A Reddit user feels like her sister is taking her struggles with infertility too far — and the whole community is on her side. It sounds like a horrible statement on the surface, but here comes the context.
Her sister Julie has tried to have a baby for five years. She’s been unable to get pregnant and had two miscarriages. Because of the pain she’s gone through, Julie has set certain boundaries. The family is not allowed to talk about babies around her. Kids younger than three cannot come to family events that she’ll also be attending. She won’t go to any baby showers or baptisms.
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Then, this Reddit user — Julie’s sister — got pregnant and these boundaries started to effect her. She was told by her mom that she shouldn’t have a baby shower “out of respect” for Julie. She went through with one anyway, and only three family members attended. She posted a baby announcement on Facebook and her parents told her she was being hurtful to her sister.
“My aunt’s 70th birthday party is next week. My husband and I planned to go, bringing our son,” the Reddit user continued. “Julie called and asked if we were going. She then asked for me to get a sitter for our son. I said no. She doesn’t want to miss the party. My aunt is one of the few people who agree that Julie’s boundaries aren’t fair and wants my son there, as she doesn’t get to see him often. Julie got upset and started crying, saying that I was unfair.”
The user snapped then, asking: “What would happen when she got pregnant? Would we all be expected to shower her with the love and attention she’s refused to give other people’s kids? Will her baby be allowed to attend events?” Julie argued that would be different. In turn, the Reddit user said she would not be “coddling” her anymore.
Her parents yelled at her for the way she treated Julie. Now, she’s wondering if she’s TA here.
Reddit reassured her that, no, she’s definitely not. The community reinforced that Julie was taking this too far. As one person put it — in a comment that got 7,200 likes — “Good lord. Wow. She’s trying to cut off all family event related contact for your side of the family? She needs therapy badly. That’s just so unfair to you and your child and the other relatives who do want to see the baby. Tell your parents that if they want to see their grandson they need to start treating him like a human being and part of the family, not a weapon pointed at your sister.”
Many people emphasized that this Reddit user’s child should not have to hide in the shadows his whole young life. “You’re being requested to treat your child like an object that can be hidden, not an individual with the right to make and have his own relationship with his extended family. This is unfair to him, to you, and to your extended family,” a user wrote. “Julie doesn’t have the right to push her boundaries outside herself and her own house.”
A few others spoke about their own struggles with infertility and how they handled that painful experience. It’s difficult but they would never set the kind of rules that Julie has.
“My husband and I have tried for a baby for 6 years and were recently told we won’t be able to have one,” one person explained. “In that time, we have thrown a baby shower for a close friend, been to family christenings and fostered 5 children. Yes it hurts seeing pregnancy announcements; watching all the milestones our family and friends have with their kids, but I would never want to stop their happiness. I smile through it, even the times where my heart hurts and sometimes go and cry to let it out when I get home.”
How would you handle this situation with Julie? Is there any right answer here?
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