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What would you do - a personal dilema - lengthy

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I need help - I don't know what to do. I have something that is just weighing me down, but if I address the issue it may make matters much worse. Thinking about it keeps me awake at night and I get into arguments with my hubby about it. Normally I am a decisive person, but I just keep waffling on what to do. Please help me decide what is right - am I even being rational about this. Let me try to put this down so it make sense - it may be a little lenghty - I apologize in advance.

My sister has always been the favourite child in my family. Not just for my parents, but for my grandparents on my mother's side as well. She was the only grandchild to be left anything in my grandfather's will - a car. I have always shrugged it off - I mean what could I do about it. My sister went away to university (to Scotland from Canada) to supposedly get her doctorate, which then turned into a masters which then turned into 7 years of school with nothin to show at the end. During that time my parents paid her Visa bills and for her trips home (plus her vacations around the world - she was stressed you know). She had borrowed alot of money from our godmother to help pay tuition, which would have been waived if she got her doctorate or masters. My parents are currently helping her pay it back.

I have always been the responsible daughter. After my mom had cancer surgery about 4 years ago I was the one who took time off work to help nurse her back to health. Around this same time my sister married and had her 1st child. Unfortunately she and her family live about an hour and half away from where my parents lived (they used to live 5 minutes away from me). After the cancer my mom insisted to my dad as he was about to retire that Lisa needed them. They moved to be near her and her daughter. My mom quit her job to look after my niece full time. 18 months later my sister had a 2nd girl, who my mother also looked after until my mom got cancer again (they had to go to day care for the 1st time in September this past year).

The girls (my nieces) seem to be the end all and be all of my mom's existance. She put's my sister and her needs even above her own health (she had the stomach flu - after recovering from radiation treatment and still took care of my niece's when they were too sick to go to daycare). She pays for all the diapers they use when they are at her place and she never comes back from a store without something for the girls. My sister is over there at least 1 to 2 days per week for dinner. Often my mom is responsible for the girls from early in the morning to late at night as my sister is a teacher and coaches some teams.

My sister's husband is a very irresponsible father. He took a job that requires much travel. During the weeks that he is away, my sister just moves into my parent's house to live as she "can't handle the girl's on her own". During that time my parent's pay for everything. And still they get my parents to occasionally babysit on the weekend.

My mom constantly talks about "her girls". If they are sick, she can't go a day without talking to them. Anything they want they get. After I told her Kevin was very sick last week, she didn't even call for 3 days to check on him. He is lucky if he gets to see my parents every 3 to 4 weeks. My mom complains jokingly that Kevin doesn't even know her because he now cries when she visits. She made me a promise after I got pregnant again that she would make sure that she came at least every 2 weeks so that she could help take care of Kevin when I am in the hospital - she hasn't kept that promise. When she was last her 3 weeks ago he cried everytime she tried to hold him.

She seems to show no interest in either of my pregnancies, all conversations turn to the girls. I am also mad at my sister for taking advantage of my mom - but then again my mom allows it. My sister never has to miss work due to her kid's being sick, because my mom always takes them.

It not about the money (ok not only about the money). My parents has saved my sister thousands upon thousands of dollars by being daycare, diaper purchasers and food providers. She buys presents for the girls on other people's birthdays so that they don't feel left out - but not Kevin. Money that my children will never see.

It is about the discrepancy that I see in the way my mom treats both families. I am hurt, I feel disrespected and second best. My husband says I should confront my mom about how I feel. I want to, but I feel that this would just make matters worse. I doubt my mom will even see the discrepancy. I told my husband that I would wait until she recovered from her most recent cancer treatments - she has now and is currently cancer free. I was going to tell her last weekend when she called but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

I don't know what to do.
Am I even right to feel this way?
Should I just learn to let it go?

Sorry for the lenghty rant, but I can't seem to talk to anyone in my "real person" life the way I can to you guys.

