I hear all the time that kids need a sibling and I look at some adult sibling relationships and think that is very true. 

Then you have my sister. 

My sister is 4 years older than me and lives an 8 hour drive away. A roundtrip plane ticket costs less than $250. Since Gus was born she has seen him twice:  once when we took him there she he was five months and then when we were both at my moms at the same time when he was ten months. 

My sister and I have never been close yet we don’t have a particularly bad relationship. We talk every couple of months and she vaguely mentions visiting but doss not follow through. She has a job making six figures and is required to work seven days A MONTH. 

A few years ago she was in a bad relationship and called me constantly. We talked for 2 hours 3+ days a week. She’d call at 1am. She’d call in the middle of the work day. When she ended the relationship the calls stopped. Now she only calls it she is having problems with her new boyfriend. We talked about two months ago and they were going to take a break. I haven’t heard from her since so I am guessing that did not happen. 

If you saw her in public she’d talk about how important family is to her but when she calls she doesnt ask about Gus.  When we last talked my young, single cousin was coming to visit for a week and she suggested we come too. For a week. With a 2.5 year old. With a week’s notice. To wine country on my cousin’s spring break. 

Part of me doesn’t care but she is so close and has every opportunity to have a relationship with Gus. I don’t know what else I can do really. But tonight a fiend of mine posted pictures of her new baby with friend’s sister who left her two kids for a week to fly across the county and meet her niece and I’m so mad. 


Posted on April 29, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Boo! 😦 It’s totally her loss, but a crappy feeling, nonetheless. I don’t have strong emotions about my minimal relationship with my brother – maybe because he’s a straight white male? Maybe because we weren’t close enough in age to share childhood interests at the same time, nor were we far enough apart to lessen competitive vibes – so we were never “friends” with each other, nor did our parents do much of anything to foster our relationship in childhood or since.

    I really hope that my two kids are on a good path towards being lifelong besties. As it currently stands, they refer to each other as “best buddies” and almost always want to be together, doing just about anything & everything together. They scold us for not letting them share a room (sorry, but you would never sleep). Laura & I do what we can to actively nurture their relationship, and whether anything we did helped or we just got lucky, they really are tight. And so, so sweet with each other, except when they decide to play a game where they chase each other with sticks, which (surprise!) never ends well.

    I think instead of mourning a missed opportunity for a close relationship with my brother, I get those feelings when I hear/see friends sharing about their fabulous parents – people who are close to their moms because their moms are frankly amazing. I feel sad that I don’t have a mom like that, a bit of envy, etc. Our personalities clash, and, well, she voted for Trump, so you get the picture.

  2. Aw, that stinks. As much as you may have made peace with the situation, it still stings to be reminded of what you don’t have.

  3. It sounds like she isn’t deeply interested in your life or family or Gus. She just wants your support when she needs it. It’s hard to let expectations go and move on, but I think that’s what you gotta do.

    I don’t think people need to have a sibling, and there is no guarantee that they will be friends. My brother is 2 years older than me and I disowned him 11 years ago after 20 years of emotional and physical abuse. My mom still doesn’t get it or respect this (or me at all). I asked her to not refer to him as uncle and she did but only after she threw a fit about it. I have two step siblings and an in law who enjoy being in Wallace’s life. My step sister and I have never been close, she doesn’t have my number or email and has never been connected with me online. She likes Wallace and having an Aunt roll so I’m letting that grow and be what it is. My step brother and his wife are more interested in us as people and genuinely care. I think we have more in common now and his wife is really great (she’s a preschool teacher). I like that Wallace has these relationships now but I don’t know what they will be like in the future.

  4. I’m sorry; that sucks that she’s so close and doesn’t try harder. I just wrote a post about my own disappointing sister relationships, inspired in part by this post.

    I remember before we decided to have a second child, looking around at the adult sibling sets in my life, and it was a bit grim. And I’ve always thought “because they NEED a sibling” is a crap reason to have another kid.

    • I think there are great reasons to have a second kid but that is just not one of them. The good thing is that you know what it is like to not have that and will try hard with your girls to foster that. The good news for me is that I have two brothers and while one is a racist ass the other is sweet and loving. While we are not super close he and his family love Gus. He flew out to see him after he was born and we will spend time with his family this summer.

  5. I think some people just aren’t into babies/kids, especially if they don’t have any.

    • What’s weird about her is that she says she is super into kids. She wants to have a baby desperately (triplets in fact) but wants the whole family so won’t do it on her own. She makes a huge deal about her nieces and nephews but has zero relationship with them. I am the only one who sends birthday gifts or face times KT whatever. For her it is all talk. And she has zero idea what having a kid means. When Gus was five months old she took us to a brunch place with a two hour wait….

  6. My wife’s sister (her only sibling) is very into being SEEN as an Aunt, but not very much into BEING an Aunt. It can be frustrating to see our kids plastered all over her Facebook pages when I know she lives 30 minutes away and sees them once every few months when it’s convenient for her. I don’t begrudge her because her life of 29 and without kids is probably as foreign as mine at 32 with five kids, but if it’s that important to seem to the world you are #1 Aunt, you should…give it a harder go.

    I have five siblings and because I was a SURPRISE (accident), I came 10 years after the first five, so the closeness to people 10-18 years older than me is hard to come by and I am often isolated within my family. It was that isolation that drove me to have a bunch of kids but it’s not without the acknowledgement that just because siblings exist doesn’t mean a relationship will. It takes cultivation, respect, and a lot of luck.

    When people ask me: should I have another baby to give X a sibling, I always say the best reason to have a baby is because you want a baby. Anything else is secondary. 🙂

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