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Woman asks if she’s wrong not to ‘coddle’ feelings of ‘infertile’ sister.

Woman asks if she’s wrong not to ‘coddle’ feelings of ‘infertile’ sister.


It's only human to keep someone's feelings in mind after they go through a tragedy. But one woman finds that her sister's attitude two years after her miscarriage is going too far. She takes to the popular Reddit board to ask:

'AITA for saying I won't coddle my infertile sister anymore?'

My sister “Julie” has tried to have a baby for 5 years. She had a miscarriage 2-years-ago and outside that, has been unable to get pregnant.

My heart hurts for her. However, one thing I don’t agree with is how my family has handled it. We’re not allowed to talk about babies around Julie.

Any kids younger than 3 can’t come to family events that she’ll attend. She won’t attend baby showers, baptisms, etc. The last one I understand, but the rest feels overkill.

I got pregnant last year. I told Julie first and she reiterated her boundaries. I said I understood. The first hurdle came with my baby shower. My MIL was throwing it. I didn’t expect Julie to come.

Then my mom told me I shouldn’t even have a baby shower, period, “out of respect.” I said that was ridiculous. She didn’t have to come so what did it matter? Only 3 people from my side of the family came to the shower.

When my son was born, I posted a birth announcement on Facebook. My parents lectured me for this and said it was going to hurt Julie. I said she could just block or mute me. They said I should make the effort.

Julie echoed that if I cared, I’d stop. I ended up blocking her just to save drama.

My aunt’s 70th birthday party is next week. My husband and I planned to go, bringing our son. Julie called and asked if we were going. She then asked for me to get a sitter for our son. I said no.

She doesn’t want to miss the party.

My aunt is one of the few people who agree that Julie’s boundaries aren’t fair and wants my son there, as she doesn’t get to see him often. Julie got upset and started crying, saying that I was unfair.

I finally snapped and asked what would happen when she got pregnant? Would we all be expected to shower her with the love and attention she’s refused to give other people’s kids?

Will her baby be allowed to attend events? She said that was different. I said no, I’m not coddling her anymore. My son exists, he’s family and he’s coming. She can decide if she wants to or not.

My parents yelled at me for being mean to Julie. They offered to pay for a sitter but I said no. It’s not even her house. AITA?

To recap: the central question posed by OP here isn't about whether Julie is overstepping or not. It's whether she herself is wrong for saying what she said. Namely, that she's done coddling her sister.

Nonetheless, no matter how harsh the words — commenters couldn't help putting this one on Julie.

C_Majuscula writes:

NTA. Your sister is taking this way too far. Your point about her (possible) child is totally valid.

I doubt she is doing this with friends and coworkers.

k1p1coder has compassion for everyone, but a clear viewpoint:

NTA. Good lord. Wow. She's trying to cut off all family event related contact for your side of the family? She needs therapy badly. That's just so unfair to you and your child and the other relatives who do want to see the baby.

Tell your parents that if they want to see their grandson they need to start treating him like a human being and part of the family, not a weapon pointed at your sister.

Note the phrase: 'Not a weapon pointed at your sister.' Not bad for a Reddit comment.

ginliv writes:

NTA. Julie can’t expect everybody to hide away their children or pretend they don’t exist just because of her (very real) pain. Is Julie not going to have a relationship with her nephew?

It sounds as though she hasn’t really grieved for what she has lost or for her (apparent) infertility and is allowing that to overtake all of her other relationships.

And Mouse-Direct has empathy, but like the above, knows this has gone too far:

I was infertile for 14 years before my son was born. It was heartbreaking and frustrating and invasive and embarrassing, but it didn’t mean the world stopped turning.

My SIL and one of my nieces gave birth while I was mourning a miscarriage and crying over each subsequent negative test, but the thought of trying to mandate how they would celebrate their children never occurred to me.

The only boundary I set was not attending baby showers (I sent gifts).

Congrats on your pregnancy, and I’m sorry that your sister is in pain, but that doesn’t mean that your family has to pretend no one else will ever give birth again. I hope she finds a good therapist as well as a good endocrinologist.

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