Does my sis want her kid or not?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Does my sis want her kid or not?
10
Tue, 09-09-2003 - 3:04pm
I'm curious if I'm being off-base about these circumstances, but, in my opinion, my sister really didn't want her child. The daughter is 4 and, seeing as what has been and/or not been done, lead me to believe she is not wanted.

Of note, my sister works full-time days. She is married to an alcoholic who works part-time evenings. The dad watches the daughter during the day, my sister watches her at night.

Anyway, here are some examples:

1. My sister takes her daughter outside 1 hour a day, no more. The dad is too tired to take her outside at all and my sister feels only guilty enough to take her outside for 1 hour.

2. The daughter is not allowed to watch TV outside of her bedroom.

3. The daughter is not allowed to have toys outside of her bedroom.

4. My sister doesn't do holiday activities, i.e., color easter eggs, see santa, trick-or-treat, etc. My sister says she doesn't have time and has me do it instead.

5. My sister continues to smoke in front of her child, even though she was urged by doctors not to (the daughter was born 3 months premature).

6. My sister does not play any games with her.

7. The daughter knows her letters, but does not know her numbers or colors.

8. My sister does not take her anywhere with her, grocery shopping, paying bills, errands, etc.

9. The daughter comes to my house quite frequently for babysitting. She cries uncontrollably when she leaves because she wants to live with me. She is very vocal about this, even with my sister.

I don't know, but, all things point to my sister really not wanting her. In public, well, that is when I see them together, my sister tells her she loves her and gives her kisses and such, it's just that the other things that are going on lead me to believe otherwise.

Any thoughts from anyone on the subject?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-08-2003
Tue, 09-09-2003 - 4:09pm
1. My sister takes her daughter outside 1 hour a day, no more. The dad is too tired to take her outside at all and my sister feels only guilty enough to take her outside for 1 hour.

1 hours is more than many kids, esp. if sis works all day, if sis is spending 1 hour outside WITH her, I think she's doing her best.

2. The daughter is not allowed to watch TV outside of her bedroom.

Maybe they don't live thier lives in front of the TV, does she spend time with her daughter cooking and cleaning etc?

3. The daughter is not allowed to have toys outside of her bedroom.

Neither was I. just the one toy I was playing with. I don't think its the end of the world not to have kid's stuff everywhere. I have friends with a happy 1 yo and other friends with a 13 yo and 4 yo, they don't have toys all over thier house, even when we've come over "unannounced"

4. My sister doesn't do holiday activities, i.e., color easter eggs, see santa, trick-or-treat, etc. My sister says she doesn't have time and has me do it instead.

If she's working full time, and hubby doesn't sound like the ideal mate... I can see not colouring easter eggs, maybe she's too little to trick or treat, and I know lots of people who don't take thier kids to see Santa to tell them what they WANT! like little spoiled brats. (But an uncle does dress up and come to see them as Santa at thier house)

Does your sister take care of the more special things like b-day's, and christmas day, maybe they celebrate things with a different twist?

5. My sister continues to smoke in front of her child, even though she was urged by doctors not to (the daughter was born 3 months premature).

I'm a child of the 70's.(mum smoked)I do think it is terrible to do it, and maybe she'll realize how bad it is once her child mimics her. It stopped a friend from smoking, when her 4 yo smoked a crayon.

6. My sister does not play any games with her.

When does she have the time if she's the bread winner, homemaker, caregiver? Too bad hubby seems lacking...

7. The daughter knows her letters, but does not know her numbers or colors. That a problem....

8. My sister does not take her anywhere with her, grocery shopping, paying bills, errands, etc. Friends with kids would kill for this situation!!

9. The daughter comes to my house quite frequently for babysitting. She cries uncontrollably when she leaves because she wants to live with me. She is very vocal about this, even with my sister.

Do you "poison" this little girl by critisizing or belittle her mother to her. Do you talk to much about grown up stuff about her parents? Are you gossiping with the little girl like she is one of your girlfriends.

I know I seem harsh, I'm just playing up a side you might not have considered. Maybe your sister is defeated by her alcoholic husband, all the long hours of work, saddled with all the family responsiblilty, bills, food, cooking, laundry, life? Maybe your sister needs your unconditional support to make the best of sad situation with her little girl who she gets up and goes to work to feed and house.

I'm an optimist. Sorry.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Tue, 09-09-2003 - 8:49pm
Reading these it does kinda sound like ur sis is not a great mother but I am gonna TRY very hard to give her the benefit of the doubt, so here goes.



