(Closed) SIL won't stop forcing our baby niece on us?

posted 4 years ago in No Kids
Post # 2
2803 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

See them less? I don’t have any other helpful suggestions, I’m afraid.  Don’t feel obliged to stick the magnet to your fridge either.

Post # 3
3097 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

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KiwiDerbyBride :  agree.  

OP, they are all cray. Maybe the new will wear off eventually…

Post # 4
2596 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I’m not seeing a real issue. If you don’t want the pictures, just don’t hang therm up. Acting like your priorities are the only ones that matter within the family obviously isn’t working. Right now (probably for at least several years), the child will be their priority. If they aren’t asking you for money or to babysit, I don’t see a problem. And if they do, just say “no”. Let the new parents be excited-  honestly, becoming a parent is a huge undertaking and is something to be excited about.

Post # 5
11535 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Honestly, what your family is doing regarding the baby is quite common and very normal. However, it’s also perfectly normal for people who don’t feel comfortable around children or who haven’t yet had a baby — like you and your husband — to feel awkward about it.

I would just be as honest as you can and say something along the lines of the fact that you love them, and your love their child, but you’re just not baby people yet and may not ever find yourselves being the type of people to feel comfortable holding babies or playing with them, so please do not take offense if your aren’t comfortable holding little (insert the baby’s name here.)

As for the photos, just say thank you and accept them. You do not need to display all of them in your home. It’s quite common for parents to want photos of their child at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 1 year (even if they can’t really afford them, because, after all, their baby will never go through those stages again), but that doesn’t mean that you need to display all of them. I would simply put the new photo over the old ones (or remove the old ones and keep them in a box with other sentimental family photos.)

Post # 6
632 posts
Busy bee

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bamabelle2017 :  This is completely normal.  Babies are cute and constantly changing so, yes, you might get ignored during an adorable moment.  You sound almost jealous of the attention the baby is getting.

You don’t have to like the baby, but part of relationships is showing interest in things that are important to those that you love.  Clearly your family wants you to be involved with the new baby so you’re not being excluded.

Photos every 3 months is common with some parents even doing them monthly. Accept them like any other gift you have no need for–graciously and throw them in a storage closet.  It’s not a big deal. 

TLDR: Your family is normal.  Quit being dramatic and let them enjoy this life stage. 

Post # 7
1305 posts
Bumble bee

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jannigirl :  +1

I think this is good advice. Just be firm about what you and your dh are capable of. if you don’t want to go over and see little *Janie*, as often as you are invited to, then just don’t go. If you don’t want to hold her, don’t. Just say, ‘no thanks’ as kindly as you can, and pass her to some other willing relative. Just because you have been given a magnet, you are under no obligation to put it on your fridge. You also don’t have to go over, or do anything for this kid/ for her family that you don’t want to. Certainly be light hearted about it… but feel no obligation, either.

I had kids late in life so spent many an hour with friends who had children long before I did.  I found the endless conversations about breast feeding, napping schedules, teething, etc sometimes kind of boring and uninteresting, and certainly nothing I could relate to.  Since I knew that these baby milestones were going to be the topic of every conversations at every family/ friend event, sometimes I just wouldn’t go, or I would stop in for a short time. Changing the topic never worked as it typically just got changed back to some baby-related topic.

When my neice was born, it was wonderful and exciting….. but I could only handle so much. Every once in awhile I would say someting snarky (not that I am recommending this, of course…. sometimes I am just a knucklehead. LOL). I NEVER said anything to my sister, but I did make some comments to my mom like, ” Wow, I sure am looking forward to the BBQ tomorrow so we can talk about Janie’s shit for an hour- during dinner”.

  Another time I was invited over for a SuperBowl party, and I declined the invitation. My mom asked me if I wasn’t feeling well or if something was wrong, so I just said that I wanted to stay home so that I could actually watch the game- there was no way that was going to happen with my 1 year old neice running around and my sister directing us to entertain her and regail us with stories of her latest Tumble Tot adventures. No thanks!

After having written all of the above…… I have 2 kids of my own and I am sure (without a doubt) that I probably did all of the things that I have just written about. I know that others loved my kids but no one thought that they were as amazing and adorable as what I did. So, if people didn’t want to have a SuperBowl party at my place for the exact same reason, I totally understand.:)

Post # 8
14169 posts
Honey Beekeeper

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bamabelle2017 :  I think what you are describing is fairly normal. Although it would also be polite for people to talk to you about your lives, a new baby in the family is inevitably going to be a source of semi-obsession for the new parents and grandparents for awhile. It goes with the territory. My advice is if you can’t beat them, join them. If you let yourself bond with the little one, you may find that you get a lot out of the relationship as time goes on. 