Thanks
post #2 of 24
Ady

I'm sorry that you're feeling this way and it's always hard when there seems to be a favourite family relation that always gets the attention.

I have known a few people in your position and you have two options. Ignore the favourtism and just enjoy the times that your mother does come by and spend time with you. Or, you can bring this to her attention because you know it's eating you away inside and will not disappear from your reality.

I would suggest sending her a letter. I would write it but wait a week before sending it. Reread it at that time and if you believe it's worded correctly send it to her. It will make you feel better because you are finally able to have her read everything you have wanted to say, but can't personally do face to face. Or even better, invite her over to your place, hand her the letter and have a discussion. But make sure to give Kevin to hubby so you and your mother have some alone time to discuss.

But, as you already stated, she may not see these discrepancies and just play them off. If she does this, you would have to make peace with yourself and realize that your mother will always act this way.

You have my email. Let me know if you need a shoulder.
post #3 of 24


You poor thing! I feel so bad for you. I don't have much advice, but I would sit down with both of your parents and talk to them about the whole ordeal. Ask them why they chose to live closer to your sister and not in a place in between.

I'm not sure who is older though you or your sister, but if its your sister, could be that something tragic happened to her when she was little and your parents relentlessly make up for it through money (knew a girl in high school that was adopted and her parents were always guilted into buying her something because of this).

I wish you the best of luck with this and many vibes your way!
post #4 of 24
I would be so hurt and angry if it were me. You were second best throughout your life and now Kevin is being treated the same way. So unfair.

I wish I had the answer for you. There is a good chance your mom will get defensive, so for the sake of the family, especially Kevin, be as gentle as you can. I do think you need to say something though.
post #5 of 24
I feel you need to say something and soon... I realize it may not be ideal but if you dont your going to be the one either getting sick physically or mentally..
post #6 of 24
Sounds exactly what I go through. My sister was always my moms favorite. My dad always did his best to make up for it, but he was a truck driver so he wasn't around much. Poor dad as soon as he pulled in the driveway he was bombarded by a crying me telling him mom was mean to me a nice to my sister while he was gone. He was constantly pulled into the middle, so it put a strain on their marriage. When things really got bad and they considered divorce, my mom cried to her parents (my grandparents) who blamed it all on me who was 9 at the time. At Christmas time I received a sweater from them (remember at 9 or 10 you don't want clothes) while my sister opened mounds of presents. All of this went on for years and I was always hurt by it. One day though, when I was about 19, I made the decision that I just wasn't going to care anymore. I made the decision right then and there to forgive my mother for everything. I wiped the slate clean and tried to forget about things in the past. I was building my own life and realized that I was wasting far too much energy on worrying about it and being upset.
My sister is still the favorite and it's very clear, but I don't dwell on it. I just live my life and if they want to be a part of it then great, if not that's ok too. I have no expectations of my relationship with her. I take it day by day. Sometimes we meet up and have lunch, and sometimes weeks pass without me talking to her. I wish things weren't this way, and some days I wish she would call me so I knew she thought about me... I don't think you can erase those feelings. I just remind myself that there isn't anything I can do about it and that I really am doing ok.
Your mom knows what she is doing... If you feel like you need to communicate your feelings with her, write her a letter and then be done with it.
You are a wonderful person with a wonderful family, and one more on the way Your mom is really missing out, one day she might wake up and realize that. In the meantime, enjoy everything that you have and try not to lose anymore sleep over it. Just my advice
post #7 of 24
I feel for you. I'm an only child but I can only imagine how that must feel. The only thing I can think of is to sit down with her face to face and very calmly speak with her (without getting too emotional)...it will be very hard though.

The only option you have other than that is to say nothing, and it really seems like doing that is slowly eating away at you...and I'm sure that in the long run that isn't the best option.

Maybe just having a talk with your mom saying something like "you know I'd really love it if you would spend as much time with my kids as the girls...they would love to be that close to you too"...I think if you try and mention anything about the past with your sister..your mom may get defensive and no one will win.

