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“I’m Not Coddling Her Anymore”: After Years Of Walking On Eggshells Around Her Childless Sister, This Mother Stands Up For Her Son
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People, Relationships2 months ago

“I’m Not Coddling Her Anymore”: After Years Of Walking On Eggshells Around Her Childless Sister, This Mother Stands Up For Her Son

For women who dream of becoming a mother, it can be earth-shattering news to hear that it’s just not possible. The pain of experiencing a miscarriage is heartbreaking, and trying to have children for years without any success can take a huge toll on a person. Everyone heals from trauma in their own way, and it is understandable to have boundaries around triggering topics. But there comes a point where we have to realize that the world will not bend to our every whim.

One woman recently reached out on Reddit asking if she had been too harsh to her infertile sister after deciding that she was finished avoiding the topics of children and babies at all times. Below, you’ll find the full story that this new mother shared, as well as some of the replies from readers. Feel free to let us know your thoughts down below as well, but please, keep in mind that this is a sensitive topic for many people. And then if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article discussing the lasting effects that miscarriages can cause, you can check out this story next. 

After years of coddling her infertile sister, this mother is wondering if she was justified in finally standing up for herself

Image credits: Karolina Grabowska (not the actual photo)

Image credits: Tima Miroshnichenko (not the actual photo)

Image credits: cottonbro (not the actual photo)

Image credits: openheartclosed

I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child or being unable to have any when you’ve always dreamed of having them. However, it is sadly quite common. In the United States, for example, about 9% of men and about 11% of women of reproductive age experience fertility problems, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. And even when a couple is able to get pregnant, the NHS estimates that about 1 in every 8 pregnancies will end in a miscarriage. 

I am sure that the sister in this story has been put through the ringer emotionally and physically, after having a miscarriage and being unable to have children of her own. That can be a very traumatic experience, as Tommy’s explains on their Baby Loss Support page. Following the loss of a baby, many women experience grief, shock, feelings of failure, guilt, emptiness, loneliness, confusion and jealousy. 

And while no one would fault the sister in this story for having a hard time following her tumultuous path in trying to have children, there are much better ways to handle the pain than imposing rules on the rest of the family. An important part in healing from trauma is not to eliminate every single trigger in the world, (babies do still exist!) but to learn how to be exposed to them without having a meltdown. 

The parents should not be enabling their daughter to make demands for everyone else around her. They should be supporting her emotionally and helping her find a therapist who can actually help her get better. And as for the mother who posted this story, she should feel free to embrace the joy of new motherhood. She has no reason to feel guilty for having a son, and she should not feel the need to shield her sister from him for the rest of her life. Wounds within families can run deep, but especially when there is a new child around, the entirety of the family should come together with love, support and excitement for the newest member of the family.

We cannot spend the rest of our lives hung up on the pain of the past, and we cannot try to ruin our loved ones’ lives because something bad happened to us. I hope that the sister in this story seeks out therapy to work through her pain, and I hope that the mother stands by her decision to stop coddling. We would love to hear your thoughts down below as well, but again, please remember to be respectful as this is a sensitive issue. Many people have experienced the pain of losing a child, but I’m sure they did not all try to lose their sister as well.  

Readers have overwhelmingly sided with the mother, saying that it’s unfair for the sister to take out her grief on the whole family

Some even opened up about their own painful experiences with infertility, noting that you can’t let it ruin your life

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JustJackie
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I lost my child when I was 5 months along. Suffered from ptsd, it's been more than 10 years now. I didn't know how to deal. couldn't hear or see any babies without breaking down. Out shopping, and there's a baby, leave. Watching a film, someone happens to get pregnant, change the channel. Finding out someone else was pregnant was heartbreaking.. Guess what I didn't want though? I didn't want to ruin anyone's happiness, I didn't want them to feel bad about being pregnant. If I could get myself out if a situation that made me uncomfortable, I would do just that. I never expected anybody to change anything about their lives, just because I was in a very bad place...The parents are the biggest AH in my eyes, they are enabling this behaviour. They should be really happy that you have a healthy baby, and the way they are handling this is wrong. I hope the sister gets the help she needs, and the parents get a clue.

Louloubelle
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As someone who was infertile for years, I understand a bit of how you're feeling. I hurt too, and I this is what I did - I went to baby showers, baptisms, I sent cards, presents, slapped on a smile, hugged them and congratulated them. Then, sometimes, I went home and cried in private. Because that's what decent people do. The world does not stop when you can't have a baby. It's so okay to feel what you feel. But this person - she's just a b***h.

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Tamra
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I understand the pain this woman has gone through. Sixteen years of infertility, testing, procedures, and three miscarriages - one in my fifth month of pregnancy. BUT...the truth is that life around you goes on, as it must. The world does not grieve with you, nor should their lives and joys be put on hold. This woman needs to work through her grief with a therapist, and the parents need to get a grip.

Deborah B
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If you're going to an event that's *about Julie* like her birthday dinner, or an event at her home, then not bringing your baby is a resonable request. Going to someone else's event, when they want the baby there, it's not reasonable for her to try and claim that space for her bubble of tragedy.

Makajha Banjjjak
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm in Julie's shoes, and I can't imagine a world in which I would ask my sister NOT to bring my niece to my birthday. How could I be punishing/ignoring a baby, that's like one of the closest blood relatives. I'd rather she would be the only one to come, we would have amazing birthday party 😅

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JustJackie
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I lost my child when I was 5 months along. Suffered from ptsd, it's been more than 10 years now. I didn't know how to deal. couldn't hear or see any babies without breaking down. Out shopping, and there's a baby, leave. Watching a film, someone happens to get pregnant, change the channel. Finding out someone else was pregnant was heartbreaking.. Guess what I didn't want though? I didn't want to ruin anyone's happiness, I didn't want them to feel bad about being pregnant. If I could get myself out if a situation that made me uncomfortable, I would do just that. I never expected anybody to change anything about their lives, just because I was in a very bad place...The parents are the biggest AH in my eyes, they are enabling this behaviour. They should be really happy that you have a healthy baby, and the way they are handling this is wrong. I hope the sister gets the help she needs, and the parents get a clue.

Louloubelle
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As someone who was infertile for years, I understand a bit of how you're feeling. I hurt too, and I this is what I did - I went to baby showers, baptisms, I sent cards, presents, slapped on a smile, hugged them and congratulated them. Then, sometimes, I went home and cried in private. Because that's what decent people do. The world does not stop when you can't have a baby. It's so okay to feel what you feel. But this person - she's just a b***h.

Load More Replies...
Tamra
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I understand the pain this woman has gone through. Sixteen years of infertility, testing, procedures, and three miscarriages - one in my fifth month of pregnancy. BUT...the truth is that life around you goes on, as it must. The world does not grieve with you, nor should their lives and joys be put on hold. This woman needs to work through her grief with a therapist, and the parents need to get a grip.

Deborah B
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If you're going to an event that's *about Julie* like her birthday dinner, or an event at her home, then not bringing your baby is a resonable request. Going to someone else's event, when they want the baby there, it's not reasonable for her to try and claim that space for her bubble of tragedy.

Makajha Banjjjak
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm in Julie's shoes, and I can't imagine a world in which I would ask my sister NOT to bring my niece to my birthday. How could I be punishing/ignoring a baby, that's like one of the closest blood relatives. I'd rather she would be the only one to come, we would have amazing birthday party 😅

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