We’re following up with Beat listeners to see how they made out after they sent in their questions to us – and you – for help. Every Friday, it’s a Follow-Up Friday on the Beat Breakfast Panel.
My brother’s second child was born on Friday afternoon. I found out on Saturday, only because my sister-in-law’s sister posted a collage of photos of her holding the new baby. My brother did not contact myself, nor my parents in any way to announce the birth of his child. We all understand new parents don’t always want visitors right away and he could have texted or called us and said “we don’t want visitors yet” and we would have respected that, but we did expect some sort of notification that the baby was born.
I sent my brother a text saying congratulations and he never responded to me (he did text my mom saying she and my father have a half hour time slot to visit- meanwhile my SIL’s family had been there 24 hours already). My parents stayed 3 minutes and left because it was so awkward (my brother wasn’t even there).
I waited 3 days after her birth and finally texted my brother a VERY honest text saying I was hurt that I had to find out from someone else’s Facebook post that my niece was born.
He did not like that. Now, I feel like when I have kids (in the next couple years) and he becomes an uncle for the first time, I don’t want anyone to notify him. Am I overreacting? Also, do I have a hope of having a relationship with my nieces while my brother and I are on the outs? I love those girls so much! -Aunty P, Guelph
Where are they now?
Sorry my update is a bit long! Wow! What a variety of responses!!!
Firstly, I totally agree with you both. My family lives 2 hours away so it isn’t always easy, but I should have talked to him in person rather than sending a text.
Secondly, I LOVE The Beat Breakfast Panel and read it every day. I’ve found that 90% of the time people are commenting “communicate” or “if you’re upset, tell them!”, so I’m a bit surprised that so many people said I shouldn’t have spoken up! That said, after reading some comments I wish I had sent my brother a simple text asking why he didn’t tell me (or my parents) about the birth and why he didn’t respond when I said congratulations. I should have given him the chance.
I understand I have no rights to someone else’s children! I grew up in a very tight-knit extended family where cousins let us know when they went in to labour and their husbands sent updates. We weren’t allowed to visit right away but we all respected that and nobody complained! I brought meals for my cousins after they had babies and tried to help and not to impose. I just had an idea in my head that it would be similar with my brother (and it was with my first niece) and was disappointed when it wasn’t what I’d expected. I don’t think that caring about my family is “petty”, “selfish” or “childish”.
After seeing the comments saying that there’s a reason my brother didn’t tell anyone, I thought maybe there was a reason… I didn’t originally think there was a reason because my family has always been very close and we haven’t had any recent conflicts with my brother! I asked my mom and she said my brother told her he was upset with my SIL because she didn’t want my family visiting right away and he wanted us there. I guess he misdirected his anger by just not telling anyone. Mom said he was very remorseful and feels bad that dad and I were upset with him. After hearing that, I decided to message him and said I’m very sorry and I shouldn’t have been so quick to judge and I asked if he’d like to talk in person. That was over a week ago. I haven’t heard a thing.
I have a great relationship with my SIL and I texted her accidentally yesterday and we were chatting for a bit. I don’t think I should be going around my brother and using my SIL to see my nieces though, so I’ll be giving him and his family some space until he decides he is ready to talk.
Thanks so much for all your help! I wish I had written in earlier and avoided some of this conflict! -Aunty P
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