Best of luck, I really hope that things work out well for you!
post #8 of 24
Before you do anything rash please remember that you are pregnant and that your hormones are all over the place.
I had much the same thing with my mother, I could do nothing right and my sister could do no wrong. I just stepped back and let her get on with it, she was the one who missed out.
I did pull her up once when she started to favour one of my children over the other two, and told her that if she could not treat them all the same then she wouldn't see any of them.

good luck
Anne
post #9 of 24
I am so sorry you are going through this. Try sitting down with your mom and talking to her about this. Ask her not to interupt to object what you are saying but ask her to listen and take to heart what is coming out of your mouth. Tell her that you wish she could be there for your kids as much as she is for your sisters kids. That she seems to be more involved with the girls more than she is yours and you feel like your kids are missing out on a very important part of life. I don't think I would bring up the money she spends on them or anything money related. But tell her how you feel!! It is very important that you get this off of your chest!! GOOD LUCK!!!
post #10 of 24
It's grossly unfair to you for your parents to treat you this way. However, they've been doing it so long it's not likely to change.

Do you believe that if you sit down with your mother and tell her how you feel that it won't be seen as "sour grapes" on her part? If she and her dad were willing to just sell and move closer to your sister that easily, then it's pretty obvious her welfare is their main concern. I'm not saying you shouldn't tell her, I'm just wondering if it's worth upsetting everybody when nothing is likely to change.

It seems to me that since you are seen as the responsible one, they feel you can handle whatever life hands you and that your sister is not able to look after herself. I don't think that means they love you any less - I think they just feel she needs them more because she's not as strong as you.

As for your sister - she's a selfish, ungrateful brat. You mom has been through some serious medical situations and she is taking advantage of both your parents - not just your mom. You dad is part of it too. People cannot be taken advantage of unless they allow it.

Even though it hurts you, my advice is try to let it go and realize your parents probably think they are doing what is best even if we disagree.

You have a wonderful husband and son with a new baby on the way - that's your first priority family - they will be there for you. Stress and worry about this situation is not good for your unborn baby, your son, your husband or you. Try to accept things the way they are and take care of yourself and your own little family.
post #11 of 24
I think you have gotten some real good advice here and i agree with it.
My opinion would be, after you have thought about weather or not confronting her will change anything at all. If not then let it go. She will always be your mother but if trying to compete with your sister for your mom then i am not sure it is worth it, you sound so stressed out, and i am sorry.
It does seem to me that they think your sister can not handle things like you, you say you have always been the responsible one, so they don't think you need as much.
I do understand why you are hurt though, try not to think of it as they love you less because i don't think thats true.
Hang in there
post #12 of 24
I am so sorry this is happening.

You say you don't want to talk to your mom because you don't want to make matters worse... but could they get worse for you? You can't go on feeling like this - the stress isn't good for you. I think you either need to forgive her (for yourself) and accept the way it is and has been, or let her know how you feel, so you can be at peace with it.

My hubsband has some similar things going on in his family - it's just not right.

Best of luck... I think Squirtle had some very good advice
post #13 of 24
Also, just wanted to let you know too...if you sit down with your mother and things do not change (which I hate to say if its been going on for this long most likely it won't), please remember that you have your own family as well that love and support you.
Sometimes our parents are not the best examples of how to raise children. In this case favoritism can be a bad thing.
post #14 of 24
I'm so sorry you're going through this.

My experience was that confronting this did not make any difference at all. In the end, I just got on with my life with the family who truly appreciate me and let the other stuff go. Dwelling on it, or talking about it with them didn't change things, so now I just let them get on with it.

It's sad because they don't get as much from the relationship with me as they could, but that's their choice. I made sure that my relationship with my daughter was as good as it could be though and did not make the same mistakes there.

I'm sending loads of hugs to you, I know how upsetting it can be.
post #15 of 24
Aww good luck!!!
I dont have any advice but.. I often wonder if my parents would favour my siblings more if i had any..