1. My sister takes her daughter outside 1 hour a day, no more. The dad is too tired to take her outside at all and my sister feels only guilty enough to take her outside for 1 hour.

Maybe ur sis is depressed. That would explain a lot about several of these but esp. the only taking her outside for 1 hr a day. Actually an hr is kind of a lot of time I would think, if ur niece doesn't have a lot of stuff to do out there like swings, slides, etc.

2. The daughter is not allowed to watch TV outside of her bedroom.

To me that sounds pretty reasonable, I know this might sound cold hearted but when I go over to ppl's house that have kids I'm always annoyed if the kids have a loud Disney video or something on. To me that sounds ok...maybe cuz I don't know the whole story.

3. The daughter is not allowed to have toys outside of her bedroom.

This IS a little bit weird, how strict is ur sis about this? I mean, can her DD even bring a doll into the living room w/ her? Or is this just like, no piles of legos in the middle of the floor, kind of rule...b-cuz to me THAT would make sense, it might be her trying to keep it cleaner in the house and confine the toys 2 the daughter's room...again I dont know the whole story.

4. My sister doesn't do holiday activities, i.e., color easter eggs, see santa, trick-or-treat, etc. My sister says she doesn't have time and has me do it instead.

Maybe she doesn't have time, or even maybe she is sick of doing that stuff, I don't know how old her DD is, but I think it's pretty sad, I mean she is missing out!

5. My sister continues to smoke in front of her child, even though she was urged by doctors not to (the daughter was born 3 months premature).

I think this 1 may just be her own lack of willpower and bad decisionmaking. I hate to make an assumption about ur sis but she probably just is lazy about the smoking and figures "oh it wont kill her". That is SO wrong and awful but it's probably nothing really about her DD.

6. My sister does not play any games with her.

Sad.

7. The daughter knows her letters, but does not know her numbers or colors.

From what I remember I knew ALL of that at age 4 and most kids I know do, but my mom is a teacher and she said that when she taught Kindergarten there were 6 yr olds still learning that stuff, and they were ok so I wouldn't worry TOO BAD about your niece, there's hope. It's good she knows her letters at least.

8. My sister does not take her anywhere with her, grocery shopping, paying bills, errands, etc.

I think a lot of parents dont take their kids w/ them and I personally think it is a good thing sometimes and a bad thing othertimes. On 1 hand, it's good for kids to get out into the world and see whats out there, and learn how to act. On the other hand it seems sad when some moms drag their kid from errand to errand nonstop. When does ur sis do her errands and stuff like that? Does she have someone else watch her DD just for that purpose, or does she just do errands in between her work shift when her DH is watching her kid? That might be a convenience thing.

9. The daughter comes to my house quite frequently for babysitting. She cries uncontrollably when she leaves because she wants to live with me. She is very vocal about this, even with my sister.

Of course she wants to live w/ u. U care about her and give her loads of love and attention, more so than her mom does. U are her aunt and lucky for her at least there's someone in the world who knows this little girl is worth while.

I am young and dont know much about raising kids but to me it sounds like ur sister is a combination of lazy, ignorant, and maybe depressed, could be something to do w/ the alcoholic husband (father?). She doesnt sound like she was prepared to raise a kid. It doesn't sound like she is doing the best job. But I do think she probably does love her daughter and wants her despite these things. It is still sad.

Rhiannon

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 09-10-2003 - 4:56pm
My thought on the subject is I think it is more of a disagreement between parenting styles more than rather she loves and wants her or not.It's sad but some women have to work and if she is working full time there is only so many hours in a day and living with an alcholic can't be easy.I think she is probably doing the best she can.I don't know the whole story but alot of times parents put to much importance on all the things that has to be done they don't stop to think about quality time. The only thing I see she is doing wrong in my opinion is leaving her in the care of her alcholic father.

Although I don't agree with her rules I know alot of parents that are the same way but still love and want there kids it's just there way of doing things.My opinion it has it's advantages and disadvantages.

I wouldn't worry to much about what the little girl knows right now.All kids are different and will eventually pick up on it. Is she interested in learning maybe you could work with her or suggest preschool. I don't know how it is there but they have a free one here.I'm sure the little girl would love being around other kids and it will prepare her for school.

As for the fits wanting to live with you.I don't know what the experts say but having 2 kids of my own and seeing other kids that age do the same thing I think it is normal and she will outgrow it.the best thing you can do is talk her into gone home with her mom peacefully but it never hurts to keep an extra eye out for signs of abuse which at this age and all the stages they go through it is sometimes hard to determine.

sounds like this little girl looks up to you so I wouldn't overstep my boundaries and say anything to your sis about how you think she should be raised.That will only cause trouble and your sis may very well keep her away.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Wed, 09-10-2003 - 7:04pm
I feel very badly for this little girl.

