Sister, Daughter, Mom…irritations and burdens of family life

I really feel burdened and sad about some things today regarding my family – not just my immediate family, but the extended set as well.  I’ll start with the stupid stuff, that honestly I just ought to get over but sometimes gets under my skin.  My sister is a great gal, really.  She is kind and thoughtful and always willing to lend a hand if you need it.  But she is a whiner.  She doesn’t know it; if you ask her she’ll say how she knows how blessed she is…so why then the moaning?  She loves to throw a "poor pitiful me" party.  She is like me in that we are ‘artistic’ (read: crappy housecleaners & disorganized).  The difference is that when push comes to shove, I will stay up for two nights straight and get the job done.  She, on the other hand, cries to her friends – or our mom – about how overwhelmed she is, and those people come over and do her work.  She is always getting bailed out.  Or the money issue.  I don’t really think they are any worse off than Alan and I are, but because she cries about it, someone is always doing something for her or her family.  Like, the last women’s retreat our church had…I couldn’t afford to go because we’d spent so much money on vet bills for T.  She didn’t have money to go either.  When I was asked, I  just replied "no, I’m not going to be able to go this year."  However, when she would be asked, it was always the whole big story on how their money is just so tight, and this and that and the other….the result of which was that someone paid for her way to go on the retreat.  This happens all the time.  I try to pride myself on the fact that I make my own way; I’m not whining to others to get helped out…but, maybe I am just jealous?  She will complain how I have always had a nicer car than she’s ever had…yeah, but I’ve never been to Europe, and Africa, and…well, lots of places she’s been that I have never been.  So cry me a river.  I am not begrudging her nice things or trips or whatever, but just quit whining for pete’s sake!  Then there is the part where my mom is involved.  Somehow she feels sorry for my sister because she buys into the pity party.  Time and again she buys clothes for those grandkids, and has helped pay for their private schooling, and various lessons…she tries to not let me know, but that just makes me feel like she realizes she is being unfair and is trying to hide it.  I mean, I love my mom, and she can do whatever she wants with her money, and I really don’t want her to have to provide for me, I am a big girl now…but, I don’t know, it makes me feel bad anyway.  The jealousy bit again, I suppose.  So I know what sin I need to pray about!  I really agonized over buying school pictures because of the expense, but you know they are only this age once, so I did it…then I saw the check (on sis’s noteboard in plain view, no, I wasn’t snooping!) that my mom had written to pay for sis’s kids school pics…sigh. 
That brings me to my next issue…I am a bad mom.  My little girl is…fat.  I’ve known for awhile now that she has a bit of a pudgy tummy, but I guess I’ve been seeing her with a mommy’s loving eyes.  Because it is more than pudge.  It was those school pictures.  She looks totally cute, of course, because she is my baby and is adorable!!  Her individual ones, well, I could still try to say "oh, it’s just a little chub, she’ll grow out of it real soon."  Ah, but, the class picture….if a picture is worth a thousand words, then they are all screaming at me what have you done?! what have you done?! what have…..  In that group of kids, it’s so obvious…my daughter is the token class fat kid.  I just wanted to cry.  I wanted to throw up.  It’s bad enough I’ve done this to myself, but I am an adult and have to take the responsibility…my daughter eats what I give her, and sits on her fanny because her dad and I do.  It’s so unfair, and it’s all my fault.  Luckily, I have swelled her head so much by telling her how wonderful she is, that she didn’t notice at all…she looked at her pics and declared "I look great!  These are my cutest pictures yet!"  Okay, so I have a little time to get her slimmed down before it starts to warp her psyche. 
I was also going to rant a bit about my…well, my brother-in-laws new wife.  My nieces and nephews step-mom.  I don’t think I fully trust her.  I mean, she seems like a nice gal.  But, then stuff happens that just doesn’t add up.  I don’t think she is treating the children with enough love.  I think she is…mean.  More than just strict.  Not abusive, just not really kind.  And they need love so much after what they’ve been through.  I also love my  bro-in-law, and he doesn’t seem really happy.  Kinda stressed out.  Of course, I know it’s partly just ’cause she’s not my sister.  She’s going all gung-ho on getting rid of my sister’s stuff (furniture and stuff, I mean) and I understand, it’s her home now and she wants to make it hers…. but they can’t really afford it but she’s going full blast on it…again, not my concern I guess.  I know it just makes me feel bad when she talks about "that horrible picture"… that my sister loved…that I gave her as a gift….dang it I miss my sister.
I have a great family, really.  But they still make me flippin’ crazy sometimes!!