If you do confront your mother let us know!
post #16 of 24
I say write a letter and get everything down on paper. Read it every day and see if your feelings change. If after a weeks time you feel the letter is what you want to say, mail it. If not throw it away.

This will give you some time to sort out what you are feeling and give you a way to vent the feelings at the same time!

Sorry that you have to go through this.

Teresa
post #17 of 24
Oh wow, I am so sorry that you are going through this Ady.

I have had to deal with my mother for most of my life. She is so focused on a foster child that she forgets that her own children have problems. Last night I was sent home from work early because I was in so much pain from the waist down ,that I was crying from the pain - my dad took me to the doctor right away but when my mother got home, she never even said a word to me, not even a 'are you okay" - instead she went straight to check on the foster child. We are all resentful of it, we have missed out on a lot because of her. I have decided that it is not worth worrying about my mother, she is the loser here because she made the decision not to care about her own children - and I agree with Yosemite - your sister is being very selfish in what she is doing, she is taking advantage of them. I wish I could give you a big old hug.

But you know what? I bet you will have learned from this - that you will not treat your kids the same way she is treating you. You are such a good person Ady, I can see it in your posts, and I know you deserve better.
post #18 of 24
If you decide not to confront your mother, it might help to write everything down anyway in a letter. It might help you clarify/let go, and no one says you have to give it to her.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by squirtle
Sounds exactly what I go through. My sister was always my moms favorite. My dad always did his best to make up for it, but he was a truck driver so he wasn't around much. Poor dad as soon as he pulled in the driveway he was bombarded by a crying me telling him mom was mean to me a nice to my sister while he was gone. He was constantly pulled into the middle, so it put a strain on their marriage. When things really got bad and they considered divorce, my mom cried to her parents (my grandparents) who blamed it all on me who was 9 at the time. At Christmas time I received a sweater from them (remember at 9 or 10 you don't want clothes) while my sister opened mounds of presents. All of this went on for years and I was always hurt by it. One day though, when I was about 19, I made the decision that I just wasn't going to care anymore. I made the decision right then and there to forgive my mother for everything. I wiped the slate clean and tried to forget about things in the past. I was building my own life and realized that I was wasting far too much energy on worrying about it and being upset.
My sister is still the favorite and it's very clear, but I don't dwell on it. I just live my life and if they want to be a part of it then great, if not that's ok too. I have no expectations of my relationship with her. I take it day by day. Sometimes we meet up and have lunch, and sometimes weeks pass without me talking to her. I wish things weren't this way, and some days I wish she would call me so I knew she thought about me... I don't think you can erase those feelings. I just remind myself that there isn't anything I can do about it and that I really am doing ok.
Your mom knows what she is doing... If you feel like you need to communicate your feelings with her, write her a letter and then be done with it.
You are a wonderful person with a wonderful family, and one more on the way Your mom is really missing out, one day she might wake up and realize that. In the meantime, enjoy everything that you have and try not to lose anymore sleep over it. Just my advice
I know exactly what you mean Tanya,My mother was like that but mine was violent and abusive,I too made a decision not to bother with her,after afew years we made up and she was 'full of regret'.But after awhile she reverted to her old self.I do not bother with her at all now.She has never loved me and she never will.It took a long time to realise that I cannot make her love me. Now I can move on without her in my life and I am happy.


Ady,I think you know your mum better than anyone on tcs,and IF you know deep down she will change then yes i would say something to her.
Otherwise if you know that by saying something to her will not change how she is,
then i would get on with my life without her in it.Let her live with the regret.....

