Friday, April 19, 2024

DEAR CHRISTINE: Sister-in-law not into babies

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Dear Christine,

PLEASE GIVE ME your honest opinion on the following.

My sister-in-law and I have never been pals – so to speak – but she has no children and made it absolutely clear to me and her brother that she never wants children. In fact, she and her husband have been married for five years and seem content on having a childless marriage.

When she first said this, I kind of joked that when “the little one comes around”, she’ll be so happy, she’ll want to have another and another and another. I only recognised just how serious she was when my son (who is now three months old) was born. She’s not nasty to him, but she takes very little interest in him. She never wants to hold or play with him, and she’s made it clear she’s not available for baby-sitting. At times, I think she resents the attention he gets from other members of the family.

My husband says not to worry about it, but I find her attitude offensive. Needless to say, my relationship with her has deteriorated and I am very upset that our sweet little boy doesn’t have a normal, loving, friendly and appreciative auntie.

My mother-in-law understands how I feel, but tells me it’s my sister-in-law’s choice and that I shouldn’t let it get to me. What do you think?

– L.A.

Dear L.A.,

I agree with your mother-in-law 100 per cent. If your sister-in-law is not into children, she’s just not into them, so please don’t take it personally and do not allow this to bring further division between the two of you. Not everyone loves to “coo” when they are around children, or consider them cute, cuddly and sweet – even though I believe they are.

Your sister-in-law has the right to be who she is and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Who knows? Perhaps in time, she’ll interact more with her nephew when the two can actually carry on “a conversation”. Although that may not be anytime soon, respect her stand. I’m sure she has no “personal hatred” in her heart for her nephew and loves him in her own way.

– CHRISTINE

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