Sophie asks :

Hi Lucy,

Why are my boyfriend’s parents happy for his sister but not us? I'm a very traditional girl in the sense that I can't wait to have kids with my partner but I've told him I want to be married in church first so we are now engaged and doing things the 'traditional way'. His parents were pleased for us but not too bothered. They are very fond of children and do a lot of child minding for friends free of charge and always make comments and ask when will we give them a grandchild. Now my partner and I have good stable careers, a stable home together, and have brought everything from our own hard earned cash and don't rely on financial help from anyone. Now my partner’s sister doesn't work, still lives at home with the parents and was with a man for 3 months when she fell pregnant. (It was planned) Now my partner’s parents were so over the moon and ecstatic when they found that's all they talk to family and friends about. They also brought her a car, spent hundreds of pounds on baby stuff for her and let his sister and her new partner live in their house rent free. She's now had the baby and I feel very pushed to the side because all they talk and care about is her and the new baby. Not once have they mentioned the wedding asked me questions about colour schemes, my dress etc. (the wedding is 10 months away) I know it may sound immature but I can't help the way I feel. My brother called me 'jealous' which I am really not.. I have experienced the feeling of jealousy before and it's definitely not how I feel right now.. If I wanted to have a baby I could come off my pill and have one at any time but my partner and I are not ready yet so I'm definitely not jealous. I can't really describe how I feel any better than to say that I just feel very 'unimportant', 'pushed to the side' and 'insignificant' to his family. I'm a nice girl from a nice traditional family and his parents really can't see that. I would of thought they'd be more proud of us for doing things the old fashioned way and getting ourselves sorted and on our feet with a job, house, car etc. before having children but no none of this is important to them. I'm so confused and frustrated I hate going round their house now because it's all they talk about and it's really doing my head in. Help!

Our Reply

Hi Sophie,

This does sound very frustrating for you, given how hard you have worked for everything you have.

It could be that it’s because it’s their daughter having the baby- your own mum would likely make more of a fuss about you than if say your brother’s partner had a baby simply because it’s their own daughter. They might want to stay out of your wedding plans for fear of over stepping the mark too.

You can recognise what your have achieved, the house, the car the jobs etc., all are things to be very proud of. It is nice when people realise that you have a good set up at home, but ultimately their opinion does not change anything in the reality. It is a nice bonus but you are not going to lose any of this if they don’t acknowledge what you have done.

You are going to have one of the biggest days of your life in 10 months so the baby coming on the scene has perhaps taken the focus off your wedding. It is not surprising that you want the day to be yours and not overshadowed by anything or anyone else. It could be pre-wedding nerves of this happening.

His parents might have been looking forward to having grandchildren for a while, hence their enthusiasm for a new member of the family.

Could you ask them to help you with something for the wedding to get them more involved and talking about it? Could you bring it up in conversation so you are not just talking about the baby all the time? People do talk about one thing when it’s new in their lives, but chances are the novelty will wear off when it becomes normality and being at their house might become more bearable. 

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