TBH, I’d also be turned off by your attitude of disinterest in holding,playing, or interacting with your niece.  If SIL gives you a photo magnet, just say thank you and do what you want with it. I think that is very sweet. 

As far as the frequent photos, also very normal. Babies are only babies for a very short time and they grow and change rapidly. Parents like to document all the stages. What they can afford is their business.

Post # 9
1354 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2027

Except for forcing you to hold the child, I agree with everything PPs said about this being normal. The baby is new, they are new parents and it is the most amazing thing they have ever done in their life. They are proud. It is going to happen with all new parents you encounter. AND, if you plan to be a parent one day, you will be the same way. And this baby, espcially if she is the first grandchild is going to be very special for everyone for a long time.

That is a whole other subject, the first grandchild, no matter how many more there are, will always have a special place.  

There is a joke in my family, that it goes from “Oh look, Jack and Jill are here!” to “Oh look, Jack and Jill’s new baby is here!”, meaning once a baby arrives the parents are ignored…it is pretty much true. 

Post # 10
4839 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Oh gross. I would avoid them until they return to sanity. If you must interact with them just change the subject or sit there nodding until the conversation dies. 

Post # 11
1540 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I’m going to disagree with some PP here and say that I think your attitude (or your husbands) about holding the baby is not very sensitive to the new parents. I totally understand not wanting to hold a baby, but seriously, if you are close family you should just do it because the parents are probably EXHAUSTED, want someone else to take the baby for just a minute, and will get so much joy out of seeing your husband or you holding the baby. I’m not saying anyone should be FORCED to hold a baby, it’s just my opinion that it’s kind of crappy to not just suck it up and do it. (Fear of hurting a baby by holding it is really quite silly). 

I know what you mean about family conversations being overtaken or dominated by children. It bugs me too. 

Post # 12
7352 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

I think it’s perfectly okay to say no thank you if someone offers you their baby. And it’s not unreasonable to be annoyed at having your conversation interrupted by a baby all the time. I felt that way before I became a mother and then I understood a bit better when it was my baby.

It also makes sense that they would be obsessed with a new baby. I was and I tried to hand him to people I loved and trusted so they could see this awesome new thing I had going on. One of my friends said “Girl, you know I don’t hold tiny babies. I’ll hold him when he’s bigger, maybe.” And she was so direct and honest I had to laugh.

And guess what, when I was out of the depths of that baby phase and my SIL had her first baby and was trying to hand her to me and that baby was interrupting our conversations, I went back to finding it annoying. 😁

It’s all part of the ebb and flow. This will likely pass and it sounds like if/when you become parents, your baby will be well adored in this family and that is a blessing.

Post # 13
43 posts
  • Wedding: July 2018

They brought a human into the world, they’re excited. It’s totally normal. As an adult you either need to speak up about whatever makes you uncomfortable or just deal with it. I don’t think people oohing and aahing over their baby is a big deal. It’s a short time in their lives that their children will be small. They’re enjoying it.

Post # 14
2886 posts
Sugar bee

I struggled with this when my niece was first born. She’s the first grand-baby, and everyone went nuts. It’s all anyone talked about, and people were offended if I didn’t seem happy or excited enough. I was happy for my family, and my niece  is adorable, but her birth didn’t dominate my life like it did theirs. Especially with my recently becoming engaged, I’m focused on the exciting new events in my life and planning a wedding, while they’re focused on the exciting new events in their life and having a baby. Neither of us are wrong for feeling that way and prioritizing our own lives.

I will say that it was annoying, because if I would say something like, “Oh, she’s so tall, she’s going to grow to be model beautiful.” My SIL would freak out and say, “What does that mean? She’s already beautiful.” And of course, the baby is beautiful, but my SIL was on hyper alert for any possible misspeak that might possibly, remotely, be construed as against her baby. It was patently ridiculous, and highly annoying, and it happened frequently. I’ve learned to provide a compliment every time I see my niece, and make sure it’s in the present tense. And then I don’t say anything more. My SIL also would get upset if I didn’t want to hold, feed, change, burp, etc, her baby at any time. I held her all the time, but it was never enough. She would just plop her in my arms too.

It gets better with time. That’s all I can say. Eventually, my SIL started foisting her daughter on people who would respond with the attention she desired.

Post # 15
2553 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

They’re acting normal for new parents (slightly OTT) and you’re acting normal for someone who doesn’t have children (maybe slightly defensive)


I agree that the magnets are OTT. It depends why they want you to hold your niece. If it’s just because they think you should then fair enough to decline if you don’t feel like it. But if they’re asking you to hold her because they would like to use the toilet or eat or drink then take her graciously. 

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