4 responses »

  1.  I just want to say that i think you\’re great 🙂 I can completely relate to your family- sibling parent- relations; as I have 2 sisters.  I am so sorry that you lost a sister. May I ask how? I recently lost my mom (in June) to ovarian cancer and how I wish I could go back in time. I know she is with Jesus, but oh how I miss her.  I think my sisters and I were always competing in a way, not really consciously, but always kind of vying in a way for my moms\’ love, and attention. She loved us all so deeply, but  there were always those quips about favoritism amongst us and the grandkids. I know we all felt it at times.:-) Losing a loved one so close and dear really makes one treasure every moment we have with them on this earth. Life is but a vapor, as I;m sure you know being a Christian.  My heart goes out to your neices/ nephew who lost their mom- your sister. I have seen the\’ wicked step mom /dad syndrome\’ in my own  neices life, so I can completely relate. I feel that in most cases, a step mother or father just does not love the children the same. Their is just not that bond, but it\’s heartbreaking to watch your own family members suffer through it.  I believe I introduced myself some time ago, but In case I did not… My name is Angie. I am wife to Chuck of almost 20 yrs. (19 th anniversary is Jan. 2nd) I am mom to Jake,13- Jordan,7- and Noel,(The Christmas Noel) who will turn 5 on Christmas day. I am also a homeschooler in the So Cal area. Would love to be in the country where it\’s green though, south east- North Carolina- where I was born or Tennessee perhaps… but my dear husband is a California boy at heart. sighhhhhh. So, it doesn\’t look like we\’ll be leaving  anytime soon:-( Well, God bless you and keep up the great work on your site. it\’s wonderful!Love in Him, Angie

  2. Ann,
    I must confess, I am guilty of my daughter\’s weight issues as I do fast food way to much (I\’m too lazy to cook), sitting around instead of getting outside (my co-workers tease me about my daughter not seeing daylight!), and not making physical activity a priority although I have no problem getting on my treadmill to work off the candy and cookies.  I\’m a very messed up mom!! 
    Kike your daughter, my daughter has a lovely self image and says, I\’m a little plumper than normal but I look good.  For that I am grateful because I too, know there is a little time to work on the weight issue before puberty hits.  (Or hits anymore – she is starting to develop but I think her weight is adding to the budding presence!)
    In any event, you write with your heart and I appreciate your transparency and candor.  I could go on and on about how my parents give my youngest brother everything from a car for their family to a new computer since their kids needed one to paying for their camping trips… I just try to ignore it.  I don\’t want to whine and beg and receive anything out of guilt or sympathy.  Still, there are times that it is difficult to not be jealous.
    Sorry…. I\’m blogging on your space – didn\’t mean to hijack your comments!
    Take Care!

  3. My older sister moved here after her divorce, and from that time until she just got married this summer (about 6 years), she was at least partially supported by my parents. This really bugged me, but at the same time, I was very grateful that I was never low enough to learn to expect money from my parents as a 30-something. My parents didn\’t enjoy doing it, but they were understandably and justifiably concerned about her 2 children. We\’re talking poverty here, and my feeling is that my sister was reaping her earlier poor life decisions and that she deserved everything she got, but at the same time, there were kids to think about. She is now remarried and very happy, though still poor, but her new hubby knows how to handle her, so it all worked out in the end I guess. My parents always felt it was unfair to me and my other sister, but of course it wouldn\’t be right to give us money just because. I also know that they respect me more and trust me with confidential information that they don\’t trust with my sisters. I guess my point is, I\’m very glad that I\’m me, living without assistance, than to be either of my sisters, no matter how much my parents help them out. I can hold my head high, and you can\’t put a price on that.
    Regarding Kiki, your approach is a lot different than mine. I\’m quite overweight too, but for some reason it has always been very important to me to encourage good eating habits in my children. Instead of sharing my junk food, I hide it and eat it when they\’re sleeping! That doesn\’t stop them from begging for snacks (especially my son), but I\’m strict about everything, including food, so their cries don\’t affect me too much. It\’s kind of hypocritical I guess, but I\’m much more concerned about their body images than my own! My oldest daughter is thin and beautiful, and I\’m jealous. Even better, she is already a "health food nut." She would rather eat salad than burgers and don\’t gorge herself on candy, etc. I think a lot of it has to do with every time she\’d ask for a snack, I\’d lecture her about healthy vs. junk foods! And in my opinon, that\’s the place to start. Instead of snatching away all the sweets, try emphasizing good food vs. bad food, how it affects your body, your moods, and your self-image, and teach her how to make healthy choices. In other words, let her choose, rather than withholding or even offering her bad foods. Of course, it is also essential to have healthy snacks in the house in the first place.

  4. Aww honey, first of all i got to say this about your daughter…just give her lots of love.  My daughter was a bit pudgy in 6th grade and the kids made fun of her terribly. Called her fat and names i wont even write here. It was horrible.  My daughter was in such misery about it she quit eating and she lost 20 lbs!   Kids can be so friggin cruel in public schools!  I took Ash to the Dr and she told me that if Ash loses any more weight that she will be under weight.  OMG!  I am now trying to make sure she at least eats 3 meals. Its hard to make her eat now she so concerned about being fat.  She just nibbles at food but at least she is not skipping her meals.
    And I wanted to say too that i really liked what you wrote here about families.  Mine is dysfunctional too as you can plainly tell.  Im just trying to find my place in the whole scheme of things.   Families can make you crazy for sure!

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