sister seems to really dislike her niece :(

posted 1 year ago in Babies
Post # 61
Member
751 posts
Busy bee

Back to your issue here OP. I think the problem here is communication and a sit down with sis might be nice for both of you to air your grievances. Maybe suggest after you are in your new place, you and her could have a bonding sisters day just the two of you with mani/pedis without your daughter. You’re in the home stretch and it sounds like both parties will be relieved once you’re separated and maybe she’ll warm up to your daughter after you’re not constantly in each others faces, but maybe not. At that point you’ll both have more control over the frequency of visits and if she chooses to spend quality time with your daughter or not. 

Post # 62
Member
1940 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I’m so sorry. On the one hand, I understand your sister’s predicament. As a former teacher, I know how rambunctious kids can be, and someone who doesn’t like children and is child free by choice will obviously be uncomfortable having to share a home with a child. However, as your sister does not pay rent, she’s living in the home under the same hospitality that you and your daughter are. She has no more right to stay in the home than you do. It sounds like you’re doing everything you can to accomodate your sister, and are understandably a bit hurt that she is not acting at all sisterly towards you, or showing any kind of aunt love for your daughter.

I think a discussion would be a good idea, definitely approaching from a standpoint of, “I know this is uncomfortable for both of us, but this is the situation we’re in. What can I do to make things easier for you while we’re here?”

If you feel able to, I would also bring up ways that she can make things easier for you and your daughter. Whether it be greeting/acknowledging your daughter or other things. Children have a natural desire to be seen and heard. Really, I think all humans do. Your daughter likely senses that your sister isn’t “her friend,” and it’s only natural that she’ll try and earn her approval. I think it’s sad that your sister isn’t willing to at least be vaguely friendly to your daughter.

Post # 63
Member
7814 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I see both sides, but I think your sister is the one acting entitled. She’s living there on charity just like you are, and apparently she understood from the beginning that you would be moving there for two months with your child, and she agreed to those conditions. If she doesn’t like not having control over who stays in the home with her, she should get a job and move out to her own place.

I will say that I can empathize with your sister a bit, because I too would find the situation really hard. I don’t really like children and find toddlers particularly exhausting (obviousy there are exceptions, but MOST two year olds are pretty rambunctious and it’s just draining if you’re not a kid-lover who’s used to that). But if this were me, I’d still be polite to your daughter and would at least try to have positive interactions with her from time to time, though I’d probably shut myself in my bedroom the majority of the time. The fact that you are the one cooking dinner and doing most of the house work only adds to my feeling that your sister is out of line for how impatient and ornery she’s being about all of this.

Post # 64
Member
2358 posts
Buzzing bee

I honestly think that you shouldn’t force the issue of your niece. Your sister may never like her. That’s how your sister is. Maybe when she becomes a teen things will be different. Maybe they won’t.

I don’t talk to my nephew. I’m not sure he knows I exist. I’m fine with that. I don’t want to go to zoo, or watch him play soccer or do any of those things. That’s what he has a damn father for. 

I think if you continue to push and push that your sister like your daughter then things may backfire..more. Let it be.

I do agree, however, that after this is all said and done do some sister bonding time. WITHOUT the child. 

Post # 65
Member
951 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

anonbee23 :  This living situation sounds like absolute hell to me.  She doesn’t have to help with your daughter or even interact with her. As someone who doesn’t want kids and tries to live my life with as little interaction with kids as possible,  I would probably be feeling the same way as your sister if my nieces suddenly moved in with me.  Living with a child isn’t something she signed up for and it sounds like yours is especially rambunctious.   There’s not much either of you can do besides stay out of each other’s way but I’d let go of the expectation that she’s going to want to help or hang out with your child.   Maybe explain to your daughter that not everyone is a kid person or likes everyone else and that while we should always be polite not everyone is meant to be friends.   Good life lesson.   

Post # 66
Member
7814 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

oceangirl40 :  Actually, living with a child is exactly what the sister signed up for. She’s living for free in the house just like the OP is, and it was made clear to her in advance that OP would be living there temoprarily with the 2 year old. The sister agreed to those terms presumably and now she’s acting like a diva about it. And there’s less than a month left of this arrangement before OP moves out! 

I don’t particularly enjoy hanging out with toddlers either and would find the situation really trying, but I would at least be civil and not make things even harder than they need to be by being a total brat. The sister doesn’t have to love the child or even spend time with her, but shutting herself in her room would be better than shouting at her for crying, asking “what’s wrong with her” when she doees completely typical two-year old things, responding angrily when the child says “hello,” etc. 

Post # 67
Member
951 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

tiffanybruiser :  I can still understand ops sister  being annoyed though.   She might have “agreed,” because she had no choice. Who knows what the circumstances that led to her living there in the first place. She might not have anywhere else to go.  If ops daughter is screaming in the middle of the night and breaking things than she’s probably being more disruptive than op wants to admit.  OPs sistershouldn’t yell at her but apparently just ignoring her is offensive to op too.  She’s supposed to wave and smile and pretend she’s happy that she is woken up at 1am by screaming.   It sounds like a difficult situation all around but I sympathize with ops sister here.  

Post # 68
Member
79 posts
Worker bee

You need to have a conversation with your sister about this.

Post # 69
Member
7814 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

oceangirl40 :  She doesn’t need to wave and smile and pretend she’s happy; I see no evidence that OP expects her to do that – she would simply prefer that the sister not be blatanty hostile to her daughter. Also, yeah, two year olds wake up in the middle of the night and have tantrums. That’s pretty typical. It’s annoying, sure, but getting pissed off at the child isn’t gonna help at all and is really immature on the sister’s part.

I dunno…you say OP’s sister has no choice about the living arrangement, but neither does OP from the sound of it. They’re both living there on charity, so they should both be adults and make the best of it for the brief time that they need to. Of course we’re only hearing OP’s side, but she says she’s doing the bulk of the housework and cooking (including cooking for the sister), and even with all that the sister is still acting like a total brat.

Post # 70
Member
951 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

tiffanybruiser :  op brings it up in first post, that her daughter says hello over and over and the sister won’t respond or wave back.  But, you’re right, they both need to work together . However,  just because that’s what toddlers do doesn’t mean that it’s any less annoying.   I’d probably snap too.  

Post # 71
Member
7814 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

oceangirl40 :  OP says in the first post that she doesn’t mind that her sister doesn’t show an interest in her daughter. It’s not just that she doesn’t respond to the kid when she says hello over and over – she is outright hostile (curt replies, shouts at her, asks what’s wrong with her, seems to actively “hate” having them around, etc). Losing her temper occasionally would be understandable – I’d really struggle with the living arrangement too, to be honest! – but if the sister’s lashing out angrily on a daily basis because a two year old is behaving like a two year old, which is how it sounds, that’s just immature and wrong.

But, as you say, we only have one side of the story. Perhaps it is worse than the OP is making it out to be. At least there’s a light at the end of the tunnel since OP is moving out soon.

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