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Thread: Family relationships

  1. #31
    Platinum Member Fudgie's Avatar
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    It sounds like your problem is less about the kid and more that your brother got in touch with you and then asks nothing about you and just spams you with kid pics. I wouldn't like that either - doesn't sound like a productive friendship. I would try to reach out and talk to him about non-kid stuff. If he doesn't reciprocate, either block him or just mute him on the family chat and move on with your life. If he's still self-centered, you don't really need that in your life.

    As for the nephew, it's up to you how much you want a relationship. If you want a bond with the kid, then obviously you need to keep one up with the dad. So if you decide to not have your brother in your life, the nephew goes too. This may be worth it for you though. Not everyone is keen on being an uncle/aunt (I know I'm not, and I am thankful neither of my siblings have kids) and that's okay too.

    As for the talk about childless/childfree distinction, I actually do think it's worth making the distinction simply because the two groups are so different. Like you, I don't want kids, got sterilized years ago now. I actually work with a number of women who are childless and are either TTC or looking for a partner to have kids with. Our lives couldn't be more different. They have this really big, important focus and structure their lives and time around that. I just don't. Our priorities, finances, goals, dreams, and mindsets couldn't be more different. It's not about being happy without kids, it's more about goals and how childless people want that in the future. It shapes a lot. Back when I was dating, I would not want to be lumped into that group because those people were not compatible with me and I wasn't with them.

  2. #32
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    Originally Posted by SarahLancaster
    Good grief. This is a great example of first world problems. I'm sure as the child gets older, the obsession with sending pictures will stop. If not, just block them. It doesn't seem like a huge issue to me.
    I agree. And no not all new parents act on their focus on their first baby by spamming people with photos. We were "obsessed" and understood that no one else was except immediate family and tons of photos of what the baby looked like made no sense to send. It's easy to put on ignore and since there's no message, no need to respond. How often is your partner going to hear "uncle" anyway? How often do you see them?

  3. #33
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    Originally Posted by amco43
    j.man - I make the distinction between childless and childfree because some people don't realize you can be happy and content in life without having children.

    Some people actually believe women who don't have children are miserable and I think it's important to point out that this is not the case.
    I am secure in my decision. That's why I say childfree. You see the distinction does have to be made as people who can't understand it will always doubt it.

    I'm not understanding what you mean when you say:
    'The overcompensating tone is pretty unbecoming, though. There's probably a reason beyond your history that your brother doesn't get much social value from your interactions beyond sharing these photos'.
    Some people believe a lot of things. So? Why do you need to "point it out" that you are happy without having a child - that's obvious about you and about many other people I am sure including empty nesters who are happy to be empty nesters. I agree with Jman that you protest too much. I've never ever felt that a woman who doesn't have a child is miserable unless she tells me so. I wasn't miserable and I knew from early on I wanted to be a parent. Both were true. Some people will always misunderstand what you mean and will make assumptions. Not just about parenting about everything. Someone assumed yesterday in one of my parenting groups that I must be rich. Others have assumed I'm sure that we rent because we cannot afford a house. And yet others assumed I wanted to have a second child after my first. So? That's just life.

  4. #34
    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    ^^Right. To ME, 'child-free' could also mean your kids are grown and on their own. In fact, that's what I would automatically think when someone said he or she was 'child free.'

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  6. #35
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    That's because near universally, we apply a -free suffix to what's conventionally considered negative or a burden. It's to be free of something. Not that parents consider their children burdens, but it's kinda the inside joke. Think tax-free, toll-free, debt-free, hassle-free. If "childless" is being consciously avoided for whatever connotation, then the colloquial aspect of "child-free" should be given its own consideration. I know more than a few women who don't want to have kids. Not one of them has ever called themselves "childfree." If I had to guess, it's because they legit don't want kids nor have much interest in talking about it, so they prefer to say "I don't want kids" rather than double down on risking a conversation using an odd and potentially antagonistic term. I might have honestly just overlooked it as saving letters had the OP not gone out of her way to note "not childless." And even then on its own, it wouldn't mean much. Just happened to kick off what appears to be a very egocentric attitude on her part, so I noted it within the pattern.

    And actually, give "childfree" a Google and just take a quick gander at all those social groups. Whoo-boy. I personally don't take any offense to OP choosing the word. But I again do think there's a good chance her motivation to identify very specifically with it may be tied to a socially unattractive attitude or personality, and if she'd like to be more personally familiar with folks, including her brother, it's something to reflect honestly on.

  7. #36
    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    "I'm child-free this weekend because they're at camp." Not to prolong this semantic discussion, but I agree about the chip on OP's shoulder.

  8. #37
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    Originally Posted by SarahLancaster
    ^^Right. To ME, 'child-free' could also mean your kids are grown and on their own. In fact, that's what I would automatically think when someone said he or she was 'child free.'
    Yes, in my moms groups parents who can take a vacation sans kids ask for things to do/places to see and note they will be "child-free"

  9. #38
    Gold Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    I'm sorry about your brother assaulting you long ago. Even though he apologized, there are some cases where an apology is simply never enough. That type of painful memory will stay with you for life. I commend you for allowing him back in your life though. You are definitely a bigger person than I would ever be, amco43.

    I agree with others regarding ignore / mute for photos. Or, you can nicely ask them not to send photos to you anymore. And, if your partner prefers not to be referred as uncle, then speak up. If they do not respect both of your wishes, then the risk is estrangement. Either people are mature enough to respect your wishes you all of you will part ways.

  10. #39
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    The best thing to do is mute unwanted communication. Do not focus on your values/lifestyle vs your brother's and all sorts of politics, etc. The issue is being bombarded with too much communication. Address that. If there are understandable lingering resentments regarding your brother then create better boundaries and steer clear of unnecessary comparisons, etc.

    This is not a who's right who's wrong sibling rivalry, is it? Or is it the over-enthused expecting gf? Short term therapy may help sort out what family drama happened in the past. It may also help to sort out whatever is or is not happening in your own life and if you feel jealous of your brother's happiness.
    Originally Posted by amco43
    the real issue is I feel my brother doesn't take any interest in my life.

  11. #40
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    If they send too many pictures, you can mute the whatsapp conversation. They are probably (over)excited and want to share their excitement with you. If you donít reply to every picture, the might start sending fewer pictures/videos.

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