September 07, 2010,
J.J. asks from Kearney, NE on September 05, 2010
Feeling Left Out of My Family
I have never felt like I fit in with my family. There is 10 years difference between my half sister and I and I have always been compared to her. My husband and I pretty much live paycheck to paycheck and my sister married a very successful man and has 3 kids (1 biological and 2 adopted) and our parents especially our mom babysits her kids constantly. She was always asking our mom to watch her kids for some reason or another. We hardly ask her to watch our kids. My husband had two kids from prior relationships and we have one together. My parents treat my two stepkids a lot differently then my sisters and even our youngest son. My sister and her family just moved away to a different state so I thought maybe it would change but it hasn't. She hardly comes to see us and she would always go and see my sister and her family at least once a day or she would call and talk to them. She hardly ever comes over and sees us or even calls. My mom would make comments to me about how she isn't going to babysit all time or that she just can't say no to my sister. My family (my sister and her family and our parents) would get together and do stuff and my family wouldn't be invited. I've tried talking to my mom about it but she just poo-poos it away. I just don't know what to do. It really is bothering me. I would appreciate any advise.
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thanks to eveybody who replied! The general censes is to just live our lives and just take my family with a grain of salt (more or less). It will take me time to do this since it has been going on ever since I can remember but hopefully I will figure it out.
M.L. answers from Colorado Springs on September 05, 2010
Apologies in advance for this answer being so long!
Life is hard. And it's rarely fair. It's that kind of planet. We are never loved as much as we think we should be, and the people we would like to be the closest to often don't respond to our love for them.
I hope that some day your family will draw close enough to you for you to be able to talk this over. It may happen and it may not. In the meantime, you might want to get some counseling for yourself one day, just to set your own feelings straight. Your initial statement, that you have never felt as if you fit in with your family, is a little disturbing. Whether your relatives ever change or not, you want to make peace with your feelings so that they don't accidentally spill over toward your own children.
Here's an additional thought: look at where you are now. Since you haven't said otherwise, I'm assuming you're married to a man who loves you and whom you love. You may have to live with "tight belts," but so do most people. You have children and I'm sure they love you and you love them. You have a pretty good life right where you are. It's too bad if your relatives don't appreciate you as much as they might, but that obviously doesn't mean you're not worth anything.
If I were you, I'd keep inviting my parents to be with me, but would not be hurt if they turned the invitations down. I'd just keep inviting and giving them a chance to say yes.
Meanwhile, take action. How can your strengthen yourself? You don't need your relatives' approval of you to live a good life. Focus on what you do have, and look for something GOOD in your husband and children (and yourself, too) every day without fail, so that your unhappy feelings can't take over and steal your joy in the people you love!
Actively look for things around you to smile at, even to laugh at. Make your home a happy, fun place for friends and neighbors to come to. Be involved in your children's schools, in your church, in your town. You might even meet an older couple who live too far away from their own grandchildren, and quietly (!) invite them to be substitute grandparents, so your children will not lose out on intergenerational affection.
You may never be as wealthy as your sister, but love and character are also kinds of wealth, so never believe you're poor.
What you'll end up with is a happy life with a good marriage and happy children, friends, and many ways to contribute to others around you. And it's so sad that your relatives may miss out on being part of that!
And if you REALLY want to think about it this way, you COULD call it, "Living Well is the Best Revenge."
7 moms found this helpful
J.F. answers from Denver on September 05, 2010
I think you just have to accept what it is and find a way to move on... that is what I have done!
My sister and I are 8 years apart. I am the oldest.
My sister was the trouble maker child. Ran away at 15, prego by 17 and had baby #2 by 19. She was married, but that didn't last. She is moving from boyfriend to boyfriend and taking her kids along for that ride.
She has grown up lots over the years and is trying to be a better adult, but lets face it she will always be that little kid that has to learn things the hard way.
I on the other hand was the great child. Never was in trouble, went to college, lived overseas for a bit doing charity work, didn't date much (meaning mess around), found a wonderful man, has a career, got married, had two kids, ect... you get my point.
To this day my mom is all about my sister and her kids! My parents live TEN minutes from me and we see my mom maybe 2 times a month. We see my dad more because he works for us.
My mom sees my nephews all the time, she has lunch with my sister and is always doing things for her and she lives a good distance from her.
My kids are very young, both under the age of 3 and to be honest when they see my mom they cry because she is a stranger. She was not very into my pregnancies- nearly didn't ackowledge the first one at all and kinda came around for the second. With both kids those first weeks home with a newborn are trying, but she never ONCE stopped by. I realize I didn't ask, but I just assumed my mom would be there for me.
This has bothered my husband for years, but I just tell him it is what it is. Yes it hurts me at times, but there isn't anything I can truly do. Telling her how I feel has never worked. She just ends up turning it around and somehow it becomes all about her and how hurt she is by my words. Ugh..
I learned long ago to just let it go... I had to for me! She is the one missing out and I can't make her want to be there.
I truly don't think she loves me less, I just think she sees me as the one that has it together and my sister will just always need her! She lives for that.
I don't need my mom enough, in her eyes, so why should she be there for me. I also think she might be a bit jealous of my life...