You have your own family happiness,why let her ruin it?

post #20 of 24
Your situation reminds me of a friend of ours. His mom is the same with her loser son, while virtually ignoring him, "the responsible one". When finally he confronted her, she said that she always figured he could look after himself, while his brother just needed her more.
I think it's the responsibility of a parent to look after the needs of their children, all of them! Whatever the reasons for your parents' favouritism, the fact remains that it's been very hurtful for you. Those feelings are valid and you need the opportunity to express them, whatever the outcome. Others have suggested writing a letter. I think that's a great idea as you'll be able to express yourself freely, and then you have the option of showing it to her or not.
Good luck whatever you decide to do!
post #21 of 24
Wow, that really stinks! I am fortunate to be one of 5 kids, and I truly believe that to my Mom, we were each her favorite. But my husband is the healthy, responsible one in his family. He is expected to help out at the drop of a hat, with no care for his feelings. Everything is geared towards his siblings.

However, he is excellent at knowing that his Mom has severe limitations, and allowing for that. I don't know how he does it!

What I saw from your post, was that although this has bothered you for a long time, it reached a new level when it began to affect your son. At some point, he may begin to see the difference in the treatment, and you will need to have an explanation for him.

I like the idea of writing a letter and then waiting to decide if that is what you really want to say.

Another option might be to quit being so helpful and responsible to them. Don't totally cut them off, but if Kevin is sick, and she can't call to check on him, don't feel you need to call her to let her know. Don't feel you need to drive over to see them all the time, or you need to fix fancy meals when they come. Try taking a step back from being the perfect child (if indeed you have been striving to be the perfect child!) While it won't change how they act, it may help you feel less resentful.

I'm just real sorry you are dealing with this, on top of your other stresses.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
It seems to me that since you are seen as the responsible one, they feel you can handle whatever life hands you and that your sister is not able to look after herself. I don't think that means they love you any less - I think they just feel she needs them more because she's not as strong as you.
That's EXACTLY what I was thinking when I read this. I have a very irresponsible brother that my mom doted on more than the rest of the kids. I confronted her with it and she admitted that she felt like she needed to give him extra attention because he was so messed up, and she felt responsible for messing him up. Therefore she devoted her time to him to ease her guilt. But the funny thing was, by the time I asked her about it, she told me since I was so responsible, she figured I simply understood this.

The real question to you is this: Since your mother has been battling cancer on and off for a while now, if by chance she passes without you asking her what is up, can you ever get closure on this? I know I couldn't. If I were in your shoes, I would wait until you deliver and your emotions are more stable, then confront her. But that is me.
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all of your insight and wisdom. You are right, it has always bothered me, but until it affected Kevin, I didn't let it eat away at me.

I think I will take your advice and write everything down in a letter and then review it. I think I have to either then give her the letter or discuss the letter with her as this whole situation is also causing stress in my marriage. My hubby is all gung-ho about a confrontation. I will let you all know what happens when I do it.

Thank you for all of your support.
post #24 of 24
Whatever decision you make we are here for you

From what I have learned, confrontation doesn't change anything. Everyone gets upset, things might change for a little while but when it does it will seem "fake" to you.... Does that make sense? You will sit there thinking that they are coming over and calling because you got so upset about it, not because they want to be there. I hope that doesn't come across wrong. I strongly suggest a letter to let her know your feelings. I think it will serve as some sort of closure to the situation on your part. You will be able to say that you did what you could to make things work on your end, and I think you will be able to live easier that way. If your mom reads the letter and has time to absorb what you say maybe she will make an effort to build a stronger relationship with you and your family. She would have time to think about it, whereas in a confrontation emotions seem to run high and people say things they don't mean...

It is sad to see it affect Kevin, I can imagine how awful that must be for you. But again, you can't force them to be the way you want them to be. I don't have a child of my own (I have a soon to be step son though ), so I don't really know how to advise you on that part of it. I think if I was to say something though it would be that if things don't turn around with your parents you have to shield Kevin as much as you can from feeling like they don't want to be a part of his life. Also, don't speak negatively about them in front of Kevin. As he gets older let him form his own opinions of his grandparents. But with such a loving family Kevin is going to be just fine however things work out.
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