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Family dynamics

14th Nov 2017

Mum says sister-in-law ‘refuses’ to see her new baby

But she has a good enough reason.

Anna O'Rourke

A mum is seeking advice online, claiming her sister-in-law won’t see her baby.

The new mum has a four-month-old daughter and says her brother’s wife has been avoiding her.

Her brother and his wife have, however, been struggling to conceive themselves for over four years.

“I am very close with my brother and is very much a people pleaser,” she wrote on Mumsnet.

“His wife ignored me over many family events, to which my brother told me it was hard for her (which I understand).”

Fertility issues can be heartbreaking and avoiding new babies (not to mention baby ‘talk’) is one way to try and stay sane and avoid triggering upset but could lead to tension within a family.

The woman here feels her sister-in-law has taken things too far, though. Her brother’s fortieth birthday is coming up soon but says her new baby is the only child in the family to be excluded from the party.

“All the children from her side have been invited including her nieces and nephews (ages from one month old to 7 years).

“My partner and I have been invited but not my daughter as it’s too hard for her to see her. My brother on the other hand sees her as much as possible but alone.”

Many commenters on the thread agreed that only leaving one child out was unfair.

“I can understand why having babies around would be tough, but why does that not also apply to her side of the family? If it’s a ‘no children’ event fair enough, but it does sound like your daughter is being unfairly singled out.”

“I would, like you, be very hurt. The ‘it’s hard for her’ explanation doesn’t stack up if she’s fine with kids from her side of the family. I would decline the invitation and make it clear to your brother why – perhaps he can talk to her and help resolve things.”

But some others urged the woman not to take her sister-in-law’s distance too personally.

“Is there more to this? Any chance she could have been pregnant around the same time as you and had a MC, and that’s why your child in particular is too painful for her to spend time with?”

“Give her a break. It will be truly horrific for her to see your baby, you really will never understand how awful tis feels. You’ve got your lovely baby. Get a babysitter and try to have some empathy.”

How would you handle the situation? Join the conversation in the Facebook comments or on Twitter.