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November 10, 2004



I can totally relate to your story since my own mother treats my brothers as if they were made of gold or something, and her excuse has always been "because they are men". They have always been able to get away with lots of things that the girls haven't. Besides this factor though, my sister and I have a horrible relationship (none presently) and she blames me. She was always a bully, voicing her opinions while everyone just kept quiet, and now, at 44, I have finally stepped up to her and she has disowned me for it. It's funny how if we challenge people's lifelong roles they've been playing, they either accept it or absolutley hate it and just drop their siblings like hot cakes. No REAL love in this family or at least all I can say is this ....."WITH FAMILY LIKE THIS, WHO NEEDS ENEMIES!!!!!" It's very hard and as a result, I try to keep my distance as much as possible and it makes me sad.


I've often done this with my close friends. They have 3 children, and although I love them all dearly, they drive me nuts a lot of the time. I used to shush the 2-year-old, tell the older ones to shut up, etc. It IS just because I don't get "the mom thing." Once I have children of my own, I have no doubt I will be quite shamefaced and regretful. (I am already regretful; I just haven't gotten the "payback" part yet without kids.)


My sister and I are great friends, as is my entire family. We are so close sometimes, it gets annoying.

I remember I was at my parents house an my daughter did what yours did - threw a fit about every half hour. My brother asked me "can't you shut her up? Give her what she wants already!" He was 16 and I am 28. I am like - uh, get over it. I will not gag my child to please you! Its something that she needed to get out of her system.

Robin P

I am 11 1/2 years older than my sister so we didn't have any type of rivalry growing up. I was basically just another mom to her. Now that I am 41 and she is 30 we are great friends. So we don't have anything like you are describing. Thank goodness. That must make it hard.
There are moments when my sister doesn't get parenthood as she is not yet a mom but her time will come and then she will know. Ya, then she'll know and I will smile politely.

Auntie M

I am from a family of three too. I have two sisters that are 10 years older. I was the youngest, spoiled one of the group (although I'm not the favorite, apparently). I agree with the first writer, Amanda, who said it's really difficult for someone to understand kids until they have one. I kind of think your mother is right, although she could have said it better...he'll learn soon enough and maybe he'll even apologize. I have certainly apologized many times to my oldest sister about criticizing her kids. You never know.


I have a few siblings myself and I love them dearly. But they drive me nugging futs. And no, my parents never really helped the matter, thinking it best to let us each "be an individual". Which meant my older brother was allowed to smoke two packs a day in high school, but I was grounded and couldn't attend junior prom because they smelled smoke on me. I've decided that my children will ALWAYS be treated equitably, no matter how "individual" they are.

That being said, I think you should give your brother a pass here. My older brother actually shushed my 4 month old baby last Christmas because he couldn't hear the news on TV through the crying. People without kids just don't get it yet. He had no idea you can't shush a baby. He is still only thinking about himself. All of my sibs are still totally self-involved - and I know they'll get it someday. But only once there's someone besides themselves they need to think about. And then I know they'll remember how they've treated me and feel bad, but it won't be because I reminded them.

angela marie

Boy, that's too bad. There are plenty of families that clash with one member or another, but it really is sad that your mother (unknowingly, probably) eggs this on.

That your daughter will be an only child is your decision, but I hope you didn't base it on your relationship with your brother because pitting one child against the other isn't something that you would pass on to your children. You know better.

What a bummer for you. It must make getting together with family an anxiety-inducing nightmare. Maybe having a child will knock your brother down a notch. Maybe not.

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