When it comes to our friends and family, many of us are prepared to go above and beyond for those we love, even if it means making sacrifices.
One woman has recently shared how she’s been sacrificing her own time for seven years to help her sister look after her two children – as her brother-in-law is little assistance.
However, she claims she’s just been given an exciting promotion at work, that would make her unavailable to offer her free babysitting services all the time any longer.
The anonymous woman revealed all in a letter to Slate.com’s agony aunt Dear Prudence, explaining that her sister hadn’t exactly been in a congratulatory mood when she heard about the new job.
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Her letter to Prudence branded her sister’s husband “the biggest man-baby on the planet”.
She said: “I am happily single, while my sister is married to the biggest man-baby on the planet. He thinks putting a dirty dish in the sink is worthy of a parade and being a good parent is telling my sister the baby is crying before going back to his video game. Both work full time, but my sister takes care of the kids, the house, and the dogs, and she constantly leans on me to help out (while complaining about her husband refusing to).
“I have been watching and raising my young nieces since they were born when my sister can’t. I love them to pieces—but I have been waiting for them to get old enough so my sister doesn’t have to pay for expensive infant care. I am tired of being expected to pick them up from school five days a week and to take care of them when my sister works weekends while my brother-in-law goes camping with his friends.”
The woman claims her sister has spent years considering getting a divorce but ultimately never does – the siblings have fought over it and it never ends well.
She continues to say how she put in for a promotion that would require her to move quite far away from her sister and she got the job.
“It is a huge step in my career,” the woman admits. “When I took my sister out for a celebration lunch, she grew upset when I told her about the move. She said I couldn’t abandon her now. She was pregnant again and would need me. I told her that was the most selfish and self-centred thing she could possibly say to me. Did she really expect me to orient my entire life around hers and her freaking failure of a husband?”
Her sister is said to have told her to “shut up” and “insulted her”. The pair argued some more before the pregnant woman stormed out.
They haven’t spoken since and the woman is frustrated “beyond belief” that her sister couldn’t just be happy for her for once after she’s given up seven years of her life to help with childcare.
In response to the letter, R. Eric Thomas gave advice as Prudence, explaining to the woman that it sounds like there’s a communication issue with her sister and that she needs to celebrate herself.
“Neither one of you is wrong, per se, but you have the right to redefine whatever you want. It’s possible that your sister is envious of the freedom you have, of your ability to make better life choices, perhaps. It’s also possible she’s freaked out by the logistical challenge of caring for her kids without you. That’s all reasonable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t move to take on this new job.”
They add that some time apart will be good for the two of them and that it will give the sister the chance to see her as a person with their own life – not just a babysitter at her beck and call.
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