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'AITA for telling my sister the reason I don't want to be an involved uncle?'

'AITA for telling my sister the reason I don't want to be an involved uncle?'

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"AITA for telling my sister the reason I don't want to be an involved uncle?"

TA_NoInterest

I(36m) spent a lot of time basically raising my brother and sister. When I was 9, our parents separated for eight months. Our mother spiraled during it. She pretty much just slept when she wasn't working.

My siblings at the time were 2 and 3 and I spent a lot of time with them, made sandwiches for us at dinner time, got them to bed, tuck them in, and always waking mom up or calling dad to come take care of them.

They got back together but when I was 13 dad died. Mom spiraled worse then before. She worked, slept, and was gone most the night especially on weekends. I did everything for my siblings at that point and when I was 15 I was able to work some weekends just to help pay for extras for us.

It went on like that until I was 18 and left right after graduating high school. That seemed to be the kick in the bum mom needed to get her life together. I have since done therapy and mended my relationship with her but aftermath is I just really don't want anything to do with kids now. The thought mentally drains me.

My siblings have kids now and have wanted me to be involved since the first nibling was born 6 years ago. I don't ignore them, I show up for their parties, and I'm nice when talking to them but I don't draw out interacting with them.

I don't act fake excited and I don't want to go to their events. I don't have them over to my house despite them and the rest of my family always suggesting I do because they're convinced I'd be a 'fun uncle'.

Recently I was picking up my camping gear from my sister's and my nephew asked to go with me and I told him no but definitely when he's older. When I was leaving, my sister said I should take the kids sometimes because they're always asking about me and my stuff and suggested that she and BIL come too if it'd help.

I told her no thanks. She asked why I refuse to be more present in my niblings' life because she remembers I was a lot of fun with her and our brother. I told her it might have been fun for her but I was doing what needed to be done to keep them happy. But it's okay if they remember it differently because they were so young. It's just that, after that, I don't want to be around young kids. She dropped it.

Earlier today, our Nan texted me to tell me no one would be upset if I skipped our cookout next week so I didn't get stressed out around all the kids. Was I wrong for telling her why I don't get more involved?

Update: Just got off the phone with Nan after I texted her earlier. It was a polite disinvite due to my sister telling her I don't want to be more involved with the kids because I am all kidded out after raising them.

Per Nan "It's selfish to be full of piss and vinegar over doing things for family and that's not the [family name] way. Your nieces and nephews need you like your sister and brother did. If you can't put the bad aside, you don't need to be around the kids for now. We don't always want to show up for family for whatever reason but we do it."

I'm going to talk to my siblings, especially my sister, this weekend to clear this up. But, do you think I am being the AH here considering what I had to deal with during my own childhood?

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:

1962Michael

NTA. People shouldn't ask questions if they don't want to hear the answers. Obviously someone was complaining to Nan, which makes them AH. Also it seems like your niblings wouldn't be asking to spend time with you based on your actual interactions. Possibly their parents are talking you up? Go to the cookout if you feel like it. And don't if you don't.

The OP responded here:

TA_NoInterest

Pretty much why I'm asking. I've always shown up to family events, like going to family events, and have organized some and now basically disinvited from next week.

2moms3grls

Wait, so you stepped up and raised your siblings and now you are disinvited from family gatherings? Where was nan when all this was happening. This is profoundly unreasonable. I'd have another talk with siblings about going behind your back. And Nan needs to back of since she didn't step up.

InfamousCheek9434

Excellent question. Where was any of the extended family? Did neither parent have siblings? For the grandmother to say something now after letting OP be parentified for YEARS is ridiculous.

wildmishie

NTA, you managed to do such a good job raising your siblings that they only have happy childhood memories. They have no idea what toll that took on you. Where the heck was Nan when your mom was spiraling and making you raise two children?

The OP responded again:

TA_NoInterest

She lived in a different state at the time unfortunately.

DLCMotroni

You're never "wrong" for telling your truth. I have to ask though - have you ever tried some therapy to work through your childhood trauma of having to step up the way you did at such a young age? NTA

West-Dimension8407

You're NTA. But your sister telling nana about your conversation and what came out was realy AH move.

Ok_Climate6209

NTA, your Nan's probably the only AH here for the snide comment. The fact your siblings have such fond memories without a hint of the burden it placed on you speaks to great lengths, no wonder they want you actively involved in their kids' lives. I don't think you're an AH for being truthful either, as you could've just put them off forever with some excuse but you didn't.

You shielded them well from an unstable home/family, but unfortunately it seems while you've worked through it with therapy, they've not had a clue as to what really happened, so maybe your sister felt a bit blindsided/like you were blaming her for being a parent at 11 years old.

I'd have a gentle conversation explaining your side of it, while affirming that you loved them and don't blame them but you've raised your kids already and can't wait to hang with the niblings when they're older. If she can't handle that, that's her own thing she needs to work on

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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