A lot of people imagine they'll raise families near their siblings and share exciting adult milestones along the way. The idea of baby nieces and nephews playing and being friends is picturesque, and the hard and often isolating work of parenthood feels less so when you have a family member nearby.
However, life often doesn't end up how we imagine it, and the demands of jobs and partners can often pull the lives of siblings apart even if that's not the intention. Accepting this without pointing fingers or lashing out can be incredibly difficult.
AITA for insisting my SIL to visit us more when she is a busy resident doctor and she says she can't?
My SIL (married to my brother) is a resident physician who works 60-80hr weeks and frequently works 1 or both days of the weekend. Her residency is a 7hr drive from where me, my husband and my baby girl (1.5yr old). My brother and I were always very close growing up and even lived in the same apartment and later same city.
We were never more than 20-30m away from each other. I got married and had my baby and he moved 7hrs away to be with his fiance, now wife, pretty soon after I had my baby. It was devastating for me as I had always pictured us being close and him really involved as an uncle. SIL works 6am-5:30pm 6-7 days a week but does have some 'golden weekends' where she has Saturday and Sunday off.
She usually has one per month and then she has 3 weeks of vacation (never over Christmas or New Years holidays). During those 1 weekend a month that she has completely off, her and my brother either stay at home because she needs to relax or will drive 2hrs to see her family.
During the 3 weeks of vacation, which she is only able to take 1 week at a time, they went on a 1-week long trip to Hawaii, a 1-week long trip to Cancun with her family, and then 1 week where they just visited her family 2 hrs away.
They haven't made the trip to visit us more than 1-2x a year as they say the drive is too hard with the limited time off she has and she's usually too tired to come anyways. But not too tired for Hawaii or Cancun?
They always ask my parents and us to visit them during holidays she works so at least we can be together and she will join every day after 5. But, it's hard for us to travel with a 1.5 year old. My parents have to split time visiting there and visiting us and we need them for childcare.
I've been asking my brother and SIL to visit us more even though I know her schedule is busy and my brother got frustrated with me. When I asked him to visit alone, he said she needs him because the heavy workload has been really mentally straining on her and quoted how resident physicians have a really high depression rate and basically called me TA.
I feel it's unfair we have to visit all the time considering we have a 1-year-old and also both work FULL TIME and feel they should balance better to visit us rather than just vacation. AITA for insisting?
YTA. You don't have to travel to them if it's too hard for you, but you come across as really judgmental and lacking in compassion for how they choose to spend their limited free time.
Asking them to travel 7 hours each way for a visit on the rare Sat+Sun she has off is unreasonable - that would be 14 hours of driving for probably not even 24 hours of time together including sleep hours. You say they do make the trip about twice a year, and that seems reasonable given these circumstances.
YTA. Going to Hawaii and staying at a hotel is a relaxing vacation. Going to stay with family who has a child is not. Medical residency is gruelling. She can’t “balance better.”
You have the right to wish you spent more time with your brother. You do not have the right to expect it though, nor to tell other people how to spend their vacation time.
I cried every single day the last semester of my doctorate, and I'm an art historian. I write about pictures. She's trying to save lives 80 hours a week. YTA.
YTA You did a good job outlining her time obligations. Then a crap job of having any empathy whatsoever. Being a resident is ridiculously stressful because you are responsible for medical care for which you are too tired to rightfully be making decisions.
Oh, and then there is seeing all the death and suffering. Any opportunity to get away from stress must be seized. Long drives to stay with toddlers whose parents lack compassion for you does not qualify.
YTA - visiting family with.a young child is wildly different than a vacation just the two of them for the explicit purpose of having fun and unwinding. I'm guessing you and her aren't very close, so to her visiting you would not be considered fun and relaxing, but rather a stressful chore she is forced to endure on one of the VERY RARE days she has off.
Your entitled attitude about her and her husband's time is probably not helping things either, being 'devastated' that your brother is not super involved as an uncle is not the healthiest response.
He's not a second parent to the kid, and having the expectation that he wouldn't have his own wants and desires in life that would contradict your own could definitely be seen as selfish from an outside perspective (i.e. to his wife who is trying to build her own life with him, and doesn't want a demanding in-law butting in every chance they get.)
I understand wanting your brother to be involved as an uncle, so if that's the case why not just ask him to visit more frequently alone if his wife can't make the trip?
What about planning day trips where you guys meet somewhere in the middle? just because they don't have a kid doesn't mean making the trip is any more viable for them then it is for you, and expecting them to be able to make time for you're family in their busy lives while not trying to reach any sort of compromise with them isn't ever going to work out well.
It seems crystal clear that the internet agrees OP is TA in this situation. Hopefully, he's able to take that judgement on board and cultivate a bit more understanding and empathy for his brother and sister-in-law.