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Problems with guilt. (A little long)


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Here is the back story: I moved to Chicago six months ago because A) My sister-in-law had connected with a person who wanted me to be an intern and B) My sister was looking for a nanny. The agreement was that I would live in the house rent free and pay my way by watching the baby. Well, the internship ended up falling through which was very annoying. I ended up getting a temp job for a month and going on interviews for full time job. I always told my sister about these interview knowing that I had to keep her in the loop so she could set up other child care option if I ended up getting a job.


Each time I would come back from an interview my sister would have away of talking me out of taking it. We also had many discussions where she would comment that I should go into child care (something I don't have an interest in), I would try too be polite by saying, "Well, I like watching the baby because she is family. I just could not do this for someone else's kids." I thought I was expression myself clearly but every few weeks we would have this same talk, almost word-for-word. About two weeks ago I mentioned that I was job hunting again. My sister made a comment that was not very supportive of this (I cannot remember what she said now, just my feelings about what she said).


Right now, I have an interview set up on Monday for a job which, while not my dream job, would be a good stepping stone. So, I went to my sister and asked her if she remember how a few weeks ago I was talking about applying to jobs. She said, "No, whats going on?" This time I was more blunt about my feelings. Basically I said that I was at a place in my life where I needed to start working full time, within my field. She asked if I had become unhappy being a nanny, I told her that was partly it but mostly I want to move forward with my life. She reacted better than I thought she would but did expression that she was a little hurt I hadn't said anything about being unhappy with being a nanny before that. Now, I do sort of see her where she is coming from, but after all the other interviews, and saying how I did not want to do child care forever, it is a bit difficult for me to see this completely her way.


She asked if I would be moving out, and I told her if I got this job then, yes, I would be. I don't think she liked that very much because I cook dinner three days a week, help clean the house, and basically just take some things off of her and her partners plates.


My main problem is a feel VERY guilty! I have been a huge help to them (they have told me this several times) but for the past four-five months I have been feeling like my life is on hold. Now, my sister isn't sure if she is going to do a nanny share with another family, quite her part-time job so she can stay home, or what she is going to do. I feel awful for putting her in this position and yet I know that I have to do what is right for me.


This has been a common theme in my life. I feel guilty about so many things, even when I shouldn't. I don't know how to deal with these feelings. Has anyone else out there experienced this?


Side Note- I have not proof read this because I cannot focus enough right now, so I apologize for any errors.

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You have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about! If your sister had to employ someone to do the same thing, she would not only have to offer free board but she would also have to pay them wages!


No wonder she hasn't been too enthusiastic about you looking for a job!


I'm sure you and your sister love each other, but she is taking advantage of you, hopefully not intentionally.


You are doing the right thing; you need to be establishing your own life, doing the thing that you want to do Don't be held back by your sister's expectations.

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Thanks for the reply elcie! These are words I need to hear. We do love each other very much and get along great but we have very different ways of expressing ourselves, in fact in many ways we are complete opposites!


I don't think she is taking advantage of me, I get not only free rent and food, but I also count getting to bond with my niece as the best possible payment in the world. Lol, I just always do this to myself. I can't ever seem to make a life choice without it effect someone and then that person gets upset/annoyed/angry/disappointed. So I end up miserable either because I feel guilty for doing what I want or because I am prevented from doing what I want to do.

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I agree that to bond with your niece is absolutely priceless! And it would be better not to repeat what I said ( about her taking advantage of you ,) to her. I'm sure it's unintentional, and she would be hurt. The fact is, though, that it is mainly to her advantage that you stay with her as nanny/housekeeper, and hopefully, when you do get a job, she will recognize how important it is to make your own life.

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Oh lord, I would never say something like that to her! Lol, I do think it is unintentional, it just makes her life so much easier that she doesn't want the the arrangement to end. I think part of her knows I need to make my own life but (and I think this is a huge part of it) she is 10 years older than me so we sometimes fall into a very parent/child type of relationship.

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Let see,working in your dream job,and being a Nanny? I know you love your sister,but what world is she living in? The one that she gets to have free help in which no one has the right to have goals or dreams? Especially her own sister?

who would pass up a dream job to be a nanny. You didnt finish your education to be anyone's nanny,even if its your niece. Your sis need s to get it together,she can employ someone else to do the same job.


I babysitted once for a week,and as a college student,I just felt like a domestic. it was my supervisors kid,and his wife was working at home,she was nice but I can tell she was watching me like a hawk, here i am doing them a favor. I understand why she needs to be careful. But I see it no better than being someones maid,some people love doing that,not me.

If it were my nieces or nephew i wouldnt mind,still that itself is not a career unless that exactly what you want to do.


You are better than that, and your sis,needs to understand that. Why does she need a Nanny,what else is she doing,letting you do most of the work. is she working on her career? So she wants to stop you from reaching your career goals?

Sorry but she is not being very thoughtful,i'm sure your parents would want more for you than being a nanny,even if its for your niece. Perhaps you can offer to babysit a night or two once you get settled in your new job,(being positive!) so dont stop looking.

I reiterate, a sister,she should want better for you than being her domestic. There is nothing to feel guilty about. However this is something you should let her know-hey I didnt break my butt in college,or work experience so I can be anyone's nanny,as a sister you should want the best for me. I can babysit for your niece or nephew sometimes,but really now.

I'm your Sister who has goals and dreams not your kids Nanny,get a grip.

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Hi Vivia, I have to say I was laughing as I read your reply because on bad days that is exactly what goes through my brain! I think when I spoke with her about this she got very overwhelmed. She doesn't want to trust just anyone to watch the baby (which I completely understand) but I do wish she was more supportive. The am trying to look at it right now is this, she is a mother who wants the best for her child, the "best" has just told her she (me) is leaving, so her mommy-ness goes into over-drive.


