seeing me pregnant will change some of that. Maybe once some of the current drama dies down things will be different.
My sister is a problem beyond not asking about how I am doing. Our best local friends are throwing us a shower and want to do a long distance shower that includes our families. Our friend (with my permission) contacted my sister about three weeks ago to ask if she wanted to help. Of course, my sister said and promised to call that weekend. She has not been in touch any further. When I mentioned this to my mom she said she would help and to give our friends her contact information. I did but I am upset about it. My family is big on things being done “appropriately” and someone’s mom is not supposed to throw them a baby shower. Their sister or aunt is. Unfortunately, my sister can’t stop thinking about herself long enough to do it.
I’m thinking of pulling the plug on the whole thing and saying forget the shower. I appreciate the offer, and boy, could we use the help but I want it to be done correctly. I know our friends will do a great job and ultimately my sister wouldn’t really have to do anything except call my parents for addresses and have her name on the invite but Lesley and I are the unconventional ones in my family and I feel like this not being done “appropriately” will cause so much talking behind our backs and drama with the extended family that it’s not worth it. Maybe I should just suck it up and not worry about that or maybe this isn’t really about the shower but about the fact that something huge is happening in my life and I feel like no one really cares. Welcome to the woes of being child #4.