Its too bad the mom is so selfish that she smokes around her child. I had a friend recently who died from sinus cancer, so I'm very much aware of smoking and how it pollutes the air that other people breathe.

Someone needs to talk to this woman about how she is treating her child.

Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 09-10-2003 - 10:51pm
Not every new YOUNG mothers know how to care/love their first born, unless they were taught HOW by their own mothers, aunts, grandmas, MIL . . . . . They make mistakes. The only thing BAD that is not acceptable in your post is her smoking in front of her child.

She is tired because she works and making her watch TV in her room or play in her room means: she doesn't want that extra work by cleaning up after her. Because of her alcoholic husband, he's probably too strict w/her not wanting the house messed up when he comes home. She feels it's safer for baby in her room watching TV, so she won't disturb mother sleeping catching up with her beauty rest. The mother is lovey-dovey in public, so is that all a FAKE then? C'm she can't be that hard on her own baby?

How do you know all this? If she takes her baby only 1hour outside, maybe you should play with her and take her outside often, since she obviously don't have time for one-on-one quality time with her own baby.

If you witness that she punish her violently, and yelling at her constantly THEN we have something to worry about.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Thu, 09-11-2003 - 8:22am
the little girl is 4 not a baby. I just wasn't sure if you read that part, the 1st time I read thru the OP I didn't see the age myself :-)
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-22-2003
Thu, 09-11-2003 - 2:49pm
While I understand some of the arguments the other posters brought up, I feel they are giving your sister too much benefit of the doubt. Just because she works all day doesn't mean she should be lazy w/ her parenting. I know so many parents who work full time & give their children so much more. & being depressed because of her alcoholic husband is no excuse. She has the ability to walk away from him & change the situation. They always say you can only be taken advantage of if you let people.

I have a SIL w/ a 4 yr. old who is married to an alcoholic. While he brings in $, it is through disability checks he receives. Since their supposed separation about a year ago, he has moved back in & out a few times. There have been fights, arguing & the cops have been called. Yet she keeps letting him move back in, mostly cuz she needs the $ he brings in. She quit her job because she was tired of working.

As for my niece, well:

1. When she sees them argue, she threatens to call the cops because she's seen them do it.

2. She curses after hearing them, & they find it funny.

3. My SIL smokes around her, & is still smoking even though she's 7 mos. pregnant again. In fact my niece took cigarettes out of a pack a few times & tried to smoke them & they thought this was funny too.

4. My SIL can never watch her for more than a few hours before getting the neighbor babysitter, or going to my FIL, or having my other SIL take care of her. In fact my other SIL is basically the 1 raising her. She's the only 1 who takes her to the park & does anything w/ her. My niece calls her mom & cries when she has to go.

Believe me, I understand. The sad truth is there isn't much you can do. My DH & I realized we couldn't change the way our niece was being raised & we couldn't get stressed out about it. What makes it easier for us is we don't see it on a regular basis. We've had to distance ourselves from our SIL for various reasons because we can't take the stress she causes & how she takes advantage of everyone. My SIL has always been out for herself 1st & needs to be the center of everyone's attention. My DH (& this is his sister) says she causes drama so everyone can talk about her. Because of this we don't see our niece often, but we had to for own sanity.

My only advice is if you want to be their for your niece, than I would do what you can for her when she's w/ you. If you say anything to her, she might just punish you by keeping your niece away from you. You'd have to decide if that is a risk you want to take.

I hope things work out for you & for your niece.

Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 09-11-2003 - 9:33pm
C'Mon Rhiannon! I have a 21yrs. old son and I still call him a baby! What difference does that make if she's a tiny baby or 4yrs. old. If she's a baby baby, she wouldn't be old enough to be watching TV ALONE in her room! That would be NEGLECTING category. Pardon me.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Fri, 09-12-2003 - 8:40pm
I am sorry to offend you Leslie! I honestly didn't think that you understood the little girl is 4. I guess I am the weird one, maybe because I'm not a parent, I can't imagine anyone referring to a 4 year old as a baby. When I think "baby" I think tiny, eating formula/baby food, in diapers, etc. But I DO see what you mean, I guess everyone is still their mother's "baby" in that sense :-) Sorry again! Rhiannon
Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 09-13-2003 - 3:56am
I understand where you're coming from to. I should have said infant or child.

Peace

Leslie