I guess I don't have any secific advice other than to help you realize you can't change what is. This is your mom, like it or not, and you have to live with it. If you let it eat you up, that will do no good.
I guess just know you aren't alone in having a mom that clearly has a better connection to a sibling. It sucks, but the best we can do is make sure we don't do that for our kids. That while we can't make things equal all the time, we can at least treat them with the same love and respect.
Good luck and chin up!
4 moms found this helpful
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S.S. answers from Chicago on September 05, 2010
Oh boy, that kind of made me want to cry. I have a rather unusual mom myself and she never babysat and doesn't spend much time with us and truthfully my children grew up pretty much without her being present. She attended birthday parties, an occasional sport or play or chorus, but that's it. She however, spends all sorts of time with my sister who doesn't have kids.
Well, truth is I think I sent someone else a note about it, it really hurts, but we have to kind of fill the void so we find substitutes. I have spent a lifetime since I was little girl doing that. I talk to my mom, but (and I am probably much older than You) but here goes, I am sure she doesn't care for me as much as my other brothers and sisters. And she is seventy eight and I am fifty three. I was you years back in so many ways. It really, really hurt and so once I started to kind of substitute other people I was able to go on. I know she loves me but cannot be the mom I love and I am sure it is the same for you. Reach out to others, in your church or community. Maybe she will come round. Maybe not. Of course it is bothering you and that will always be. She is your mom, but she simply cannot give you all of her love. Who knows why...but always remember this and value yourself. You yourself are a wonderful stepmom, and mom and your children will remember that.
4 moms found this helpful
C.W. answers from Santa Barbara on September 05, 2010
Sometimes our families are a disappointment and we can't change that. Like mentioned before, surround yourself with good, caring people. How about your in-laws? Otherwise, please be happy with your husband and children....we can't spend our entire lives trying to get Mom's approval.
3 moms found this helpful
M.S. answers from San Francisco on September 05, 2010
I understand your pain. It hurts to be left out of the family or family functions. The way I have dealt with it is to accept them as they are and try not to change them. I go where I am celebrated. I have found my church family to be very welcoming and loving. I also have joined mother's groups and get together for playdates etc. with a great group of ladies. As far as your family goes, offer to get together only as much as you want to. Focus on your family and your happiness. Whatever is joyous and happy for you to be doing with your hubby and kids, do it. Don't worry about them. They are the ones losing out on the relationship. Try to let it go and move on. Once you do that, you will be free~Take good care and I hope this helps. You are not alone.
3 moms found this helpful
B.C. answers from Los Angeles on September 05, 2010
My mom and dad favored my little brother (2.5 years younger) when we were small and until I went to college. I was the tortise and he was the hare. I'd study to get C's and my brother could sleep through class and get A's. I still remember my dad forcing me to look at my little brother's report cards and asking me why I could be as good in school.
Some one suggested you ask your dad why. Your dad may or may not know or tell. But its a good start. Invite your parents over on a regular basis. Play cards or games with the kids with your parents. Play games with your parents. Serve the dinners she likes. Tell her you love her. Give her and your dad hugs. You may win her over. Even water will wear away rock. (Think Grand Canyon.)
AND never treat your kids like that. No favorites.
Good luck to you and yours.
What happened BTW? I started to be looked upon more favoribly when my brother was having trouble with his second wife and had spent some hard time behind bars. I'd make it a point to see my parents and my wife's parents on our vacations and they loved seeing the grandkids and almost always commented on how nice and respectful and well mannered they were. My parents noticed how well I treated my wife and how well I treated them. It took many years, but I never gave up and they came around.
3 moms found this helpful
C.S. answers from Las Vegas on September 05, 2010
You just have to move on and accept it for what it is. You can try to discuss it, but that may make you feel worse, just realize that.
My MIL does the same thing. She has two kids and she disregards us. She has to get past our house to get to the other sons house on the way back from her trips that she goes on twice a year and she just keeps on driving. My husband didn't believe it, but the more she opens her mouth, the more he realizes. I feel horrible and wish there were something I could do to fix it, but I can't.
2 moms found this helpful
K.H. answers from Minneapolis on September 06, 2010
your not alone in this...after my divorce i never got any help from any family members-or even before my divorce-wanted my mom to be with me when i had my 1st baby..she said"youll be alright-i dont need to be there" but she was for all my other sisters,plus she babysat for them etc.i have 5 other sisters-1 who couldnt have kids.well not only did it cause alot of resentment amongst me an my sisters..she never got close to my kids-got to the point we only saw her at xmas time.when she got hit with cancer-my kids had no really empathy or care-when she died-my kids had no emotions about it-simply because she never took the time to be part of their lives.so she lost out on 2 great kids-we didnt fit in-paychex to paychex etc.my 8 other siblings are very well off.well now we have nothing to do with my family-my kids are grown an cant stand them.my daughter is getting married next spring-no one in my family is invited.
my point is-you cant choose your family members-but you can choose to keep moving forwards-dont dwell on something you cant change.yea i know it hurts-but put that into more positive in your kids lives,quit trying to talk to your mom about it-she knows what shes doing.leave her alone-put her to the curb for awhile.focus on your family-she doesnt want to be part of-her loss.good luck...and use this in the future when your kids have kids-no favortism.
2 moms found this helpful