I really think that it is partly HER problem and partly MINE. Mine, in that, I have a very hard time expressing how I am feeling. So perhaps if I had been more open in some way earlier on she wouldn't be having such a hard time with it now.

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I will say it to the red headed roosters come home,taking care of her kid is NOT Your responsibility,nor your Station in life. Your'e her sister,who has her own goals in life. Again,why cant she understand that unless she has entitlement issues,like everyones goal is to help her. Then she shouldve been born into the Royal family. They have big time entitlement issues.

I understand being a mother is not an easy job,its 24/7,I know,myaunt had a baby-Still its HER choice to be a mom,no one elses.

She just have to get over it,there are agencies that carefully screens their applicants,and agency's that specializes in Au Pairs,whose room and board goes exclusively with taking care of kids.


You need to tell your sis to get it together,as your her sister she should want the best for you. Its not your lifes work to be her kids nanny. Thats something I would bring up,and as soon as you get the job i'd hightail it from there. Sis or no sis,she is a person whose only thinking of herself. Being selfish


Also ask her,did mom and dad raise us to reach or goals,and wouldnt they want the best for us? Did they raise me to be your kid's nanny? you made your choice to be a mom,I have my own path in life. When you value yourself it shouldnt be a hard thing to say. Just take a deep breath say Sis,love you but Get it Together!

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She works in law, she managed to find a job that is only three-days a week so she could still have a lot of time with the baby. She wants to work now, for a couple of reasons, first, extra-income for the family, second, so when my niece is older and doesn't need her parents as much, my sister will have her career to turn to, and third, the job she has is actually very good for her career wise.


Oh, man, my sister really isn't coming off in a good light! I, I think my judgement is clouded because she is my sister, she was like a second mom to me growing up, and I lover her to pieces. But, there are certainly grains of truth in your posts. Its hard to lay-out all the dynamics but I will say that my sister has her reasons for being the way she is. In the long run everything will be good between us, but I am worried about things being weird for the next few weeks.

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I'm not trying to paint your sis as a negative person;however what she's doing is not fair to you,nor understanding that You have the right to follow your path in life too;Just like she is following hers. Because she helped raised you does that mean you owe her your time and energy (and Life) while she pursues her life and career?


She has her job,her hours and a free live in Nanny planned out,What about you?

I understand she's your sis,and you'll always empathize with her,of course you love her but you have to Love and look out for yourself. If she only raised you to not think or look out for yourself,just after ,her kids to make her life easier.

I dont think she's doing a great job,intentional or not. There is a reason you posted this,and as an outsider looking in,this isnt fair for you to to follow Her course in life no matter what reasons she have,or the reason that she is that way.


Your a person to who has the right to live her own life,probably No one has told you this,or let you know that Your life,dreams and goals are Just as Valuable as hers. remember that,even if she for whatever reasons cant.


You need to rent my fave movie Like Water for Chocolate or better yet read the book,your like the character who is bound by a centuries' old family tradition to look after her mother,while her sister gets to marry and live her life. So if you want to ditch your dreams and give your life to your sister,and bend to her will,kindly change your name to Tita,the novel's heroine.

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Your right in so many ways. I have never felt that what I was was as important as what everyone else in my family wanted. There was a fair amount of turmoil in my house growing up, my brother fell in with a bad crowd and started doing drugs, my sister (not the one this post is about) had an eating disorder, my father was gone at work a lot and my mom (for obvious reasons) was usually very stressed-out. So, I would always stay quiet because I would look at what was going on and think, "What right do I have to complain/ask for something? Look at all of this! Its way more important than me." I have carried that with me for most of my life.


I just got off the phone with my mom. She handled everything pretty well but at the end of our talk she did make a quip that I wasn't to happy about. I let it go because she is having surgery next month and has had a lot of other health problems in the past year.

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Well its not your fault that your upbringing and home life had turmoil,then again,whose life was perfect growing up?

If that was the case then shrinks and Psychologists would be out of business.

You tried to remain invisible,not to rock the boat,told yourself everyones in pain,what right do I have to complain or even get attention?

You had every right then you have every right now. Your job as an adult is not to sit back and not make any noise,or not have any desires,you have a voice,now is the time to use it.

Your sister has her life,her career her kids,what do you have? But a dream to succeed and you have every right to do so As an adult,just as she has,


Still,I wont budge when I say its unfair for her to expect you to put your career and life on hold in order to help her make her life run smoothly. Thats not your destiny and in no certain terms should you beg and plead for her to understand something that is your every right. Last time I checked Lincoln abolished slavery,these slave women had no choice to look after the mistresses kids.


I say hit the papers and look for an apt as soon as you get the job,then rent the movie 'Like Water for Chocolate'.

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Update on my situation. I have my interview today at 2pm (please cross your fingers for me!). But my sister is still pretty upset. I think she has been avoiding me all weekend. I have barely seen her and we live in the same house! I do have to take some ownership in that always though. I haven't been going out of my way to leave my room unless I have to. I also have a therapy session today with a new therapist so I'm hoping I can get my head on straight about all this.

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I'm crossing my fingers,and lighting candles.Best of Luck!!!

Of course its wise to avoid her just as she is avoiding you. its still a shame that she cant understand that you have a right to a fulfilling career,not being her kids nanny.

But we wont get into that,Your therapist will,if they dont skirt around the issue,usually they dont tell you whats right and wrong,or answers they'll just point it out so you can see for yourself.. I Know! however,you have me to tell you go for it,dont let anyone stop you from pursuing your dreams!


Also,its interesting and a good thing your getting help for this situation. That means theres a small part of moontiger that knows she has to take care and think of herself. Let me know how it goes but dont stop looking! Never know what doors may open.

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